In C-Rayz Walz world, everyday situations are monster makers that chew up the innocent while exploiting the gifted, but Walz, a wise beast with a killer instinct, is keen on longevity as he patiently manifests his career.
Format: Your new album is dropping soon, what can rap fans expect?
C-Rayz: Right now the world is humbling awaiting the arrival of the C-Rayz collectable classics, which features The Dropping, November 14 on Suncycle Entertainment/ Urgent Studios. After that will be Chorus Rhymes, after that will be Angel and the Preacher. Weâ€™re going to get it popping like that. Itâ€™s a limited edition collectable classics series, only 3000 copies of each CD coming from my hands or online, thatâ€™s it, no more after that.
Format: What was your writing process for these new albums?
C-Rayz: My writing process is always to make manifestation of the fact that the high intensity energy of the sun touching on all topics from life to death, sad, happiness, pleasurable, guilt. Itâ€™s defined by everything. The Bronx is it. Iâ€™m from the BX and you canâ€™t really get past that with hip-hop, hip-hop is the Bronx. Gang violence is L.A., youâ€™re not surprised by gang violence in L.A., youâ€™re not surprised about hip-hop in the Bronx, because you was watching the pioneers do it.
Format: How did you determine what production to use for these albums?
C-Rayz: A beat is like a women, everybodyâ€™s got their own personal style and connection to them. I just connect on whatâ€™s relevant. I donâ€™t like a girl, because everybody else thinks that sheâ€™s hot, I love her because of the way that weâ€™ve connected. I might like her eyes, you might like her ass, you might be into the physical, but the eyes are much deeper. Nothing is perfect; imperfection is my version of perfect. Everybody trying to control me and say they want to hit me onto this, they want to hit me on this beat, but they canâ€™t rhyme. Itâ€™s all my expression.
Format: Explain the progression throughout your rap career.
C-Rayz: The new album is called The Droppingâ€“a lot of progression, you can see where my shit has gone and where my shit is going. I brought my white-girl girlfriend before Flavor Flav did it. I had headbands with the doo rags before Method Man was wearing them. I had a song about a gun before Nas wrote Illmatic. I had song about microphone checker, one-two-checker before, too. Iâ€™ve always been here, Iâ€™m not going nowhere. Anybody thatâ€™s new to the sun itâ€™s just `cause they out in the cold for so long, theyâ€™re just opening their eyes. Iâ€™m never happy, Iâ€™m never sad, Iâ€™m a balance between everything and I appreciate all of them and inspire to do. I will never lose the class of making music, because Iâ€™m a communicator. Being a skilled emcee is different from just rapping, Iâ€™m a full artist. I think the average person follows whatâ€™s put down into their ears. One of my old sayings is, you see a baby shit their whole life and when they grow up you canâ€™t tell them that it ainâ€™t a good meal. People take what they say and most people donâ€™t do research or anything. Itâ€™s up to the people that make music that is not negative or meaningless to get out there and give to the people. The idea of economical powers, neither white or black or anything like that, itâ€™s green money and poor. The rich and the poor are two classes. If you were rich you try to control the poor and see if you get richer, if you the poor youâ€™re following the rich so you could be like them. Thatâ€™s why they only sign music thatâ€™s going to be product placement and sell their alcoholic beverage, endorse their car, going to make you spend money chains. Even though theyâ€™re rapping, these artists donâ€™t buy none of this, because the companies give it to them for free just so they can use these people as human commercials to get real people to buy it.
Format: The media is saying that NY rap is dead. What are your thoughts on that?
C-Rayz: I think itâ€™s definitely a ploy to put more attention on the meaningless music thatâ€™s coming out of the South and wherever else the shit is coming from. You need product placement and they know what theyâ€™re doing. Hip-Hop runs the world you canâ€™t go nowhere without it — commercials, all of that. Itâ€™s done, itâ€™s finished. If it wasnâ€™t for hip-hop and music it would be world chaos and apocalypse. If it wasnâ€™t for hip-hop music Iâ€™d definitely be a grim reaper, killing the fools and bringing love to the living without a questions asked. Iâ€™d be killing all these foul politicians and all that, because there would be no other way for me to get my voice out there. They should be happy for hip-hop. Motherfuckers would not be sitting back starving and being manipulated by the rich. Music creates the sense of illusion that youâ€™re comfortable and happyâ€“escape your problems for a second.
Format: What would you do if you couldnâ€™t rap?
C-Rayz: I would be teaching the children. Teaching the children art, teaching them the truth just to live life that you donâ€™t need material possessions to feel great and being able to connect with your neighbor. The simple things in life that what goes around comes around, do on to others as you would have them do on to you.
Format: You went to the NY school of Art and Design, right?
C-Rayz: I went to art and design for a year or two, punching people in their face for Mobb Deep, robbing everybody for their shit while everybody focuses on the art and all that, and that was an experience that was great for me.
Format: Itâ€™s Formatâ€™s Halloween issue. Do you get down to Halloween?
C-Rayz: All Hallows Eve is basically a Pagan holiday where people get in contact with another world and the dead, and dress up and open gateways or portals of different spirits or energy that might be alive or dead physically, mentally or spiritually. I was never able to celebrate holidays growing up, because my mom wasnâ€™t really into that. But, as I grew older, everyone has a choice. Halloween is basically the day of the dead itâ€™s like a ritual. Pagans are people that really worship the Earth, itâ€™s not voodoo and witchcraft and shit, they focus on the Earth and they wouldnâ€™t let people in and thatâ€™s how I see Halloween, but you know all the holidays in America are about making money, thatâ€™s what it really comes down to.
Format: Do you watch scary television?
C-Rayz: The illest television show on the face of the Earth that happened so far was like Six Feet Deep, I mean Six Feet Under, thatâ€™s the illest show ever. I actually cried over the finale of that, me and my woman cried next to each other, because that was the illest thing. That show is basically what my music is about; say what you really feel and when you hold it in youâ€™re dead, you bury the truth and eventually you go right where the truth is buried, but if you live life and let it flow through you can have that full experience no matter how terrifying and exciting it is, you get to have that full experience and donâ€™t cheat yourself like most people do.
Format: Do you have any horror stories?
C-Rayz: My brother got killed and I had to bury my brother on my birthday, thatâ€™s a tragedy, how about that. My brother got stabbed in the hood, right on my block while I was out breaking up with an old girlfriend and when I came back to the block he was dead, and I had to go bury him on my birthday. Thatâ€™s a tragedy if you want to look at it like that. How about I lost all my possessions in storage twice in the last year and a half, thatâ€™s pretty crazy. Everything in the hood would horrify you. To have a regular sense of paranoia, a comfortable fear of the surroundings of the place, I think for most people it would stay with you, itâ€™s hard to breakdown. Iâ€™m getting past it, I can appreciate horses in the field, I can appreciate forests and trees. The average dude from the hood thatâ€™s on the corner that has seen murders and stabbings and been to jail, and all that, if you took him into the forest and gave him a Glock with two loaded clips, in about half and hour or maybe ten minutes there would be like 42 dead squirrels laying around. Heâ€™d be shooting fuckinâ€™ tress and fuckinâ€™ leaves just for moving. Based on the whole current situation and the way things are working this world can make you a monster, this world is a monster maker. Things change you, makes you a good person, might be considered a bad person depending on your surrounding. You might want to feed your family, but you ran in the bank and killed four people. Somebody couldnâ€™t catch a cab and the next thing you know theyâ€™re on the train fighting with someone who bumped him coming into the door. This world is a monster maker.
More info on C-Rayz: http://www.crayzwalz.com/