Today we have Sacramento's evolutionary hip-hop maestro, Chuuwee.
Chuuwee often explores the many facets of contemporary society with bars that wax on life, love, and everything between.
Never one to shy away from the predetermined mores of this beautiful culture, he has dedicated his work to revealing cryptic, but essential information for the developing explorer. Chuuwee aims to inspire and uplift so that others may conceptualize the importance of growth, perception, and self-motivation.
As the years have passed, we have seen the artist expand himself and his array of topics for the betterment of his legacy.
By only striving for elevation and excellence, the Sacto virtuoso has created a lane for himself that many aspire to emulate, or at the very least, understand.
His work is not without it's challenges however as being independent does have it's setbacks. For the recent release of Purgator, he was kind enough to offer some insight on his motives and future.
Prox: I’m always interested in how philosophy and spirituality inspires artists. How has Buddhism impacted how and what you write about?
Chuuwee: Buddhism has impacted me in various ways, but mainly it has influenced the topics that I rap about. I had a close friend pass away (this was around the same time I was going through a really bad label situation) and I almost lost sight of everything that buddhism had taught me. Since then, i’ve been trying really hard not to rap about overly violent material and to keep a positive outlook in my music to give people a different perspective of hip-hop; And to stay true to the things that help me be who I am everyday.
Prox: I read in a previous interview of yours that you’d like to move overseas. Is this still something that interests you? What is it about business overseas that is intriguing to you?
Chuuwee: It’s not even business because business has become a part of my lifestyle so I move and work very comfortably. I feel like living overseas would give me the energy and insight that I need to create comfortably. There’s a lot of tension in the U.S, a lot of weird space and energy (I know that’s probably weird).
I went to Frankfurt, Germany when I first touched down for my Europe tour and I was staying there with the homie Jordan and I think just being there and feeling the energy did something to me, and I just thought “man, this is the kind of place you could raise a kid in.” Ever since I was young, like I remember doing this project in school about the UK (I was like 7 or 8 years old at the time), and I’ve thought about living there ever since.
Prox: I’ve spoken with a few other musicians about how nerd culture (anime, film, gaming, etc) and hip hop are becoming more and more unified. How do these art-forms inspire you and what does it say about the medium going forward?
Chuuwee: Gaming and movies are a huge part of my inspiration actually. Anime too, but I don’t watch as much anime. I watch a handful of the older ones that really mean a lot to me like Ninja Scroll, Initial D, and of course Dragonball & Dragonball Z, a lot of the typical ones. I wasn’t even calling it anime back then I was like “Oh them Japanese cartoons they be having sex!” But it inspires my music because they have a bunch of different ideologies on life that are dope. They look at love, sin, hate, enlightenment, and spirituality, so many things that i’m into from a broader perspective. All of it gives you a new way to look at life, like they’re supposed to be just anime or video games or whatever but they have pretty insightful information on life. I think it’s dope though that more people are rapping about it and it shows that rap has changed. People are still lyrical, but it shows that the typical imagery of rap isn’t the same. You have people that are rapping only about video games, people out there rapping like they are anime characters, so the demographic and perception is changing for a wider culture.
Prox: What have been some of your greatest challenges as an artist and emcee? Has doing your own thing and going against the grain come with some unforeseen tribulations?
Chuuwee: It does actually. The greatest challenge as an emcee is constantly creating a sound of my own. Just by listening to other people’s music you could accidentally take something from them, not even on a noticeable scale you know what I mean? Like, you’ll take someone’s rhyme pattern or end up using the same word as them because you were listening to their stuff.
Actually being who I am as an artist has been the greatest challenge for me but it’s rewarding though. It’s pretty dope. Going against the grain and doing everything independently but with a mainstream mindset... that in and of itself is a tribulation. I get overlooked because I represent myself, people try to sidebar me or throw me the weakest opportunities like “oh he’s representing himself so it’s not professional” but it comes with the territory. I’d get the same thing if I had big management or a crazy team behind me. People would probably still be trying to get to me solo so they don’t have to go through all of them and deal with that.
Prox: Many artists work because they have something to show and prove to the world. What are you trying to tell us about yourself and the world as you see it?
Chuuwee: I’m trying to rap cryptics to people. I used to want to show people that there’s a different side of music. All of the time i’ve been making music I’ve been going against the standard genre that everyone likes or the current sound, but i’ve grown out of that. Now i’m trying to teach people. Teach people a new way to think, teach people that there are different aspects of life and that nothing in life is controlled by standards or the preset rules and writings.
Everyone has their own reality, i’m just trying to show people mine. My reality is pretty wavy.
Prox: Could you give us some tips for aspiring artists?
Chuuwee: Just do whatever you wanna do. A lot of people always ask me “how’d you get where you are or what should I do?” You should do whatever you wanna do. There are no guidelines, rules, or standards. If there is somewhere you can upload your music, do it. Do everything, do it all. Make snapchats, make videos in the park. Do it all, i’ve done it all.
Prox: Please tell us something that influences your work that we may not know.
Chuuwee: My mother influences my work a lot, her life, her pain, current or past. Being outside period, just looking at the surroundings and seeing what’s going on. Sometimes when i’m at events or parties or whatever I be in the cut just checking out what’s going on and I use that as inspiration to write music. Whatever feelings I get off the beat, life, and energy it inspires me.
Prox: Who are some of your favorite artists, creatives, or intellectuals?
Chuuwee: Aw man! Some of my favorite people that I idolize are The Neptunes (especially Pharrell), Andy Kaufman, Basquiat, Nelly because of his hustle, Gucci Mane, the list is infinite. I’m inspired by a lot of people. Most of them are people who started very low or were counted out and they made an incredible come back by not doing the typical music. Like Nelly, he inspires me because he doesn’t do the typical music. T-Pain inspires me because he’s forever becoming doper and constantly working on his musical ability. He’s still slept on, but it doesn't affect him. People might not be watching and seeing what he’s doing, but he’s still doing it. Z-Ro, UGK, Devin the Dude, Mistah Fab, Too Short, Jay-Z, all kinds of people inspire me man.
Prox: Anymore information on other upcoming projects and releases?
Chuuwee: I’m currently working on an intermission album for my five-part series. I’m just taking a break and doing something fun. I feel like I need to do something to uplift everyone and that’s going to be my contribution to combat all the hate and all the negative shit that’s going on. It’s just something fun. It’s called Sabbath and the concept behind it, in the dystopia series different people’s accord or emotions on current the state of the world and this is my only personal introspective viewpoint in this entire album series and it’s just me hanging out on a day off. Not doing any music, not thinking, not working, not doing shows, just hanging out on a day off. More insight into my life in the dystopia multi-verse, It’s like a spin-off I guess.
Parts three, four, and five are still on the way. I’m finalizing everything, i’m trying to make sure the storyline is good. I don’t want to fall off three or four albums in. People seem to enjoy the first and second ones so I really appreciate the love. Shoutout to Prox Centauri for the interview.
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