Hopsin isn’t your average rapper—nor would he want to be. Celebrated for his refreshing vulnerability and willingness to address complex topics like mental health, the Los Angeles native easily stands out among the homogenized rap currently littering the airwaves. Perhaps it’s his uniqueness (bolstered by his colored contacts and insane skateboarding prowess) that caught Eminem’s attention. In 2018, Slim Shady—who Hopsin credits with making him want to rap—rattled off his name on the Kamikaze single “Fall.” It was a career-defining moment for Hopsin, who didn’t hide his excitement at the time.
“Yo, craziest s### just f###ing happened,” he said on Instagram. “Eminem just said my name on his g####### song on his new album. This s### is crazy. Listen. What the f###! I didn’t even know he knew who the f### I was! G#######. He said don’t tell him about the culture, implying I’m part of the culture. Oh s###, man. I gotta call my mom.”
Five years later, Hopsin still smiles through the phone as he talks about it. As he tells AllHipHop, “That was a highlight of my life. The line where he named a few people, everybody’s huge. I definitely have a buzz, but everybody’s bigger than me. And not only that, I have no ties to the industry, so it made me feel even more grateful for it because I’m just the random guy on that list. I have no ties to that man other than just me being a fan and him inspiring me. There’s so many rappers in the world and he put me in there. That means he listened to my music.”
But that only leads to more questions for Hopsin—where was Eminem when he heard my music? What song was it? What was I doing when he was listening to it? Was he eating a sandwich? Where was he? Although he might never get the answers to these questions, the fact Eminem raps his name in a song is more than enough.
Hopsin could’ve gone into “Eminem mode”—as he puts it—on his latest record, “Single On Singel.” The song revolves around a romantic relationship that took a sharp left when the woman met another man. Loosely autobiographical, the incident took place while he was still living in Amsterdam, a place he called home for more than a year.
“Sometimes it’s weird writing songs,” he says. “I can always go deeper, but I guess sometimes when writing songs about people, it’s a bittersweet feeling. You get to write your life experience with that person, but then you’re also kind of putting that person on blast. There was so much more that happened, but I’m like, ‘Do I go all the way?’ I don’t want to go into Eminem mode and get crazy because it could have gone there. But I was like, there’s no need to reveal all the other stuff.”
Hopsin is currently back in L.A. but will hit the road in August for a show at Sunshine Studios Live in Colorado Springs, Colorado. In the meantime, he’s plotting his next adventure.
“I’m always conflicted because I want to move to Bali, Indonesia,” he says. “And I just want to live the island life to contribute to my health and just being around nature. So I don’t know. I’m kind of conflicted right now because I want to go there for my birthday—and I don’t think I’ll come back.”
For now, he’ll have to wait at least until the Colorado show is over, but if history has taught us anything, Hopsin will do things on his own terms like the independent artist he is. Check back with AllHipHop for Part II of the Hopsin interview soon.