Gregg Golding is Odynophagia, an experimental hip-hop artist with a west coast vibe and wicked flow that should be expected from someone from the beautiful city of San Francisco, California. He’s also runs his own label, Millipede Handjob, and is about to finish his first feature film. The Bay area in which he lives is renowned for countless influential emcees and DJs that have had an immeasurable effect on the hip-hop community. We recently checked in with Golding to find out where he eats, where he buys his records and his fascination with a local semi-shrouded homeless man that hits on hipster chicks.
- What’s your town’s nickname?
Probably “the city” more so than “Frisco” which I’ve only heard 4 times. You can be in Oakland, Lafayette, Marin, San Jose, wherever, and you can say, “I live in the city,” and they know you mean San Francisco. People in San Francisco don’t often venture out of the 7 square mile city enough. Which is unfortunate, cuz everyone knows the most trill ass rappers live in the Bay outskirts. Just 13 seconds ago, I heard some faceless featured guest on a Mac Dre song say “I’ll blast a fool / in Sebastopol.” Can there be any argument?
- What’s your nickname for your town?
I call it “the oral cavity gesticulation plane, where settlers resonate with the click, click, clicking, of the lock pick beak amidst the scowl of judging eye glow.” Even the acronym is 25 letters. It’s best said in double time. Try orating it in, within two bars of the instrumental to Durrty Goodz‘s “Super Hero” track, for maximum asylum fun.
- Why do you live there?
My Dad’s from Miami (and Nebraska), and my Mom’s Jamaican. At one point they both found themselves living in San Francisco. She was posing as a human mannequin in a store, and my dad picked her up. I was conceived, and born in the Bay area. At age 6, when my parents separated, I moved to Toronto, where I lived till age 17, where I made comic books, and films, and fucked girls from the internet. I love Toronto, but I strangely missed it here. Since age 13 my parents were slowly re-merging. Then by age 17 me and my mom flew to Clearwater, Florida, where my dad got a new job. Thus me, my mom, and father were all living together in a gated community. It was good, but I also suffocated for 4 years, feeling out of touch with the crudely industrialized kidnapper swamp that is Florida. There I learned to rap, and started a mystic journey. By age 20 I was back here. Since back in Cali, I recorded and released my first album (Social Masque), and will soon be done with my first feature film (Struggled Reagans), and second LP (Collage Fossil). There’s enough grace and kinship to keep my gears moving, and copious brilliance around me, to keep inspired. Not to mention many hot girls (sorry penis owners, stop emailing me Henry). This and Osaka, Japan, are tied for my favorite city.
- What is the best time of year to be there?
Probably winter. It’s overcast and jacket weather, so it’s easier to look fresh, and pick up lovers. You just need one good jacket, an stunning shoes (pants optional) It’s sexual appeal for the frugal human.
- Who is your favorite local celebrity/personality?
I see Marian and Vivian Brown sometimes. They’re these elderly twins that have dressed identically, and have done everything together (with essentially no exceptions) since birth, and are world famous for it, for whatever reason. They’re basically conceptually imposed Siamese twins. I’m sure they’ve had good foursomes (with real Siamese twins, joined at the face). Not that they’re a crazier sight than the average sequined tranny, with a towel over her head, to hide the shiner.
Oh wait, scratch them. There’s this other guy… he’s not really a celebrity, but he’s this homeless guy that always has this yellow t-shirt covering half his face, and a bomber jacket. He’s always in the Mission. He’s 30, and filthy, and an O.G. . I once saw him hit on this young hipster girl who didn’t respond. Then suddenly, a crack dealer berated him for it, for macking on that sweet young thang, and he was like, “What tha fuck maann! Imma human being, Imma MAN, bitch!”
Then he proceeded to ask a businessman tourist for money. Bald white man kept walking shell-shocked, wanting nothing to do with this colored man, with a yellow t-shirt hiding a face half. (Does his hidden half have scales? Burns? Cybernetic minutia?) Our dope as fuck homeboy hero then began hurling screaming death threats at the businessman, like 40 bottles, with lit rags in ‘em. Next week I’ll begin negotiation for him to be my hypeman on a national rap tour!
- Who has the best jukebox (and what’s in it)?
The uptown, also in the Mission (I get around the WHOLE city, I swear). It was playing “Throw Ya Gunz” by Onyx. That night I met this hot lesbian photographer, who blew me 30 minutes later in her studio, and now won’t return my calls (You used me… ha).
- What is your favorite place to see live music and what was your favorite show there?
I guess Bottom of the Hill. It’s grungy/gritty enough to feel genuine and intimate, yet they still have decent sound, and can house a few hundred. Probubly Subtle in 2006, for their “For hero, for fool” show. Aesop Rock at The Fillmore was cool too. Or maybe Cadence Weapon/Final Fantasy at the Independent. I’ve spent the past few years seeing all my favorite underground rap influences, as their careers seemingly fade. I went to an artist, who remains nameless, for a second time, and his audience was a third of what it was last album. He needs more autotune and skinny jeans. My show needs more staged murders, and sticky cocoon birthing. Holla.
- What is your favorite diner or restaurant and what is their best dish?
I’m vegetarian, often vegan. Trying to eat raw more. So Café Gratitude is cool. It’s all vegan and mostly raw food, but it’s not boring like a lot of raw places. Everything’s really delicious an creative. Their corporate dogma is for the servers to give you open love, and ask you metaphysical questions, which comes off genuine usually. They have one thing, called the grateful bowl, that’s by donation. It has tahini and kale, avacado and stuff, also a cooked version with quinoa. Pretty great. I usually pay $1, order it way too much, and feel like a parasite. So now I pay $2.
- What is your favorite record store and what was your best find there?
Amoeba Records is good, lots of vinyl, great DVD selection too. I guess the one on Haight St. is cooler, and has a better vibe, but I usually find more stuff I want in Berkeley. I found O.G.C.’s “Da Storm” for $1.99. I’m kind of over the “hunt” now, and just download stuff, which I’m sure is only karmically fucking my own music career, but no one saw me spike the punch with GHB… I still buy vinyl to sample, but usually get it from homeless people now.
- What is your favorite local shop?
Urban Ore in Berkeley. It’s a giant warehouse that basically has everything in the world. Only everything is really cheap, cuz its from some discarded source. It’s not like Goodwill, this is epic and massive. Get motorcycle helmets for $1, $10 projectors, copious mannequins, doors, sinks, records, $20 wheelchairs, cabinets, beds. I even got the perfect crystal intercom dome, for the father in said feature length “Out of this World” / “Power Rangers” pastiche.