Sex scenes, meetings at the Pentagon, shit blowing up… I lived way up in Harlem for years, then deep in the Bronx. Right here, right now.” Or: “Oh, you’re doing what you did yesterday and you still think that shit is great today? It shapes their artists into fiercely innovative creators. My friend doesn’t like when people try and get into his rice bowl. Just sit there breathing, stare at the motherfucking wall. A helpful way to do that is to meditate; taking that chance to breathe.Arnell Group was like the inventor of the stuff, led by this Da Vinci type visionary Peter Arnell who had helped launch Tommy Hilfiger. They were really hammering out the future of branding in the digital age. You put that little distance between yourself and the thought clouds that are rolling through. The most modern arts of Neuro Linguistic Programming use similar tactics. There was so much interesting shit flying through that office– designers, architects, writers, installation artists. That also helps players in the game make smart decisions. NLP jedi warriors will do shit like lead with statements that make no sense, or have no real meaning. For no reason than disarming the listener, and letting the story teller past the subconscious defensive systems we all have for self protection. When I was a little kid still living in Memphis, my dad worked in advertising.One time he used my sister Catherine and I as models for a photo he took for a Pepsi ad.I had no preconception of the city, and I was just amazed at how vibrant, funky, and alive it is. The great thing about fame is that people want to meet you, and work comes to you. We’re trying to get jobs, trying to get paid, trying really hard to fight our way up the slanted landscape. You get a team around you that handles and manages your business, and that’s great if you have the right people.I loved that it had almost no artistic or literary tradition in the West. When you’re famous, the landscape tilts towards you. That part of business gets easier, and it’s a tremendous relief, and a huge advantage that lets you work without stressing the rent.HG: Before Von Von Von, I had a writing career which included features for Rolling Stone and Wired, and a novel published by Simon and Schuster. You’re walking down 125 and some real big black dude passes by with a “alright von”, little head nod, it just rocks. They had all this boring shit we were supposed to type and I just started writing all this wild stuff to entertain myself and crack up my friends.But the planes hit the world trade centers and it really changed everything. The last place you wanted to be was sitting in your room all day alone, tripping on it. I just had to be out there, I had to be with people. He would come out wearing diapers, dancing, and shoot you with a toy bow and arrow if you got booed off. I remember one night very late on the train, I was exhausted, had been recording, it was four in the morning probably, and I always wore my shades in the train at night because the lights are so bright and the ride is long. It got louder, and these kids were just busting up. At the same time, I was applying for colleges, so the two things merged and found form.My grandparents came to the US, landed in New York, and that’s where I started.Then I grew up in the Philadelphia suburbs, returned to New York to attend NYU and lived in NYC for most of my life.