Hip Hop Headquarters sits down with
Newark, New Jersey rapper CharlzfloyD
What made you decide to become a rapper?
I always felt like rhyming was an easier way of being vocal. Easier to express my feelings, tell my story, or get my point across. When I was in junior high, I performed Mr. Cheeks’ rap verse from Mona Lisa’s song “Can’t Be Wasting My Time”. The praise, huge applause and notoriety I received after performing gave me a rush. I felt complete knowing that I can make people feel good from music. At that moment I knew rap was something I wanted to do.
What’s the first rap song you ever heard? Describe the moment.
“Top Billin” by Audio Two. The beat immediately grabbed me, I loved how the sample in the back sounded like they were cheering his rhymes on. The pitch of his voice and his delivery made it fun to rap along to. As a kid every time this song came on I would lose it. To this very day my family members reminisce about how I used to act when I heard the song. When I would recite the lyrics I would completely transform into an artist. I felt the music in my soul.
How did “Dope” come together?
As soon as I heard the beat the first thing that came to my mind was fashion and what comes with fashion (cockiness, confidence, and uniqueness). The hook came immediately after and the verses followed I made sure that the content and delivery was unique and timeless. I also wanted to showcase my versatility as an artist by rapping to a beat that wouldn’t be classified as a typical “Hip Hop” beat.
What made you decide to mix rap with deep house?
I’m from Newark, New Jersey so not only did I grow up listening to hip hop I also grew up on house and club music. I always thought it would be dope to rhyme to plus the beat gave me that 90s feel. I had that Heavy D and the Boyz “Now That We Found Love” inspiration when I recorded “Dope”. When people hear it they can dance, exercise, bop their head, just blast it in their car, or whatever. It’s just that ‘dope’.
What are your thoughts on the Trump administration?
The people have the power and at the end of the day we are the ones that matter. Continuing to address and resist the ignorance and hate is where we hold the power to invoke positive change. I believe we are starting to realize how powerful our voices truly are. The “Make America Great Again” slogan is highly questionable considering the dark past that has plagued Americans for years (particularly people of color). What makes America great is the unity, respect, acknowledgement of contributions, acknowledgement of past mistakes and solutions. Those are not things that I see represented in the Trump administration.
Newark, New Jersey rapper CharlzfloyD presents “Dope”, his new single produced by Kid Cannibal. “Dope” will appear on Gink00zerozero, his forthcoming EP. An only child with no siblings, CharlzfloyD was raised by his grandparents while his parents struggled with drug addiction. Throughout his teens he played the trumpet before picking up the microphone. “When I recorded ‘Dope’ my idea was to show my evolution, individuality, and versatility,” he says. “‘Dope’ is about being confident and secure within yourself, no matter what circumstances you’re born into”.