Chaotik Stylz just dropped his first official release via Brick Records on July 16th. ‘The Subliminal Substance’ is fully produced by OH NO except for two tracks, one of which is produced by DJ Romes, the other by Georgia Anne Muldrow. Features on the album include Oh No, M.E.D., Roc C, Declaime, Romes and Georgia Anne Muldrow amongst others.
The album is dark, gritty, and covers every aspect of Chaotik’s life whilst he was literally going through chaos. From dealing with drug addiction, to his Mother passing away, trying to raise his daughters, trying to succeed in the rap game whilst holding down a 9 to 5.
I recently spoke to Chaotik and we discussed all of the above plus the making of his album, how he hooked up with Oh No, his past and what he hopes for the future…
Interview conducted by Pattch82 (email@example.com)
Interview Date: July 17th 2013
PATTCH82: Wassup Chaotik…
CHAOTIK: What’s goin’ on man how you doing?
P82: Yeah I’m not bad. Yourself…?
C: Yeah I’m doing alright man, I’m living. Living the dream homie, haha.
P82: Cool. First off, can you explain what your name represents…?
C: Haha, well it’s Chaotik Stylz a.k.a. Chaotik Kojima. My life since the day of my birth has been chaotic in every single way. My Mother was an English teacher so the misspelling of words was completely unacceptable but the way I was living was unacceptable too, so the style I’ve got is chaotic, so simply it’s Chaotik Stylz. Now the Chaotik Kojima, I’m a big fan of Metal Gear and it’s kinda an ode to Hideo Kojima the guy that created all that because he changed the game. You’re not going out there to kill people and I’m not either. I’m not going out talking about busting guns or anything. I guess that’s pretty much the best way I could say it, my style is just ill, it’s Chaotik.
P82: For the people that don’t know… can you give us a little history on where you’re from, how you got in to the game, etc…
C: Oh man, well I grew up in Buffalo, between here and L.A. throughout half of my life. I started rapping when I was fifteen, a little crew out here. Then I got serious after my Mom passed away back in 2005. Luckily Myspace was kinda blowing up around then; I sent a blind message over to M.E.D. through Myspace. He hit me back; we did a track then all of a sudden boom… I get a call from Oh No and then we built on from there so it’s kinda cool.
P82: I was going to ask how you initially hooked up with Oh No… so did he reach out to you initially…?
C: Well I reached out to him first just to say what’s up, then all of a sudden I get a phone call out of the blue at the house and then we kinda just started building from there. I spit a verse for him over the phone, he liked it and then he started sending me a couple of beat tapes and stuff and then yeah, we just started working on some songs and everything, I started writing. My first actual recording session was in front of Oh No and DJ Romes! My first recording session ever.
P82: No pressure there then…? Haha
C: Yeah man quite a bit, Haha. That was one of the most hectic moments of my entire life to be honest, Haha.
P82: When you were recording with Oh No, what were the sessions like…? What was the vibe like in the studio…?
C: Well Oh No was there for the first recordings and then he had to go and do other things and everything so it ended up mostly being me and DJ Romes initially. But it was amazing, it was so laid back we just kinda flew with everything and then a couple of tracks got switched and then we just started working on an entire project together.
P82: I first heard about the album a long time ago, possibly back in 2009, maybe 2010. Was there any reason for the long delay or were you continuously working on it…?
C: Well we were kinda wrapping it up around 2009/2010 and around that time I was also kinda working with a label out of France called Coffee Break and things just got put on hold. You know, money gets involved and everything. Then all of a sudden, a good friend of mine named John over at Beat Tape Co-Op, gotta give him a big shout out, he really helped me get this project out. He knew about the album, he asked me to send it to him. This was just a couple of months ago, so I went on the web, did it and all of a sudden I’m on Brick Records now so it’s pretty cool.
P82: Cool. So are you actually signed to Brick Records or are you just putting out this project with them…?
C: I’m putting it out through them right now. I’m free right now but I’m hoping to actually be locked in to a deal eventually but right now I just decided to put this album out through them. I’m kinda just riding everything on this album you know. This is a big portion of my life, completely different to what I’m sounding like now but like I said, it needed to be heard and I’m glad it’s getting the chance to do so.
P82: The album dropped yesterday (July 16th). What has the response been like so far from the people that have heard it…?
C: Wow, really good. It’s been odd to be compared to some of my favourites like Talib Kweli and just to see some of the reviews online; people seem to really like it a lot. It’s really good to see it getting a good response and people are enjoying it, that’s the whole point you know. Money has never been a big thing for me; just my daughter’s who I give my life to and the freedom that music gives me. The ability to freely express myself and I’m glad that people get to hear just how I was brought up because like I said, I’m sober now but while we were doing this I was all fucked up. You know what I mean? So like I said, it’s a completely different me. This was a long process and it wouldn’t have been what it was without the help of Oh No, he’s like a brother to me now, we’ve became really good friends and he’s had my back for years through this whole thing. And then with Dudley and Georgia, M.E.D., Roc C, everyone who was involved with it, especially Romes too, I mean without him and without my boy DJ Optimus Prime out here this album would not be what it is at all.
P82: I’ve been listening to the promo copy for the last week or so, had it on repeat for a good few days. It’s classic Oh No beats but paired with an MC that actually has something to say and it’s really good to hear…
C: Yeah man, thank you for that man. Like I said, it’s just my soul on paper coming out man. That’s all I can really say about it. It’s been a blessing to work with everyone I’ve been able to and it’s hopefully gunna bring me a lot more in the future. I’m working on some new stuff now, hopefully have another album out soon, me and Oh No gunna be working again together too so I just keep it moving you know what I mean…
P82: Can you go in to some of the topics that you cover on the album…?
C: Oh wow… Well I lost a lot of family and friends growing up. From a young age to my Mom passing and stuff so there’s the pain of loss, there’s drug addiction from each sides. ‘Drug Muzik’ is basically just like… how can I put this… it’s like me talking shit about drugs but loving it at the same time. It’s like the mind of an addict, you can hate it but you love it. It’s killing you but you need it. The same thing for ‘Substance’ the whole theme of the album is basically that drugs and music are one and the same nowadays. It’s fed down your throat, you’re told that you need this that and the third, you’re told that this is what you’re supposed to like and people do. And I just wanna remind people that you don’t have to be like that. You can free yourself from the bullshit that’s on the radio; you can free yourself from all the bullshit your doctor is telling you to take. I’ve been clinically told that I’m bi-polar, ADHD, crazy shit. I’ve been clean and sober and changed everything. So yeah I would say the pain of life, the pain of loss, the pain of drugs, you know. I never really touched on love as much as I would like to on the album but I got love for the music and that’s really what I tried to show on it.
P82: On the album you have a lot of guests that are/were associated with Stones Throw Records. Is that something that happened through Oh No or DJ Romes…?
C: I just reached out and then when I got out to Cali when I started really working on the album, me and Declaime had talked beforehand on Myspace and stuff so we got in contact. I went over to record with Georgia Anne Muldrow and Dudley as well and that was just an amazing situation. We had my daughter, she’s 8 now but she’s probably about 1 and a half there, so you’ll hear her on some of the old songs like on ‘Sorrow’ and ‘The Check’ too, you’ll hear her in the background. It was just an amazing experience and I’m glad I was able to capture it and give it to the world. But yeah, Romes and I just kinda sat in the lab for a good few days just writing and writing, recording and recording and sat out at the hotel I was at just writing half of the album right there, and then the other half was done out here mostly with DJ Optimus Prime so it was a blessing all over.
P82: Who influenced you coming up…? Was there any particular MC’s that inspired you to pursue Hip-Hop…?
C: Oh wow, A Tribe Called Quest umm Gang Starr man… M.E.D., MF DOOM! obviously, he’s just such a fuckin’ beast. Man there’s just so many… Pete Rock & CL Smooth you know, the list goes on and on and on but I’d say Tribe, Talib, Mos Def, those are like my biggest inspirations.
P82: I read that your family have a bit of history in the entertainment business… Is that something that inspired you to go in the same direction…?
C: Yes indeed man I’m just trying to keep it positive you know what I mean. As long as I can just enlighten people and I just wanna bring a smile to peoples faces you know. If anyone can relate to what I’ve been through, if anyone can relate to any of the songs, I just wanna bring light to the darkness so to speak. Any way I can do that, like I said if people are enjoying it, I’m really glad there’s been a good response so far. I hope that reflects in sales obviously but if it doesn’t then it was an experience that I’ll never forget and I’m glad I was able to share it with the world.
P82: I’ve been checking out the music on your Bandcamp page. There’s a lot of music on there that you are giving away for free…
C: Yes indeed…
P82: Is that something that you feel needs to be done these days to create a fanbase or a buzz…?
C: I just decided to say, you know what, this game has been sold to so many people, let me just record and put my feelings out there and a lot of the songs that I did on there were in a lot of bad times in my life but you can tell there’s so much difference in what is going on in the ‘Subliminal Substance’ album obviously but I just wanted to give it out to be heard. I know me myself, I struggle, I still work a 9 to 5, but still I know I would want to check out some new shit if I had the opportunity so why not give it out for free.
P82: The ‘U Can (Not) Advance’ EP was really good, the production on there is crazy. Do you plan on putting out more projects through Bandcamp in the future…?
C: Oh of course I do man I’m actually gonna start working on my next project right now, I’m thinking about calling it ‘Standalone Complex’. I think that title alone kinda reflects on where I’ve been just recently after the album was done until now. I stand alone but I stay together and I’m still complex as hell and I’m even getting more complex as I go along. Like I said, I’m gunna keep dropping stuff on Bandcamp, hopefully this next album will get picked up as well and we’ll go off from there, see what happens. I do it for the love man, I’m glad people are enjoying it so far.
P82: The projects that you have on Bandcamp at the moment, are they more recent recordings…?
C: Oh yeah… let’s see… ‘Revengance’ I just did on the Mac Book in my house, so I was like I’m just gunna put my thoughts on paper and spit it out and a lot of people like those songs. The ‘U Can (Not) Advance’ EP that was done maybe two or three years ago, wordisbond.com really liked it, they supported it and put it on their page. It got a lot of love too because there’s a lot of different stuff on there compared to the ‘Subliminal Substance’, you can really hear the difference between the two.
P82: Can you speak on any future projects that you have in the pipeline…?
C: Yeah like I said, I’m trying to work on my next album. I’m also doing a collab with a good homie of mine out here named Jugalar Starr, we’re working on a project together just me and him. I got beats from Dibiase that I owe him forever ago. I’m still just working, working, working and we’re gunna see what happens with this next project and everything but I’m excited.
P82: Do you have any plans on collaborating with Oh No again in the future…?
C: Oh yeah most definitely, we’re talking about working on some more stuff for the next album too. Oh No is like a brother to me man, till death I got that dude, he’s been such a blessing in each and every way so he knows I got him till death and same thing vice versa.
P82: Is the ultimate aim to be able to do this full time and make a living out of it…?
C: Oh of course, I love this music, it’s my heart and soul man and I’m definitely going to be putting my all in to it forever man. I got babies so I never stop working, just work on top of work, straight grind mode all day. I love being in the studio, like I said I can’t wait to get started on this new album. But yeah this is my life man, all the way around the music evolves me and I revolve around it. Same thing with my sobriety now, shits crazy how it all kinda melded together and allows me to be completely free now.
P82: With regards to your sobriety, was there a certain situation that made you think now is the time…?
C: Legal problems after legal problems after bad relationship after bad relationship. Man that’s all I can say, when life hits you it hits you hard and it took me to go through that heavy things to get where I am now. I’m almost six months sober now and through that everything has changed you know, I got a good chick riding beside me now, I’m a better Dad, tryna be working my ass off as much as possible and the music is coming out so much better. That’s why it’s crazy for me to hear ‘The Subliminal Substance’ now because that was when I was all fucked up, but now it’s on a whole different level and that’s why I can’t wait for people to hear the album inside of that now.
P82: If you could give people one reason why they should go out and buy the record, what would you say…?
C: Man this is my life on vinyl or on a CD. It’s something you can relate to, something you can bang out. Obviously I don’t even need to say about the features man you already know about them. This is my life man enjoy it, it sounds tight. Drugs, life, everything, everybody can relate to it so just bang that shit, haha.
P82: Is there anything else you’d like to put out there…?
C: Yeah shouts to everyone that supported me throughout the years man I wouldn’t be anything without everybody that supported, to many people to name but just thank you so much to the whole world for the support man. It’s such a blessing, such an honour to be able to do this and to present this shit to you guys.
P82: Thanks for taking the time to speak with me…
C: Sick man I really appreciate the time man. God bless.
Hope you enjoy the read and check out the album... it's a really good joint.