Hip hop is notorious for the stigma of inhabiting ignorant and selfish examples for artists, forcing non-fans to view the hip hop culture negatively. By hearing the name, Charmingly Ghetto, one would think that he fits the stereotype,however, this couldn’t be any further from the truth. Charmingly Ghetto expresses the importance of reading, the essence of rap and building relationships with this interview with Dead End Hip Hop.
ChicanGeorge: Your name is one of the best and most interesting in hip hop. How did you get it?
CG: I wouldnâ€™t say that I got it from somewhere, per-say. I would say that the idea came to me from my readings, life experiences and the fact that I felt personality wise that no one could ever really place me in a box when identifying who I was. I embraced the ideals addressed through W.E.B. DuBoisâ€™ theory of double consciousness and by embodying this duality of the man of color in America is inherent within me, and in my opinion others like me. We can adapt to our surroundings yet we are knowledgeable of the latter as well, but sans the bravado. This shared existence is what I really try to put through in my music and I hope that it resonates.
ChicanGeorge: Wow! I’m impressed you read and are living out W.E.B. Dubois’ theories. I think a lot of artist today don’t read like they should. What are your thoughts on that?
CG: I think that it is important for anyone, whether artist or not to read, you know? I think that since we are told to read in school and many times read literature that we may not be interested in, it discourages us from reading for our own enlightenment thus setting us back from self progress. I think that people should find a genre or a type of book that they enjoy reading so reading isn’t a task; its more of something to enjoy.
ChicanGeorge: Your wordplay is crazy! Who were some of your influences coming up?
CG: My influences lyrically coming up were artists like Common, Nas, 2Pac, Eminem; people who loved words and loved to weave them so effortlessly even more. I just like to really go in with the lyrics, even so much sometimes that I have to take a step back and assess where I am with the flow as I may lose myself. I really appreciate you listening so intently though. I really caught the lyrical breakdown that you did on that review (which I might add was the most thorough I’ve seen on my music in “print” thus far). That was dope really reassured me that people were out here listening closely. Respect.
ChicanGeorge: The “Study A’Broad” project was one of the best projects I reviewed this year. What was your inspiration behind it?
CG: My inspiration was the urgency to put together a project that I felt could resonate with people all over the world regardless of their musical or cultural preferences and void of exclusion in the creative process. I thought about the grand scheme of things and the fact that hip hop music is appreciated everywhere. Combine that with the fact that I was very humbled by these cats to take the time to really listen to my music and reach out, it was only right to do work. And do work we did. I’m very proud of this project.
ChicanGeorge: So do you feel that networking and strong relationships between the producer and artist are important?
CG: Building up such constructive relationships between producers is essential to the growth of the relationship indeed. This enables the ability for tracks to better fit an MC and even the overall vibe and cohesiveness sound of a project. It only makes sense for a more complete body of work in the long run because there is just so much more creativity poured into the music which is something that I learned after having just released this project not too long ago. Networking is definitely key as they say your reach is only as far as who you know. If that’s the case then you have to keep pushing the music to he far corners of the world.
ChicanGeorge: How did you enjoy working with producers outside of the U.S.?
CG: I loved it! Great respect for their knowledge of the art form and the ideas and innovation they wished to bring to the table. I learned a lot and still do on a daily basis. Big respect for the international love!
ChicanGeorge: With that in mind, do you think hip hop has a bigger influence inside or outside the U.S.?
CG: I think hip hop and its influences reach out to the people who are avid and unequivocal listeners of music. These type of people you can find anywhere, regardless of space and time. I’m speaking on the person that is digging for a sound that they remember as well as the cat that’s just looking for a new sound to vibe to can find what they want in hip hop, which is a hybrid genre in my opinion much like funk and soul music. You have to identify elements within the music that you connect with and then engulf yourself in them. And anyone can do that. They just have to want to.