Berner, Hip-Hop Artist on Collaborating With DMX, Future, Bob Weir and... the late John Gotti?
Berner, who has been a lyricist and suffocating in self-produced hardcore hip-hop since 2006, has released his first mixtape, Dirty Sneakers... Plenty Ways To Get It, and debut album Weekend at Bernies. Since then, he has also dropped 43 albums, to say nothing of singles and collabs, and is now pursuing his most recent trio of albums: Riss Bufalino: The Qui
The new album's success has a long tradition of big names features that include the late great DMX on 2019s Russ Bufalino.
Variety spoke with Berner on the Draped Up singles release day and discussed all of this, as well as an upcoming collaboration with his neighbor Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead, whom he freestyled during a Wolf Bros show performing the Dead's Liberty.
Is there an arc, a driving lyrical force?
I've never been afraid of revealing what I will be doing, whether negative or positive. The message is clear and clear, with the support of my albums. I have a strong base, whose support system is based on my own.
Why have your last three albums focused on the most famous Dons of the Mafia legend? Why focus on Italy at all?
After that, I had the Latin history trio. Now, and with all humbleness, it seems like I'm a real boss. I feel like if I were on my Mafia shit now, but now I did the Mob trio and ended it with Gotti.
You identify with bosses who run familial businesses who are quiet and play anything close to the vest?
You can do that. Look at artists today flashing money and Instragramming their goods, don't you? Look, at music. Ive been doing that since 2006, and my sales have never gone down. But it's a blessing.
Can you tell me when the obsession with the Mafia started?
I was a lover of Mexican food in the Mafia when my father found chinese food. The feds raided my dads place because of Uncle Bob and searched for his fatherd name and culture, and followed the culture: Goodfellas. Casino.
How was your experience?
I'm very good at playing a song, and I think it's one of the last verses he cut.
Thats how people used to entertain themselves and make them feel urgent. Future rarely sounded as in-your-face as he did on Draped Up. How did that happen?
I had a beat I knew I couldn't do justice. We got in touch with Future, and in the snap of shands, he was in. The track sounds so urgent because that's what I wanted to do. I moved so so I could bring the guests back that record with ten days.
How did you make things happen, and how did they hook up the Gotti tapes you use in the album? How was it just about making things happened to your family, a notoriously secretive lot?
I was in contact with John Gotti, who asked me if I wanted to go to the office for the next day. He said that he would like to get some recordings of his dad and tell me his opinion was bad. That gave the album a powerful shit. I figured out how to end the Mafia trilogy.
Did Gotti use its audio clips to guide the tracks who had you produced the songs before the Gottis got involved?
After I received the blessing, I decided to give the album Future to my friend and best producer. Once we got them blessing and then everything changed. As soon as we were in the studio, Nas was next door and got him involved.
What theme is next?
Interestingly, I got high and went out of surgery. Then they said that my next album should be called Gandhi and I would like to go on a spiritual ride. I laughed. Those things are really tight, but me and Bob are working on an unplugged EP for the top of the year.
You got to freestyle with his Wolf Trap band last March.
We were able to do live music, and even do Grateful Dead remixes with raps on this record. It was crazy, but he re-formulated the verse with me, so I slowed it down. So I kept an eye on the track, which arose to my back, then if it was unable to, despite my lack of understanding. Having been hailed to see how that happened. He's gotten my heart pounding, with his
The "Cookies" are the same type of dedicated core fan base as the "Dead and Weir"
All we did was get, and we were, the same way. And we are both brands, just different generations. All the best. We're turning that shit up. Bob is a talented, good guy, with his fans his kids - and showed up and had reacted positively to what we do together.
How are you feeling?
I'm a huge now. We caught it at 2:30, when we had to get surgery. It was fully removed and we'll find out in ten days whether to do chemo. Im optimistic I won't need to.
How have you made cannabis part of your cancer treatment?
Cannabis is a powerful and addictive medicine. It is really important to remember that it is an excellent gift.
The challenge is that some of the brick-and-mortar and new-school cannabis entrepreneurs don't have a vision.
I'm a friend of mine. I am afraid of not having gotten my attention.
Since your time in the cannabis industry, and especially in California, many has changed. You're famous for interacting directly with cannabis geneticists. Where do cookies stand in 2022?
We have accomplished so much quickly. I'm now focusing on creating a 100-year brand, Battling cancer makes you realize how short time is. We are creating an edible menu, and also our lilies are based on the recipe and recipes we've made. As psg and sage, we plan to create obnoxious meats that are unique to our menu.
You talk about cannabis menus. Is there something you really like about it?
The whole market is focused on purple tints, but light green is a palate-pleaser. The people's perspective on the market often is small, and I can say that people should open their palates more. Different flavors. More and more!
You must extend to your music considering you have over 40 albums, including Gotti.
I can record and drop what I want when I need it. Music is therapy. My medicine. I love me. If I do that with no pressure, its what is my love of me, I'll never stop.