Known for his rapid delivery of lyrics, Twista once held the Guinness World Records’ title of World’s Fasted Rapper, but there was a time when the Chicago native frowned upon such notoriety. “Although rapping fast has always been my style, I didn’t like when people used to call me that,” he explains. “I didn’t understand it back then, but as I grew, I embraced it and feel blessed to have that type of style.” The Chicago native didn’t understand his gift until he realized how it actually set him apart in the hip-hop world. “I know now that I’ll always be around because of my unique style,” he says. “It’s not your typical ‘regular’ rap and I’ll always have a fan base.”
Twista (born Carl Terrell Mitchell) didn’t always have a fan base and worked hard to get where he is now. Before starting his professional rapping career, Twista had several other jobs, including a stint at McDonald’s. But it was his work ethic that kept him persevering toward his dream of becoming a rapper, despite being at a disadvantage. “It was hard for me to get in the rap game because I didn’t come from a large rap city,” Twista says. “Until the world was ready to accept rap from the Midwest, I kept grinding and made good music. I didn’t become big until late in my career.”
Twista finally got his big break in 1996, when he teamed with fellow Chicago act Do or Die on the track “Po’ Pimp,” which became a hit single, leading to a contract with Atlantic records where he released his first mainstream album Adrenaline Rush (Atlantic Records, 1997). “Everything kicked off with ‘Po’ Pimp,’ and I didn’t look back after that,” Twista explains. “I got to experience what it was like to have a hit record deal.”
With legendary status solidified and his feet firmly planted at the top of the game, Twista treated himself to some fine rides. Being a classic man, Twista opted for a 2007 Mercedes-Benz S 63, 2007 Mercedes-Benz SL 550 and Mercedes-Benz ML 450 “To me, a Mercedes is like the trophy of all trophies,” he describes. “I don’t care how expensive your car is, a Mercedes is definitely a sign of a successful man in today’s society. Wanting to keep the overall sophistication of his Benzes, Twista opted to keep them stock and classic.
Currently, Twista is on his fifth album, Adrenaline Rush 2007 (Atlantic Records, 2007), due out later this year, and hopes to continue with his musical success. “With the new album, I still feature my skill, but the biggest difference between this one and previous albums is how I bring along a variety of friends on the album,” he says. “Fans will notice my growth as an artist and how I’m doing music with some of their other favorite artists.”
Having taken the rap world by storm, Twista is also trying his hand at different projects, including journalism. He’s recently collaborating with the Chicago Tribune and writing an online column on its website, where he tackles various issues. “I touch on different types of topics regarding the world toady,” he explains. “One day I’ll touch upon the war and terrorism, and the next I’ll write about religion. I want to address things that people want to hear from a voice of hip-hop and give a rapper’s perspective. Right now, it’s just me blogging, but I hope to open it up to the public where they can ask me questions and comment on my blog.”