Royalty Magazine: What's good Imani? How was your summer? Anything special popping off for the upcoming Holidays?
Imani the Misfit: Im doing good, and my summer was nice. Alot of great memories. I dont celebrate Christmas but Im looking forward to spending time with my family on Thanksgiving.
RM: Tell us more about your name. Is Imani your real name? And why are you referred to as the Misfit?
Imani: Imani is swahili for faith. For me, the name "Imani The Misfit" actually translates into "Faith in the Misfit". I created that name for myself as a reminder to myself to have faith in myself. The "Misfit" part is special to me because it reflects my philosophy on life. Any great person that every changed the world started out as a misfit. It takes an unusual person to change the world, and my whole agenda is to promote the idea that being unusual or being bizarre is a good thing when you are trying to bring change. There is nothing wrong with being a misfit. Being a misfit is beautfiul and we should all be proud of the things that make us different.
RM: How did you get started rapping? What pushed you to take that step to make music part of your life?
Imani: Ive always had a dream of being in the entertainment industry, so music and entertainment has always been apart of my life. I first started rapping at 13 as a hobby. It wasnt until years later that I decided to take rap serious and pursue it heavily. I can say that the main element that pushed me to make that step was listening to 2pac's music. I say this all the time in all my interviews. If it wasnt for 2pac, I would not be a rapper. I may not even be alive. There were times in my life when I was severly depressed and suicidal, and 2pac's music was the only voice I had that made me feel like I wasnt alone. 2pac was the type of rapper that made his life an open book, and alot of the things he would talk about in his music were things that most rappers would never talk about, but because of this he was able to touch alot of people deeply. When he openly talked about having suicidal thoughts and feeling worthless in his songs, it made me feel like I wasnt alone. 2pac's music affected my life in alot of ways, it was my therapy. All I ever wanted was to return the favor. I got into rap so that I can be a role model to someone else that 2pac was for me. I wanted to be the big brother or the friend to people out there who have no friends. Thats what pushes me.
RM: Yeah 2pac was deep, I can dig it! Do you remember your first rhyme? If so, what was it about?
Imani: I dont remember the whole rhyme, but here are the parts I remember:
I talk about life while you talk about heatersThats all I can remember... I was only 13
Trying to get a girl with your fake ass beeper?
You want to hang with us?
If you aint fam then bang with us
If you aint down then you cant hear my sound
If you aint the king then you cant wear the crown...
RM: Lol..that's cool. I only remember bits and pieces of my first rhyme too. You are very outspoken about your sexuality. At what age did you discover you were bisexual and how did you deal with it? Was your family supportive? If not, who would you say was your support team during that time?
Imani: I can remember having my first crush on a girl when I was about 4. My first crush on a guy was when I was 13. I came from an environment where male bisexuality was unaccepted, so I hid my attraction for men and only acknowledged my attraction for girls. It wasnt until later in my adulthood that I embraced my sexuality and accepted myself as a bisexual man.
When I told my parents and my family, at first they were upset, but after awhile they got over it. I had a female friend at the time who was my support system when I first came out. I would tell her about all the guys I was messing around with. I also watched alot of Chris Crocker and Johnny Boy videos. Those people are very brave and inspiring to me.
RM: When did you decide to incorporate your bisexuality with your music? What was your fan response when you came out and started (as you would say) spitting homosexual lyrics?
Imani: Soon after I accepted my bisexuality is when I made the decision to come out of the closet with it. It wasnt long. On the day that I revealed myself, I had accepted my bisexuality a month before. Alot of fans unfriended me and unsubscribed my YouTube, but at the same time, I gained alot of new fans who actually appreciated me more than my old fans.
RM: You are also "something like a porn star", what prompted you to start doing adult videos and why?
Imani: Part of it has to do with me being uncircumsized, Ive always felt sort of special because of that. Ive always had fantasies about exposing my penis to the world and being in porn films. Ever since I was a child and saw my first porno I wanted to be in one. I think that alot of people have fantasies about being in porn, but most people never make that jump because of family or jobs. I wanted to break that barrier. I just dont like the hypocrisy of society when it comes to porn. Most people who persecute and degrade people in the adult industry are people who have personal porn collections themselves. I mean, the porn industry is a billion dollar industry. You dont make that much money unless you have a huge audience.
I dont think anyone should be ashamed of masturbating, watching porn or being porn. If thats what you enjoy, embrace it. I love my naked body, I love my penis and I love to masturbate on camera. The fact that thousands of people have seen me pleasuring myself on camera is a turn on for me. I love knowing that thousands of people have masturbated to my pictures and videos along with me. I love it and enjoy it every minute of it.
RM: There is alot of controversy around you as an artist, porn star as well as a person. I've seen first hand a few instances via video and/or blogs where cats were coming at you or trying to expose you. Does it ever piss you off or do you just keep it moving? How do you tend to deal with the dissing, blogging and hateful comments?
Imani: Sometimes its scary, because when people publicly say cruel things about you, you dont know how people are going to take it. After awhile I learned how to deal with it though. I take it as a compliment. I look at it this way. Military planes get shot at when they are flying over enemy territory, right? So the fact that people are beginning to take shots at me indicates that Im a threat. For some people, the amount of change you will make in society can be determined by how much of a perceived threat you are. Its actually a testament to the power of my message.
RM: Interesting way to put it, I like that flying over enemy territory theory lol. You have strong beliefs about bisexuality, God and just how you view the world. Can you give us a few insights about those beliefs and explain to our readers how you came to feel the way you do?
Imani: Bisexuality is natural and normal. God doesnt exist. I came to feel this way by being brutally honest with myself and challenging everything that I have been taught.
RM: We all have our different views on God so we'll have to touch more on that next go round. In the meantime, for those that think that you use your bisexuality as a gimmick, what do you want to say to them?
Imani: They're right. I do use my sexuality as a gimmick to break stereotypes about bisexual men and also to inspire other bisexual men to embrace their sexuality and accept themselves. So far, it works. When I have young people sending me messages telling me that they came out of the closet because of MY music and videos, I know Im doing the right thing. What people say about me is irrelevant. So many people consider gimmicks a bad thing, but every successful music artists uses gimmicks and alot of times they have positive aspects to them if used correctly.
RM: Any other comments/last words/shot outs?
Imani: Believe and have faith in yourself at all costs. Dont ever let someone tell you what you cant do. When I first came out of the closet, everybody told me that I was committing career suicide and nobody would take me serious. Yet as of today, Ive been interviewed by 40 different internet radio stations and this is my 18th website feature. If I would have listened to everybody around me, none of this would have happened for me. Im living proof that anything is possible when you have faith and belief in yourself.
RM: What is your twitter and/or website info so people can check out some of your work as well as follow you?
YouTube Channel: www.youtube.com/ImaniTMisfit
Buy my music on iTunes: http://tinyurl.com/3fvekjh
My Clothing Company : http://misfit.spreadshirt.com/
RM: Thanks for the interview...much appreciated.
Imani: Thank you for giving me the chance to tell my story!!!!
Courtesy of @TazDatMC for Royalty Magazine