MELLOWHYPE with TRASH TALK at the Annex Wreckroom (794 Bathurst), tonight (Thursday, November 15), doors 8 pm, all ages. $18.50. TW. See listing.
This year alone, Hodgy Beats has put out music with Los Angeles hip-hop crew Odd Future, a solo EP with beats from the Alchemist, Flying Lotus and Juicy J, and Numbers (Odd Future Records), the third album by MellowHype, his duo with producer Left Brain.
Yet when he calls from L.A. - sounding a little worse for wear after celebrating his 22nd birthday the night before - the rapper has a confession to make.
"I don't want to be a rapper any more," says Hodgy, who grew up in New Jersey as Gerard Damien Long. "I want to be a rock star. I want to be yelling at people."
Given Odd Future's reputation for prank-pulling, this admission should be taken with a grain of salt. On the other hand, it does help make sense of MellowHype's current tour with Sacramento hardcore punks Trash Talk.
On paper, the two seem like an unlikely pairing, but Trash Talk's latest album, 119, was released on Odd Future Records (through a distribution deal with Sony). Tyler, the Creator and Hodgy even contribute guest verses on the song Blossom & Burn.
"We just smoked weed and cracked a lot of jokes," recalls Hodgy, who says fans can expect a lot of energy and "intense moments" at the Annex Wreckroom show.
Since MellowHype's debut album came out in 2010, Hodgy has had a son with his long-time girlfriend, an experience he documents on Numbers. "It's crazy how fast life moves," he says, "but at the end of the day [being with my family] is something to come home to and look forward to."
And he's already looking for new adventures. Recently he acquired an electric guitar, and, when asked who he'd still like to collaborate with, he pauses before naming another rapper-turned-guitarist.
"I'd like to get on the phone with [Lil] Wayne," he says, "just to see what it sounds like."
There's also talk of an EP in the new year with Incubus guitarist Mike Einziger, who helped produce Numbers. Despite his prolificacy, Hodgy says there's still plenty more he wants to accomplish.
"We live in an era where everybody wants to see you. I don't think I work hard enough."