Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Mike Gentry
Wil Wright, or LiL iFFy, brought lasers into our studio for the first time. The man from Knoxville, Tennessee was supposed to have brought a magician too - something that you most certainly would have heard as a texture in the recordings - but something came up with the magic man, as things often do in the magical realm. Alas, when the iFFy arrived at the studio, the fellow that we've been bonding more and more closely to over the years because of wolf sweaters, wolf paintings and college football Saturdays was prepared to lay a new kind of smack down, reminding us that we've lost a lot of good wizards along the way. We dream of a Danny Brown/LiL iFFy tour someday soon. We would like this to happen so badly that you have no idea. We would take an Azealia Banks/LiL iFFy tour or anything featuring a combination of Kevin Costner (performing as the patriarch of the Hatfields) and a David Lee Roth-led Van Halen. We hope that these are all being looked into for autumn routing. Below, please find the transcript for the Daytrotter Dream Interview, when Boggle Enthusiast Daniel Hart lays the tough questions on the iFFy.
Daniel Hart, Boggle Enthusiast: Talk to me about the impetus for Lil iFFy and rapping about wizards in general. Can you pinpoint a
specific moment when you thought, "I should rap about wizards"?
LiL iFFy: Last spring, I was in the middle of some pretty hardcore writers block and was thinking a lot about OuLiPo, and giving myself some strict writing constraints, to force myself back into productivity. Around the same time, I noticed a substantial amount of rap songs I would hear would mention Patron, and I don't really drink all that much (though, ironically, I am pretty drunk right now), so Patron always makes me think of the Patronus charm (http://harrypotter.wikia.com/wiki/Patronus_Charm). It would make me wish that the songs were about Harry Potter. So, I decided to take it on myself to write a rap song, which I had never done, and to make it out of language from the HP books, but not in a fan-fiction way. I wanted it to read like regular modern rap music, only as if the rapper had learned English from the books. I had never written rap music,
but have loved it forever, and am a songwriter, so it seemed like you could be academic about it and put something good together. Also, the books are so rich with language and iconography. That song was "Patron Us" and would spawn our entire first album, WANDCORE, and sort of change my life immediately. Since then, we've toured the country, bought a ton of jewelry and tennis shoes, and played in all kinds of weird places. Now, we've recorded my magnum opus, WAND AMBITION, which will come out this fall, and I know it's my magnum opus, because I'm not going to do anymore wizard rap afterwards, and also because it is perfect. No reason to go any further.
Boggle Enthusiast: Tell me who else is in the Wandcore crew and explain to me the structure of the group in two different ways:
LI: That's a pretty excellent question. My immediate circle, who originally and primarily I refer to as DUDE SOURCE, but over time have come to be known as Wandcore, are Playboy Manbaby, Baylatrix, Mr. Nine and 3/4, and DJ Tom Ato. Ato is who I make our beats with, and he is a bonafide genius. We are all part of a local rap collective/label called MAGIC HU$TLE, which also includes Lord Faulteroy and Reginald Birch. Together, they are Dopplegangsta, and rap a lot about being married.
a) if you were a family, who fulfills what role (father/mother, son/daughter, cool uncle...)?
LI: All I know is that 9.75 would be the dad, because he has health insurance.
b) if you were Harry Potter characters, who is whom and in what ways?
LI: Well, BayBay is super charming, like Gilderoy Lockhart, except that Lockhart
turned out to be a fucking douche and Bay is actually just that charming. 9.75 is like
if Kingsley Shacklebolt had been a werewolf. He's that cool and is sort of our taskmaster, but sometimes he beasts out. That can be said for all the dudes, but especially him. Ato is a lot like Snape, in his complexity and brilliance and stoicism. And while Manbaby is certainly George to my Fred, and Ron to my Harry, the Padma to my Parvati... I'm gonna say he's our Professor Sprout. Because he's our resident expert on ...greenery.
Boggle Enthusiast: Does Lil Iffy have a beef with anyone?
LI: When we first started out, I thought I did, but really it was just people having a reasonable (though negative) reaction to aggressive rap music about Wizards, which is obviously not for everybody. A weird difference between this project and my regular songwriting is that when I put out a song and some joker on the Internet says something nasty about it, it usually really hurts my feelings. But with my paranormal rap career, every reaction feels like success. This isn't to say that there aren't specific fringe-genre rap groups that I hate, but that's not beef. They're just horrible at making music.
Boggle Enthusiast: Why did Sirius have to die?
LI: This question is so hard. Only 36 years young. He was dark-tempered and reckless, but such a champion. The easy answer is that Harry had to lose every piece of his family before going into the woods to die... but shit, man....I don't know.
Life is so crazy. Even Hedwig died, Daniel. WHY? We lost a lot of good Wizards along the way. At least Sirius died fighting, right?
"Dying? Quicker and easier than falling asleep."
"my life's played out like a jheri curl. I'm ready to die"