Chuck Dirty is an incredibly gifted writer. He is able to paint pictures of his life experiences, with his lyrics. He is very creative and has powerful lyrical skills, his flow is remarkable and clearly undeniable to anyone who listens. As a fan, you look up to an artist you admire, but all along you wonder what kind of person they are, beyond the music. Well let me say…This interview was above and beyond anything, I ever expected. Not just because I’m a fan of his work or because he is a very talented Michigan emcee, but because he is the most honest, real and down to earth person…you will ever meet. I can only hope you enjoy his interview as much as I did! ~Donna Kshir
1.) Tell me a bit about yourself and your background?
I’m a 23 year old white boy from the Mitten, I was raised by my father who was a blue collar GM employee, he drove a hi-lo truck for 27 years and went out on medical retirement, after he had to have both of his hips replaced and a buncha blown discs in his back. I come from a long line of hustlers, my great great uncle was actually one of the founding members of Detroits Purple Gang. Most of my family were bootleggers during the prohibition era. A kinda cool thing, I have from the older generations of my family is an old ass picture of my great grandfather with Al Capone.. The real scarface so I come from a long line of hustlers and grinders. It’s in my blood.
2.) What or who motivated you to become a rapper?
My single biggest influence was 2pac. I know it sounds cliche nowadays, but when I heard “holla if u hear me” I just knew thats what I was gonna do. I had been into hip hop well before that, the first cd I ever bought was “The Chronic”. But there was somethin’ about 2pac that drew me in and made me think I could play a part in hip hop too. And really in my opinion he taught me how to rap too, because if you listen to my cd every thing you hear on there. I’ve lived through or I’m currently going through now. I keep my shit 100% real and thats why you don’t hear me rappin’ about guns and killings and shit, cuz it ain’t me… I don’t do that. I just bring it to ya real, and whats real to me and thats what 2pac taught me.
3.) Making it in the music business is a lot of hard work. What’s the biggest challenge you had to face?
So far, I’d have to say learning the business end of it. Cuz any one can stack up some chips and get a lil studio and record some shit, but what do u do after that?? See that’s what I had to learn and I’m still learning it everyday. My first album I ended up at the end of the day pushin 2,500 units out of my back pocket. But I wasnt workin with nobody, I wasnt interested in anything else, but ME! But 2,500 units ain’t nothin’, so I had to take it back to the drawing board and try to figure out what to do to improve my visibility. And after a lil’ while I started net working with people and doing a lot of shows, and really just grindin’ it out, and its starting to pay off… of my newest album “Horns & Halos”, I’ve pushed a little over 12,000 units, 100% independently. My names growing I’m doin’ bigger shows like, opening for the Ying Yang Twinz, Mike Jones, and Bubba Sparxx. The most amazing thing to me is the fans I talk to though, the ones that ain’t around me all the time and dont live in my city, and get a chance to kick it with me, them cats make me proud and make it worth doing. I got fans in London, Beirut, Lebanon and these cats have personally told me my cd helps them get through the day sometimes, and thru personal situations… I mean thats a blessing to me right there. If I dont get nothin’ else out of this game that type of stuff there satisfies me.
4.) Which artist, were you most pleased to work with and why?
My road dogg Bunz man, I just love workin’ with that cat, we create some ridiculous bangers every time we get together in the studio. Word to the wise be on the look out for NICKY BUNZ, the kids an animal and a breathe of fresh air for the underground. But yeah, Nicky is definately the one person thats always gonna be on a Chuck Dirty CD, no matter what, it aint comin’ out if it aint got me n Bunz on a few trax
5.) What motivated you to collaborate with each other?
Me and Bunz grew up together midaswell say were brothers, I’ve known him litterally my entire life, the day I was born him and his moms was at the hospital. So were gonna be brothers from the womb to the tomb…litterally (haha). But we grew up rappin’ together, 11 years old freestyling into a hand held recorder like the one from home alone over top of industry beats off of singles.
6.) Which artist haven’t you collaborated with yet, that you envision to work with in a close future and why? Astray, I feel like me an him are cut from the same cloth so it should be interesting to hear what we can come up with, cuz the boys an animal. I’m also anxious to work with Lethal Brand them cats are straight animals on the mic. I’m also going to be working with Jake the Flake for the next album, and Project Born.
7.) As a rapper, is there one rapper you pattern yourself after or do you have your own style?
I ain’t gonna sit here an act like my music hasnt been influenced, but I dont pattern myself after no one and I think my style is one of my own too, but of course I’ve taken things from others as I came up too. But took things like work ethics and business smarts and hunger, from rappers not a style. I try to keep a 2pac like work ethic and for the most part I do when were workin’ on albums we do no less than 2 or 3 trax a day, so as long as I’m on pace im good. I pay a lot of attention to the things Jay Z does business wise, and the things 50 cent has down business wise, them are 2 of the biggest hustlers in the world and I watch their moves n see if I can relate them to my hustle.
8.) What is your thoughts on the underground Hip Hop scene?
I love the underground scene, especially the Michigan underground scene, the music is great we got great artists out here, and for the most part I love us cuz were non-conformists… meaning we ain’t changing for industry standards love us or leave us either way were gettin’ bread. Look at Eminem perfect example of what I’m sayin’, he came in and changed the game, he didnt change for the game.
9.) What is your thoughts on today’s mainstream Hip Hop artists and where do you see them taking Hip Hop, in the near future? Hip Hop is dead period, I’m ridin’ with Nas on this… I respect all artists, but snap music an stuff like that is killin’ us. The other day I witnessed a 52 year old white woman walk it out… its sad that’s too commercial. But at the same time everybody wants to hate on the mainstream cats and I can’t do that. People hate Eminem and 50 cent and Jay Z, call em sellouts and what not… but I ask you isnt that the point?? To get your records on the radio all day long and sell 10 million albums?? I thought that was the plan?? I know thats my plan. Nobody in the hip hop game wants to be broke and get no recognition they wanna be on top… shit and so do I.
10.) If you could thank one person, for helping get you where you are today…Who would it be and why?
My Father, that man raised me right an broke his back doin it. I’m tellin ya, but he’s always been my biggest supporter, and always had my back no matter what, even if i was dead wrong and I respect him for that and everything hes done for me.
11.) Are you always so quick to generate idea’s or do you ever struggle?
I have my struggles its hard to be creative all the time when your seeing so much un-inspiring shit around you. I mean Michigan is in ruins man, Flint is the #1 city for murders in the country now, with Detroit and Saginaw both behind, it in the top ten. Thats some terrible shit, I come from the unsafest city in the entire country…. its just hard to drive around and be inspired these days. When I first started rappin’ we’d always meet up at the local parks n bring out the boom boxes and notepads an go to work. The damn parks ain’t even safe to be in no more. So sometimes I struggle with creativity, but thats also what makes my music soo good cuz its comin from a struggle.
12.) I found you have creative and powerful lyrical skills, your flow is remarkable and clearly undeniable to anyone who listens. Would you agree with that statement and why?
Yeah I’d have to agree with it, because I put alotta time into thinking about what I’m gonna tell the listener and what message I’m gonna bring to you. And I put alotta years into my flow and delivery and I think its about perfect for me. Not that I’m perfect, but just meaning its where I’d like it to be at.
13.) Musically speaking, who was your biggest influence?
2pac and Phil Collins, because of their intense emotion and delivery.
14.) Currently, do you have any projects in the works for 2007?
I got a new album, I just started working on tentatively called ” Roses & Razor Blades.” It’s a follow up to “Horns & Halos”. I’m a pick up where I left off an take you through my life since, I did that album.
15.) Where do you see yourself in five years?
I don’t really care to be honest as long as I’m happy with a family and a house. To keep it real wit ya, thats all I want.
16.) If I had to describe myself, I would sayâ€¦ I’m a leader not a follower. How would you best describe yourself?
Horns and Halos meaning I’m the nicest guy you will ever meet and I’ll help anyone out to the fullest, but rub me the wrong way and I’m a beast… I’ll be your worst enemy.
17.) How much time daily, do you spend in the studio and what does an average day consist of ?
All day really, I’m always in the studio cuz I built a studio at the crib so I’m always in there doin’ somethin.’ I work with a lot of other local artists so, if im not workin on my records, I’m workin’ on someone elses.
18.) In the beginning, as a journalist it was hard to have my talents reconized. Have you ever experienced that and how?
I’m still going thru that now, but I just grind it out on a daily basis, eventually they’ll recognize whats in front of them.
19.) If you could invite anyone to dinner tonight–dead or alive–who would it be and why? Proof, 2pac, Big, and me because they all went out around the age I’m at now, but had done so much more by then so I’d really just like to see what that convo would be like and see what I could learn from it.
For more on Chuck Dirty, visit his my space account.
Copyright 2007 by Donna Kshir and Isabelle Esling
All Rights Reserved