MVRemix: How is Definitive Jux different from other labels?
C-Rayz Walz: They are not scared to let the artists be 100% apart of the project. They get behind the project fully. They have Caroline distribution, which is a great distributor. They are fond of me and I thank Caroline for digging my music. As far as Def Jux as a company, the owner of the company is an artist. I don’t know another good label where the owner is another artist. He knows about the whole struggle of being an artist. All of my label mates, they don’t give a f*ck about what society wants them to do. They just do their music from the heart. That’s what I do. I go with mine. If you end up liking it, that’s a plus.
MVRemix: Since you are an accomplished battle emcee, would you say that the movie ‘8 Mile’ with Eminem was a realistic portrayal of emcee battles at that time?
C-Rayz Walz: No doubt. No question. Full frequency. Word to Breez Evaflowin! That’s our story right there. I give Eminem love because he was in our circle during the old hip-hop days and religion.
MVRemix: You did some touring with Atmosphere too. You were on the ‘Sad Clown Bad Dub 4’ DVD. How did you get involved with that and what was that like?
C-Rayz Walz: Me and Slug were cool before I knew what his music was about. Every time I saw homey on the scene in New York, we were cool. We were just kicking it. I didn’t know that this motherf*cker was Slug. The few times I saw Slug perform, I dug it. He was definitely a dope performer. I never heard any of his music and they asked me to host some shows. That’s some real life hip-hop sh*t.
MVRemix: Did you ever slap Mr. Dibbs for 20 bucks?
C-Rayz Walz: Huh? Oh! I roundhouse kicked him! (laughs).
MVRemix: You are a very lyrical emcee. Do you go into the studio with pre-written rhymes and themes or do you hear the beat first and write then and there? Do you hear the beat first or write the lyrics first?
C-Rayz Walz: There’s no set formula. I see music like women. With each one, I have a different approach. Some, I may want to have sex with. Some, I may just want to walk and talk with them. Some, I may just want to spend a night with them and cuddle when I’m stressed out. Each beat has its own personality. Sometimes a beat is just so hot, I may just hear it in the booth and just jump in there. That would be the song right there. I did that with 2 songs on ‘Ravipops’. I’m not going to say which ones but you can notice something different about those 2 songs. I just went in the booth and straight freestyled those 2 songs and they came off spectacular. Then, there’s a song like ‘86’. I heard that beat and I just walked with that beat for about a week. I wrote 6 bars here. Maybe, one day, I just wrote one line. By the end, it was a culmination of all those thoughts. At the end of the day, when cats say dumb sh*t like ‘C Rayz Walz is a much better emcee than the beats he picks’, I feel misunderstood. A lot of cats rhyme over dope beats and they are wack as f*ck. There aren’t many cats who actually make the beat come alive and have the beat complement them as an emcee. Style and expression. I do that with every beat I rock over. I heard it before I laid the rhyme down. ‘Dead Buffalos’ is screaming ‘Dead Buffalos’. The beat for ‘Floe’ is screaming ‘Floe’. ‘Bang this in your whip while you ride through 125th with a sidekick of Hennessey slick.’ Say this sh*t on Hot 97.
MVRemix: If you could choose one producer for an entire album, which producer would it be?
C-Rayz Walz: Actually, I’m not a f*cking groupie so I can’t rock with strangers. I can’t rock with dudes who just want to rhyme with me just because I’m C Rayz Walz and they have dope beats. Hip-hop is not a common denominator. We have to share common interests, have a personal experience or at least have a great conversation before we even talk about music. I would do an album with my man, 4th Pyramid right now.
MVRemix: What producer would you like to collaborate with in the future?
C-Rayz Walz: Working with producers can be real funny, man. I really can’t say man. Dudes like Premier are dope. I guess I can say Premier. Cats are sleeping on him right now. Cats definitely have spiked heals on their f*cking head on Premier right now. He’s one of the classic boom-bap straight up hip-hop cats. I think that if Premier and I did a whole album together, we could capture the vibe.
MVRemix: What emcee/group would you like to collaborate with in the future?
C-Rayz Walz: That could be a real challenge to my style. I worked with Rise already. That’s my favorite emcee. Damn, C Rayz and Redman over a Premo track! Bang that sh*t in the club in Afghanistan! Word up! That would be fabulous. Me and Redman could vibe and make some crazy banana boat sh*t.
MVRemix: Some people have said that you and Last Emperor would make a good collaboration
C-Rayz Walz: That would be bananas. I would like to do a whole EP with son. I know Emp is a deep thinker. We would have to be on some food deprivation sh*t with like $10 in our pockets for weeks and just make it happen. We would come out with some real hard heartfelt dope sh*t, say word!
MVRemix: Are you going to do any producing? Will you produce your own beats?
C-Rayz Walz: Yeah, I am actually going to produce an EP that will follow up the next album. The next album is called ‘The Sun Cycle (Epiphany)’ After ‘The Sun Cycle (Epiphany)’, I’m going to produce all of the beats for the following EP that is called ‘Organics (The Dysfunctional Paralysis Of Emotional Burden)’.
MVRemix: What was the last incident of racism that you encountered?
C-Rayz Walz: I don’t know. A lot of times in Midtown. It’s kind of inadvertent. I guess, women in downtown Manhattan. If I give them a glance or something they look at me like I am looking at them as if I want to have sex with them. I’m like ‘Come on! You’re not even that hot! Chill! Don’t even trip like that! I have groupies that look better than you that I turned down. Be easy, ma’.