Last week, Twista released his eighth studio album "The Perfect Storm," with first single "Make a Movie" clocking in at No. 15 on this week's R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. With over 15 years of recording experience under his belt, the Chicago rapper says that his continued success has helped him accept his role as a hip-hop veteran.
"It makes me feel like a 2,000-year-old vampire who is able to walk around in modern times and be able to do what he used to do," says the 36-year-old MC, whose previous hits include "Slow Jamz" and "Overnight Celebrity."
Twista says that collaborating with a wide array of artists, from Raekwon to Chris Brown to Lloyd, helped keep him sounding fresh. Waka Flocka Flame, the fast-rising Atlanta MC who guests on the track "Hands Up, Lay Down," was particularly enjoyable for the rapper to work with, since Waka's slow drawl nicely countered Twista's rapid-fire rhyming.
"I can see something in every new artist that comes out, and as soon as I saw [Waka Flocka], he reminded me of a young brother who was just trying to get into music," says Twista. "I see a lot of qualities in young guys and appreciate all the new artists."
Twista has been on a radio promo tour for "The Perfect Storm" and appeared last week on Fox's morning news in Chicago to discuss the album. However, the rapper is also devoting some of his schedule to improving communities: he appeared at a coat drive in Detroit last month, and has another event in the works "in Chicago around Thanksgiving, and I'll be giving away food and turkeys," he says.
He's also using "Mr. Immortal: The Life and Times of Twista," a documentary set for a late December release, as a way of raising awareness about violence in the Chicago area as well as reflecting on his career.
"I hadn't been on that level before, where I let people see Twista behind-the-scenes, how I record a song and what I'm thinking about at shows," he says, "but I also wanted to use that as a platform to get information out about the violence in the Midwest. To me, we need to do all we can to change things and make it a little better. I'm a hip-hop artist, but I go out there and try to do my part.