Problem Brings a Dose of Mollywood to OC for Powerhouse
Compton rapper Problem has worked heavily with hip-hop icons Snoop Dogg and E-40--his collaboration with the latter, "Function," topped several Best Rap Songs of 2012 lists. But he's also just about the only MC in the game who isn't scared to look happy about his success. Still riding the high of last year's celebrated mixtape Welcome to Mollywood 2, Problem joins Chris Brown, TYGA, Trinidad James, Future, Big Sean and A$AP Rocky as part of Power 106's annual Powerhouse event at the Honda Center this weekend. We spoke to the rapper about how the song "Function" came to be, why he smiles so much and if the MDMA on the cover of his mixtape was real.
OC Weekly (Chaz Kangas): Your moniker, "Problem," actually predates your rap career and comes from your teenage years playing basketball. What made you decide to try rapping?
PROBLEM: Honestly, man, the real answer is girls. All the girls liked rapping. They would come over, I'd freestyle, and they'd be into it. I dove into it, and I've been locked in ever since.
How did your song "Function" with E-40 come together?
I had a record with 40 called "Potion" last summer, and the "Function" hook was the first
four bars of my verse on "Potion"; 40 heard something I didn't hear, and so when it dropped, it was just crazy to know where that song started from.
You wrote three records for Snoop's Ego Trippin' album. Was it different working on that than your previous output?
Yes, because of what was at stake. That was my first job and my first chance to get paid doing anything musically. I had to execute and let everybody know I'm here to stay. I was writing with a whole 'nother point in the end, but right now, the end is for me.
You had to record the first Welcome to Mollywood tape in two weeks. Were you used to that turnover time?
Since I record and engineer myself, I record four to five songs a day anyway. It's the way I keep my raps up, so, yeah. If someone gives me a deadline, I will hit it.