“Wu Flu Pandemic” is a new hip hop single by artist Xcellence! who is known for his association with reality star Blac Chyna. The song is catchy, upbeat, and has many comedic overtones but it’s underlining message is a serious one. It’s about COVID-19.
Horrified by scenes of people partying en masse at Brazil Carnival, Venice Carnival, and Milan fashion week, Xcellence! realized he needed to make fans aware of the health risks. It took Xcellence! less than a week to write and record the single. The video for “Wu Flu Pandemic” can be watched here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SS1kutnLKms
He recently discussed the song via an exclusive interview.
Meagan Meehan (MM): How did you first discover you had a talent for rapping?
Xcellence! (X): Since I became sentient and can remember I’ve always been a slave to the rhythm and a child of Hip Hop. I was always musically inclined, but it wasn’t till I heard Notorious B.I.G on the radio as a kid and I saw the joy he brought to the world and his supreme technical skills. It was from that day until my last day that I started studying the greats and I’ve practiced every day.
MM: How did you break into the music industry? Can you tell us a little about your first few songs?
X: I feel like I’m still trying to break into the music industry. I think I’ll feel that way until I have a #1 record. My first few songs were good, but for me, rudimentary. I thought I was going to be a Jay- Z/ Eminem/B.I.G/Nas rap prodigy.
MM: How did you find your trademark style?
X: Over time I shed those great artist trademarks and realized that I just had to do me and make it my own sound. Rap, and really music in general, is about being unique and not trying to sound like anything or anyone else.
MM: What comes to you first, the lyrics or the beat?
X: I see every record/song like a painter sees a new painting, meaning each one is special and unique. Some songs I have the lyrics first and some songs I hear the tracks and the words and the content comes to me based on what I feel and what the music tells me.
MM: What’s been the toughest thing about breaking out in hip hop?
X: The finish line is always changing with different rules and new technologies, but I would say the biggest obstacle is the reality that this industry is not regulated, meaning anyone off the street can just come in and compete if you have enough money or fame. You can literally have it all created for you with no effort or skill as long as you can recite the words on beat. For those of us that write our own songs that hurts because those people sometimes take a spot from the truly talented artist that can’t get on and gets burned out trying. Imagine if I said I tomorrow I want be a doctor and I could walk into Cedar Sinai hospital and just start seeing patients without schooling or without studying.
MM: How did you write the “Wu Flu Pandemic” so quickly?
X: My team and I have been watching the coronavirus and the spread since it left Wuhan province. We have been aware of it since early January and it caused me to abruptly stop travel and alert all of my friends. I was so worried I missed the funeral of one of my dearest friends (R.I.P Snowy) because based on the information we had received this was serious and the incubation period of the virus was a real concern. All the while since January I’d seen friends and family travel the globe blissfully ignorant to what was going to happen. I decided I wanted to put a public service announcement out to get the word out about the seriousness of, at the time, the impending pandemic.
MM: Was it tough to mix comedy with a serious message?
X: No, Notorious B.I.G taught me you can do both because the art of storytelling and artistic license allow for that. You only need to watch the Dave Chappelle show to see that technique work in all of its mastery.
MM: How long did it take to shoot the music video and how did you come up with its concept?
X: I worked with a really talented up and coming video director named “Hyce”. With his help we did a one-day shoot. We planned and plotted it for a week and knocked it out right before the California shelter in place order went into effect.
MM: Will the track be on a forthcoming album? What subjects do you plan to tackle in your next album?
X: Yes, I’m prepping to drop a new project soon! J I always aim to make fun music that makes you want to dance and keeps you entertained. I don’t take myself to seriously and want to make people happy. However, I felt I had to be serious for Wu Flu Pandemic as assort of P.S.A to the world. However, I do always try to make music that people can feel.
MM: What projects are coming up for you?
X: A lot more music, more singles, an EP and a album coming in 2020. My next single “XX Junkies” comes out May 12th. On that song I gleefully get back to basics! #XcellenceIsComingToGetThisPartyJumping
MM: Are you excited to get back on stage after this long pandemic? What can attendees expect from your live shows?
X: Everything and the kitchen sink! I love to turn up and go all out!
MM: Do you have a Message you want to fans who are still at home during this pandemic?
X: What doesn’t kill us make us stronger. God doesn’t give us more then we can bare. This too shall pass.