Nardwuar Responds to Accusations That He Takes Gifts Back From Artists

Torry Threadcraft Torry Threadcraft is a writer who covers music, sports, and…
Photo Credit: James Goulden Photography/Getty Images for SXSW

A recent interview reveals a troubling detail about Nardwuar interviews.

Nardwuar the Human Serviette has made himself a household name with interviews that reveal items near and dear to the hearts of our favorite artists. In a recent interview on Jackass star Steve-O’s Wild Ride! podcast, Violent J of the Insane Clown Posse shed a potentially surprising piece of info about the interviews: Nardwuar doesn’t actually let the artists keep the gifts. On Tuesday, the Human Serviette took to social media to clear the air.

“I’ve explained when I give a gift, I say it’s a gift,” Nardwuar said. “I don’t take my gifts back and when I show a record I say, “This is a record, could you comment on it? Tell me about it.” I don’t give it as a gift unless I say it’s a gift.”

In a 40-minute video, Nardwuar even shared footage of gifts he’s given to other artists in the past. Violent J’s remarks apparently stemmed from a bit of confusion over a record he was shown during their 2016 interview. In the video, they’re shown about six records, yet they were only officially gifted a Sir Mix-A-Lot “Posse on Broadway” commemorative keychain and a comedy album by the radio duo Scharpling and Wurster.

One non-gift in particular that apparently was a sore spot was Detroit rapper Smiley’s 1989 single “Freak Out.”

“I remember he gave us a Smiley album, who’s a local Detroit rapper that we used to be fans of when we were kids,” Violent J explained. “And he had some Smiley vinyl. We were like, ‘Oh my God!’ He gave it to us, we were like ‘Hell yeah.’ After the interview, he takes it back, man.”

After our story went live, Nardwuar DM’d us saying he gave ICP “vintage Michael Jackson cards” and a Sir Mix-a-Lot keychain which, according to Nardwuar, Shaggy 2 Dope still owns. He also pointed out that Shaggy said “thanks for the gift” in a tweet.

Doot doo!

Watch the 40-minute explainer video below, or just watch a two-minute update from Nardwuar’s official YouTube channel.

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