Maybe you've been too busy paying attention to the latest Tumblr-wave rapper clogging up your Twitter timeline to notice, but Plies is one of the rawest, most quietly complex and versatile rappers working today. One minute dude's dropping certified tear-the-club-up anthems, the next he's lamenting the harsh realities of the street life, the next he's working with Usher or rapping about blowjobs. On his newest mixtape, the extremely good Last Real Nigga Left, you'll find him returning to his certified street roots.
Meanwhile, Plies' Twitter account is a consistent source of amazingly funny and light-hearted musings on sex and general interpersonal politics. It's Valentine's Day, so I called him up to talk about love, fucking, rap music, and how much he loves fucking rap music.
Noisey: Talk about your new tape.
Plies: I just wanted to get back to the essence, man. My brother was locked up, and I was probably on my fourth project at the time, and he felt I wasn’t making that music I stood for when I first got in the game, and I feel like The Last Real Nigga Left was about me getting back to that essence. It’s for people who enjoy the raw material.
You have a certain duality to you.
People who fuck with me, they allow me to be me. A lot of artists don’t get that, I think. I think from an artistic side, people allow me to give them all 360 degrees of them. I talk to you about niggas that I thought was real then I found out they wasn’t. I’m able to give you that, and then give you a vivid picture of me in the presence of a chick that’s sexually inclined. I feel like I’m blessed. The shit that’s going on in my life might not be suited for the radio, but I’ve got that connection to females. If it’s a record about fuckin’, I try to bring you into the bedroom with me. If it’s a record about a disloyal female, I try to bring you on that ride with me. I think people really fuck with me because I take the gloves off.
What’s your current romantic situation?
I was on Twitter the other day, and I said I wanted a foursome for Valentine’s Day. I’ve never had one.
Last year, you said you wanted girls to send you pictures of their pussies.
[Laughs] Ay Drew, what’s up man, you with the Feds and shit? You’ve got all the information, man.
Well, how many girls sent you pictures?
Shit, I stopped looking at them motherfuckers after 50 or 60. That’s what I be lovin’ about my shit. I say the craziest shit. People react. That’s what it’s all about.
What separated the good ones from the bad ones?
I look for that smooth shit, Drew. If I load the picture up and I see bumps, I don’t like that shit. I like the texture of that motherfucker. On the phone, off the phone, in person, it doesn’t even matter. I’m into texture. I like a motherfucker that you can tell they put on cocoa butter every time they get out of the shower.
You seem to have a lot of rules for whether or not you use a condom. Want to talk about that?
You better believe it, man. I’m all about the kids making responsible decisions. Safe sex. Any time I talk about going raw, I’m talking about that from the aspect of being with a motherfucker that you really fuck with. Rawing isn’t a casual thing. That’s for a motherfucker that you really fuck with, and vice versa. That’s rule number one about rawing, period. It’s gotta be in a committed relationship. It’s a trust factor.
It’s definitely an intimacy thing.
I always tell motherfuckers if you wear a condom, I don’t feel like it’s cheating for real. It ain’t cheatin’ if they for real, anyways.
Have you ever been in love?
I don’t even know. I’ve experienced love for a relative, like my grandma who passed away or my son—I know that’s real love. But when it’s about a female, I don’t even think I’ve gotten to that point where in my heart it’s come across. I don’t know if I’ve ever been in love. And if I was, I ain’t really know it.
I feel like you always feel like it’s love at the time, and then in retrospect you’re not sure.
That’s one of those things about life, man. You never know the motherfucker you was laying in the bed with until it goes wrong. I done seen them breakups where motherfuckers been around each other for six or seven years, called each other boyfriend and girlfriend, and then when it went wrong, the motherfucker just totally flipped. You thought you knew that person, and then in that second phase, nah.
Have you ever lived with a someone you dated?
I’ve been caught in situations. I’ve always had my own place forever. You start fucking with a chicken and then she leave shit over, and then before you look up goddamn two months gone by and she got 15 outfits there. That’s damn near living with me. I think I spend so much time on the road and in the studio, I’m so committed to what I do that shit, I’d be doing myself a disservice to tie down to someone right now.
What do you like to do for someone on Valentine’s Day?
I think the best shit don’t come with no price. I never cared about being in a high priced environment, because I don’t feel like it’s intimate at that point. I think you gotta just be laid up—spending that quality time, that’s the best thing you can do on Valentine’s Day.
How do you come up with your tweets?
Man, Drew, I don’t know why people think I be tweeting crazy shit. I just tweet shit I be thinkin’ about. It’s crazy to me, because the shit that motherfuckers respond to might get twenty-some-hundred retweets. I think I tweeted something the other day about titties, like, “Man, I love when a motherfucker pregnant. I love everything about a pregnant motherfucker’s titties.” That’s just some real shit. I just love how pregnant titties taste. People looked at that shit like, “This nigga’s gone crazy.” I be thinking out loud.
It seems like you’re having fun with it, which is pretty much the point.
People don’t want you to promote shit to them. If I tell a motherfucker I got a party tonight, that might get 60 retweets or some shit. But if I ask a motherfucker, “You got a hand on that pussy?” That motherfucker get 4,000 retweets. I try to understand it a bit, but for the most part I don’t look at it as business. The shit that’s on my mind is the shit I tweet.
Drew Millard is the Features Editor of Noisey. He's on Twitter - @drewmillard