In the broader sense, though, I guess I "got" to my flow from some immersive musical experience. On a cosmic level, I think that maybe I've listened so deeply to so much, been so invested in hip-hop for so much of my childhood that it's become like part of my psyche or something. Even when I write rhymes, they sort of just come out. In a way, it seems within and without of me.
In any case, I might give you patois, but I wouldn't consider my flow "affected." It comes from a deeply honest, artistic place. Do I speak in codified slang when I'm at the bank? Not really, but I'm not sure a lot of other MCs do either, Kool G Rap aside.
CP: Lyrically, you're talking about your art life and music life more than you're bragging or talking about the day-to-day.
RH: I guess I've always liked hip-hop records that were more textural, or something. Personally, I find art that's got more room for interpretation a bit more appealing. But I do try to strike a balance with my rhymes. I don't want them to be so "out there" that there's nothing to hold onto, either. So, I like to think that between the Dadaist, stream-of-consciousness stuff, there's my own version of some Harvey Pekar-style everyman soul-baring.
CP: Was the No More Golden Days mixtape an apt setup for Plateau Vision?
RH: Well, at least retailers now know to file Plateau Vision under "cloud rap." Seriously, though, No More Golden Days was an amazing vehicle. To be plain, it created visibility for what I do beyond my wildest expectations. And I think it's a pretty good entrée for the upcoming LP in the sense that it hints at the aesthetic that I'm coming to more fully on the album. Musically, Plateau Vision is about this imagined intersection of '60s psych, golden-era hip-hop and lo-fi experimentation.
CP: How do you feel/think your Indian-American heritage plays into what you do?
RH: Hmm. I'm not sure it does. I have a strong connection with my culture and community in a lot of ways, but I don't feel compelled to highlight or exploit it vis-à-vis my art. On a broader level, I think the minority experience permeates throughout the Lushlife music in untold ways. Who knows, though.
CP: What did you want listeners to get out of the new release?
RH: I guess, put simply, I wanted this record to be an album experience. I wanted Plateau Vision to have a unique aesthetic footprint. Mostly, I was just trying to record worthwhile music.
Lushlife plays Tue., April 17, 9 p.m., $10-$12, with Dice Raw, Gracie and DJ Joey Sweeney, Johnny Brenda's, 1201 N. Frankford Ave., 215-739-9684, johnnybrendas.com.