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Sunday, April 12, 2009

SHHS Interview With Shawn Chrystopher

James- Who is Shawn Chrystopher?

Shawn Chrystopher- Shawn Chrystopher is a rapper from Inglewood, CA that is doing his best to break any stereotype anyone has of what a "rapper" is supposed to look like, dress like, act like, etc. I pride myself on being an intellectual, on being an artist, and i exhibit that through my music the best way I know how.

James- Who are your influences?

Shawn Chrystopher- I'm influenced by any and everything that can be classified as "daring" and "stimulating." I'm influenced by Malcolm X speeches, Basquiat paintings..I even get inspired watching a NBA basketball game; basically anyone who takes pride in perfecting their craft and being the best that they can be, that all has an influence on me as a person as well as an artist.

James- How did you start rapping or start working with music in general?

Shawn Chrystopher- In second grade my mother put me in an after school program where I was taught how to play the drums. After that I was in every band in school up until I graduated from high school: jazz band, advanced band, you name it I was in it. In addition to that I always wrote poetry, and Ive always had a good memory.

I started rapping just by reciting my favorite songs over and over again when I was younger. That eventually turned into me transforming my poems into songs..and the rest is history

James- Does your family support your music?

Shawn Chrystopher- At first my family was a little hesitant, but when my mom in particular finally got to see me perform in a venue full of people, and could see the passion and love I have for what I do I basically won her over.

James- Now, I personally listened to your whole mixtape I.W.G, but for the people who didn't can you explain the title "I Wear Glasses."

Shawn Chrystopher- The title "I Wear Glasses" is something I wanted to use to try and connect everyone together, and realize that we are all human, we all have imperfections, and we are all equal. In this day and age, too many entertainers truly feel like they are above everyone else in this world, and that they are perfect. With the title, as well as with the mixtape as a whole, I wanted to show everyone that although I am an entertainer, my thought process is nothing like those who came before me. I want everyone to feel that, no matter what job you have, no one is any more or less of a human being.

James- My favorite track from the tape has got to be "Inglewood Hero." How are you the Inglewood hero?

Shawn Chrystopher- Its funny because when I made the track, I was just free styling and 'Inglewood Hero' was the last thing that came to me. At the time I was an Inglewood hero because I really wanted to represent my hometown in the best way possible. And now its really hard because I get so much love from all cities around the world, but for some reason when I come back home, that feeling is lost.

In Los Angeles, you are never celebrated for your success only hated because someone wishes they were in your position. So now, the "hero" branding that I have is almost the same as "Batman" or "Spiderman", how the public speaks badly about them, says that they are freaks, but when they need them, for some reason Batman and Spiderman are always there to save them.

I never understood that at the time, but now I do.

James- Also on the tape you said you were in Berlin, Germany recording. Do you spend a lot of time out of the country with your music?

Shawn Chrystopher- I love to travel, and my music has just been a reason for me to leave the country. Music is a universal language. I've seen rap songs touch people who don't even speak the language the song is in, and its amazing; its beautiful. I can only hope that the music I am making for the future can continue to put me in a position where I get to travel and share my experiences with the world because that is a wonderful feeling

James- I am going to say a rappers name or a important persons name and I want you to tell us how you feel about that person or tell us what ever comes to mind about them.

James- Barack Obama:

Shawn Chrystopher- A great man. A revolutionary.

James- George W. Bush:

Shawn Chrystopher- Not as dumb as people make him out to be, but still not the sharpest pencil in the drawer.

James- Tupac:

Shawn Chrystopher- A genius. The main reason why I am who I am as an artist. He taught me being venerable was ok, that it was ok to put my personal experiences in my music for the world to hear. There will never be another like him.

James- Notorious B.I.G.:

Shawn Chrystopher- An icon.

James- Lil Wayne:

Shawn Chrystopher- Another person who is smarter than most people give him credit for.

James- Ludacris:

Shawn Chrystopher- One of the most underrated rappers in the game.

James- Kanye West:

Shawn Chrystopher- A living legend. The things that he has accomplished in his very short career, spanning a little bit over 5 years, is remarkable.

James- Soulja Boy:

Shawn Chrystopher- Hip Hop. He has fun, doesn't take life too serious to where he is stressing out every second of everyday. I actually like Soulja Boy, maybe not all his music but as a person he seems like an alright kid.

James- Do you have any new projects coming out that we should be on the look out for?

Shawn Chrystopher- My debut album entitled "A City with No Seasons" drops August 11th. I'm about 80% done with it, and I promise you this album will shock the world. Guaranteed.

James- And last but not least, how can your fans reach you?

Shawn Chrystopher- Myspace.com/ShawnChrystopher or twitter.com/ShawnChrys

hit me up. I really do my best to answer every message I receive!

James- Oh and has anyone made that wikipedia page of you yet? haha

Shawn Chrystopher- Haha, no not yet, but I think when this album drops, it will be up in NO time!

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