RESPECT. Interview: ChrisP. Talks Chattanooga Collective theHouse, Watching His Best Friend Blow Up, Microwave Rap & More

ChrisP.

Image credit: ChrisP.

If you’ve been under a rock, Chattanooga Tennesse has been producing some dope artists and dope music for a second now. When you think of Chattanooga rap in 2017 who usually comes to mind? YGTUT, who created the amazing Preacher’s Son a few years back, and Isaiah Rashad who of course is signed to TDE and gets better with each project. Both Isaiah and TUT have something in common besides where they’re from. They both belong to Chattanooga collective The House.

House members include Isaiah Rashad and Tut as mentioned above, but also Brian Brown, Michael Da Vinci, and ChrisP., who has a very close relationship with everyone. Chris is one of the oldest members of The House, and one of the most talented but hasn’t dropped nearly enough music. So what’s been holding him back? We talked to him about that, how growing up in the south influenced his music, watching Isaiah Rashad blow up and more. Read up on Chris P. below.

RESPECT.: How did growing up down south influence you and your music?

ChrisP.: Growing up in the south my father was a pastor, so gospel was the first sh*t that I heard. Honestly I didn’t have that much rap around me until I went to Chattanooga. Like when I moved to Chatt, it was weird, cause my cousins were from Atlanta – they had come up here to stay with us for a couple weeks. They were older than me so they were handing me all types of music, like super tough songs though. My cousins had introduced me to Ludacris, Outkast and sh*t like that. That was it at first, cause at that time Luda was really popping. Once I got into that, I kinda grew into sticking on to that southern hip-hop sh*t.

The influence the south got on me?  I would say like you just said man that southern swang in my voice. You can hear it you can feel it. I feel like in the south we got something down here that the north and other areas don’t have. It’s that southern hospitality and it shows in our music. I think with me personally, just like the influences from your Outkasts, your Ludas, your T.I.’s. Every southern mogul influenced me but I will say the New York part of rap is what influenced me most. Just seeing the culture up there and knowing that they get a lot of their influence from the south is real tight too.

RESPECT.: What’s it like being a member of The House?

ChrisP.: Aw man, it’s cool as hell. Cause them guys are like my brothers. So let me give a quick rundown: I met Zay (Isaiah Rashad) when I moved to Chatt. I’ve known Zay longer than any other person in the house. Me and Zay went to the same church, we went to the same school and we literally lived less than 3 minutes from each other. We got tight because: well not to talk about that n***a but he was weird kid, well not weird but he was a gifted kid. Like you could tell he was gifted at a young age, he was standoffish and quiet and I was the opposite.  It was weird cause Zay used to always come to my locker and be like “Aye bruh I do poetry, I do this and I do that.” I used to blow him off, and then my senior year, his junior year that’s when he opened up to me and told me like I really want to do music. He already knew I liked rap, cause we used to just go to the computer lab and sh*t and rap at school. We used to record sh*t at school.  That’s my family. I would say from 2009-to maybe like 10’ or 11’ it was me and him working in Chatt. Then I met Rob (Michael da Vinci), I met Kevin (YGTUT), and I met Tiggi (Ktoven).  I met Ktoven before I met him or rob.

We didn’t actually get super super tight until… I’ll never forget this sh*t we was all in Zay house. We was just talking about rap and music and everything and Zay was like “Bro we gon do this thing called The House, and we just gon put everything out through that, that’s us we a conglomerate really we ain’t no label or group, we just a conglomerate really. II remember being like damn, I wanna be in the house, and Zay was like what you mean n***a you in the house.” Ever since then. It’s been all of us.

RESPECT.:So what was it like seeing Zay blow up like he did?

ChrisP.: I’ma try to give you a full answer from two sides. One side is like how?  I said that’s my brother so the whole grind from like 2010 up until he got signed I was with dude every day. Like we were at the studio every day, going to work, quitting jobs, and we were doing this at the same time. I’ve never seen a person go into a mode or the zone he went in, before he got signed. Like the year he went on the Smokers Club Tour, something clicked in his head. Like he went into a state where nobody was gon’ stop him from doing what he had to do. And it wasn’t like we could be at the studio all day every day, we had jobs, of course we needed money. We wanted to record every day, but he figured out a way to make it work.

But from a brother standpoint it was an overwhelming feeling. To see his video on BET it was a real deal overwhelming feeling. It was like seeing your brother on TV. Like from seeing him being this weird lil kid, opening up once we got to high school, to really seeing him blossoming into what he is now. I personally knew this was gon’ happen just not to this degree. I always tell people this man. One day we were in the car and we was listening to Kendrick Lamar. And we were stuck in traffic. And this n***a Zay was like “Bruh. If I don’t sign to TDE, I’m gon be better than Kendrick, I’m gon be better than Q, like I’m either gon be better than them or down with them. I kid you not. It happened like a year later.

RESPECT.: Listening to The House, I’ve heard my fair share of music, but not that much from you. Why is that?

ChrisP.: To be real I got a lot of stuff recorded. From different people, I connected with and different producers I’ve got a lot of music. With my father being a pastor I think I automatically had a writing gene in me. When it came to rap I almost lost the talent because I was taking it for granted. I knew I could do it so I was lazy. Zay was on me 24/7, like how was I with him every day in the stu but not putting in as much work? It didn’t even take Zay getting on or Kevin and his success with Preacher’s Son. It really took me saying like I’m not playing no more bruh. Let me take the time that I need to put into it. So I feel like one part of it was me just being lazy and the other part was me just living. Like actually being a man and taking on responsibilities. All I can say is I was lost and just growing up.  That’s why I wasn’t dropping. Ktoven has a sh*t ton of my music.

RESPECT.: When can we start hearing new music from you?

ChrisP.: ASAP. Hopefully by this weekend we can put out this sh*t me and Tiggi got. Project wise, me and Shoey putting together a mixtape. We putting out a mixtape and I’m doing my favorite jack beats. Everything that I’m rapping on is from the 90’s or early 2000’s. We’re doing it like it’s in the sense of it’s a radio interview. I get to introduce myself and explain where I’ve been, what’s been going on, why I’ve decided to rap over jack beats and in the midst of putting together this mixtape I’m putting out raw material. Curren$y is one of my favorite rappers and artists period. I got onto Curren$y right when he left Young Money. Knowing he got on from doing like 7 mixtapes of all jack beats it was like I have to do that. I’m really paying homage to Spitta because I feel like he don’t get the credit he deserves at all. The foot on the gas now that the video dropped, I’ve been anxious to drop music. Basically, we’ve been making sure everything is straight to drop, even though I just want to get it out there. I’m about to drop ASAP though.

RESPECT.: Give us your two favorite artists and 2 albums of all time.

ChrisP.: Can I cheat and give you three? I’ma give you three for both. Jay-Z, of course that’s a no brainer. Kanye is another no brainer I’m a huge Ye fan too. The last one gotta be between Outkast and Spitta. I’ma say Spitta, I gotta give it to Spitta. Top 3 albums? Aw man, Reasonable Doubt, Stankonia, and Late Regristration.

RESPECT.: So who are your favorite artists today?

ChrisP.: Honestly if it ain’t old sh*t I’m listening to Nipsey, Ross,  or Freddie Gibbs. Don’t get me wrong I like the popular n***as like Young Thug, Uzi and all them but I’m also forced to listen to them because their music is played everywhere. But on the real I’m listening to classic sh*t. Right now rap is getting better.  We live in a very microwaved time socially. Anybody can become famous; anybody can be heard. It’s pros and cons to it. I think right now we get more of the cons because we don’t get classic albums and music anymore. We get microwaved sh*t. I’m not a fan of that. I can’t say I listen to a lot of what’s new because I don’t. I named the dudes I can listen to but outside of that nah. I listen to my people and underground sh*t man, honestly, a lot of this new sh*t be wack.

RESPECT.: Describe being the glue of The House and being the one that really keeps everyone motivated?

ChrisP.: Of course the respect level is high because we are a family. It’s different with everybody because I just got different relationships with everybody. Like for example I met Zay first, so my relationship with him is a little deeper than with anybody else’s because I’ve been knowing him the longest but the fact that I’m as close as I am with everybody even though I’ve known them for under 10 years is super tight. Being the glue comes with responsibility but somebody gotta do it. Outside of my day 1’s and my immediate family these guys all I got. My family is scattered, and I moved around when I was young, so I didn’t have friends that I was super tight with until I moved to Chatt.

RESPECT.: What do you plan on doing to make sure your music isn’t microwaved and consumed the same way as most artists today?

ChrisP.: I look at things like – I don’t’ wanna do anything typical. Even if it may seem right I don’t wanna do it cause it’s been done. I think at times less is more. So, for example, I’m bouta drop some sh*t. I’m a put some tunes out, and I know people gon f*ck with em’. But I’m not the type to be like since y’all f*ck with it Ima keep giving away all my sh*t, naw, I’ma make you wait. I wanna make sure it’s good enough to where you want more. I don’t want it to be good enough to where you just like it right now, and it was good. I want you to be like I need to hear that again. For example, this mixtape me and Shoey doing. It’s called Leather Seats and Sunroofs. I’m a release it of course to the internet, throw it on SoundCloud, but since it’s gonna sound like a 90’s mixtape we actually gon sell cassette tapes. I know that ain’t nobody got tapes right now but it’s literally gon be a piece of history as sh*t is unfolding. I wanna make sure you can look back and be like CP and them house n***as, they was better than me. We already proved it with Zay and Kevin but now y’all really gon see with the rest of us.

RESPECT.: If you guys were to blow anytime soon, would you sign a deal?

ChrisP.: Me personally If it was the right thing yeah. But it would really have to be the right thing. As a collective though. I wanna see us shine and for us to shine I think the smartest thing would be a partnership. Only thing a label can do for us is put us on a larger scale and maybe distribution. Everything else we could do ourselves. Other than that, we can do this sh*t our damn selves.

RESPECT.: Do you agree with how most rappers are going the independent route?

ChrisP.: Hell yeah. Of course, at the end of the day if you don’t need anybody you never have to depend on anyone. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it. I feel like that’s the perfect thing to do right now, us as rappers and artists we taking the power back that’s what’s supposed to happen. At the end of the day this is us, we’re made to do certain sh*t and I feel like labels don’t see the vision sometimes.

RESPECT.: What’s your favorite memory with the house and Zay?

ChrisP.: Favorite memory gotta be us just kicking it. When we recording or even not recording and just chilling, which is always. We together 24/7. I can’t even pick out a specific time cause I love my bros so much. When it comes to Zay? I got a lifetime list of sh*t we done did and been through together. But since Zay been on anytime he’s given us an opportunity to be with him, whether it be him shooting a video, or pulling us onstage at a show that gotta be the best feeling.

RESPECT.: If you had to describe your music to the people what would you describe it as?

ChrisP.: I would say I make the coolest sh*t ever. I feel like I’m the epitome of cool. I feel like I’m a child of Outkast, a child of Jay. I feel like if Jay-Z had Curren$y’s swag, and aura that’s me. I just make real sh*t though I don’t believe in fabricating. Like for example with Trap music, and I’m a fan of trap music I love it, but you know how like with some trap music, rappers get away with fabricating? Like on a record I can say I’m selling a sh*t ton of bricks and as long as it sounds good people could care less if I’m being for real? I wanna make sure people know my music is authentic. Like my sh*t is real life. I’m not finna sit here and say I’m pulling up to the studio in a Maserati or BMW. No, I have Acura legend but I drive that b*tch like a Lamborghini. That’s my sh*t too.

Follow Chris P on Twitter & Soundcloud

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