7 Questions: Johnny Greaseball

Johnny Greaseball is a weirdo from Riverside, California, who raps really well. He makes up one half of the The Herbalistics, an Inland Empire based rap group he formed with his friend and fellow rapper MC Lyfe. Together, The Herbalistics have amassed quite an impressive resume, especially considering how little promotion they do; even finding a halfway decent photo of this cat was a pain in the ass. He’s clearly more concerned with ripping mics than he is with taking pretty pictures of himself, something most of us can’t claim, which, in my opinion, basically makes him way cooler than us.

You recently moved from Riverside to Huntington Beach, which I find both funny and understandable since Riverside is probably the only place I’d leave to live in Huntington Beach. So do you surf much? Or are you just tired of rocks and dirt?

Johnny: Well, it wasn’t easy. Riverside has been home base since day one and that will always be home. My friends, family, and music career is ALL in the IE… it’s a nice change of scenery out here though. The food is good, the women are ALL beautiful. I kinda look at it like if Riverside were a video game, I’d have the high score… there’s just nothing left there for me to do. I’ve kind of done it all… out here is a fresh start. I wish I could surf, I’ve got the fair white skin for it but I’ve yet to get out there and hang ten or whatever the hell they call it nowadays…

If Riverside were a video game, one would turn blue in the face from constantly having to blow dust out of the cartridge, but I do know what you mean. Speaking of video games, a friend of mine – whose pride would never recover if I mentioned his name – has probably watched your Change Gon’ Come video upwards of fifty times. Now that everyone owns a DSLR, or at least knows someone who does, we’re all in this unspoken competition to make our videos look more like big budget motion pictures than some shit we filmed in our garage. Still, I think there’s charm to be found in minimalism done right. I noticed your video is only able to be streamed at 240p. Is that intentional? If so, that’s tight.

Johnny: Your friend sounds like a man of refined taste. I couldn’t agree more, 1080p resolution is at everyone’s disposal nowadays though I feel like the saturation in the “music video game” isn’t necessarily as common as the amount of recording artists now… not that that’s a bad thing… but it is definitely on the rise. You’re spot on about the resolution though, the video was meant to be rendered that way, in an attempt to be ironic. In retrospect I probably would’ve had it done in the full resolution but I still like how campy it looks… I feel like it could’ve been executed a little better but we still had a blast doing the whole thang… shiiiih.

On your song Corny Ass Rappers, you say, “I’m such an asshole I’ll even punch out MC Lyfe…” I realize that’s more than likely just some good ol’ fashioned rapper hyperbole, but I do have to ask… have there been many disagreements between you guys? If so, has it ever escalated into blows?

Johnny: Yeah man, that was all in good fun. Just like any good team, there’s gonna be disagreements and compromises, though to be honest Lyfe and I are usually on the same page 110% of the time. We used to disagree more wayyyy back in the day when we were first starting, but after all these years I’ve kind of learned when Lyfe isn’t gonna agree with me on something and vice versa. At the end of the day though, Lyfe is probably the last person I’d want to fight, especially since I’m pretty sure he’s got the heart of a Mayan warrior…… in a jar somewhere at home.

So I googled “greaseball” and the first thing that popped up was the derogatory term used for foreigners, specifically those of Mediterranean origin. It should be noted that racism has absolutely no place on this blog. Not because racism isn’t funny, but because it’s REALLY funny, and this blog is obviously super serious. My question is, are you Italian? Also, what are some innovative ways in which one might possibly use an actual grease-ball. That is, an unspecified amount of grease that has been strategically rolled into a ball. A ball of grease.

Johnny: Haaaa! No no, I’m not of the Mediterranean origin. I’m half white and half Mexican, though I wish I was Italian because then I could truly be the swarthy heartbreaker I always knew I was deep down… plus I love a good rigatoni and I can rock the shit out of a wife-beater (no racism here). I would imagine a ball of grease would be ideal for clogging an enemy’s sink when he’s not home, or his significant other for that matter… hey-oooooh!!!!!

Just so we’re clear, you’re talking about using grease as lubricant when engaging in sexual intercourse with another man’s lover, correct? I respect that. Speaking of butt sex, I’m sure you’ll agree that it’s high time we have a once-and-for-all face off between the Karate Kids. In a battle to the death, is your money on Jaden Smith or Ralph Macchio? To be fair, we’re talking Ralph circa ’84. Keep in mind that Jaden was trained by Jackie Chan – an IRL martial arts legend – and Ralph was trained by Pat Morita – an IRL drunk. On the other hand, Dre Parker is generally kind of a pussy while Daniel LaRusso keeps it hood as fuck.

Johnny: Oh dude… LaRusso all day! It’s been scientifically proven that corn rows are less aerodynamic thus rendering the heir to the throne of Bel-Air less agile and more vulnerable to Larusso’s masterful flying crane kick that we’ve all attempted (and sometimes executed) at least once in our lives.

Dear Jaden, when the reptilian elite finally begin cleansing the Earth of its peasants, please remember that it was Johnny who chose LaRusso, not me. I choose you, Jaden. I know I called you a pussy, but I was simply referring to the character whom you portrayed with a volume of genius for which the world is still not ready. Forgive them, my king. 

So Johnny, you’re to be marooned on an uninhabited island (just pretend those still exist) and you can only bring five albums with you. Which albums do you bring? You won’t be able to listen to them since uninhabited islands don’t have electricity, but you get to die knowing you’ll be judged based on your listening preferences upon the discovery of your remains.

Johnny: I’ve played this scenario out a million times in my head… which is funny because if we were to see any other animal making up hypothetical situations in their heads and then responding to them, we’d think they were severely damaged.. but I digress. Sprawled across the sand surrounding my dead body alongside the various half-empty coconuts and mermaid panties (the mermaids I smash on have to have legs in this scenario) an aspiring young and plunderous Somalian pirate would find the musical recordings of: Nas’ Illmatic, Hunx & His Punx – Too Young to Be In Love (a band with a flamboyantly gay lead-singer who puts Freddy Mercury to shame), Madvillain’s Madvillainy, Bad Brains’ Bad Brains album (1982), and affixed to a make-shift phonograph comprised of bamboo and chimpanzee bones, he’d find a copy of Wu-Tangs final album, which I stole from the winning bidder before fleeing to a remote island in hopes of escaping the jurisdiction of the powers that be… yeah, man.

Funny, I know just which Wu-Tang album you’re referring to. Last question. Overall… shit is pretty overrated, right? By “shit” I obvi mean penguins.

Johnny: Well… obvi. While flightless sea birds have been proven through countless market research to be more on the favorable end of the public spectrum, I personally hold a special place in my heart for any species of talking bird. Just imagine man… a bird that can be trained to rap your verses for you… I’d never have to play a wack show again… it’d be like MF DOOM sending out dudes in masks to play his shows ALL over again… I could even dress him up in Hawaiian shirts and fresh ass J’s… teach him a few lame jokes… folks would be none the wiser. Can your precious penguins spit 16 bars of this undeniable fiyah flame? NOT LIKELY, I say… though I’m not sure how Lyfe would feel about a Cockatoo saying that he’ll “punch out MC Lyfe”… like I said… dude’s got that Mayan heart…

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