When they aren't discussing the influence of Tyler Perry and Steve Bannon, you can find Baltimore-based producer Infinity Knives and rapper Brian Ennals joining forces in the studio.
Their first collaborative LP Rhino XXL came out in July, matching Brian's old school flow with Infinity Knives' meticulous productions, which blur the lines between hip hop, neo classical, drone and experimental. Following this the pair returned to the studio once again to collaborate on Infinity Knives' new solo LP Dear, Sudan, which sees Brian take to the mic on a couple of tracks.
Ahead of the release, which is coming out in November via Phantom Limb, the regular collaborators talk conspiracy theories, the effects of being an ugly child and their message to Black Americans.
Brian Ennals: What instruments do you play and when did you start playing?
Infinity Knives: Any that I can get my hands on? Mostly guitar, been playing for almost 10 years now.
Brian Ennals: Where’s home for you, Baltimore or Kenya/Tanzania/Morocco?
Infinity Knives: Ain't no one here from Morocco you ignorant ass nigga lol
Brian Ennals: Marvel movies: good times or the death of film?
Infinity Knives: Eh, they ok man. Just weird Pro-American liberal propaganda. But I'm a jaded cynic so idc.
Brian Ennals: What about me (Brian Ennals) what makes me such a good rapper?
Infinity Knives: Shiiiiit you IGHT lol
But for real you have that old head style that these youngins can't pull off anymore.
Brian Ennals: What conspiracy theory do you 100% believe in?
Infinity Knives: I am thoroughly convinced that we 100% live in a simulation. No lie.
Brian Ennals: Last great album you heard?
Infinity Knives: Yma Sumac - Virgin of the Sun God.
Brian Ennals: Loris, Rhino XXL, the solo stuff: What’s the difference between them and what do they share in common?
Infinity Knives: Different energies and mostly an excuse for me to constantly pump out new shit. But I love all of it.
Brian Ennals: You’ve mentioned the influence Sparklehorse has had on you, can you elaborate on that a bit?
Infinity Knives: Man, I was just listening to him last night for like 3hrs. It's super simple and emotional. No frills. Also I like how fragile that shit is.
Infinity Knives: How would you say growing up as an ugly child has affected your rap style?
Brian Ennals: It gave me humility, and that comes across in the lyrics. There’s not a lot of braggadocio in my shit because I don’t understand bragging. Just as importantly, it gave me empathy for ugly adults, which is why we get along so well.
Infinity Knives: What do you like most about Steve Bannon? In what ways do you feel like you’re similar?
Brian Ennals: With my dude Steve, it’s not about the principles or rhetoric; the racism and division. It’s about the grift. And I’m all about the grift. My rap career is a long con.
Infinity Knives: What’s it like being a dad?
Brian Ennals: Amazingly surreal and fucking exhausting.
Infinity Knives: If you could say anything to black Americans what would it be?
Brian Ennals: The people and system that has/have enslaved, raped, tortured, and murdered you is never going to give you true freedom or equality. What’s America without racism? A nicer place sure, but it wouldn’t be America. There’s a second part to this answer, but I’m chilling.
Infinity Knives: How has the Tyler Perry franchise influenced you as a rapper?
Brian Ennals: I don’t think I’ve ever seen a Tyler Perry movie in its entirety. I do remember watching House of Payne when I used to be hungover. Drinking made me masochistic. But what he’s taught me is, you gotta give the people what they want. Pretentiousness rarely pays off and just because something isn’t “art” doesn’t mean it has no value. Tyler Perry fans matter.
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