Chris Lilley (Shotgun Grizzly) released his newest single, “STAR”.
The track pounces with a high energetic, and jovial melody, that’s more on the pop side of music.
Easily considered multi genre, the EP is a cross between R & B, Dance Music, Electronica and Hip-Hop, thanks to Grizzly’s jaunty and staunch lyrical flow.
His LP evokes fellowship in a merrymaking atmosphere and it prickles the nerve endings unsuspectingly like the perfect spiked punch.
While singer Sharnell delivers a contended and inviting intro to say the least, Grizzly reels’ listeners in further with his candid and realistic interpretation of what a good time feels like, while in the right company, perfect place, and precise time.
Of course, the Charlotte, NC native has his reasons for keeping the track upbeat. He said, “The trap stuff, it’s just like riding a bike. It’s just too easy. I wanted to do make something more worldly. You know, everybody killing everybody, everyone is just out here wildin.
I wanted to have a positive record. Nobody has to die—let’s just have a good time,” he said.
“We’re all-stars regardless of how much money we got, what we’re driving, or the latest touch-up.”
Grizzly actually started out about 10-years ago under a different pseudonym while in his twenties. He’s worked with super producers, 9th Wonder and Krazy Figz.
He also performed with rap artist, Nippsy Hustle, in addition to a slew of others, and he actually writes compositions.
Although joint collaborations with a wide array of musicians speaks highly for a rapper’s line of work, Grizzly remains humble on the matter and hush-hush about those specific name-drops.
Grizzly spends his time making beats and caring for special needs children and adults. He says that he catches the occasional play or musical. He considers himself a regular renaissance man who wants people to listen to his music.
“What’s your inspiration?
I’m inspired just by my trials and tribulations of life. Everything that I go through, every lesson learned, every loss I’ve taken, and every win that I’ve ever received, I feel inspired by that.
What’s the biggest lesson that you’ve learned as an independent artist?
The biggest that I’ve learned is, don’t trust everyone in your circle because everybody in your circle is not there for your personal gain. Some people are for their own personal gain and that was a big lesson for me. The people that you think are your people, really isn’t once money gets involved.
Tell us about the other things that you have going on. We hear that your name is ringing bells. What’s that about? Let’s talk about that.
Well, the name is ringing bells because I have one of the greatest shows known to man. When you think about Michael Jackson, Prince, James Cleveland, and all those good mass choirs, you think of me. I have that appeal.
Where have you performed? Are you touring with your latest single?
I’ve taken it to the colleges like Fayetteville State, Goldsboro, Smithfield, and Raleigh area. We’ve taken it to various clubs, and locally to places like Gastonia, Mooresville, Winston Salem, Columbia, Atlanta, and Decatur (There are more locations not listed).
If you weren’t rapping, what would you be doing?
I would pretty much facilitate the care for special needs kids and adults.
Who would you like to share the stage with?
I’d like to share the stage with J Cole, Kendrick Lamar or Big Krit.
This is a personal and intimate question… What does hip-hop mean to you?
I guess to me, it’s anyone’s point of expression. Like, whoever they are, if they’re just mumbling or spitting the coldest sixteen-bars ever written. Whatever is your expression, that’s hip-hop to me.
It seems that you get a little political on your FaceBook page. Do you plan to hit the campaign trail at some point in your lifetime?
Nah, Nah. I’m too straightforward to be a politician. You gotta be crooked to be a politician.
If you were a dope verse, what would it be?
I’d be angelic. God-like.
Describe hip-hop in three words.
Dope. MC’s. Reppin.
You’re in a hip-hop battle, whose team would you be on, Boogie Down Production or NWA?
Boogie Down Productions all day, like KRS ONE… He’s incredible, like I am. With my skill set, I’d want to kick it with someone that I’m equivalent with. The other guys are straight, but they’re kind of gimmicky to me because they weren’t actually killing anyone. That was just a gimmick to get them where they needed to be. Now, don’t get me wrong, I like NWA, but I’d be with BDP.
Why did you change your artist name?
I used to go by Big Trill, and most people still know me by that. I had to change it because a guy on the west coast, who had his business better than mine, trademarked the previous name, and I just had to change it.
I changed it to Joe Grizzly, and then Shotgun Grizzly. I go back and forth between the two. I have several names. I have a lot of alias, cause you know, I’m a Wu Tang baby. I got a lot of names.
What’s your favorite Wu Tang song?
If you had advice to give up-and-coming rappers, what would it be?
Just be yourself. Get straight to the point and be yourself. Be who you are and rap what you know—anything else can be dangerous.
Is branding and image an important factor when trying to get your music out there?
I think so, but that brand still needs to be authentic. It needs to be something that people see when they get to know you, and who you really are after the smoke clears. It has to match, and if it doesn’t match, you’re going to fail.
Where do see yourself in the next year or the next two years?
Oh, I see myself as happy, and outside of that, everything else will fall into place.
You’ve been around for about 10-years, which is a longtime, so you see the ups and downs of hip-hop.
Do you think it’s getting better or is it getting worse?
Oh, it’s definitely declining and have been for the last five or six years, so it’s definitely getting worse. At least you’re starting to see the crème of the crop that’s starting to rise to the top. I’m glad to see that finally. People are starting to wake up to the mediocre rappers-- the buffoonery.
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