Chaundon: From Me to You

Lately it seems like music is getting less and less relatable, unless you’re driving fancy cars or slangin’ drugs. Many folks are just listening to music from a purely “outside looking in” perspective. Bronx-born Chaundon is trying to bring a point of view into music that more people will be able to relate to. His […]


it seems like music is getting less and less relatable, unless you’re

driving fancy cars or slangin’ drugs. Many folks are just listening to

music from a purely “outside looking in” perspective.

Bronx-born Chaundon is trying to bring a point of view into music that

more people will be able to relate to. His crew, The Hall of Justus,

out of North Carolina, is his built-in quality control team and some

rappers might be interested in obtaining a few trusted teammates of

their own to be something other than “Yes men.” He’s tired of the fake

personas and fictional stories that are flooding today’s Hip-Hop.

Hip-Hop is in need of a reality check as well as an inspection sticker. Right off the bat, I want to talk about your song that’s

out, “NYID.” I’m not even from New York, and I definitely see what

you’re saying in it. Do you want to talk a little bit about that


Chaundon: Of course. This is Hip-Hop’s manifesto right here. This is to

wake up those who forgot who they are. I have to take responsibility in

that as well. I’m a New Yorker and when we win, we win together and

when we lose, we lose together and right now I’m losing because my team

is losing. For them to start d**k-ridin’ and following the South? Come

on, we didn’t even follow the West when the West was winning.

Motherf**kers stood up on their own two, grabbed a pen and went to the

studio and started making dope albums, cause they didn’t want the West

Coast controlling the music. They respected the West, but they didn’t

want them controlling it. And now?

Chaundon: Right now, that’s not what’s happening. Right now everyone is

just throwing on white tees and leanin’ and rockin’ with it. And I’m

like, “We never did that, so why the hell are we doing that now?” We

danced, of course. Hip-Hop is an array of different types of music; we

make dance music, we make thug music, what have you but we never

followed anybody. New Yorkers have always been the trendsetters; we’re

the pioneers. We have to act like pioneers in order to hold that

stature in the game. And for you to make South records and you’re from

New York? Shame on you. I have never made a South record and I run with

South rappers, my whole team is from the South. The Justus League is

from the South and I have never made a South record and neither have

they. I’ve just never said, “Yo, I need a beat from Lil’ Jon and a hook

from Jermaine Dupri.” F**k that. I love their music but I’m not gonna

d**k-ride and say, “Yo, I need y’all to make me hot.” Do you think what’s going on in New York has anything to

do with the fact that New Yorkers tend to have more loyalty for their

boroughs more than New York as a whole, while the South seems to be

more unified? The folks from the South seem to embrace almost anything

that comes from the South…

Chaundon: It was always like that in New York; we always repped our own

boroughs but at the same time we respected each other because people

were putting out dope s**t. We had unity to a certain extent. Everybody

didn’t stick with each other, but everyone wouldn’t let anyone else say

something about the next person if they were making dope s**t. I mean,

just look at the history. All the greats were in different crews. You

never saw Kane or Rakim do a joint with each other, but they respected

each other. KRS-ONE didn’t do a joint with Kane. Those were the top

three MC’s back then, but they didn’t tear each other down. Everyone

was saying Rakim was the god, Kane was the king and KRS was the

teacher. Everyone stuck to what they said they were and made music to

back that up, and it was up to us to decide who was number one. Now

everybody’s deciding on their own who is number one. “I’m from the

Bronx, I’m the king of New York” and the next one says “I’m from

Brooklyn, I’m the king of New York”…then it’s “Well I’m gonna make a

track dissin’ you.” Do you know how stupid that s**t sounds? So tell me about this solo album of yours that you hope will get people down off their high horse, Ambitions of a Writer

Chaundon: I’m currently mixing down my album Ambitions of a Writer, there’s no release date and we’re still in negotiations with the contract so I can’t say with who yet. And should we expect to see anyone on it other then yourself?

Chaundon: Right now, as it stands, I have 9th Wonder, Illmind, Khrysis,

E. Jones and D1. I’m trying to get this Pete Rock joint on there now

and I’m waiting for Evidence [and] Alchemist, but if they don’t send it

in by the time we are completely done with mixing, then I’ll just wait

for the next album. But as far as the features, I have Suede from Camp

Lo, E. Jones is rapping on there as well, Skyzoo, Sean Price and Darien

Brockington. I’ve read you compare Hip-Hop to “a dysfunctional family

member and even though you dislike what it stands for, at the end of

the day you still treat it like family.”

Chaundon: Exactly… What plan do you have to bring Hip-Hop back to what it was like when you were growing up in the Bronx?

Chaundon: Quality control; it’s a lot of bulls**t out there right now.

I’m gonna be honest, I’m not the type to hold my tongue. I was raised

on KRS-One and he always said, “Speak your piece and keep it real,”

and even though that term went out the window years ago, I still hold

it dear to my heart. Keep it real. A lot of people don’t keep it real

with their music, man. There’s a bunch of liars out there… everybody’s

a [drug] kingpin but nobody’s smokin’ crack anymore. Everybody’s a

thug, but who you thuggin’ on? Where the punks at? Nobody’s a punk no

more. So it’s a whole bunch of bulls**t flyin’ around and nobody’s

really nice anymore. There’s only a few that can really throw down with

the pen. So how do you want to apply this quality control through your music?

Chaundon: By just being an artist; this is Hip-Hop, stop just doing one

thing because you can get paid for it. Don’t get it twisted, I’m in it

to get paid, but I’m not gonna sit here and lie, like, “I shot 45

people” and “I sold crack, I sold coke” and say it on my record over

and over if that ain’t the case. I’m a firm believer of the true story.

Everything I say in my rhymes is true, you can reference back to my

neighborhood and they’ll tell you. Any rhymes about females, you can

call the ex-girls and they’ll tell you the truth. Anything I say, I’ve

done, so there’s no way you can pull my card. I can pull cards on a lot

of rappers. What about you do you think the people will be able to relate to?

Chaundon: The majority of the people can relate to me and you’ll see,

they’re going to gravitate to my music. They’re gonna say, “I do what

he does.” With my financial status I’ve been to two continents already,

my passport’s got stamps on it. I’ve been where Jay-Z has, just not

[on] his level. He traveled the world? S**t, I traveled the world. I

just didn’t have millions to travel with. So I tell my story like Jay

tells his story, but on a different level. So anyone who hears Chaundon

says, “What you know about Rotterdam, smokin’ trees in Amsterdam?” they

know a broke motherf**ker went to Rotterdam and smoked some weed in

Amsterdam and chilled with a whole lot of ladies. You know? They can

relate to me more than they can relate to Jay-Z. Being that you’re a member of the Hall of Justus, how did you feel about the Soldiers of Fortune album that came out a couple of months ago?

Chaundon: It was cool; it was a last minute thing we put together. It

was no rhyme or reason on what we did, it wasn’t like we recorded that

album for that particular release. We had material that we had in the

vault and we just wanted to put something out to hold people over. It’s

a “love it or hate it” type thing, you know? A lot of people loved it

and a few people didn’t like it. It’s cool with me; it’s just a

compilation, what more do you want? It’s a glorified mixtape. So you approach albums and mixtapes differently?

Chaundon: Of course… a mixtape is just a collage of music to show how

far I can stretch my arm. An album is cohesive; you don’t have to make

a mixtape cohesive. You can have five sounds on a mixtape and nobody

would fault you for that but if you do that on an album, they’re gonna

get you. They’re gonna crucify you like, “Your album’s all over the

place.” I’m hot already. I just have to wait for the rest of the world

to catch up.