Reese LaFlare Talks New Album and Skateboarding
The rapper spills the details on his sophomore album, Final Fantasy.
On November 8th, Atlanta rapper Reese Laflare, dropped his highly anticipated sophomore record, Final Fantasy, which comes a year after his debut. LaFlare teased the album by releasing a Kill Bill-inspired music video for “Hol’ Up” last month. V talked to the rapper about his love of video games, skateboarding, as well as the creative process. Laflare also opened up about authenticity in the music industry, and his thoughts on social media’s effects. Read on for the full exchange, and listen to Final Fantasy here.
Tell me a little bit about Final Fantasy. Where did the name and the concept stem from?
Final Fantasy came from one of my favorite Final Fantasy games, Final Fantasy seven.
Aside from the video game itself, like what is your interpretation of a final fantasy?
It was all from like my fantasies of things. Like when I was younger I would watch all these movies, just like music videos and stuff. So that’s where I got that from. So this album was all like all the visuals from the album covers and videos is all like my definition, my fantasy of those things.
I know this is like asking a parent to choose their favorite kid, but do you have a favorite song on the album?
I do. Creep.
Creep. Why that one?
It’s just about the music industry and stuff, and just being around people that have bad energy. I kind of got the idea for that song from that video that [Kid] Cudi did for a song called “No One Believes Me.” The video is amazing, but it’s just about how people have energy and then it feels like you can feel that shit.
When you start making music, where does it start? Is it an idea, is it a word, is it a drawing?
It’s a mood. It’s literally how I might feel that day. So some days I like, things I feel or what I was doing, so I’ll make a song all the way down to depending on how I was dressed when I went to the studio.
When did you know you first wanted to be a musician?
I’ve never wanted to. My mom sings. I thought of rapping cause two very popular DJs by the name of DJ Drama and Don Cannon bet me $200 that I could make a mixtape. Cause I was like rapping is easy. I can do that bullshit. And I did. It was a mixtape called Reese Vs. The World. It was very funny cause my very first like mixtape that I ever put out, Pharrell made a beat on there, Sonny Digital, Metro Boomin, there’s all these people on there.
You also skate, right?
So tell me a little bit about your approach to skating versus your approach to music. Is it similar?
Skateboarding is the fifth element of hip hop. Cause they’re both from the streets. They go when they go with one another one doesn’t exist without the other.
Do you have a favorite place to skate?
Where’s the last place you skated?
This fucking awesome park, in LA.
Do you like skating in LA most though, or anywhere?
I like skating anywhere. Cause every place has different spots. Like I used to come to New York a lot when I was young and I would always skate here. Me and the homies, we would take the China bus to Philly and go skate in a little park. We used to do all that and skate in like all the Supreme stuff. So I would come up here and get free clothes and shit. It’s crazy that Supreme is like this crazy monster now. People don’t know. I look at it the same. It’s just a skate shop. That’s literally what it is.
What’s under your board?
Whatever fucking awesome graphic I decide to ride. I always put one to three box logo stickers. I’ve done it for 15-16 years. If I don’t put one it’s weird. Spitfire stickers, I chop them in half, so like I put half the head on the corner of the nose. The wides fit three millimeter Spitfire wheels. There you go. That’s my set up.
Are there other artists that are doing things that you’re like, ‘Oh, that’s cool.’
Nigo, Kanye. Like a lot of the new, like newer people coming up out, they don’t really inspire you. My friend Jeffrey, Young Thug. He inspires me a lot. You know, Gunna, those guys. That’s all family.
What do you hope to inspire within people when they listen to your music?
I hope to inspire people just to continue to be themselves. Because I feel like the way social media and everything is going, people are like trying extra hard to not be themselves. Just push their shit. Like, ‘Oh I’m this, I’m that’ like, bro, stop. Just be yourself. You don’t have to do shit to impress everybody. Live in the moment. Everybody has their moment when they do stuff right. Most importantly, just be yourself. Create your own land. Cause that will take you further in life. You might not get there as quick as the next person that pulls up with a gimmick or some fake shit but you do yourself.
This interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.