Glasses Malone Readies ‘Beach Cruiser,’ Says T.I. Helped Him
The release of West Coast rapper Glasses Malone's debut album 'Beach Cruiser' has been a long time coming. After several pushbacks, album restructuring and all around politics in the music game, the 31-year-old has put together a solid 15-track project ideal for cruising. In sticking with the album's theme, the Cash Money rapper shared the project during an intimate listening session on a bus ride along the Southern California coast Thursday (Aug. 18). "I truly believe California lifestyle is in their car," Malone tells The BoomBox. "That's what I make my music for, the car."
Likening 'Beach Cruiser' to medicine, equal parts "chewy" and easy to digest, but also full of thought provoking musical "vitamins," the album is an autobiographical tale of his struggle to make a better life for himself. As a native to the sunshine and sunny weather of California, Malone's upbringing in the Watts and Compton areas of the region take precedent in his lyrics. While the bright lights of Hollywood weren't more than a 45-minute ride away, that lifestyle couldn't be further removed from his upbringing.
As a child, Malone shuffled between his mother's house in Compton, and father's house in nearby Watts, and along the way, found a family in the streets by way of the Crips street gang. By age 16, he was fully immersed in the gang life, while both his mother and brother were serving time in prison. "I'm a walking contradiction," he says. "Even though I've made mistakes and I still continuously make 'em today, it's still a part of me that's ignorant. As f---ed up as it is, I'm this person and that person. It's all about getting across to people as much as I can. I don't just make music for myself I make music for my environment as well."
Much like his own story, 'Beach Cruiser' is a cocktail of two worlds, living simultaneously between the highs and lows of street life -- the Snoop Dogg and Nipsey Hussle-assisted 'Eastsidin'' honors fellow Crip gang members while the lethargic track 'Car Wash,' of which he calls the best song he's ever written, is nothing short of feel-good music. "I believe in substance," he reveals. "I believe you should do whatever you feel. You shouldn't let anyone else give you advice because the more you do that, you're going to fall into that box as an artist. It's just all about substance."
Malone also takes time to thank those who have played instrumental roles in his career. Among them is rapper T.I., who he met at a McDonald's restaurant in Atlanta. Surprised that the self-proclaimed King of the South even knew who he was, Malone was inspired by the advice he received from the rapper, and later wrote the song 'Call Me T.I.,' in which he parallels their lives.
"I just felt like we had a lot in common," Malone says of the currently incarcerated rapper. The two continue to keep in touch and have corresponded during the Grand Hustle frontman's second stint in prison, which is scheduled to end later this year. "I've been in that position, so I know how hard it is. It's gotta be worse for him because he was so high and then brought so low. I just pray that brother keeps his strength and that everybody loves him when he comes home and treats him the same way. He's made mistakes, just like we've all made mistakes, and he deserves a second chance. I was proud of that fact that he knew who I was and I just wanted to honor him because that one situation... he [doesn't] know how much that means to me. People don't have an idea because I don't look for sympathy from people. I just keep doing what I'm doing and that one day that conversation really helped me a lot."
With his Cash Money team behind him, who he credits as being instrumental in promoting his music, Malone is ready for the world to open their ears to what he has to offer. 'Beach Cruiser' drops Aug. 30. While fans await the album, Glasses Malone has crafted an EPK that details what's to come. Check the visuals here.