What do you get when you combine to individuals who have been through the ringer with their personal lives as well as through this industry? You get a “Monster Maker”. On July 31st “Monster Maker” dropped on Babygrande Records. “Monster Maker” is a marriage of two states of minds with one purpose. Producer Sharkey who cannot be pigeonholed into any one category and emcee C-Rayz Walz who is equally unique have come up with concept to help you open your mind to what hip-hop should be and not to what it is. I got a chance to speak with the ever enlightening C-Rayz Walz and Sharkey about “Monster Maker” and what the future holds for each of them.
HHS: What’s up fellas?
Sharkey: Yo, what’s good man.
HHS: Everything is good, how about you C-Rayz?
C-Rayz: I’m definitely sitting here, I’m sitting down. I’m not standing I’m sitting down breathing hard.
Explain the title “Monster Maker”.
Sharkey: I think the whole album is a marriage of two friends coming together and making an album that is right in line both mentality and creatively. It happened to be both of us expressing our frustrations at the industry. We both felt we a little underrated, plus we have a lot of personal things we are working out which reflect the theme of this album. Basically, the world is a monster maker. We both are genuinely good people who are pushed to the limits quite often.
C-Rayz: It’s basically the beginning of the ending of the story.
Not sure what to say to something like that, C-Rayz is on another planet right now.
C-Rayz: Word up.
Sharkey: The beautiful thing about this album is that it’s a concept we don’t really take that seriously. We had a lot of fun with it. When you ask if I can explain it, it sounds a lot deeper than it really is. In actuality everyone is dealing with this exact thing and everyone can relate to this concept.
Sharkey: We had a lot of fun making this album which is also very reflective of life. We king of took a light hearted approach on things for this album. It has a deep message and a lot of the tracks are up-tempo. Bottom line is we had a lot of fun in these recording sessions and the making of this album.
What makes this record unique from “Sharkey’s Machine”?
Sharkey: One of the pros of “Sharkey’s Machine” was that stylistically from song to song the album was so different. On the flip side it was also the downfall as far as marketing that album, because a lot of it went over a lot of peoples head. The thing that ties “Monster Maker” with that record is it’s still a Sharkey’s vision. I am influenced by a lot of different genres and that’s reflective with both albums. “Monster Maker” has a consistency that flows through each song; “Sharkey’s Machine” was more of a compilation record.
C-Rayz: Is the exact same thing I had with “Ravipops”, I tried to make a hip-hop album that showed every side. I made the song about the girl, the battle song, the lyrical song, and so on. But, when you show that much versatility a lot of people don’t really get it.
C-Rayz, why did you decide to make an entire record with Sharkey?
C-Rayz: Because I’m not stupid and I love life. I’m just down for getting down on some creative shit. I want to do shit like when music was fresh. You made the music because there was somebody you were vibing with. There were no egos, you are completely open and honest with each other and you make it happen as opposed to just talking about it like most people do. In the mist of crazy shit going on it’s like a perfect mistake. We just got mad at everybody in public and nobody could front on it, because everybody feels that way sometime.
C-Rayz, you have been through a lot of ups and downs in the music industry and in life. If there was one piece advice you could give an up and comer, what would that be?
C-Rayz: You need to find your place of peace that you can always get back to. When it’s looking real monsterish, you have to find that place. Find that place. Everybody isn’t meant to do music, or rhyme or make clothes. Just find what you do and find your position or that will change your into a monster. So you have to find it for yourself.
What you drew you to C-Rayz and made you want to work with him?
Sharkey: C-Rayz from top to bottom is probably the most punk rock emcee on this planet and the only person I can think to come close to him would be Ol Dirty Bastard. The difference is that C-Rayz has a style that is much more digestible than ODB. ODB seems like he was just crazy all the time. C-Rayz is all over the place, but his style is a lot easier to digest. I heard about recording sessions with ODB and The Neptunes and they sounded like it was a complete nightmare, C-Rayz is very intelligent and it was a lot of fun to do these sessions with him. We seem to be in the same place with all of our ideas, which is also a plus.
Your production has a hint of techno/dance and hip-hop, what equipment are using for your tracks?
C-Rayz: You must study ancient Chinese secret and realize the weapon is the holder of the weapon itself and the mind of an advanced monster. Only the scientist formula is the one more powerful. I think Sharkey’s science is so expanding it doesn’t matter. If we did the next album all farting, a symphony of farts, that shit would be banging.
Sharkey: (Laughs) For me I don’t even think about it. I’m just a lover of music in general.
C-Rayz: Yo, son you don’t even need to give them that. Buy the album, listen to the sound.
Sharkey: I get where he is coming from with this question. The thing that is funny about that question is if you go back to the 1970′s and Grandmaster Flash rocking these parties. He was going back and forth on Led Zeppelin records or whatever. If you listen to old Beatles recordings it sounds a lot more like hip-hop than this bullshit people are shoving down your throat nowadays. At some point people started making records that were supposed to be hip-hop but we got away from the idea of what hip-hop actually is which is a blending of culture.
C-Rayz, since this album dropped on Babygrande any chance of you signing with the label for your next solo effort?
C-Rayz: I am C-Rayz Walz and a monster maker. On the real, the only label I am interested in signing with is Rhymesayers or Heiro Imperium because they are real good brothers. I have another project coming out on Angeles records.
You have been a very busy man; tell us who you have been working with other than C-Rayz?
I’m actually working on some things for Atlantic Records that I would rather not mention because it hasn’t come through yet. I have been working and turning the music in for their artists, but I don’t want to say until something has been accepted. That’s where I’m at right now is doing stuff for majors.
C-Rayz, what do you have coming up?
C-Rayz: Well, I just dropped one 2 weeks ago called “Monster Maker”
C-Rayz: I also dropped one 3 weeks ago called “Chorus Rhyme: Collectible Classics” but those are just collectible classics. Only 3000 copies of the cd are available. It’s a three part series that deal with hip-hop with straight samples and it’s my best material that I don’t want to deal with a label with. I am only dropping 3000 copies for the fans. As a result of “Monster Maker” is a good and a bad thing. Working with a producer like Sharkey is a step up and now I feel like my old recordings I want to get rid of them. Where I’m looking at going with Sharkey on the next “Monster Maker” and with live bands is not the same music as I was doing before. I will continue to drop albums, but you may not even know about unless you check my myspace or whatever.
It’s been an interesting interview; I’m also scared to ask but C-Rayz any last words?
C-Rayz: I’m saying that to those artists out there that want a Sharkey’s beat you really shouldn’t get that unless you are trying to do something else. It’s going to affect everything else, it will taint you. You will have a little taint in the middle of your career. You won’t be able to get your shit off the same way. Cop that “Monster Maker” joint because it’s good for everything, good for when you are mad, when you’re happy, making love, sexing hard, slow, you’re driving with your parents or your kids. If you are extremely angry don’t listen to it by yourself and drive, anywhere. In that moment of in traffic you could be the one that pops up with the AK and spray everything. Damn, this world’s a monster maker.
(Laughs) Sharkey, anything to add?
Sharkey: I hope the kids get out there and support this project. We put our heart and soul into this and I think it’s an amazing record. I think it could change some kid’s lives listening to it.
C-Rayz: For real.
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