As a compliment to the hip hop nation, lyricist CHI released a mix tape that’s infused with buyout character and different rhythmic influences.
The native of Washington uses his Grenadian authority to deliver lyrics that are both lethal and liberating. For instance, his song Jook revels over a saucy and upbeat calypso that’s reminiscent to your favorite reggae song, thumping on good vibrations of hip hop.
CHI said that he was inspired to write the lyrics because he’s a well-rounded artist, which is a blatant trait conveying itself throughout the album.
“If I was to have an album with one type of sound, and it wouldn’t be a representative of me. I think with this being my first musical effort, it was important for me to express myself, and have that come out in the music; so, you have songs like, “The Man.”
“I pretty much decided that by using a lot of metaphors that displays how I am ‘the man.’
I also use songs like, Jook, which emphasizes my background as a Caribbean, and even that has a funky kind of riff to it. I really wanted people to be transported to a Carnival [cruise] in that song.
The lyricist went on to say that he woke up to the jovial vibrations of Caribbean music on that fine Sunday morning, when he was younger, and living at home with his mom.
Many black families can relate to his memories of growing up in those cultural elements of funk, gospel, and even hip hop. Kids were exposed to assorted melodies through their parents—especially on the weekends, and ESPECIALLY when it was time to do orchestrated cleaning.
CHI applied his nostalgic memories to elope with his fan base, but with a rhythmic stanza that propels his listeners into a celebratory atmosphere.
“I don’t shy away from that [background]. That was my upbringing. If you listen to reggae music, you know there are a lot of innuendos in their songs, but I use my hidden accent. It comes out in different points and times, when I’m around others that have similar backgrounds to mines, so I use that in the song. I also use it more in the second verse more than the regular cadence that I use in some of the other songs. It’s reggae, but it’s hip hop at the same time. I think that’s also a representative of me,” he said.
“I wanted to show that I’m a little bit of both.”
Okay, CHI—We hear ya, ‘Rude Boi!’
His song, Sins of the Father is a poignant message about abandonment. The contrast is from his own life admissions. Though, the message derives from CHI’s upbringing, he still references ‘Kings and Queens throughout the solemn track. Respect, for his father is ever so evident, while the story-line expounds on expectations and wowing elevation of life after his disappointments. “Keep your head up,” he echoes to his listeners that might’ve experienced the same letdowns.
CHI made the single downright enjoyable by using touching missives from the Prince of Bell-Air, before proposing his song that was much like an appreciation in spite of his cleansing of rancor. The lyrics are more common in this generation than ever before.
The disconnect between a father and son during pivotal and developmental stages of a boys life— It’s brutal and it's heartbreaking.
“You’re not going to relate to it if you’re not already bobbing your head, and tapping your feet,” he said.
The most important part of that song is finding a melody that was just touching, and it brought me to that point in time when I thought about that song. That was my adolescence and pre-adolescence that we’re talking about, throughout my early manhood; so, it brought me back to that point and time. It led me into that classic with, “Will Smith.” That performance that he did on the Fresh Prince, and that kind of sets the tone [for the single]. I’m sure you remember that from the show. If you heard from a single-parent household, and you’re a child that’s gone through a divorce, then you’re already in that mode of thinking— And to me, that’s pretty somber in itself. It brings you to that point and time, if you ever endured it. I know it brought me there, so it was easy for me at that point, to deliver the message to go along with those feelings.
CHI talks a little about Summer in the City, which is another banger from the multi-fabulous artist, it unshackles street testimonies of growing up in Racist America, and losing friends to the streets, but still cultivating as a successful black man.
The author of epics wrote and produced about ninety-percent of CINEMATIC.
Behind the carefully webbed mix tape, he explains the fluidities used, from the instrumentals down to the lyrics.
“I wouldn’t have it any other way. Nobody can tell your story better than you can, coming from your experiences," he said.
“It’s always important for me to write my own lyrics—Those are my lyrics, the hooks and the verses. The only parts I didn’t write is with [artist] Cash Jane, on two of the songs. She is an amazing artist. I like to call her Young “Billie Holiday.” Her amazing voice just captures the emotion of the song. I just gave her the message that I wanted to put out there, and I had some of the verses already written, and she just ran with it. You can imagine her in the Cotton Club delivering those vocals, and it was just perfect. She nailed it.
The other ninety-percent was me though. I’ve had these messages in my head for a really long time, and I did it the way I wanted to deliver it, and I hope it came through.
CHI is totally unpretentious and unaware of his gift for rap music. He’s a natural hip hop artist who knows how to tell a good story while racing a beat. CHI hooks listeners with an enthralling and relevant subplot. If you pair that aptitude with a forceful melody, then you’re bound to get hits.
CHI describes hip hop as necessary expression… “Hip hop is something that I picked up in my early teens, and maybe two-years before that. I think as a hip hop artist, it’s your responsibility to properly express yourself. I take it pretty seriously to express myself through this platform in the right way. If you’re listening to the songs, then you know there’s lessons—There’s holds in each of the songs, in a lot of the songs, I would say.
I think that one of the most important things you can do as an individual is express yourself. You’re the one who can convey your message the right way, and properly express who you are. You have one life to live, so it's important to get it right. Maybe this music will be able to tell people exactly who I am, or who I was—And I think it’s an important thing that I lay that down the right way. I take that as a personal responsibility.
CHI said that if he left this world today, he wants to be remembered by his song, Sins of the Father.
I think that Sins of the Father would be the one that fully represents me because it tells a very important story about a very important time in my life. A lot of us is stricken by divorce, or our parents separation, or what have you; and it happened to happen [to me] during my formative years. I was about ten-years-old… It’s one of those turning points in your life, and whether I was going to be a hip hop artist, or in any other filed of work, [in my opinion] one of the most important things that you’re going to do in life is be a family member, a brother, son, friend—Ultimately, one day, a father.
Whatever your career might be, that’s one of the most important jobs that you’re going to have in your life. I thought that it was very important that I conveyed it in my song, that although it was a very negative experience, a positive can come about from it— And that’s the irony of the song. If I followed his [my dad’s] example, he taught me how to be a cheater, a liar, and how to do the wrong things—and especially, breaking up our family.
The irony of the song is by remembering what he taught me. I will not repeat that cycle. Although I couldn’t just blame it on my upbringing, [that] my daddy was this way, so I’m going to be this way too; I took the lesson in it, to change the course of my family’s tree.
CHI summarized that regardless of his career choice, he aspires to leave a legacy of moral character, while being a better person for the people that means the most to him.
Back to the artsy side of things... According to CHI, being an independent artist is the wave. He’s able to control his narratives, fan base, and social media. Though he ran into a few hiccups while on his mission of being a doper than dope MC, he’s overcome the qualms from producers who thought that he was either an R&B singer, or a suit, working in a disillusioned corporate America.
CHI’s intonation is fascinating, and it rectifies his qualities as a lyricist throughout the mix-tape.
As far as creating the funky melodies for CINEMATIC, CHI took his time to assemble it so that the deeds would tug at the heart strings just a little bit.
“You hear a lot of artist say that their first album, their first mix tape, took them their whole life. I can relate to that because after you put that first effort out there, you have a lot of time and you put a lot of effort into it because you want it to be perfect. It’d be accurate to say that it took me my whole life to make this—But, to put it in actual years and times, I think it took a few years.”
CHI had to properly develop his craft as an artist,in addition to meeting the right people, who could take his virtuosic concept all the way to the top.
“I’m at a place where I feel like it’s time to put that music before the people.”
Jook is the methodical buzz single that listeners will hear on the airwaves first. The single recharges the spirit, and urges cultures to celebrate in an unconfined manner, with a simple message of merriment. 'No, judgment. It’s all unity.'
If CHI could share the stage with other artist, it'd have to be with those who inspire him.
“When I’m thinking about writing, or when I’m in writing mode, I listen to my favorites. Some of those guys are obviously, Jay Z. He’s great all-around artist, and he has become a great mogul. I listen to Nas a lot, and Eminem is probably the best wordsmith that I ever heard. I listen to Lupie Fiasco, and growing up, I used to listen to some of the older sounds.”
As for other enjoyable reveals, CHI prefers meatloaf over turkey burgers.
“Turkey burgers happen pretty often, but meatloaf, those are rare occasions. Meatloaf, is like, coming home on a random Tuesday, and you have Thanksgiving dinner laid out on the table—and I wasn’t ready for that. I was a big meatloaf man growing up, I’m gonna go with meatloaf.”
Now, that we cleared up the foodie items.
Aside from the fodder traditions, CHI said that he is writing the next project. He’s also preparing to entice the public with faculties that they may not know about.
“The interesting thing about the title, the mix tape being CINEMATIC is, I have an acting and directing background as well; so, that was the other play on words with the mix tape. I’m planning to be in a few short films and web series. You may see me in those coming soon. I’m an all-around artist. Acting just comes natural to me.
Like, I said, expression is very important. Acting, is a different means of really doing that. I also have a lot of experience behind the camera. I’m Director of other artist in different fields. You’ll see some music videos from me, where I’m featured, or you’ll see me direct some artist like I’ve done in the past. You’ll see me on the screen, and it will be a surprise because I feel like that’s a natural evolution of myself as an artist.”
As a Director and Cinemogrpaher, CHI’s worked on numerous films. He’s directed about 30 projects, with Black Entertainment Television as one of his credible sources.
It’s not hard to see why he uses, “It’s a movie,” as words to live by. In his case, life truly is a movie.
CHI recently dropped his mix tape on September 18, 2017, so you're in luck! The tracks are available for downloads.
We strongly recommend that our readers take a listen to CHI's life messages embedded in good ole fashion hip hop.
You can join his social networks to keep up with all the discussions. In the meantime, click the links that we've provided and have it...
CHI featuring Jag Money - "The One" (Official Music Video)
Soundcloud: CHI AKA Cinematic