Right on the heels of releasing “red Envelope EP”, Former ‘Southstar’ rapper has a new label, new music, and new name. The transformation seems to be benefitting him as he seems way more relaxed, focused, and determined. The #HIGHLIFE gives us a glimpse into what’s to come. I had a opportunity to catch up with him during his busy schedule to discuss his career past and present, and how he has evolved through it all. Read below for the full Q&A…
10 years ago, when you were just starting out on the scene, there weren’t too many Asian rappers on TV. Do you see any progression in the Asian community in terms of rap music exposure since then?
RC: I have seen tremendous progression with the Asian Hip Hop scene especially with the emergence of social media. There are so many more outlets to market and promote your music now as compared to back when I first started. Back then you needed radio and TV in order for your music to be heard and your videos to be seen. Now you can basically get your music and videos out there immediately via social media outlets such as you tube. There are quite a few Asian artists doing very well using those platforms.
You went through a bit of record label woes and some transformations since ‘Crash the Party’. What have you learned from those experiences and how has is transcended into the artist you are today?
RC: You can’t teach experience! I’ve learned so much from all the ups and downs I’ve been through in the industry. The biggest thing I would say I’ve learned is that you must be involved in all the decision making when it comes to your career. At the end of the day everything that is put out is a reflection of you and not the label or whoever else is involved. You have to make sure it reflects you the way you want it to. Obviously growing up has helped a lot too. You get wiser with age!
Tell us a bit about the new music you’re dropping around Thanksgiving?
RC: I recently released a new single #HIGHLIFE and the video is being released online on Thanksgiving. We all dream about the cars, the women, the jewelry and about that lifestyle and if we work hard enough we can get it but living the #HIGHLIFE isn’t just about that. The song is about enjoying life and having a good time no matter what you’re doing and what you’re situation is. Always live the #HIGHLIFE!
Eventually this will lead up to a new project. Could you give us a glimpse into your mindset for this as well?
RC: I’m actually working on a EP titled “The Red Envelope” which is tentatively scheduled to be released on Chinese New Year 2014. Obviously the “Red Envelope” is significant to me since I am half Chinese. Money is usually given during Chinese New Year in a “Red Envelope” as a gift and good luck. This EP is basically my gift to the world as a representative of Asian Hip Hop!
There is always going to be different types of moods and different types of music to accommodate those feelings, moods, and environments. What kind of sound are trying to create nowadays?
RC: I really want to make music that reflects me as a person and artist. Having lived in LA, NJ and Florida my sound is almost a blend of all areas. Not west coast, not east coast and not southern but a blend of all. I try to speak on personal experiences through my music so you will definitely get all types of moods on my records.
The lead single is a feel good record that boasts the good life. How’d you end up connecting with July Da Producer?
RC: Crazy story! I actually went to High School with July’s older brother and manager Ron Fernandez. He reached out to me because of my prior experience and sent me a bunch of his tracks to listen to and for feedback. The minute I heard them there was something about the sound that I fell in love with. It’s real different and real musical which was the direction I wanted to go with my music. It’s kinda crazy how it all came about but next thing you know I had three songs completed with him including the new single #HIGHLIFE. The kid is super talented and still just a senior in High School.
What is your favorite Kung Fu film of all time NOT starring Bruce Lee?
RC: Kung Fu Panda [laughs]. I’m just kidding. Honestly I really never was into the Kung Fu flicks. I have obviously seen most of the Bruce Lee films but not a huge Kung Fu film guy. I will say that Five Deadly Venoms was pretty dope — so I guess that would be one.
Whats ahead for 2014? Guest appearances, tour dates, etc.?
RC: Really just continue to grind and build the brand and following. I have the “Red Envelope” EP dropping end of January and then I do plan on hitting the road. I’ll be releasing more records along with more videos and I’m working on a lot of music with fellow Asian Hip Hop artists such as J Reyez, O Baby and Marlon Ponce.
Lastly, you can be considered a vet in the game. Through all the years, success and knowledge you’ve gained, what is the most valuable thing you’ve learned?
RC: Never give up! The game can make or break you but if you stay true to yourself and work your ass off then no matter what happens you can say I did it my way and I gave it my best shot. Believe in yourself because if you don’t believe then who will!Please enter the url to a YouTube video.
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