Exclusive Celph Centered interview…

What up Doe, this is Detroit’s Voice, Celph Centered aka Clutch Dolla of Gogettaz Inc, Destined For Fame/ The Academy

1. What motivated you to become a rapper?
-It’s in the blood! I been doin this since the hip hop shop. I was a young boy trying to sneak in. Don’t believe me ask Phal Fly & DJ Prime Minister…I’m kind of a vet.
2. How did you come up with the nickname Celph Centered? Doesn’t that sound a little bit “selfish”?
-It’s me… I got a certain arrogance about myself when I’m on the mic. So I always wanted something that would describe that side.
3. What are the accomplishments you are the most proud of since you started rapping?
-Ummm, Shit I did the Detroit vs Cleveland battle and repped the city a couple years ago. that was a good look! First time I did St. Andrews and The Shelter since the history is so rich there. (that’s local shit but its big for a kid from the city)
4. What are the biggest challenges you had to face as an emcee?
I was in a group Nu Tez and we were building steam. Had St. Clair Shores, Roseville, and everything neighboring lovin us. And then we split. Hard thing about it is my manager had to give it up too. So the group went from 4, to 2 emcees and a manager, to me. Regaining contacts and guidance has been a big issue… Lost a lot of homeboys. LIKE 5 last year and a good 4 this year.. That makes you wanna give it up. But when the labels started saying I was TOO versatile and didn’t have a market that took the cake. Kinda hurts to know that a n*gg@ wit talent cant thrive in today’s game… YET
5. Define your music within a few words?
-Honest, Personal, and soulful.
6. What are your thoughts about the Detroit scene?
– Hater central… but thats neither here or there. WE ARE FULL OF TALENT, shit we house the best MC’s on the planet. But we lack a sound. We’re a city of followers; we blend into whatever is hot instead of innovating. We don’t support each other at all. And this is the biggest thing of um all… JEALOUSY! That’s why we got our cats wit promise not making it. They cant survive long enough to make it. There’s beef all over the city right now instead of building. Cats have tried to change it like Trick Trick, but at the end of the day it’s the same way.
7. According to you is it an advantage to come from Detroit and why?
-DISADVANTAGE! We are called battle rappers, thats how we are looked at. Every A&R, Every Exec, the see Detroit as comedy rappers. We get no respect here. Plus the supports not here, nobody wants to fuck wit the local niggas, but if I wanted I could sell a hundred Wayne mixtapes today… Ass backwards and wonder why the jobs are non existent. LET ONE OF YOUR OWN GET ON PROPERLY and watch what happens.
8. Which artists have you collaborated with already?
– Not many, like I said my music is more personal. And when I do collab it’s rarely wit Detroit cats… NO DISRESPECT, but why? I mean most of Detroit artist sound the same. “Talking about shit the normal n*gg@ never tried to do, lying to the people got um thinking that they suppose to do dirt to get a mill or two”. But yeah, I got my Gogettaz I do songs with, I did a DOPE joint wit Kendrick Hardaway. Sides that nobody in the D yet. Couple cats that I gotta work wit here like Quest, Marv, PL, Big sis Karona, Yakknus etc. The collabs are comin! But for now its more wit the up and coming producers; DjayCas, Nova, Chase Cashe, Dion Primo, Hit N Move, Ozone and many more.
9. Among all hip hop artists (mainstream or underground), who has earned your respect, and why?
– I fuck wit Marv Won hard no homo. I mean, he to me is the picture of Detroit Hip Hop from his attitude to his style… Niggas nice. Guilty Simpson is that dude easy as that. One of the best in the city. Elzhi, Royce Da 5’9 are the best in the city hands down. And big influences. Em, Quest Mcody, IMAC, is the same as Marv.. just give you that feelin when you hear um… Black Milk, DILLA IS THE GREATEST PRODUCER EVER (RIP). Mz Karona, Iron Fist Records (RIP Proof and waddup to everybody over there. Famous n Flame are my comp lol. outside the city… Jay Z is the greatest breathing, Joe Budden is better than him but dont have the accolades, Jadakiss, Freeway is a big influence, Beans, Lil Wayne’s hunger n consistancy is crazy… plus he’s dope. Juelz, Andre3000, Luda, Scarface, Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, Lloyd banks. I fuck wit n*gg@s that can rap.
10. What inspires you most to write your music?
-Detroit, MI (My Inspiration) – Coming 2nd/3rd Quarter 08
11. Your CD is entitled Detroit’s Voice. Do you consider yourself as Detroit’s hip hop scene’s true spokesman? If so, why?
-Yes! but lemme explain. Its mad talent here. Dudes that could be better fit for the job as far as the name game. But. what are they talkin about? When you pop in a Celph disc you feel me. I’m talking life. Im that dude that brings that image of a broke city to life. Other cats could but choose not too. I’ma step and take that initiative. I’m the Voice because I’m using that voice… PLUS I’m dumb young. Just turned 23… you gotta deal wit my young ass for a long time. And the intentions won’t change none. I want cats to see the big pic, Life is bigger than the block… And it seem like I’m the only one left not glorifying it (Aside from some cats mentioned earlier).
12. Old school or new school, where goes your preference?
-old School, 90’s… best era of hip hop music
13. Besides hip hop, which other musical genre(s) do you listen to?
-Shit I listen to everything from Rock, to alternative, to R&B, and alotta Soul
14. Which artists (mainstream or underground) would you envision a collaboration with in a close future?
Elzhi, Joe Budden, Royce Da 5’9″, Jill Scott, Lupe Fiasco, Andre3000, dream collab is somehow bringing bad meets evil back… WHOA that would be crazy. I’d have to step my shit up haha.
15. According to you, what are the main assets an emcee needs to possess in order to be credible?
-Honesty. If I cant believe you I cant believe u. If I say I’m fly its because I’ve done shows in Mauri’s. throwbacks and expensive denim. if ya story don’t add up the people wont read it.
AWF – always fly its not a click its a way of life. watch out for the shirts coming soon!
Listen to Celph Centered ‘s music here.
Copyright 2007 by Isabelle Esling
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