When Harmony Korine’s film Spring Breakers came out earlier this year, initial reports suggested that James Franco’s character, the drug-dealing thug Alien, was modeled after rapper Riff Raff. But St. Peterburgh-based Dangeruss, who makes his Cleveland debut tonight at Now That’s Class, was the real inspiration. Franco even spent some time with the dreadlocked rapper before the film started.
“When they came down, they wanted me to take him to these different places in the hood,” he says. “I told them, ‘I can’t show up with these cameras. If I do, it’s not going to be pretty.” I had to explain that people could be incriminated. I took him to this other place in the north.”
Dangeruss says he drove Franco around the city a bit to help him prep for the role. The two became friends.
“He texted me the other day,” he says. “We have an upcoming project. He’s a great person. He’s very humble. He doesn’t walk around with his nose in the air.”
Dangeruss says he was impressed by Korine as well. The director is known for making films that are slightly off and Spring Breakers, a film about a group of college girls who get involved with gangs and drugs when they venture to Florida on spring break.
“He real cool,” he says. “That’s what makes it art. It’s being outside the box. That’s how you become the artist. That’s true for whatever you fucking do. You can cut grass and shape hedges different and be an artist. He has the balls that’s required for true artistry.”
Dangeruss comes from left of center, too. He started rapping when he was a teenager and his tune “My Fork,” a tune about the joys of using a fork to mix crack cocaine. Dangeruss raps, “I love my fork. It’s like we go together” in a nasally voice that reflects a bit of his Southern drawl.
“I feel like I could rap about having a car with big rims and fucking 20 bitches every week, but that’s not being true to myself,” he says. “I could fool ya’ll. But I’m fooling myself if I do that. I know how to sell drugs. I’m not trying to condone drugs. That’s where I come from. I was told to talk about what you know because it’s going to come out the easiest and best. People can spot it when somebody is fake. I don’t want anybody to say I’m fake.”