I'm a rapper and poet. My new album "All You Can Do" was released today. It's available on iTunes at: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/all-you-can-do/id884387073 I also just released 67 fall tour dates in Europe, North America, Australia and India. Presale tickets are available at: http://www.georgewatsky.com https://twitter.com/gwatsky/status/499293001386971136

Comments: 1552 • Responses: 51  • Date: 

apostleman515 karma

Watsky! how do you handle criticism? When people say your music is lame or corny, what helps you shrug that off? Also come back to Albany with Wax we loved you guys

gwatsky1616 karma

I gotta admit I occasionally lurk on r/HipHopHeads to see what brutally honest non-fans say about my shit. I think it's good to do that because the other side of the coin is only listening to the opinions of fans who love my material and are going to stroke my ego. And I can't get better if I'm only listening to the opinions of people who think my music is perfect (it's not). I have the luxury of getting positive reinforcement about my work all the time, so I like to see what people who think I suck have to say. Sometimes they articulate what they don't like about me really well, and if I take that with a grain of salt, I can learn from it

TBguy09401 karma

How did the instant boom of "white kid raps fast" affect your popularity? Would you rather have been less well known but more recognized for your incredible lyricism and other works? I know this was a while ago, but that video is how I first heard of you, so I figured I'd ask

gwatsky501 karma

It was a blessing and a curse, and I would say 80% blessing, 20% curse. You might not know about my work if it weren't for that video, along with lots of other people. I worked really hard in the intervening years to try to not just churn out quick viral attention grabs, but to focus on trying to make good music and tour heavily. I feel really lucky to have had a break that got some exposure. Now I have an audience and it's on me to try to make good material. I'm sure there are still people who view me through that lens, but I'll be doing my best to change their minds. I had tons of poetry and music out before that video hit and no one was coming to my shows, so I've seen both sides.

thesnacks129 karma

Is that why you took the video down? To try to get past the "curse" aspect of it?

gwatsky486 karma

specifically because people who were finding out about me through my new work (and especially journalists), then searched me and saw a video with 24 million hits, saw that as my primary focus. The video's been reposted so many times that anyone who wants to watch it again can easily find it, but it's not framing the conversation for my new fans and people reviewing my new albums

Yokimori29315 karma

If you could have a rap battle with any fictional character who would it be?

gwatsky1021 karma


lifewithalaughtrack303 karma

WHOA WHOA WHOA. What up with you and BO? (Burnham, of course.) What wildness should we expect from the two of you?

CaptainFaggot87 karma

This is probably my most wondered about question. All I've heard about Watsky is that he's a "wannabe Bo Burnham but still good". Would love to hear his response.

gwatsky661 karma

well, captainfaggot, i understand why a lot of folks are curious about this and

candleboy95210 karma

I’m huge fan of yours and Epic Rap Battles of History. I love when you’re on and as a Whovian I especially loved you as the 4th Doctor. So my questions are: What is the whole experience of working with EpicLLOYD and Nice Peter like? And do you guys collab on the lyrics, do you write them or just perform what they write?

gwatsky279 karma

I love working with those guys. They actually let me write my own verses, much like Zach Sherwin does. It would be hard for me to rap something someone else wrote, because the delivery and the writing go hand in hand with each other. Zach pitched some of the punchlines that made it into the Poe one, and I was also in the writers' room pitching for the Dr. Who episode.

lederwrangler206 karma

I'm not familiar with the material on your new album yet, but would you ever want to release an exclusively spoken word/poetry album? Tiny Glowing Screens Pt 2 was my favorite track on Cardboard Castles

gwatsky251 karma

right on, the song "cannonball" on the new album is similar to that. i'm sure i'll do another exclusively poetry project at some point. either a printed collection or a record, but i feel like of all the things i love to do, music might be the one that values youth the most, so i'm trying to take advantage of the opportunity while i can. i hope to be writing as long as i'm breathing

shmleddit185 karma

Hey Watsky thanks for doing this again. I was wondering if a specific event made you write Wounded Healer? My dad isn't very healthy and that song always gives me goosebumps because I'm always worrying about his health.

gwatsky487 karma

My dad's best friend committed suicide a couple years ago. Both he and my dad are/were psychotherapists (specifically Jungian analysts) and committing suicide is a major taboo for therapists with active clients. So it was especially confusing and heartbreaking for my dad. Carl Jung (i.e. Jungian) has a plank of his theory about being a "Wounded Healer," which means that the therapist brings their own experiences and trauma into their relationship with a patient, and uses that to help inform their advice and empathy. I wrote the song about that experience paired with seeing my dad ,who I love a lot, get older.

janinehogan141 karma

How did you deal with your early shows' lighting with your epilepsy? Did it make you unable to do a lot of performances?

gwatsky383 karma

I don't have epilepsy that's triggered by flashing lights. Many epileptics have no problems with lights, and all have different triggers. I have a mild case (I've had 4 gran mal seizures, separated in the middle by 14 years) and my trigger seems to be aerobic exercise/ long distance running. Some people are triggered by stress, dehydration, lack of sleep, alcohol, a combination of all those things, or nothing in particular. My seizures came back recently and it was a concern that a really intense stage show on Warped Tour in the sun all summer could be a problem. So I forfeited by driver's license, stopped drinking and I've stayed on a medication I don't particularly want to be on for the time being. More seizures could really throw my touring plans off, which would be a blow not just to myself, but to the whole crew I tour with, so I'm trying to play it safe and take good care of myself

imgonnacallyouretard137 karma

What were you thinking when you did that 35 foot stage dive that injured two people? Are you going to jump on me if I come to one of your shows?

gwatsky372 karma

It was obviously very stupid, that goes without saying. Believe it or not, I thought the audience would catch me. I vastly underestimated how high the riser was and vastly overestimated the audience's desire to do the catching. It was driven by ego and wanting to feel badass, when in fact it was the opposite and I wish I could have that choice back. I started taking dangerous risks on stage and because I was getting away with them for a while-- I pushed the envelope way too far and a couple of innocent people paid the price. It was humiliating, and I'm sure will continue to be something I have to answer to, but all I can do is try and learn from it, be a more responsible performer, and do what I can to make it right with the folks who got hurt.

TheJokerMD122 karma

If you could go the rest of your life without either your dominant hand OR your thumbs, which would you be willing to lose?

gwatsky217 karma

I'd say lose the dominant hand. I feel like I could relearn to use my left for a lot but take away opposable thumbs and I'd be pretty screwed.

nuodaispalis107 karma

Hi Watsky, I'm Danielle. I've seen you multiple times, the first time being in Lyndonville, VT. I try to bring something special to each of your shows (cupcakes or handmade crafts) to give to you, and when I saw you at Warped you remembered my name :] What do you do with the gifts that your fans give to you? Do you have any favorites?

gwatsky145 karma

I try to keep all of them unless they're physically too big to bring with us. I have a couple boxes of em and they make me really happy. A fan in upstate New York gave me a binder on Warped Tour of memories she collected from a bunch of other fans that really touched me. I also got an oak tree made out of colored wires in Germany last year that was really amazing

Wheatley70795 karma

Hey George you're an amazing person and just great at what you do but I have a very serious question: Favorite dipping sauce?

gwatsky223 karma

gyoza sauce

Steve_Gomie86 karma

What the hell is gyoza

gwatsky501 karma

someone take this man to a japanese restaurant asap

Steve_Gomie59 karma

What kind of roll is good for gyoza sauce

gwatsky482 karma


flaminpenguins95 karma

How would you describe colors to a blind person? (you're super eloquent so i'd like to see you answer this because i have no idea!)

Huge fan btw! Love all of your poetry, music and general dislike of the Dodgers.

gwatsky130 karma

Maybe I would describe it spacially? Since colors aren't linear, it would be hard to say it in terms of binaries (hot/cold loud/quiet). If music had a shape to it? That's a tough one.

333yddap86 karma

Did you really cum the first time you tried avocado? [Serious]

gwatsky132 karma

this danny mcbride clip sums up my experience https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y8PHNiCWLsc

stubby4356 karma

I saw you at your first show in London, it was absolutely amazing easily the best show I've ever been to, looking forward to seeing you in manchester.

On to the question, as someone who's built their fame by releasing videos and giving out mix tapes for free do you think the album is dead or is there still a place for it?

gwatsky133 karma

I believe in albums, because I like a piece of work that's more substantial than a single song as a representation of where an artist is in their life. I studied theater and I view an album like a play or a movie, in terms of giving it a structural backbone from song to song. Three act structure (aka beginning, middle, end) can be a really helpful way to look at building an album. You want to take people on an emotional trip. It has to lead somewhere and I really enjoy the process of building a project that way. In terms of physical albums, I think people will always find creative ways to have a tactile representation of an album, but CDs are pretty much obsolete already. I think sculptures that incorporate USB keys in creative ways could be a cool way to package a project.

TheMandrigald53 karma

Hey George! Will there ever be another "Watsky's Making An Album" type series on WatchLOUD? I loved both of them and would be thrilled to see another one. Thanks.

gwatsky83 karma

Some day I'd love to. I studied acting and screenwriting in school so doing narrative work is something I want to do with my life. At some point my knees will give out and I won't be able to rap for my meals.

ajentabc50 karma

Dear Bonerlord, How do you keep your massive penis inside your pants? Or is that what your left leg is actually? I always noticed it was bigger than the right leg.

gwatsky166 karma

I usually let my boner poke out the fly and throw a couple invisibility cloaks over it

such_a_tommy_move50 karma

What is your favorite munchie food?

gwatsky111 karma

Nachos, Flamin hot cheetos, Cheese fries.

noclaf145 karma

do you like your nachos with "goat cheese straight from the fuckin' farm?

gwatsky117 karma

keep the goat cheese off my nachos

Vmoney133718 karma

Mountain dew?

gwatsky192 karma

nah, yellow 5 shrinks your balls (or so I was told by a kid in 3rd grade. he was very persuasive)

freshpairofeyes40 karma

Hey Watsky! I really like the cover for All You Can Do. What is the idea behind it? Also, who is the photographer and how did you meet? :)

gwatsky116 karma

That's an honest-to-goodness photo of my dad that his girlfriend at the time took in 1971 when he was my age (27). The back cover is a picture of my mom from the same year. The album is a tribute to them in some ways and the era of music they grew up with and passed on to me. My folks both moved to San Francisco in the late 60s and I wanted to write an album that explored what it means to be raised by the hippy generation

MinecraftHardon39 karma

What is your favorite pokemon?

gwatsky143 karma

DITTO, he can become anyone. cop out answer, i know

jackmitc37 karma

Hey Watsky.

I remember being at one of your shows in Lawrence and there was this super ornery and drunk chick that wouldn't shut up during your slam poetry. Your response to her was not only hilarious but extremely classy and actually really introspective.

Have you had any other experiences like that on any of your tours?

gwatsky60 karma

Haha, yeah I remember that. I got heckled pretty badly at a Lancaster, PA show by one of Wax's fans last year. I think there are usually ways to diffuse those situations. If you don't give into the bait and you give the heckler an "out"-- basically by letting them know the audience isn't on the heckler's side but you're not mad at them for being a dick, then it'll die down. It's never in your best interest to get flustered

Idle-Hands-36 karma

I have to say Watsky, when I first heard your music, I was pretty much stunned at your speed (Pale Kid Raps Fast) and at that time it seemed like somewhat of a gimmick. Obviously as I listened more and more to your music I became quickly drawn in by your lyrics and the meanings and depth behind each one. Safe to say I'm a huge fan (along with my brother and sister), already bought the album and I'm looking forward to seeing you in London in September! Now on to my question: As I am a hopeful musician studying at University and making my own stuff only recently, what would be your writing process when starting a new song and how would you go about getting your music out to a bigger audience?

gwatsky42 karma

it's a combination of hard work, natural skill and good fortune. the only part of that equation you can control is hard work, although you have to work smart, and if you do, then skill can be improved. I really think when you're starting out it's good to take every opportunity to learn, meet likeminded folks, and expose your work. raise your hand every time, sign up for every open mic, and don't get discouraged if it doesn't work out at first. use the internet to your advantage and enjoy the process of writing and performing regardless of how many people are at the show. easier said than done, but that's the best I got

Rubbertoe2133 karma

Hey Watsky, being a musician have you ever felt upset or disappointed when you put a lot of hours into a song or poem, and it doesn't turn out the way you wanted it? How do you deal with it?

Also man, you have to promise that you won't let ubiquity damage your quality!

Have a great day! You're awesome, and I hope I get the chance to watch you when you come to Lawrence!

gwatsky64 karma

I have material that doesn't turn out how I expected all the time. Rarely does a project happen exactly the way I want. But my personal philosophy is that I would rather release potentially flawed material that I worked really hard on than constantly pick apart potential problems with my work and never put it out. I know tons of artists who sit on projects until they're too old to release because of that fear. It's a fine line-- sometimes you have to know when a piece isn't up to your standards and scrap it, but make sure that isn't just a nagging voice of self-doubt trying to keep you from getting your work out there.

baronspeerzy30 karma

Who is your biggest idol that you have had a chance to meet and is aware of your work? What did they say? And who is your biggest idol you’ve yet to meet and converse with as a peer?

gwatsky48 karma

I got to re-meet Gift of Gab from Blackalicious in Santa Cruz several years after he recorded a guest verse on my song Everything Turns Gold. It was really awesome that he remembered me and had been following me career. He's seriously an idol- one of my top 5 MCs and that was a real honor.

MrNeffery23 karma

George, ass or tatas?

gwatsky162 karma

combo package plz

Shouldbeworking2223 karma

What did your parents say when you told them you wanted to become a rapper?

gwatsky66 karma

i think it was probably a wink and a pat on the head at first. "sure son, good luck with that." but they've always been supportive, and as soon as they saw i was working hard and there was a glimmer of hope they've been on board

CaptainNirvana20 karma

Hey Watsky, huge fan. Loved all your music, loved your collab with The Get Band. I've been loving the singles off of All You Can Do.

I really only have one question: was the video for Whoa Whoa Whoa influenced by Dizzee Rascal's vid I Don't Need a Reason?

Looking forward to getting your new album man. Thanks for the AMA.

gwatsky22 karma

We saw that video when we were already in production for Whoa Whoa Whoa and were a little bummed that we didn't get to that concept first. Ours was a bit different since it was GIFs that start out from the beginning over and over again rather than a circular motion, but that was an extremely cool video.

oceankta19 karma

George, sup!

my question is: in your song Grass is Greener you talk about a girl being really sick and in a hospital. have you had any experiences that inspired that song? it hit close to home for me and I'd like to know more about the back story if there's one.

also i wanna say thanks for trying hard to communicate with your fans. i almost died when you tweeted me happy birthday. congrats on your album! much love.

gwatsky34 karma

it's about a good friend of mine from high school with an immune disorder and how myself, her and her boyfriend all have different positive things in our lives that we take for granted but that one of the other two people is desperate for

horsefly5219 karma

Can we expect any sort of collaboration with Bo Burnham as a single or on a new album?

gwatsky54 karma

not on this album, but I have a feeling we will do something when the time is right

slightly66619 karma

Hey, my son is a huge fan and listens to you everyday! He found an address online to send fan mail but had it returned undeliverable, address unknown. He was super bummed. Anyway, do you happen to have an updated address I could throw him? Haha he'd be hella psyched if he saw this. Thanks!

gwatsky62 karma

I'm not sure why it came back. I still have a PO box address that's active, although I fell way behind on responding to letters when I was on Warped Tour for 2 months. it's 1920 Hillhurst Ave Box 113, Los Angeles, CA, 90027

NotSoOrdinaryGamer15 karma

If you could write a TV show, what would it be about?

gwatsky144 karma

I wrote a sick Futurama spec about how Fry goes to Dublin (which is called Triplin in the future) and is hailed as the messiah because recessive genes have bred orange hair out of the Irish population

LastSonofAnshan26 karma

Dude I want to read that

poptartmaniac81 karma

gwatsky90 karma

dude that's amazing you had that on file hahaha

cujoman200412 karma

Do you think you or Sam Lachow can come to Sacramento State this year? I saw you in December and it was awesome! Thanks for coming out #StingersUp

gwatsky13 karma

not playing a club date in Sac for a while (I was in Wheatland on Warped Tour a month or two ago). Closest gig this year is San Francisco in November. Hopefully soon though!

Bellerose1312 karma

  • What is the coolest thing a fan has ever done for you?
  • Who is your celebrity crush?

CaitlinSarah8718 karma

He's stated soooo many times about his celebrity crushes! Haha Katie Couric and Ellen Paige. :p

gwatsky63 karma

yeah, you got it. Ellen Page is off the market now though :(

PvtZydrate11 karma

Just wanted to thank you for your music. It's helped me out of dark places.

That being said, you can fuck anyone on the planet once a day, but you get horrible diarrhea right before you finish. Would you do it?

gwatsky51 karma

every day? no, eating and proper digestion is a higher priority than sex, plus i'm still holding out for hooking up with her at my ten year high school reunion without having to take a crazy ass deal with the devil

MaxIsNotADolphin8 karma

If you could open for anyone/have anyone open for you, who would it be?

gwatsky23 karma

open for Outkast. don't know about openers for me, i've had some awesome ones

SilentSeal5 karma

Hey man, Im a huge fan, planning to see you in the UK in September, I'm curious as to if there will be any merch on sale? or if you'll be releasing any on your website! I'm a huge fan love your work friend!

gwatsky6 karma

there'll be a bunch of new merch on tour and when we print it up we'll get it integrated into the website for sure

whoaaa_man3 karma

Hey Watsky! I met you when you were the mc at Brave New Voices in 2013. I was the one you talked to in line for the Jerk Chicken food truck with Joaquin Zihuatenejo. You were more than awesome, and gave one of the best poetry workshops I've been to. Just wanted to say props on the new album, and thanks for being so nice.

Also, do you have any plans to release any more mixtape type stuff in the future? Nothing Like the First Time was great, and would love to hear something like that again.

gwatsky7 karma

I'm thinking about doing a collaborative mixtape with the leftover songs from All You Can Do in the spring. Haven't made up my mind yet though. Nice to hear from you! Hope you're doing well!

flaminpenguins3 karma

I'm also from the bay area and i love it but at the same time i feel like growing up here has put me in a very thick bubble -- how did you break out of that after growing up here?

gwatsky4 karma

i moved to Boston for college. I think growing up anywhere you can be insulated and if you're lucky enough to be able to do it it's great to get out and see as much of the rest of the world as you can

Velorium_Camper2 karma

Are you still a lacto-vegetairian? If so, HOW COULD YOU BETRAY BACON!!

gwatsky13 karma

I'm just trying to leave more bacon for hungry redditors ;)

Ron_Tam2 karma

Thanks for doing this AMA!

Important question. You have been sentenced to death for a crime you did not commit. What would you choose as your last meal?

gwatsky4 karma

maybe paneer makhani? it's an indian dish i really like. eggplant parm? i don't have a go-to answer for this question

jcon5672 karma

Fold or crumple your toilet paper?

gwatsky16 karma

i wipe with a very smooth rock given to me by a very old man