Chaundon Interview

– Chaundon, finally, the release of Carnage, the solo album, was last Tuesday (feb 12th). How do you feel now that it’s out?
I feel good Pay! It’s an accomplishment to finally have something in stores and to
share the music with the world after all this time.

– Do you have any expectations of it?
No, I don’t have any expectations. Like all artists, yes I do want to sell a gang of records but I know the climate of albums sales are down so I don’t worry about that stuff right now. I’m just happy with the support I have been getting from the fans who downloaded, and purchased the album!

– How is the support from the rest of the people from HOJ with the album?
The support is always there. H.O.J was there every step of the way to make the release of this album actually happen! They are more than just my team, they are my family.

– You were featured on just about everybody’s album. Little Brother, L.E.G.A.C.Y,
Median, 9th Wonder’s Dream Merchant. Not to forget one of my favorite albums, Jesus Price Superstar, which I personally think you came pretty strong on. You got a big buzz off of releasing mixtapes, which from 2 last year, which are basically “albums” at themselves. What made you decide not to release a real solo album until now?
It wasn’t much of a decision to release one now. I always wanted to release an album, that’s why my mixtapes sounded like albums. Now the reason why it took this long was because of timing and the “political” reasons with labels, which I am not at liberty to speak about, who were trying to give out a bum deal. We aren’t the type of people to take any deal just to say “We have an album out!” Bottom line, if the money isn’t right, NO deal!

– It got released on Defend Music? Why not on Hall of Justus?
It is released on Hall Of Justus. It’s distributed by Defend.

– Ah, that makes more sense. How did the picking of beats/producers and featurings
go? How did you decide to go with certain producers or artists?
I A&R’d the entire project. I basically picked who I wanted to work with because I
respected them as producers and emcees. It wasn’t a difficult task at all. When I picked the beats I was looking for a sound that I felt that my voice and cadence can mesh with and make a dope song. I don’t just pick beats because they are dope. If I don’t sound right on it, then its a waste of time. As far as picking the emcees, they are all my friends and they happen to be dope. It’s a win-win!

– How is working with Torae and Skyzoo? Two upcoming MC’s with a pretty good buzz going around now. You’ve been in the game a little longer than them.
Working with them is dope! They have the same hunger and intensity that I have when
it comes to making music. We tend to inspire each other with every record recorded. Watch, these three names will be in the game for a very long time. And I can’t forget Sha Stimuli, he is insane just like us!

– What made you think of the concept of “Gone” with Jean Grae? I could see that
video from Busta Rhymes in my head while listening to it. So it’s not really that
original. Although I like the combination of Chaundon and Jean Grae as far as rhymes and flow go.
What video are you talking about? Anyway, Gone was Jean’s idea. She’s a Jeanius haha. We wrote that song together when she made her 2nd pilgrimage to NC to record with 9th. It was originally going to be on her 2nd album she was working with 9th, “The Phoenix”. After 2 years of the recording I figured she aint want the record any more so I got at 9th and Big Dho and we put it on my album.

– I meant the song from Busta called “I love my bitch” where he had Gabrielle Union and Dre in the video.
Nah I beg to differ on that. That video was based on that movie. They were trying to
kill each other because they were in different agencies and were assigned to kill
each other and wound up not doing it. Some action movie shit. Our song is based on
infidelity, some real life shit. Hell hath no fury as a womans scorn. Plus the song ended with a double homicide.

– Well, that was just my first thought that popped up in my mind when I heard the song. Who was that talking at the end? Haha.
That was Joe Scudda aka DE MAAAAN haha…..His debut LP is on the way!

– What is the thought behind “Submission”?
No thought at all. Just a dope beat with 3 dope emcees. Sean P, Skyzoo, and I were
at the Chop Shop (the HOJ studio) while P was recording his album “Jesus Price Superstar”. I was going through some tracks and found the beat in a folder 9th had
and we wrote the joint on spot!

– Ah damn, so y’all did that joint back then already huh? Skyzoo was there to record as well?
Yep. The studio was packed crazy. 3 albums were being recorded. His, Sean P’s, and mine (but it wasn’t carnage)

– What is your role in HOJ?
I had many roles with the H.O.J. Now my primary role is emcee.

– You told me you do everything yourself, you’re a business man first. What made you decide to get into a career of MC-ing?
Money hoes and clothes were the original motives when I first picked up the pen. As
I got better and started battling, Mic Supremacy was added. I have so much respect and admiration for the culture and the art of MC-ing I wanted to be apart of it. And now in the present time, I am working with all the legendary producers and emcees whose albums I grew up buying, looks like I made the right decision.

– Who would be a person you really wanna work with, that’s not related to any of the people in your network right now. You’ve mentioned a gangster rap album to me before as a big blow out. (If I may give that away already.)
50 Cent is one person I would like to work with. He makes dope songs period. Say what you want about him but Get Rich Or Die Trying is still a classic. Erick Sermon is one of the main producers out of my network who I would really like to work with. Look at what he has contributed to music! Look at the artists he has brought to the game. The list goes on Dre, DJ Quick, The RZA, etc.. Basically, those people who worked with the greats!

– What is your future perspective as far as Chaundon as an MC is concerned? Or any other projects, more mixtapes maybe?
NO MORE MIXTAPES. I only used that medium to build the buzz. I have to grow and move to the next level and start a career with albums. I have already completed my 2nd LP “No Excuses”. My 3rd LP, which is untitled as of right now, is almost done. I will continue to be featured on other artists albums so keep an eye out for that.

– Now when you say you already got your 2nd album done, are there any of those
producers on there, that you just mentioned of wanting to work with? Or are they
gonna be on the 3rd? I personally would love to hear you on a Dre or Erick Sermon
None of them are on the 2nd lp. Hopefully I will work with them on the 3rd and 4th
LP! Keep your fingers crossed!

– Your thoughts on hiphop today? We had that convo about the Dilla hype before,
maybe you can share your thoughts with your fans over here before we wrap this up.
1st off, Hip Hop is not dead. Commercially it’s wack because they only play one brand of it. There are many sides to a story and to only tell one is short changing the culture. Other than that HipHop outside of the commercial realm is stronger than it was. There are a lot of dope emcees out there who are not being heard. And the reason behind that is because of the fans who only download! I don’t have a problem with coppin’ the bootleg but if its dope, I go to the store and buy the album to support the artist. Bootlegging isn’t new. My 1st bootleg tape was “Road to the Riches” by Kool G Rap and DJ Polo. The day I heard it, I knew I had to buy the original. I guess back then authenticity meant something. Today it means nothing.
People always want to get in the heated hiphop debates on who is the real hiphop, but they are the same people who don’t support it. Let’s take the Little Brother fans for example. There are at least 500,000 Little Brother fans over the world. I’ve seen them sell venues out, they’ve been over the world at least 3 times. Why haven’t they received their plaque yet…hmmmm maybe because of all the downloading and lack of buying it from the stores and online stores. The real hiphop starts with us in our hiphop community. If we don’t support our own, then we have no business to complain about what radio is playing. So go support your hero’s of HipHop. Little Brother’s “Get Back” is in stores right now. My album “Carnage” is in stores right now. Pete Rock’s “NY’s Finest” will be in stores this week”, Torae’s “Daily Converstion” will be in stores next week, Skyzoo’s “Corner Store Classic” will be on iTunes real soon and countless dope albums are out and will be out soon. I am a fan before I am an emcee and I too go broke from buying new music. Let’s rebuild our culture before it dies for real this time!

And to speak on the Dilla hype. I wish some people would not fake like they were down with his movement from the beginning. It’s like when he passed away, a lot of band wagon hoppers threw on a Dilla T-shirt and banished all those who had an opinion against Dilla. Let’s not front people! Now it’s never too late to cherish the music he has blessed the world with. My thing is, don’t use his gift in vain and say “You’re not HipHop if you don’t like or know anything about Dilla”. On the real, you’re not HipHop if you do that dumb shit.

– Thanks for sharing your thoughts and pushing people to go out and buy the real
stuff, instead of talking about hiphop is dead. Hehe.
No doubt. I have to speak on the solution instead of dwelling on the problem.
I am Chaundon and I approved this interview.
Shout to my Crew!