This interview wasn't my first encounter with artist David Choe, but as encounters go, ours have always been oddly memorable. The first time I was introduced to David was through his graffiti on the streets of L.A. The second was when a copy off Dirty Hands: The Art and Crimes of David Choe showed up in my mailbox. I ended up watching it with my mom when she popped by a week later for our sporadic hang-out sessions aka drinking all the beer in my fridge.
I have no idea why she wanted to watch that particular DVD, but she did comment that the cover looked cute – the benchmark for most of her purchases. The next 90 minutes were excruciating, but by the end of the film, there was no denying that David Choe was equally insane and incredibly talented. My mother, the God-fearing Christian woman that she is, decided then and there to pray for him so he would find this way. And as fate would have it, I think he has. Now I don't want to give my mom all the credit for David's salvation, because his parents love God and pray too. But I'm sure that little extra, "And please help David Choe," my mom Janice threw in every night didn't hurt.
As polymaths go in modern times, artist David Choe is up there with the greats. A painter, illustrator, musician, filmmaker and author, the multi-faceted Choe is our generation’s more “eloquent” yet perverted version of Forrest Gump.
Although he disappeared after the NY Times understandably "ruined his life" by leaking the Facebook story, which reported his net worth at somewhere around $200 million, Choe returned to his work with a renewed sense of purpose. Now a millionaire with an extra $200 million – Choe was already wealthy before Facebook – money was now no object, and he could and would do whatever he wanted. From DVDASA podcasts with Asa Akira, a new album with Beastie Boys collaborator, Money Mark, a $100,000 giveaway, two new TV shows in the works, and his newly self-published book, Snowman Monkey BBQ, Choe is doing just that.
Whilst most people spend their time arguing about what David Choe is trying to be now, the real question we should be asking is, why do we even care? Can't someone do more than one thing at a time? Isn't that what we do on a daily basis when we refer to ourselves as, "multi-taskers?" The difference between Choe and us is that he doesn't mind failing as long as it's fun, and he's doing something new regardless of what others may believe.
And no matter what people say about him – millionaire, rabble-rouser, poster child for ADD and OCD – when Choe has something to say, 1) it's usually good, and 2) people pay attention. Sure, some of it is utter nonsense, but the tidbits of Confucius-like wisdom he lays down, whilst simultaneously talking about getting dropped on his head attempting a "Standing 69" the night before, give you rare and refreshing insight into the mind of this mad genius. His honesty is real, his talent is raw, and the anger he once possessed has faded away, allowing Choe to move forward onto the step phase of his rapidly expanding career with his eyes wide open.
Complex sat down with Choe to discuss all of his new projects, which quickly segued into porn, pimping, racism, and us “hooking up” during our last interview, but really, did you expect anything less?
Are you still writing?
This is my writing [pulls out iPhone]. I don’t know if that’s a lot, but I write. That’s 1,634 notes. Did you see the end of Indiana Jones when they’re putting away the boxes? I have a 20,000-square-foot warehouse in L.A., and that’s what it looked like before I got an iPhone. Everyone would be like, “What’s in those boxes?” because they go up, like, 20 feet to the ceiling. And I go, “If you open it, it’s like my whole life in there.” It’s like 20 years of notes in boxes. All those boxes are just filled with pieces of paper.
I’m doing this all day now. People think I’m texting, and I’m like, “No, I’m just writing shit.” My thumbs hurt. I’ll write 30, 40 pages at night. I’m sleeping, and I’ll be like, “Oh, yeah!”
That was a very long answer to if I still write or not, but yeah, I still write a lot.
I went back home to go through stuff I left at my dad’s and found out my stepmother threw it away.
I would have killed her.
There were two monks at our house, because my parents are Buddhist, and all she said was, “I don’t know where it is.” I lost it in front of everybody.
In front of the monks?
That’s such a Korean story. My dad went to the army, and then he came back and he’s like, “Where are my paintings?” And I’m like, “Oh, I threw it away.” And he’s like, “What?” And I’m like, “Yeah, what would you need those for?”
How do you feel about the army?
I like having experiences, so I feel like, I wouldn’t want to go there to kill anyone, but just that whole basic training...I like traveling to places for a reason. And I like war movies and stuff. I don’t want to kill anybody, unless it’s like an evil step mom or something. I would have killed her. Like, I would have killed her in front of the monks.
You know David Chang?
I just ate at his restaurant, and he’s like one of my best friends now—he’s like my twin brother pretty much. But when we hang out, he’s just so angry. I go, “Why are you so angry?” You have nothing to be angry about. It’s fucking crazy. But yeah, when I see that, I’m like, “I used to be that angry.” So did I just lose it now? Because it’s been the number one motivating force for me to get everything done.
Just pure anger?
Yeah, just rage – anger. But now it’s like, life isn’t perfect and shit happens, and you’re like, “Alright, fuck it.” If I was younger, and I came home, and my evil step mom threw away my stuff, I would kill her. I would just be overcome by rage. [Laughs] I would strangle my mom in front of some monks. But now it’s like, if I came home, and my house was on fire, I’d be like, “That sucks.”
I guess it’s Buddhist. I try to not get angry, because it’s like, A) what can you do about it? And B) all right, that happened. Next. Like, “Hey, I wrote all those fucking notes and things in the boxes, and guess what? I never did anything with them, so who gives a shit?” You know?
Like, “Wow, this could have been the seed for a great novel!” But if it was so great, why didn’t I do anything with it? It’s just some OCD shit, I think.
Where do you think your anger stemmed from?
Because going off the documentary, your parents seemed to be very supportive and loving.
Well, this is if you subscribe to the notions of Koreans having han, which is sort of a cop-out, because I think every race has their version of it, but I think I was just born angry. Chris Rock has this funny joke about how you don’t want to be the first of anything. Like you don’t want to be the first black president, or, he’s like, “Would you rather be the first black baseball player, Jackie Robinson, or do you want to be Darryl Strawberry?” Yeah, Jackie Robinson is in the history books, but being called “nigger” and all this shit…and then there’s Darryl Strawberry fucking whores and doing coke and having the best time. So, not that I’m the first, but it’s just…you know.
You’re Korean. I ask every Korean I hang out with, “Who’s doing it for us?” And it’s like, nobody. I don’t even want to say it like that, because I’m friends with a lot of Koreans who are doing cool shit, but not really. So no role models, right? There’s no one to look up to.
It wasn’t like that when we were growing up.
It wasn’t. I grew up around whites, I grew up around Jews, I grew up around blacks, I grew up around Hispanics. We moved a lot. So I’d say most of it comes from race. It’s just, always being the gook, always being the chink. Just having weird conversations like, “Oh, we’ll let you hang out with us,” like being a second-class citizen, inferior to them.
I still get that.
Yeah, we still get it now. I get it all the time. Like when I go eat with Chang. He just invited me to Wyoming for his fishing trip, and we ate at, like, where all the rich white guys are. We went in there, and my friends were drunk, and they were like, “Hey, we’re the only fucking Asians in here!” It still happens all the time, you know?
I have the pin of an Eskimo, and then I have shirts of everyone who works for me. Like, this one is my bodyguard. But then I have one, of my accountant, who’s a fat Japanese guy with glasses. So I go to Trader Joe’s the other day, and I’m wearing that one. It’s an Asian guy who looks nothing like me, and I get this really cheerful cashier who goes, “Oh my God, that’s the craziest T-shirt I’ve ever seen!” And I’m like, “Yeah, I just get these made,” and she’s like, “Is that you?” And I was laughing like, “No, that’s not me, and that’s really racist.” And she goes from like [imitates laugh] to this really long, awkward silence, and then I was like, “I should just tell her I was just kidding.” It really bothered her. But then I was leaving, and I was like, it actually was really racist. I’ve been in New York for three days with this button, I just got it off eBay, and everyone’s like, “Is that you?” They’re not saying it in a racist way, but it’s like, if I was a black guy, and I had like a...I don’t know.
Like the Moorish pins they used to have?
Yeah, and if they were like, “Is that you?” I’m just like, “All right.” But whatever, like I said, I laugh about it more now. I tell this story a lot, but when I went to the Congo for the second time, I was there with my friend Harry and our translator who was Vietnamese and French, and we were walking through the jungle. There were these little kids who had never seen Asians before going, “Ching chong, ching chong, China!” Because that’s all they know, they only know China. And he’s like, “Listen, Dave is from Korea, and I’m from Vietnam.” I go, “Are you really trying to educate these people right now? Like, look at this kid’s fucking stomach. It’s like, this big. That kid has AIDS or worms. He’s gonna die, and he’s probably never going to see another Asian again. He’s having fun calling you Ching Chong. Just leave him alone.” He goes, “No,” and I’m like, “What, you’re like the great educator or something? Who cares?”
Here’s the thing. When I see white people, I don’t go, “German! Italian!” So, the type of people who are prone to doing that are usually ignorant people. What, am I going to say something that’s going to make them less ignorant? I just reward their ignorance. They go, “Chinese,” and I go, “Yeah,” and they’re like, “I knew it!” And they go the rest of their day feeling good about themselves.
You seem quite calm now, very zen. Do you think the anger you had when you were younger is, I don’t want to say gone, but have you managed to control it? Have you been able to slightly identify with other things than just race? Or just deal with it more now that you’re older?
Well, it isn’t just from race. That’s part of it, but it’s just from always...I guess treatment in general is just never equal. I just wrote this crazy fucking rant on my website. I always try to make shit funny, but…Nick [gesturing to his publicist] represents my business partner, Asa, who’s my co-host. The way I met her was on the set of the very first Asian-American porn like 5, 6 years ago. I don’t know, maybe 10 years ago?
What were you doing on set?
My friend worked for the porn company, and he said, “Hey, do you wanna come visit?”
So my friend Eric from Giant was writing this story about it. I’d never been on a porn set. So I go, “Yeah, I’d love to check that out.” So I go to the set, and I’m like, “But I don’t understand what you’re talking about. You’re telling me that it’s 2009, or 2010, and there’s not a porno in America where the whole cast is Asian?” They’re like, “No. The only place you’ll ever find an Asian male in porn is in gay porn, as the bottom.” So he never even gets to fuck. He’s always getting fucked in the ass, literally, and symbolically, and metaphysically, and spiritually. [Laughs] So that’s just in porn.
But then we have mainstream media. You’re like, “Oh, fuck. Rush Hour 1, 2, 3.” You got a movie where the main star, Jackie Chan...I’m not sure if I remember correctly, but I don’t think he gets to fuck or do anything in those movies. Finger bang, kiss, nothing. Then you have Jet Li, who was in Romeo Must Die with Aaliyah, and I think I read somewhere that it was written in the script that he kisses Aaliyah at the end. And then they changed it.
I just say and do whatever I want all the time, and I get a lot of slack, and I’m like, “There are white people and black people doing way crazier shit than me.” And a lot of it is – no offense to you– coming from Asian women. Like whenever Asian dudes do anything sexual or whatever, I get a lot of…fuck, I wish I could remember the names of these…I don’t know. Anyway, whether I’m delusional or whether it’s actually true, there’s some kind of crazy fear, and I’ve talked to Asa about it, over why they won’t let the Asian dude fuck. And it’s like, “Oh, well, it’s because they have little dicks,” and I’m like, “I’ve seen Asian guys with humongous dicks.” Yeah, if you want to compare them with black guys. I’ve been to Africa, and they have humongous dicks. And I’ve been to prison in Japan, and they have really small dicks. But are there Asian guys with big dicks? Are there black guys with small dicks? Yes.
Guys in porn in general all have big dicks, so it’s not like you can’t find any. It’s like the fear back in the day when they didn’t want black men to fuck white women. And then it became like a fetish, and now that’s almost all you see in porn. I don’t really think about these things until they’re put in front of me, and so I was like, “Wow, I’m not a scholar, I’m not an anthropologist or a sociologist, but I don’t know where any of this shit is coming from in human nature and history.”
My best guess at this – and I’m an idiot – is that everyone’s like, “China’s taking over the world, China’s taking over the world,” and it’s like, we can’t let them take everything. They have all the money, they’re taking over the world…we can’t let them fuck our women on top of that, you know?
“They can’t have it all,” you know? So that’s why when I hang out with other Asian celebrities—Japanese, Korean, whatever—I like to swap stories, and it’s always the same shit. It’s like, “Oh, I’m married,” or, “I’m Christian,” and I’m like, “What?” Like the whole Jeremy Lin thing is the saddest thing. I’m like, “You could literally fuck every woman in China. Every single one.” But he’s like, “No, I’m Christian.” I’m like, “Oh my God.” And Steven Yeun, who I’m friends with, he’s on The Walking Dead. When I walk around with him, even guys pass out. They’re like, “Oh my god.” And I’m like, “You’re taking advantage of that, right?” And he’s like, “Nah, dude, I’m Christian,” and I’m like, “Oh, God. Fuck.” So someone’s gotta do it. I’m doing my best.
Do you think you get a lot of slack now that you’ve got money and notoriety?
People go, “Who do you fuck?” And I go, “I fuck art groupies and girls who have seen me on TV, girls that like me for my money...”
You know we’ve fucked before, right?
You and me?
I was just kidding.
Oh my God, you scared the shit out of me.
No, but I did interview you before.
I know. When was that?
During an opening in Beverly Hills for Steve Lazarides.
Right, right. I knew I heard your name before. Oh my God, you gave me a mini heart attack. You scared the shit out of me, because that’s happened to me before.
Yeah, it happened twice.
There could have been a third. I should have kept it going.
My brain just had a meltdown. I gotta reboot now. Um, I forgot what your question was.
You were talking about sex.
Oh. I mean, I remember the first time I had an art show, and I was with my girlfriend, the one I was with for 7 years, and it was my first fan experience. This girl was like, “Oh my God,” and afterwards—because my girlfriend would always just let me do my thing, she was like, “You know that girl only wanted to fuck you because she thinks you’re famous?” And I was like, “And? So?” Like my answer to...if the word “fuck” is in there, like, “That girl just wants to fuck you because you’re rich,” I’m like, “And? I heard the word ‘fuck’ and nothing else after that.” They’re definitely not fucking me because I’m Asian. Whatever thing I need to do in order for them to want to fuck me is like, okay, cool. They want to fuck you because they saw you in this thing, or they think you’re a talented artist, or whatever. Each thing brings a different kind of pussy.
Has it ever become something else, like an unexpected surprise?
Oh, yeah, life is fucking great, because you never know what’s going to happen. I mean, I’ve been single for 11 years, and that’s my choice.
How old are you?
I’m 38. I’ve been talking about this shit with Nick all day. I know some of the richest and most powerful men in the world, and they’re jealous of me. I go, “Why? You have more money than me, you have more fame, you have more power, you have all these things.” And it’s because they still have to answer to someone. They have shareholders. You know, this actor wanted to do some shit with me, and then his agency called me after like, “Don’t listen to him. He can’t do that.” I go, “What are you talking about? Why?” And they’re like, “His fan base is 13 year old girls. If he’s associated with you, that means no ticket sales, so that ain’t happening.” And I’m like, “So this guy’s rich, powerful, and famous but he still bows down to 13-year-old girls?”
You figure out what you value in this life, and then you go for it. For me, it was freedom. I do literally anything I want with no consequences to anyone except for myself, which I don’t give a shit about. There’s nothing anyone can do to me that I haven’t done to myself a million times over. By nature, I’m a very self-destructive person, but all that happens is that I just get more successful every time I do it. Someday I’ll come crashing down, so that’s why I try to keep a good attitude about it all.
I know because you’re single you can do these things, but do you ever think about your family?
I mean, it’s really upsetting to me that they know how to use technology now. You know, my dad’s the kind of guy that if the TV doesn’t turn on, he just doesn’t…I mean, I got him a TiVo, I get him all the new shit, but he’s just like, “….” So I’m like, “Okay, cool, he’ll never learn how to text. He’ll never learn how to use the Internet.” But then, like, 5 years later, he’s…
Googling “David Choe.”
Now that my mom knows how to text, I get a text from her every day. She texts me at 2, 3 in the morning. That’s not the kind of text I want at 3 in the morning, you know? I’m getting the whole, “Hey, come over and fuck,” and then it’s like, “Hallelujah, check out this painting!” And I’m like, “Ugh, it’s all getting mixed up.” My parents don’t let things go if they hear something about me. I was telling Nick in the car how Christian my mom is, but she manages it with a very healthy dose of delusion. So, yeah, they’re all on texts now, they’re on fucking smartphones, they’re on the Internet, so they Google everything. To answer your question, I don’t give a shit anymore. But I did, because...do you lie to your dad?
So you lie to him. My relationship with my parents is just omission and complete lies. Their son is a stranger. They don’t know anything about me. I lie to my parents about everything, and they’re old now. My dad is 69, and my mom is 68, but I think it's been since Thanksgiving last year, so since about since 8 months ago, we’ve been having the most honest relationship.
I’m 38 now, I just recorded an album with Money Mark, and one of the songs is everything I know how to say in Korean, but it’s not just bad words (says something in Korean).
I’ve actually never heard somebody ask if you wanted to eat their fart!
So my dad came up to visit when I was working on the album, and he goes, “Can I hear it?” And we did a Christian song, just for them, which got what, like 300,000 hits on the first day, because Asa was singing it with her shirt off. But I put it on a CD for him, and he asked for the notes to write out the lyrics, and they sing it at his church. And my brother just had a kid, and they play it for the kid every time he cries. But he goes, “You need to get rid of that song.” I go, “What are you talking about?” He goes, “That song is an embarrassment to me, to Korean people,” and I was like, “Wait 'til you see the music video, it’s gonna be like me and this kid running naked through every Korean church in L.A.” and he’s like, “You need to get rid of this song 'cause I didn’t raise a son like this,” and I was like “Yes! This is the best song ever.”
But going back to Thanksgiving, I’m having this moment at the table where I am looking at my parents, and they are like, “Oh, did you meet a nice girl?” You know it’s all fake, it’s just the charade of just like, “Yeah yeah.” I’m giving them just enough information in pieces of my life so that’s it okay, and I just sat there and was like, my whole existence with my parents is a fucking sham. It's bullshit. And I said to myself, you know what, they are getting old, they are gonna die soon, they are already Googling me, they are already fucking texting me...who gives a fuck.
We have one conversation always, the most Korean conversation ever, when are you getting married when...
When are you gonna have kids?
And I say, "Why don’t you pick?" And he goes, “What do you mean?” I go, “Look through my phone, here go ahead,” and he goes, “What do you mean?” I go, “Look,” and I show him the pictures, and his eyes were the biggest they’ve ever gotten.
I go, “I have hundreds of girlfriends, just pick. You want me to get married so bad, I can’t pick any of them. This one is really good at sucking dick, this one does this for me, this one sucks my dick and then makes me dinner, this one can hold a conversation, this one’s really funny. I don’t know, I can’t pick one, but you really want me to get married.” I’m like, this is crazy, I’m having a real talk with my dad. So he goes, "This is crazy," and I go, “You know what, this feels fucking good.” So since Thanksgiving, I don’t lie to my parents anymore.
I tell them everything, just every uncomfortable truth, everything. 'Cause it’s like, who gives a shit, and it’s super liberating 'cause I’m like, we’re all fucking adults now.
It’s weird, and you know, at the end of the day, money trumps everything. It’s the biggest “Fuck you” that my mom can have to anybody. All of her friends' kids are like doctors and lawyers, and they were like, “What do your kids do, Jane?” “Well one of them is in jail right now, and the other one’s an artist, you know, trying to get his foot in the door,” and now she has all the magazine covers like, “Here’s my son, the richest artist in the world, and here’s the mansion he bought me,” So you can pretty much do whatever you want if you're Asian, or any ethnic group that moved to America, 'cause that makes everything okay, right?
Let’s talk Facebook and money.
The reason why I don’t do interviews is because I don’t like answering the same question, and I don’t know how many different ways I can answer it.
You know the whole thing with Barbara Walters, and it’s one of the questions I get asked, no matter what I do, it starts with, “Well if I had that money I would,” or, “Of course he’s doing that.” and I just told you I know rich people, and they're still slaves. I go, “No, you wouldn’t do this, 'cause you’re a fucking pussy.”
The way the whole Facebook thing broke down is: I already made millions of dollars from art shows. I already made millions of dollars gambling, but I don’t talk about that, you know. The guy from The New York Times goes, “Hey, we know you have this thing, and when Facebook goes public next week, he hit me up as a bro." He says, “I used to write write,” and I go, “Write what?” He says, “I used to write graffiti,” and I go, “Okay, so I don’t,” and I try to play it off like I don’t know, and he’s like “Dude, I know, I have insider information, I know you have stock in the company.” I ask if we can meet, and I tell him, “If you guys put that story out, you’re gonna fucking ruin my life.” I’m very open and transparent about my life, but that kinda shit, that’s life-changing.
I was already happy with my state in life. I have a few million, adding hundreds of millions was crazy. I was pretty cool where I was at, so everyone wanted to know how my life changed. You end up losing the freedom, and then you’re like, wait, it's the whole more money/more problems thing. What people don’t understand is that the things I value, like time...yeah, I pay for first class or private jets, anything that makes me get to where I need to go faster – that’s where I’ll spend my money. But if we were in L.A. right now, I live in the same house, I've never bought a new house, and I drive the same car. I bought all the crazy, fancy cars…
Those are from gambling though…
Yeah, so I really didn’t change my life, except I had to make it more secure. But as far as doing things, if you look at the stuff I do, it doesn’t really cost anything. I mean, it costs money, but you don’t need a million....And now that I dabble in TV, even that doesn’t cost that much money. Like how cheap cameras are – everything I do – music, movies, TV shows – the way technology is available now, everything is cheap, and you can just do it yourself and upload it online. It doesn’t cost that much now, anyone can do it. Besides flying private or first class, and I don’t even do that all the time, anything to make my life easier, that’s where I like to spend my money. I guess it sounds dumb to say that it didn’t change my life that much, except for people asking me for money every single day. I can open up my thing right now and show you. I’ve heard every sob story, and some of them might be true, you know.
One of the things that did happen was my gambling got crazier. 'Cause for me, money is something that aids me in getting things done that I want to do. I don’t want to be rich just to be rich, I don’t want to be famous just to be famous. Everything has a purpose. I have an addictive personality, so the gambling got way worse. Before I’d be like, “I won a quarter million or half a million in Vegas.” That would be great, but now I had to play millions. I went to rehab for gambling after my last crazy gambling spree in Vegas.
I had a heart attack in the casino, sorry, an angina attack – the beginning of a heart attack. I collapsed and woke up two days later. So basically everything I’m doing now I’m fighting out, because when I do art it’s interpretive right?
Like, I draw dead animals raping each other. It’s like, “Oh that can mean something to me,” it’s not literal right? Being an artist gives you a lot of freedom, because it’s like, if you do anything weird, they’re like, “He’s an artist." It’s almost like you’re saying, “You’re a retard.” I could be wearing a dress right now, and it wouldn’t matter. They’d be like, “Oh, he’s an artist”.
But the thing is, I’m doing less painting and more writing, and that’s not left up to interpretation. I’m weird, and I look at everything like it's art, so that’s the part that gets a little bit confusing to some people.
Everything I’ve ever done in my life has made money, from selling vitamins, to pimping, to gambling, to art. Every single thing I’ve done has made so much money, and I just don’t want to. The way things slow down is with the contract. They’re like, "I need 2 points on the back end.” I don’t give a shit. And they’re like, “Oh, well you’re rich now.” I’ve done that always, I just want to get shit done, I don’t want to get slowed down, so I like convenience.
I liked working on the Bourdain set, because I showed up and everything was done already. I liked putting my book out with Chronicle, because they took care of everything. I like that shit, like I’m truly the talent, and I just do shit, and someone else does all the shipping and legal. I don’t know if you know this, but I’m supposedly a liability by just how I live my life and how I do my shit. I’m very transparent – almost by default I have to become an entrepreneur. It’s like my book, I haven’t even put the full regular edition out, just the special edition, and it sold out in like an hour.
I had some that I painted on all the covers, because I was like, I don’t sell my art anymore, and they were $5,000, and I was like, “No one’s gonna buy this,” and we sold out of all of them. And that paid for the entire publishing, so everything’s just profit now. I’m like, this could’ve been any publisher who wanted a book.
So, this is gonna sound crazy, but I was cleaning my room, and I found $100,000 that I forgot I had. I used to go to Vegas with pillowcases full of millions of dollars, so it was like, “Oh shit, I forgot I had that.” There was a Snickers bar in there, too, so I gave it all to my bodyguard Critter, because he does a lot of shit for me. And he goes, “I don’t want your poo-stained money,” and I go, “That’s a Snickers bar,” and as he’s eating it, he goes, “I feel like that’s dirty money.” So I say, “Lets do something fun with it.” He says, “Okay, I’m gonna give it away, and I love scavenger hunts.” This could probably change somebody’s life, so I’m just basically creating this immersive experience for everyone.
I’ve announced Palms Up Season 4, my book, my comedy special, 2 other shows I’m working on, my scavenger hunt, my music, my band, and they’re like, “This is a little confusing.” If you’re confused, it’s because you’re confused, I mean figure it out, it’s not that hard. It really fucks people up when they can’t…I opened for Bobby Lee in Hawaii, and he, like a little bitch, kicked me off the stage because I was doing too good.
Are you funny?
Really funny. He’s like, “I can’t follow that, get him off the stage,” so they booted me off the stage, and I did like 30 minutes no material. Like improv, I was making shit up.
Give me a quick hot opener right now.
Have you ever done 69 with your husband?
Am I supposed to answer it?
I don’t have jokes, I just have stories.
That’s not even the joke, I don’t even have a joke. This is just something that happened that was funny. I can’t even tell this one with a straight face [Laughing] I got here about 24 hours ago, there’s a girl who I fuck every time I come to New York. So last time I saw her she goes, “I’m gonna get into competitive body building,” and I go, “Don’t do that, that’s disgusting,” and she’s like, “No, the fitness, lean, not this.”
That was a year ago, so last time I saw her, she was cut but still beautiful. I see her last night, and she’s ripped, and she goes “I feel so strong.” I’m sure she’s on steroids. I was like, I don’t even think my dick’s gonna work right now. She’s like, “I feel so strong; I feel like I can do all these new positions,” so I say, “All right, let's try it.”
She goes, “Have you ever done a standing 69?” And I say, “Where I hold you?” and as I try to figure out what a standing 69 is, she grabs me up and she flips me over. I’m 200 pounds and she’s like 130 so I have like 70 pounds on her. She flips me over, and my dick barely gets in her mouth, and she drops me right on my head. I’m like, no one is gonna believe this shit. I don’t really tell jokes, but I tell what happened to me that day, and it’s usually pretty funny. Anyway, standing 69 with the girl holding you, that’s not even a joke that was something that happened last night, and my head still hurts.
I think that’s the best part.
And she wanted to try it again.
You’re gonna end up with cracked skull.
Yeah, exactly. So everything I’m doing is super confusing, especially since I don’t paint that much anymore. I think everything I do is art, not to sound super gay, but like everything I do I look at as art. It’s like, “Ok, this isn’t gonna be a contest giveaway, or you’re gonna win on your keyboard, you’re gonna have to get up. It’s Critter’s Cross-Country Cash Contest. Since Critter doesn’t want the money, he’s gonna give it away,”
The thing I wanted to do with this contest was, I put songs out, I put comedy out, I put my book out. Now there are clues hidden through all these things, and now you have to pay attention. I was telling Nick that I don’t know how easy or hard I want to make it, I could make it super hard, but I put it in the middle. It's like, “Hey, if you enjoyed me on Anthony Bourdain’s CNN 'Parts Unknown,' go back and watch,” even though that episode is not on the air anymore.
So you know that would be an example – watch that episode, and I would give another clue to watch and pay attention to where that would lead you. All the clues are in place; I just need to figure it out, because I’ve never done this. But you’re gonna have to go across America. I don’t know if you want to team up with someone, and someone handles the East coast, but whoever gets the most points for all the clues, I’m gonna give them the money on Halloween.
For our giveway, if we have all idiots and nobody gets it, we’ll still give it to the one who gets the closest.
How did you meet Money Mark initially?
I knew Kid Koala. He was coming to jam at my warehouse, and he asked if he could bring his friends Money Mark and Nosaj Thing.
So we’re all jamming at my warehouse, and I’m like, this is amazing, and then MCA passed away from the Beastie Boys, and I know Money Mark has been touring with them for 20 years, so he was super bummed. So I said, “Dude, let's keep the music alive, let's keep making shit.” He’s always making stuff, but I’ve been talking to him for years now about making something. I’m almost 40 now. and I started a band with Harry when I was 15, and we were like, let's put an album out, when were 18, which never happened. Let's put it out by the time were 21, and that never happened. At least by the time we’re 30, and that never happened.
38, its still an even number.
So we did it, we recorded it in less than a week, it was crazy. We just put it out, you can hear it and everything.
I have 3 random questions.
What’s easier, pimping or selling vitamins?
I know tons of chicks, rich nerds, and celebrities, and there needs to be a middle man. When you hear Tiger Woods has a sex addiction, they’re like, there’s that friend…I’m that friend. I’ll meet women who aren’t technically hookers, they’re just single moms, beautiful women who are just having a hard time in life, and I know a lot of rich guys who are lonely, and then it becomes a matchmaking service.
Next thing you’d do is tell their fortune.
Yeah exactly, I’m pretty good at that, too. It’s something I’ve been doing on and off, not by choice, since I was 18, starting in Africa.
Yeah, basically I was in the Congo, and I ran into this German guy who spoke English, so he became my best friend. I was there in ’94 in the middle of the Ebola breakout, AIDS epidemic, and civil war. I was pretty sure I was gonna die there. The German dude loved black women, that’s why he was there. He was fucking different hookers every night, two of them fell in love with him. We split a room, and we had tents in our rooms for the mosquitoes, and every night I would hear him fucking the two chicks, and then the zipper opened, and they’d come in and try to fuck me. And I slept next to my pimp stick. It was like a huge wooden stick, and as soon as I would hear my zipper open, I would hit it on the ground and say no. They would say, “We love you, Mr. David,” and I’d say, “No I don’t want to.”
You sound so Korean right there.
He said he likes those two, because he was fucking different ones. So they said we can stay at their hooker village.
It’s literally all of these women who’ve been shunned by their family or they’re orphans. It’s like an area of town where it’s all hookers and bastard children running around. I don’t speak French, Congolese, or any of this shit, and so I’m just following them. So now we’re in the hooker network and go to the only western club in the area every night where the diplomats and expatriates are. It’s small, but there are like 10-20 white people and 100 hookers, so there’s a lot of competition. And anytime you’re in a third world country and you see another person from your country, you want to talk to them right?
So our job, if we saw a diplomat from some country, we’d tell them we’ve been there for a long time and tell them our girls were amazing. As long as they got business, they let us stay at their place for free, and they would make us their versions of what they thought we ate, which was spaghetti everyday, but the worst spaghetti.
That was the first time I’d technically pimped, and scenarios like that have popped up like that over my life. I’m never like, “Yeah I’m a pimp.” It’s just when I connect people that want a fair, honest exchange of sex and love for money. You know, if you’re asking, I can hook you up. I know you’re married, but I can help you, too.
Thanks…Did you see a dinosaur in the Congo?
I did not. I went there when I was 18 and then 28, so every 10 years I go, and I’m 38, so I might, you know. Each time I go, I have a little more money, and that gets you far, because every step of the way you have to bribe someone.
I think this time you can get to it.
Everyone’s always like, haha it’s a joke, but everytime I go there, it's still the part of the world where they’re discovering new species of things, the biggest frog ever, the biggest snake ever, like weird shit you never see anywhere else. And everything’s huge, like if you see a snake it’s like Land of the Lost, that kind of stuff. The climate is unchanged, it’s like thick rain forest. It’s not like you can just take a plane and go in and see it, you have to trudge through leech-filled water. Everyone needs a hand-out along the way, and we always ran out of our bribe money. Everyone in that region in that area has seen it.
The missionary who’s there right now who I met last time said that the missionary who was there before him, who is a god-fearing 60-year-old, said he saw it, and he believes him, because he has no reason to lie.
He says that since then, most people who come looking for the dinosaur are usually looking for something else inside themselves. I was like, “Woah, that’s really deep.” I don’t know if I’m ever gonna go back to the Congo. It’s a very scary place, its probably the scariest place I’ve been…besides my mom’s house.
Is there anything you’ve never done that you’re itching to do, like pottery?
I have done pottery a little bit, but I haven’t doven into it. This is not….wait, you’re doing the Korean trickery thing like my mom. “So you’ve done everything, is there anything you haven’t done like say Christianity and marriage and children, the greatest challenge, love, commitment to blind faith, to something you can’t see, and a little baby for us, and…”
Do you think you’ve become more fearful as you’ve gotten older?
I keep thinking that, but I don’t think so. I mean, what’s there to be scared of?
No, I have a better attitude I think. I created this, I answer to no one, I do whatever I want, I have no commitments to anything. So it’s like, “What if you bomb on stage, what if no one laughs?” All right, it’s like, keep moving. I just keep doing stuff, and having the best time, and trying my best at everything I do, and if it doesn't work out, then on to the next.