Wine-O: Ex-Spiritual Rapper Set To Go "Bang Bang"
The hip-hop world is a less than sensible place - lots of times, you're even required to clarify when bad means bad and when bad means good - so once a week we're going to get with a rapper and ask them to explain things. Have something you always wanted to ask a rapper? Email it to email@example.com.
This Week's Rapper: Wine-O
This Week's Subject(s): Body fat percentages; eye patches.
In 2005, Wine-O hit big with "Pop My Trunk," an utterly, impeachably catchy track that caught traction anywhere it was played. He followed that success with Hate Me, his debut album that, though it crept up the charts, somehow failed to manifest into the regional acclaim "Pop My Trunk" implied he deserved.
His eponymous new album is all geared up and ready to be released August 24, which means he's currently making himself available for interviews. Sort of.
See, Wine-O used to go by Nuwine, his alias as a spiritual rapper. He's always been an enjoyable rapper - his sonic boom of a voice guarantees that much - and he absolutely stood out when he was doing the religious stuff. But he turned to secular music when, following his 1999 divorce, he caught scorn from religious leaders familiar with him and his work.
"Big-name preachers started speaking real negatively about me," he told the Houston Press in a 2005 interview. "I just needed to get out of that arena. Because I made a mistake, they turned their back on me coldly."
Ask A Rapper intended on talking to Wine-O about the process of going from theologian to gangsterologian (totally just made that word up), and whether or not it carried with it any type of crusty internal existential struggle or weighty cognitive dissonance and why it that part appeared to be scrubbed clean from his PR biography.
But as soon as we brought it up, his PR fellow listening in on the phone call, presumably to intercept questions just like that cut us off, saying we were to only discuss the new album and the upcoming prison tour that Wine-O will be taking part in.
A few other things we took away from this interview/PR bio: