Queens rapper Chapo has the persistence, marketability, and longevity it takes to survive in this industry. Formerly called M.C. of Self Made, Chapo has received rave reviews from many of the top industry executives, A&Rs, label reps, local media, and social media outlets, including winning Monster Audio’s 424k “Track of the Year.”
Long has it been since the days of “El Chapo” and “Whine Up.” Now, with three independent projects, one compilation record, two independent mixtapes, international shows, and major terrestrial radio spins (iHeart Radio, Music Choice, CBS Radio & Pandora) under his belt, many feel a major deal is right around the corner; But Chapo feels it is not needed to take him to the next level right now.
Shamika Sanders-Sykes for HHMW spoke to the rapper about his film venture, upcoming music, love & relationships and the industry.
So a lot has happened. The last time I saw you, “Whine Up” was out and a lot has happened since then, so let’s get into that.
A lot of good. A lot of bad. I’m calling it just the journey of life. But you know as well as this music industry journey that we’re taking, but I revamped my whole entire movement. It’s an all-female team now. You know, I did that for a reason.
Why an all-female team?
Well just on a business mind seeing how things are going since last year, 2020 is the year of the female. entrepreneur, the business owners, female everything. I slowly saw through the last decade the creep. The female’s progress in the business world. It’s here now. So I’m I’m trying to get ahead of the curve.
Yeah, because, you know, like you have DJ Reality. You have Kay Young… there is a whole flock of females that are just running this game right now. We need more of that.
We really do.
So you don’t even go by M.C. anymore. Why the name change?
Actually, I didn’t even change my name. They changed the name for me. Oh, they just started calling me ‘Chapo.’ As much as I went through so many interviews, he tried to say, “It’s M.C,” and they are like, “alright, Chapo.” So it’s Chapo now, but it’s catchy. It catches your ear.
So you have a lot of stuff going on. You have an upcoming film?
Oh, it’s already out. The film Bully with Mr. Danny Trejo.
What got you into the part?
Oh, it was actually a good friend of mine, Santino Campenelli. He was actually an artist that I worked with for 10+ years. He’s recently just got into like screenwriting and directing. So he called me down originally to use “El Chapo,” the song as a part of the soundtrack. And right on the spot, he’s was like, “You haven’t acted before?” I was like “No, I did none of that stuff.” So he’s like, “You want to roll? I think I got a role for you”. I was like, “Hey, why not?” And to me, on set, that was one of the best experiences within this whole entertainment journey, by far.
Your other track “Whine Up” is in another film as well.
Yes. That is in a short film called, Tomorrow by Joy Banks. That was a surprise to me. I appreciate her throwing the track in there.
Speaking of which, you do have a video for that coming up with Safaree. How the hell…
(Laughs) So far, he’s always been, you know, a close associate of people I do business with. So, you know, I told everybody the reason I went with the whole line of sound in the first place was to pay homage to the Jamaican culture. You look at one of the forerunners today with the young people and it’s him; And I really didn’t want to culturally appropriate too much, I wanted to give a blessing to somebody that’s doing that as well. So we just call it these things to famous. We also get Snaps NYC which is a PR on the line. So with them two, we got it done. We got the remix done and we’re rolling with it. That’s actually still to this day, one of my top grossing tracks. It’s on cruise ships and all of that.
Well, I mean, like when I first heard the track back then, it was a hit and it’s still a hit.
Thank you. Thank you so much. I appreciate it.
Now you have two songs coming up; I don’t know if they’re out yet.
One just dropped Valentine’s Day called. “Issues.” That is a highly controversial track. And that’s why I chose to drop it today. I think the culture today is missing something. For the most part, we got it together, but we’re missing a major piece of the puzzle when it comes to relationships and how we deal with each other. It’s a speed dating culture nowadays. If you don’t like something, I’m gone to the next, and onto the next. The song I dropped today, it’s just basically saying like, you know, we understand Valentine’s Day, that’s that one day set aside, but the issues that you have before that will be the same issues you have after that. So, my song “Issues,” we’re just hitting on that key point. Like from a mature standpoint, you know, we care about each other. We’re going through this, but we’re still not gonna skip over, as we say, “the elephant in the room”. Mean, we have issues that need to be talked about and worked through.