But To Answer Ur Question, No: An Interview With Kool A.D.


Victor “Kool A.D.” Vazquez, formerly of the rap group Das Racist (R.I.P.) recently published a chapbook of aphoristic jokes called ‘Joke Book’ via new Brooklyn small press Sorry House, and it has already sold out. Vazquez, currently on tour with side-project punk band Party Animal, answered questions by email about music, literature, and ‘Spring Breakers,’ amongst other things.

How interested do you feel in print publishing when you have the medium of music and performance to express things more immediately/engagingly?

Music is more immediate and kind of more populist I guess, but I still enjoy reading and writing.

What medium (music, painting, writing, etc.) were you first attracted to?

When I was a little kid drawing and listening to music were probably my favorite activities. Kind of still are.

What are some books you remember affecting you?

The Autobiography of Malcolm X, You Can’t Win, Beneath the Underdog, The Spiritual Journey of Alejandro Jodorowsky, Temporary Autonomous Zones, Geography of Nowhere, Notebook of a Return to a Native Land, A People’s History of the United States, Story of a Shipwrecked Sailor, Brief History of Time, Invisible Man, Women, Siddartha, the Tao Te Ching, The Old Man and the Sea, the Bible, Things Fall Apart, No Longer At Ease, 100 Years of Solitude, Hardboiled Wonderland and the End of the World, Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, The Remains of the Day, The Key by Tanizaki, Naked Lunch, the RZA autobiography, didn’t even read Lil B’s book yet but I feel like I could put it on this list.

Are you interested in writing the same kind of books that you read?

Not really, or like sometimes.

What did you like reading as a kid? In college?

As a youngster I liked Dr. Seuss, Shel Silverstein, Tove Jansson, John Bellairs, Daniel Pinkwater, Lewis Carroll, various comics. In high school I read a lot of Hermann Hesse, Haruki Murakami and Gabriel Garcia Marquez, in college I read a lot of dense critical theory I guess my favorites were Walter Benjamin, Adorno, Foucault.

What did you study in college?


You edited the comics section of your school’s newspaper, right? Why do comics appeal to you?

Yeah comics are great.

What kind of kid were you in middle school? What was middle school like for you?

Middle school was ok, I watched a lot of TV and read books and drew and started writing graffitti and smoking weed and drinking and playing drums in a punk band because those things all seemed “cool”.

How did your parents affect your interests/goals?

They were generally leftist types that let me “do my thing” and stay out late and whatnot.

Did you see Spring Breakers? Did you like it?

Didn’t see it yet but I loved Gummo when I saw it way back. This chick last night just described it as white Belly which sounds pretty good. I pointed out Gummo was on the TV at DMX’s house in Belly. The conversation was not as boring as I’m making it sound.

Do you view any books/movies/(etc) you like as ‘guilty pleasures’?

Not really.

Do you make distinctions between ‘high’ and ‘low’ art?

Not really.

You’ve tweeted about writing novels in the future. Is this something you realistically see yourself doing?

I started one I think Sorry House might publish it.

What would you make if you had an infinite budget for a single creative project in any medium?

If I had an infinite budget I’d probably use it to fix global economic disparity, fund sustainable energy and food production, and then probably kick it in Hawaii or something.

What would you be doing if you weren’t making art, or, ‘art’?

Slangin crack.

Did you write any of the content in Joke Book thinking it would be song lyrics?

No but I might steal some lines from it now.

Were ‘traditional’ joke books an inspiration?

I remember being a big fan of Al Jaffee’s snappy answers to stupid questions as a Likkle yoot. Also had a Halloween themed joke book with Frankenstein on the cover. But to answer ur question, no.

Have you ever bought anything from Sky Mall? What’s something interesting you’ve seen in Sky Mall?

Never bought anything from Sky Mall. I find everything in Sky Mall to be more or less equally interesting/uninteresting.

Is there a difference between the jokes that are in all caps and the jokes that aren’t?

The volume at which I thought them I guess.

Do you think your parents would ‘get’ Joke Book?

As much as anybody “gets” anything, sure

Do you like poetry/certain poets?

E-40, Mac Dre, Too Short, Lil B, Charles Bukowski, Tao Lin, Mira Gonzalez, Pablo Neruda.

Did you ever write embarrassing poems about love interests?


If so, can we see one?

I’ll write one right now for a girl I know:

Roses are red
Violets are blue
I want to
Fuck you

You should like Thought Catalog on Facebook here.