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The formula to creating a Rockstar feature is to break bread over interview questions then jump into snapping photos. That’s exactly what we followed when we caught up with Timothy DeLaGhetto. We grabbed Chinese takeout with surprisingly no MSG, fed some fish in a pond, did his grocery list, then took the bus home. In the process we asked a few questions, took some photos, and had the rapping funny man drop his shorts. No biggie, just a typical day in the Rockstar office.
- What takes up most of your time right now: Most of my time goes to either I wake up, come up with video ideas, I try to write scripts, I try to write some more music. I try to create lots of content and lots of videos. I spend a lot of time filming. If I’m not doing all of that then I’m walking around, shopping, and eating chicken wings — all at the same time.
- Guilty pleasure: At first I was going to say porn but then I was like, “Nah I’m not guilty about watching porn. I love porn. Everyone watches porn!” I don’t feel guilty about any of the dirty stuff. Probably my guilty pleasure is that I’m a big America’s Next Top Model fan. I watch it consistently, like, every week.
- Relationship status: I am in a relationship right now. A long distance relationship. There’s a chick in Canada who I am very fond of.
- What are you listening to now: Right now in my CD player I have an Adele CD. What am I listening to most? Probably Adele and that new J.Cole. I like it a lot.
- Weakness: I’m not a very good swimmer. If I had to tread water, I would probably drown. I also fart a lot if I drink milk that’s not lactose free.
- Your pet peeves: I hate when people talk with their mouth full. When people are just really loud chewers, smacking. I hate that sh*t so much. It could seriously be the hottest girl in the world and I would take her on a date and if she was eating like that, that would be the end of it.
- Your ideal girl: Somebody who’s intelligent, uses big words, thinks I’m hilarious, can crack me up, is a freak and is down to have sex all the time, loves giving head, spiritual, artistic, and doesn’t mind that I talk about poop all the time. My ideal girl is my girlfriend in Canada.
- Favorite character from Fresh Prince of Bel Air: Aside from Will, my favorite character was Jeffrey because he was so funny and English accents are so cool.
- Fun fact: I was born in Montana. My dad was out there going to school for something and he liked it out there because it was peaceful and quiet so I was born out there.
- Funner fact: My penis curves to the right.
Walk us through a typical day for you.
Traphik: I’ll wake up and check my Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. Then I’ll usually think, “Should I shoot a new video or should I write a new song?” After I get one of those or both of those done I’ll probably go get some food with Rick and then that’s basically it. The rest is whatever happens. End up at the mall, end up at the beach, make another video, whatever.
In another interview, you said that you started freestyling in junior high and then battling in high school. What is it about rapping that attracts you?
I don’t know. You know what, before I really started rapping I was really into just words and poetry. I used to write poems and all that stuff. I got into rap and I just like using language and using words to put things together and make something pretty out of it. I’m big on wordplay and different ways to make words mean different things. All that stuff is really fun.
So why are you an Art major instead of an English major?
I was almost an English major but there’s so much reading. I knew I wasn’t going to do any of the reading so I thought, “Okay let me be an Art major.” I used to draw growing up too. I like using words but I don’t like reading them. I fall asleep.
You stated that you don’t have a record contract and you like creating your fanbase on YouTube. What do you think of new media and how has it influenced the rap industry?
I feel it influenced it both negatively and positively. What’s cool is that now anybody can take it into their own hands and make a new song and put it online and market yourself. That’s what’s dope about new media for the Asian community because we didn’t have anyone backing us or willing to take a risk on some Asian people. We were able to put ourselves out there and found a whole market and people who were interested and wanted to listen and appreciated what we do. At the same time, now we have where everybody with a microphone is a rapper or everybody with a camera is a filmmaker or a photographer. Everybody can do it which is good and bad because you can do what you want and take it into your hands but at the same time it’s so over-saturated.
How do you stand out in the flood of people?
I think I have a good combination of witty lyrics as well as me being the comedian really opens doors for me in terms of fans. People will come across my comedy and say, “Okay, he’s really funny.” Out of those people there will be people who are like, “Oh, he raps too? Wow, that’s interesting.” Then those people will like the music as well. Obviously the comedy is what’s bringing the people in but it opens the door to people who will like my music too.
You also address stereotypes in your video, such as in the clip where a group of people are trying to figure out what Asian you are. What are your thoughts on stereotypes?
I think stereotypes are funny. I feel like when you bring them to the forefront and really address them, they’re so ridiculous that it’s hard to get offended by it. It’s like, “All black people like chicken.” Is that supposed to be offensive? Chicken is good. That’s really not a bad thing. “All Asian eat rice.” Well, yeah! When people leave me a hate comment and they’re like, “Go eat some rice.” I’m like, “I will. It’s good! I eat it almost everyday.” People sometimes accuse me of perpetuating stereotypes and I’m just making it okay to be racist but I feel like if we can all really just joke around with each other, that’s when you can forget about your differences.
You mention in videos that you are of Thai upbringing. How do you think your background has influenced your work?
People are always like, “Tim, why are you such a perv?” Thai people are all perverts. People are like, “Why is your humor so disgusting?” Growing up in a Thai family, whenever you listen to a group of old Thai people talking, it’s all vagina and penis jokes. That’s all it is. That’s really where I got it. That’s really where my sense of humor came from. Moms too. All of them. Thai people are disgusting, man. It’s hilarious. If you run into any other Thai person and you ask them, they will say the same thing, “Yeah, my family is gross.” Other than that, I feel that it’s important to embrace the Thai-ness and the Asian-ness. I feel that a lot of people, especially Asian kids growing up, they feel embarrassed of where they came from and their culture. In my vlogs especially, I try to speak Thai a lot to my parents to make kids feel like it’s okay to do that. I feel like some kids are embarrassed in front of their friends so I try to speak Thai in my videos to my parents when I can.
How would you best describe your style of comedy?
My comedy is almost like a slap in the face. It’s like a really hard slap on the ass and then a rub with lotion after. I feel like my comedy is really in your face but after you get over how blunt I am, you realize that it’s a lot deeper than a penis joke.
New Media is a fast growing medium where various types of people are now going on it to try and make a name for themselves in their specific vertical. Being someone who has successfully used social media to generate a stable stream of income, do you think that there is a specific “formula” to succeed in New Media?
I think one of the main things about new media that people got attached to is that we’re in this kind of weird “in between” where we’re not Hollywood celebrities but they don’t look at us like regular people either. People can feel like they can really relate to you and talk to you on Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, and all that. I think the ability to immediately connect with the fans has really helped everybody coming up in the new media really establish their fan base. Obviously, a Brad Pitt isn’t going to respond to his tweets as much as a JR Aquino because we have tons of time. We just put up our videos and then we’re chilling online all day. Everything we do is on the computer. Nowadays, because of that, kids have weird sense of entitlement. I would put my vlogs online to share a piece of my life because people like to see what I’m going through and what I’m doing. When I was hesitant to show my new girlfriend at first, fans were getting pissed. They were like, “Dude, you should show us. We deserve to see your girlfriend. You have to show us.” Well, I don’t have to show you anything, idiots! (laughs)
A Mashable article reported that you got let go from your job at California Pizza Kitchen because of a tweet you made. What do you think of social media and this big transparency that’s brought on to everyone now a days?
In this new day and age where everyone is obsessed with letting everyone know what you’re doing there’s definitely going to be some positives and negatives. What’s beautiful is that everyone gets to feel like you’re cared about. When you put up a Facebook update and you get some likes it’s like, “Oh cool. Everyone likes my sh*t” or it’s like, “Oh wow. Someone retweeted my really depressing thought I had. I’m so deep.” Then you have the negatives where everyone sees what you’re thinking and everyone sees what you’re doing and that’s not always going to be good.
Since you’re so transparent about everything, where do you draw the line in terms of “this is my online life” and “this is my private life”?
For the most part, I don’t hold back about what I say or how I feel. There are definitely some things I wouldn’t say online just because it’s easy to take something out of context and it’s easy to be misunderstood, especially through text. I’m a really sarcastic dude. A lot of my humor online is basic, like dick jokes and vagina jokes. But in person, I’m a lot more sarcastic and you have to really understand my sense of humor. If I ever try to tweet the jokes that me and Rick make to each other, no one would understand and people would probably get really offended.
Besides rapping, you’ve also branched into design. You worked with Tweak Footwear on “The Cannons.” What inspires your design aesthetic?
Just like when I’m doing my videos or my music I always kind of just try to do something different. I try to stick out because I realize that there’s a million other people trying to do the same thing. I try to be unique but at the same time be relatable.
Just to clarify, going to art school had nothing do to with it?
Well, I was an artist before I started going to art school. I feel like being an art student made me lose my passion for art a little bit. It’s different when you’re trying to be artistic for a grade and you’re kind of forced to think about what your professor is going to like. There are definitely some skills that I’ve picked up and different ways to do things that I will always carry on forever now. In terms of me just being creative, f*ck school! (laughs)
Your dad has been featured on a lot of your videos. It seems like you both have a great father/son relationship with each other. How did they feel about you going into comedy and music before, and how do they feel now?
My parents always knew that I wasn’t going to be a doctor or a lawyer when I was a little kid. When stuff really started happening, my dad was kind of like, “Okay, just make sure you go to school.” When stuff really started taking off and I was getting more fans, they were getting recognized, and I was living off of it they were like, “Okay, this is really serious.” My parents used to tell their friends, “My son is a communication student” or “He’s an art student. He does his little films on the side.” Now their bragging points are “Yeah, my son’s famous on the Internet.” It was cool for me because I feel like they’ve began to acknowledge that what I was doing was something legitimate. My relationship with my parents is really good now. They are super proud of what I’m doing. The fact that I can pay for everything really takes the stress off of them. They don’t have to work as hard which is basically why I was doing it in the first place. My parents are super chill. My dad gets recognized all the time from the vlogs now and he gets off on it. He reads all the comments whenever he’s in a video. He likes it.
A while ago, there was a post on your Facebook about wanting to “shave your man zone” for the organization Do Whatever It Takes that assists youth homelessness. How did you come up with the idea?
When I came up with the idea to wax my balls for charity, I was hanging out with my girlfriend who’s an esthetician and she does waxes, nails, and facials. It was funny because she’s always telling me how she waxes people and she gets waxed and how it hurts. She’s always like, “Let me wax you!” and I’m like, “No!” Then one day I was thinking what was a torturous thing I could do for this charity and I thought it’d be a funny video because I was watching 40 Year Old Virgin and I thought, “Okay, let’s do that. Let’s wax my pubes.” A while ago I tweeted, “Would you guys be interested in watching me getting my pubes waxed” and the overall response was, “Yeah! Do it!” So I was like, “Okay.”
What other causes or charities do you believe in?
Um, none (laughs). Just kidding. I’m all for helping out the community. Especially in Los Angeles, I feel like there’s a big homeless problem, there’s a lot of homeless people. A lot of times, you don’t know who you want to give money to because you don’t know if they’re going to buy drugs and stuff. If I can help out, that’s nice, I’ll try.
Your lyrics talk about what you do and what’s real in your life. What are your current projects?
For the past two years, my friends and I have been trying to finish up this musical that we’ve been working on — “High School Sucks: The Musical.” It has nothing to do with “High School Musical.” Other than that, I’m working on a cartoon with Ricky Shucks and my friend PeeDeeFlo which should be coming out next out. It’s really funny. It’s about a bunch of college roommates that live together. One day we’re having a party and aliens crash through our kitchen but the aliens look like Doritos so we eat them all and we get superpowers. Everyone at the party gets these weird powers. Stuff happens where we catch crabs from these girls but since we have superpowers the crabs mutate and take over the city and we have to stop them. It should be really funny. I just really want to concentrate on making more music and videos and when I have some time I’m trying to write a book.
What advice do you have for aspiring comedians/rappers?
First off, my advice is don’t aspire to be YouTube famous. A lot of kids these days would hit me up and be like, “Dude, I want to be YouTube famous like Timothydelaghetto or JR Aquino.” If you ask any of us who are “YouTube famous,” no one set out to be YouTube famous. No one is satisfied with what they’re doing right now. We’re all having fun and life is good. It’s beautiful to be able to make money off of what we’re doing right now. No one is satisfied. The goal was to rule the world and be super out there like the mainstream stuff. Also, especially in this day and age where YouTube plays a big part in getting exposure, you have to have a really tough skin. YouTube has provided every hater out there with a way to be an asshole and anonymously and not have to worry about the repercussions. Everybody could be a dick to you and will be a dick to you. Other than that, just find a way to be unique and stick out. I say that’s your best bet because everyone is trying to do it now and you really have to find a way to make it your own.
How do we stalk you?
Photography By: Melly Lee
Header By: Melly Lee
Interview By: Benny Luo
Timothydelaghetto.com should be launching soon with some fresh new t-shirts and I’ll be blogging regularly.
I have a Tumblr but that’s a secret. You’ll have to find it.