featured interview

C-Rayz Walz The sun cycle emcee Former stick-up kid, freestyle hero and MTV star C Rayz Walz is back with the second instalment in a series of 'Collectable Classics', called 'Chorus Rhyme'. For this release he hooked up with New Jersey's finest and youngest production team Parallel Thought.

How did you connect with these young producers?

They had been fans but I don't like fans so they became friends and hired me to do a couple of tracks for them. I did 'Chorus Rhyme', a song had never been done like that. After we recorded 'Chorus Trinity' it naturally evolved into me wanting to do a whole album off the song concepts we created.

How does working with young people motivate you?

It keeps me in tune with the evolving mind state of the music. It also is a good way not to become bitter at the music industry by creating with young people who have integrity.

The guys of Parallel Thought told us you sleep while sitting on a guitar amp, how many years of practice does that take?

I'm a narcoleptic/insomniac. I work so many sleepless nights that my body steal sleep from me in the most unusual places. It takes about 10 years to get to that level of balance.

The album is packed with older, familiar breaks, in what way is this album a homage to the 70s soul and funk and older hip-hop songs?

I think Parallel Thought really liked those breaks and it was like some, you know, already was with a girl you like but that didn't discourage you. We said fuck it: I can love her better and she'll forget about him. I was uncomfortable at first, then said fuck it after I rhyme on it people won't remember anything but what?s going on from that point on.

Why the title 'The Collectable Classics' and why the limited number of press copies?

Simple. They are classic albums that you can only buy directly from the SunCycle MC or stores/sites that do business with Urchin Studios. Only 3,000 of each CD because I'm tired of negative critics that don't get me. These are for the people who do. Give me 3,000 people with an open mind instead of 50,000 judgemental fools.

What's the story behind the MF Doom split-song, because this song only had Doom lyrics at first and now you're featured on it.

Parallel Thought paid Doom good money for that verse. Then he used it for something else, we were supposed to collaborate on it with Breez Evahflowin. Anyway we used it on the record because we paid for it.

There's one track with 30 MC's. How did the idea come together and was it easy to execute it?

It was easy for me to get all of my peers to record for this historic track. Most of the sessions were in person except for my peeps across the waters.

Should we interpret it as a new 'The Symphony' or 'Stop The Violence Movement'?

Neither. It is called 'Chorus Collection' and it has never been done before. It can't be compared to anything!

Are you a fan of posse cuts?

I loved 'The Scenario' and 'Still Grimey' off the 'Think Differently' album.

Of all the albums you've made or contributed to, where would you rank this one?

This is my best album ever until we release part III, 'Chapter 23: The Angel & The Preacher', totally produced by 4th Pyramid The Egyptian. That is the best album in the world. It is better than everything I know. After that my bar will be raised higher than ever.

Being one of the most versatile MC's in the game, having rhymed over a variety of beats, what kind of music couldn't you be rhyming over?

I would rhyme to Bed Springs being fucked on...people farting or dripping water from the tap. I am the SunCycle. I have no limit. I am just warming up.

Do you feel like your other new album 'Monster Music' is the furthest step you took from hip-hop?

I don't think music can be classified. I think you have classic and poor, uplifting and uninspiring or life deterrent negative. I think this is the most creative project, until the next one.

Your album with Sharkey is about Monster-making situations, could you name a recent situation where you felt like you could cross the line?

I was going to stab my father in law's mechanic because he was yelling around my son and I thought he threatened my wife. My father in law has a lot of guns laying around and his mechanic was drunk. I don't trust drunk white men around guns so it almost got very monsterish.

You once almost had a deal with Def Jam, what went wrong?

911 happened and change the economic dynamics of the music industry. Labels were in the red and wanted to take fewer chances on 'new' artists.

At high school you worked for Mobb Deep, would you work with Mobb Deep again?

Incorrect. I never worked for Mobb Deep. I terrorized fellow students and strangers in the area of the Art&Design school. We punched people in the face often and stole anything we wanted. I would never work with them in that capacity again. We are grown men who have learned lessons. I would love to make music with Prodigy and Havoc one day soon.

You recorded where Aesop recorded his 'Earthworms', did you know Aesop before that period or did you connect right there?

We met before that. Both of our producers worked at the studio. One favoured me (Plain Pat) and one favoured Aesop (DJ Dub-L). They both got to work their favourite artist and we got to work with great producers/engineers. It was wonderful. I miss those days.

What kind of role does SunCycle Ent play in your musical career?

It plays every part of my life, it is who I am. The Sun Cycle entertains the earth rotation with the light of reality, fantasy and science.

Are you happy when it rains?

No. My gunshot wounds hurt when it rains. I don?t know why but other than that people that have been shot say the same thing.

Do you feel associated with King Sun, Sun Ra,?...?

I am associated with all light bearers who bring truth. The sun is omnipotent; we have 99-plus attributes. Allah = all.

What kind of influence did Lakim Shabazz have on your rapping style, view on hip-hop?

His only influence was his progressive and uplifting content. Other than that it was really funny that all through junior high school when he was popular everyone thought I looked just like him so I said I was his biological brother (laughs). Kids were waiting for him to pick me up from school often.

What was the first rap record you bought?

I don't really remember, I think it was Diamond Shell, Biz Markie's cousin. Most people don't remember him, he was fresh.

Is C Rayz Walz ever gonna move out of the South Bronx?

Even if I do, the South Bronx cannot move pot of me, homeboy.

I read somewhere that 'A Hero Ain't Nothing But A Sandwich' is one of your favourite books?? if not most favourite- have you heard the ATEEM's (feat Chubb Rock) album with the same title?

Yes, Alice Childress changed my life with that book. One of the first books I read and really loved and understood as a youth. I've never heard of ATEEM and I did not know Chubb Rock was makin music, last I heard of him, he did some shady business with my home girl Jah-Jah I Female Mc who was rejected for 'The White Rapper Show' because she wouldn't be a clown for the camera.

Did you see the movie?

I saw the movie. It was really good. Not as great as the book but very enjoyable.

You have made and played in a few movies, which kind of movies were these and what kind of movies do you wanna be involved with and/or make in the future?

I had small roles in a few. Mostly music-related with social commentary of sorts. The last one was 'My Brother' with Vanessa Williams. I had a longer part in the screening but when I actually saw the movie, they cut out a lot. I would be directing some very good hood conscious movies sooner than you think.

What's your favourite pair of sneakers at the moment?

My comrade Bets from Staten Island laced me with the Spike Lee ?Do The Right? Jordans. They don't come out until October. They make our eyes hurt.

While you was working for MTV, did you feel like the Best New Artist Award was coming closer?

MTV was real to me because I willed that respect into the equitation. When I get a Best New Artist award, I'm going to laugh all of my acceptance speech and give shout out to my children.

How's The Blizzard's rap career right now?

He doesn't have a rap career. He would've been huge with my guidance but his father really got in the way and made it real uncomfortable for me to work with him. It doesn't matter because what I taught Nile aka 'The Blizzard' was bigger than hip-hop. I taught him to believe in himself. I'm sure he can do anything he wants if he doesn't forget those lessons.

What's next for C Rayz?

Lunch (laughs). But serious. Rhymesayers show interest in 'The Angel & The Preacher' LP. If they sign it that would be great for me and that label. If they don't, the SunCycle/Urchin Studios will become the new indie label to watch for.

Shout-outs?

The legendary Stronghold, my Urchin-Studios crew, Parallel Thought, Abu, Tremont Ave., RCP, Beastblood, Sharkey & Monster Maker, my brother Turtle, his wife Erica and their new babygirl Bella, my sons Ravi & Max, my wife E-Rayz, happy birthday to me (today, August 3rd my brother Melsun RIP who I buried on my birthday two years ago).

 

POSTED 08|01|2007
conducted by Cpf

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