Speak Drank the Entire Minibar, Then Threw It Out the Window
[Editor's note: Weekly scribe Jeff Weiss's column, "Bizarre Ride," appears on West Coast Sound every Wednesday. His archives are available here.]
Credit: Brass Speak
Speak!'s stage name is a command. If it weren't for rap, he could find an alternate calling as a cable news pundit, sleazy televangelist or fútbol comentarista. If there's a subject on which he lacks an opinion, just give him a few seconds to prepare.
Here's the abridged list of subjects covered in our 90-minute conversation: Neil Sedaka, Motown, English soccer, Andre Agassi's hair plugs, and that time he was on acid at Coachella and almost fought A$AP Rocky.
The half-Jewish, half-Mexican rapper looks like a cross between Jesus and Jeffrey "The Dude" Lebowski, talks with the swaggering villainy of pro wrestling legend Bobby "The Brain" Heenan, and writes singularly absurd and imagistic punch lines about having sex while wearing a Bluetooth.
"Whether I'm making music or walking to the store to get milk, I do it with confidence," he says in the lavishly appointed three-bedroom apartment that he shares in a Beverly Hills-adjacent neighborhood. There are flatscreen TVs, strewn Xbox games and a dog named Gucci, the Leisure Pup.
Speak! is wearing a thrift-shop Russian hockey jersey, plaid shorts and dappled Diamond Supply socks.
"I have memorable lines that the kids scream at the shows, but they all come super quick," Speak!, 26, says. "Bam ... bam ... bam ... like Mike Tyson storming out in the first round to hit you with a big hook."
Speak!'s most famous lines were mouthed by Kreayshawn. He wrote her lone hit, "Gucci Gucci," which triggered a million-dollar deal (for her) and a battle over publishing (for him).
"It was a bummer, but that's what lawyers are for," he shrugs.
The Moreno Valley-raised artist eventually won his royalties and drew interest from major labels and marquee artists.
He worked with Juicy J and Timbaland. Atlantic Records recruited him to write for Plies and B.o.B. Universal offered a solo artist deal. It ended with a refrigerator thrown out the window of a five-star New York hotel.