Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Dead Weight”?
“Dead Weight” means a lot to me because not only does it feature Shotgun Suge (one of my favorite battle rappers) but it also flexes my confidence, which is something I don’t do very often on tracks. Fun fact about that track is I actually freestyled the hook at 1 a.m. after hours of trying to come up with something for it, which is also why my voice sounds much raspier on the hook than it does in the verse.
Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?
The song derives from old friends I had to cut off that were holding me back from achieving my dreams. “I was held down, couldn’t take flight till I cut the dead weight”
The single comes off your new album Cinoevil – what’s the story behind the project?
My goal for this project was to embody every aspect of rap that I possibly could. I was not expecting everybody to love every song. I do, however, expect everybody to like at least one of them. I wanted to show the world how versatile I could be, whilst still being my true self lyrically. I decided to keep the title simply just Cinoevil for multiple reasons. I wanted to get people more familiar with my name, for one, but I also wanted people to know that this is me. You can learn about my life by analyzing the lyrics.
How was the recording and writing process?
To keep it simple and honest: Not rushed. Some songs took weeks to get right. Some songs, like “Bittersweet” and “Revolt” were made in the moment. I do all the writing, recording, editing, mixing, and mastering at my home studio. The only track I didn’t record or edit myself was “Birds of a Feather”, the producer, Summonte engineered that one.
Would you call this a departure from your previous musical work?
I would definitely say that this is a departure from my previous work. Most of my previous music has been old school, boom bap beats and bars. I wanted to show off my versatility on this project.
What role does New Jersey play in your music?
I love Jersey. Born and raised. I want to be a part of NJ Hip-Hop history. The competition is real out here. The hunger is real. A lot of Jersey artists that I’ve seen claim to be from New York or Philly because the rap scene out there is poppin and plays a serious role in hip-hop. The issue with that is it doesn’t give Jersey enough credit to grow our rap scene.
You brought some special guests into this record – did you handpick them or how did they come on board?
The reason I chose the artists to feature on this album can also be tied in with the previous question. From Mir Fontane to Ren Thomas to Shotgun Suge to everyone in my team, OCD, I kept all these features in Jersey. I chose Mir Fontane because he is one of my favorite artists who’s really doing it out here and repping South Jersey heavy. I chose Shotgun Suge because he’s one of my favorite battle rappers and he also reps Jersey heavily, Newark specifically. I chose Ren Thomas because not only does he rep Jersey, but he is one of the few left that’s still representing real Hip-Hop. And of course, all the other features are a part of my team, OCD. Consisting of Charlie Wolfe, Ragz, Summonte, Mustang Marinara, Dole, Morskamo, Jaded Shade & Hoodbabii.
Do you tend to take a different approach when you’re collaborating with someone else rather than working on your own?
Yes. The approach I try and take on collaboration tracks is case by case. For example, if someone is coming with a verse that is straight bars and a rap flow, I’ll try to incorporate more of a melodic vibe to my verse/hook. I feel as though that breaks the song up nicely and let’s each person on the song shine.
Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?
My everyday run-ins with life and past experiences. They could be good, could be funny, could be bad but it’s all real.
Any plans to hit the road?
Yes, right now, me and my team are trying to plan a small tour, dates are still pending though.
What else is happening next in Cinoevil’s world?
Now that the album is out, I’m going to be doing more shows and filming music videos for some tracks off the album such as “Dead Weight” and “FuckYoGimmick”. Other than that, I will continue my job as a counselor at the drug and alcohol rehab facility I work at. I enjoy helping people who are struggling from addiction. One of my many goals is to get a music program in place there someday where they can express themselves through sound. Music is and has always been my greatest form of therapy. I would like to try and pass that on to others who feel as lost as I once did.