Mount Westmore – aka Ice Cube, Too $hort, Snoop Dogg and E-40 – are gearing up to drop their debut LP, and three quarters of the group dropped by the HipHopDX headquarters to give us some insight into their creative process.
While talking to DX‘s Jeremy Hecht in an interview published Monday (December 5), Cube, Short and 40 elaborated on how they each write their rhymes, and unsurprisingly, everyone has a different process.
For 40, he likes to approach things slightly off the dome, though he’ll jot down an idea here and there.
“Sometimes I read off notes. Like I take notes and I’m like, ‘Oh let me go to my notes,’ and then I’m just like, ‘Punch me in,'” the Bay Area native said. “When I say notes, like a couple little phrases or something. Then I say, ‘Punch me in.’ I don’t write it out like I used to. Back in the days we used to use hella paper. Now it’s just like, punch me in. You get the best out of it, I feel.”
$hort Dog prefers to keep it old school with writing his rhymes out, but he has at least migrated from pen and paper to an iPad.
“I’m a songwriter, man. Just for the sport of it,” $hort tells DX. “I never knew how to freestyle back in the day. Never could fucking freestyle so even in the booth, the idea of letting it flow freely…
“I watched Earl work, I watched him do songs over the years,” he continued, referring to E-40. “The idea of doing it that way to me is like, I kinda wanna go in the booth already knowing where I’m going. I don’t want to find my way while I’m in the booth. Me personally. I have a way of writing songs that I need to say this, and I need to say that. So I can’t really start here and end up there in real time.
“I don’t use paper man. I got a old shitty iPad I keep in the studio,” Too $hort added. “It’s got a million rhymes in it. I’m like, at least I’m going digital. I type it in the iPad, but it’s on the cloud so it pops up on my phone too. So my rhymes go with me. It works.”
As for Cube, he prefers to have a full understanding of what’s happening before he goes in the booth – but he can be versatile.
“I could do paper, I could do whatever,” Cube explained. “I like to know my rhyme by the time we record it. I want to know it. I might have [my phone] up there, but I don’t want to rely on it. I think when you know your flow, you can experiment. When you know your rhyme, put it that way, you can experiment with the flow a lot more. But I’m a writer.”
Mount Westmore will drop their 16-track Snoop Cube 40 $hort LP this Friday (December 9), after it was initially available exclusively via blockchain under the title Bad MFs over the summer. The release to streamers will include additional tracks that weren’t featured in the original drop.
Check out part 1 of Mount Westmore’s conversation with HipHopDX below.