Kriss: Who is Chro,what does he do as a creative and what’s your contribution to Hip-Hop culture?
Chro: So Chro is an emcee born in EC but this rap thing started in the west rand for me, back in 2005. I only really started rhyming seriously in 09. And as a creative I’m a budding beat maker and aspiring sound engineer, I also used to be a video editor and cinematographer but that’s been taking a backseat since Covid 19 started.
My contribution to the culture Id say first and foremost I’m a fan of Hip hop so I like seeing niggas doing they thing and succeeding in it, but I’m super competitive so Id say I have contributed in spreading awareness of not only myself as an artist, but as well as things such as freestyles, Cyphers and battles to a lot of people in my Hood. I have represented the 2499 at the highest level of African Battle Rap. And this is just the tip of the ice berg. I aim to push Hip Hop and other emcees with the same drive as me, particularly emcees from my town because I feel there’s mad potential there but we just need a platform and someone to breakthrough once.
Kriss: You recently released your debut musical record “CITY OF OLMEC”.Explain to us the meaning & significance of the album title in regards to you as a Hip Hop artist.What has been the reaction from your audience?
Chro: The reaction of City of Olmec has been more than what I anticipated. I thought I’d only get love for the first week then people would forget, but it seems like the tape is still spreading and more people are listening as the day goes.The tape itself is just inspired by my journey though life and hip hop for the last 25 years. I wanted it to be like an introduction to Chro as more than just a rapper, but a human being flesh and blood, and with a chip on his shoulder and a story to tell. It’s supposed to feel like a city built by one architect, each song is an area in the city. The first few songs are hard and gripping like the defence force of the city by the entry and once you’re inside you’re exposed to the more valuable and intimate artworks of the architect which is me.
Kriss: Who dictates the sort of content &message you showcase on the art you create,you?or your audience? or your team?How important is Creative control to you as an artist?
Chro: My art is mostly dictated by me, I take pride in not allowing anyone or anything get in the way of how I choose to express myself. So I only take considerations from people and that happens once i’ve already done whatever I might ask for critique on. The creative control is a major factor for me, I do not want to conform to anything that doesn’t suit myself as an artist or as a brand. That includes the mentality that most of us as “real hip hop acts” have on Success, coz I definitely wanna sell records in the long run and have a Successful career without having to sell my soul doing that.
Kriss: You are an independent artist.Enlighten us on some of the hardships and difficulties that come with being an independent artist and would you sign a record deal with a major record label if it meant losing your creative control for a bigger budget to market and sell your music and brand?
Chro: Being independent isn’t glamorous at all especially since there’s such a thin profit margin for an artist still in the beginning of his career. Everything comes out of your pocket or blood and sweat, but the gains at the end outweigh the possess throughout the journey.No ways, The only way I’d sign a record deal is if they only handle certain parts of my business, such as paperwork distribution and marketing, but there is no interference with the craft at all, Besides suggestions.
Kriss: You recently announced your retirement from Battle Rap.Tell us what was the inspiration behind that and has the South African Battle Rap scene truly lost CHRO to music forever?
Chro: Man, I been battlerapping my whole life, and I feel like I’ve done everything I need to, in order validate myself that I’m super nice with it, I could have been champ but we know how that shit panned out, and besides the lack of hunger and zest, I think the new battlerap scene is not for me anymore as young as I am I’m like an old head now. Id prefer to just hone in on the music making side and try to have a bigger impact on the industry side because that’s what really counts if you’re a Hip Hop artist wanting to be in the GOAT conversation
Kriss: What are some of the things you feel the South African Battle Rap community can improve on to make things better when covid ends?What can the leagues,the rappers and the fans do to make it better?
Chro:I’d say the current battle rap scene needs to be reinvented, and the leagues need to do events that bring them together so we can unite the little resources and fans we have. Secondly more marketing needs to be done no by the battles only but by the leagues themselves. Lastly we really need a serious quality check on some of the emcees coming in. That way we know that emcees on Line ups are worth being paid and take themselves and their craft seriously. I also think just Paying Battle Rappers more would do a serious morale boost to the game. But that’s easier said than done
Kriss: Tell us your favourite battle you ever participated in and won,and what’s the worst battle you ever been in and got bodied in?
Chro:Hands down my favourite battle that I bodied has to be against Discypal because that was when GinI tried testing out a potential killer by throwing him to a wolf. Which was a common thing he used to like doing. I was fresh out of the Draft league so I had a point to prove against Discypal who in my opinion had one of the best punches at the time. I won that shit and it didn’t seem like I sweated it much but I was shitting my pants on the real.Worst battle I got bodied in is between Heit and Raptor, those are the only two battles I’d say I lost hands down. They both boiled down to lack of prep against a top tier nigga. I never watched my battle with Heit since it dropped coz I can’t stand that nigga rapping in the Green sweater coz that ain’t me. An Honourable mention would be when John Legend aka White Jesus of Nazareth Timexone bodied me in my first year in Jozi when I thought I was a hyena with the frees. The big homie made it look easy.
Kriss: Who are the 5 most influential musicians on your musical style?
Chro: In no particular order I’d say Biggie Smalls, Robo the Technician, The Game, Vinnie Paz, and Slim Shady, those emcees probably shaped my sound
Kriss: Top 5 most influential battle rappers on your battle rap style?
Chro: Battlerappers, I’d say Bender, Hollohan, Dizaster, MC Supernat, and to be honest 8 mile Eminem probably set this whole battle rap shit off for me
Kriss: Whats next for Chro,what should we be expecting from you as a creative going to the future?
Chro:Man I got a lot of shit in store creatively, from Mad fly Visuals to beats to raps and more classic albums. I’m going to continuously reinvent my sound until I can be mentioned amongst the greats, and that’s both from a numbers game to just bar for bar and album for album. I’ve got a lot of ambition but it doesn’t end there I’ve got a lot of drive and pure skill to make that a reality. Like I said in Timbuktu “I know a few gold truths, that’s its a few dope moves to G63s and two door coupes”