By Daniel Paiz
Interviewing artists that deserve even more shine than they’ve been receiving is Cypher Sessions’ specialty in 2020. This is another example of that as Cypher Sessions interviews Choosey. The San Diego raised and now LA-based emcee has been working on all aspects of his rap game for some time now. Fortunately for us, despite the distance he agreed to sit down for a virtual interview of sorts.
Cypher Sessions interviews Choosey
There’s a lot going on right now in the world, and creating is a way in which to distract and cope. It’s understandable that every artist or musician isn’t handling the state of affairs right now the same way. Choosey has his own way of doing so.
But before getting into that, let’s learn more about his origins and the music he makes.
Cypher Sessions (CS): When did you first start writing rhymes, and why?
Choosey (CY): I’ve been a hip hop head since like 8 years old. I always respected the craft but never grew up really wanting to be a rapper. I started making beats first then in high school I’d come home and just mess around and freestyle over them. I didn’t write my first real song till after high school and based on the feedback from a few homies, I just kept at it. I got hooked and never looked back.
CS: That’s awesome, it sounds like it happened very organically. So how did you link up with Dirty Science, and what made them feel like the label/group of people for you to work with in the music industry?
CY: I’d been a fan of Exile and the whole DS crew long before I met ’em. I ran into Ex one day at my family’s old restaurant in Echo Park and the rest is history. We clicked right away and realized we had a ton of similarities inside and outside of music.
From there it was the same with the rest of the crew. All like-minded but all different in our own ways so the respect is always there. I think that’s what I dig the most about Dirty Science. It’s more of a crew of homies versus a label– even though it is a label.
CS: Authentic connection is so important, glad to hear DS is a place where that happens. Shifting gears slightly onto you, we HAVE to ask this.
What’s like something you do when working on new music that you haven’t noticed anyone else do, like how you write, how you record, etc.?
CY: I can’t give y’all all the sauce but I’m not sure if anyone else does this. I watch basketball cross over highlight reels and skate videos on mute while I write or make beats. I should charge y’all for that gem though (laughs).
CS: See that’s something nobody outside of those who create with you would have EVER known (laughs). Venmo, CashApp, etc.? (kidding!)
San Diego reppin’
Like us, you might not be too familiar with San Diego rappers. Luckily Choosey peeps us to a few, as well as gets into what’s going on in his current realm of hip hop.
CS: San Diego seems like it doesn’t get a lot of love from Hip-Hop, is there a definitive San Diego sound? Who from SD along with yourself is making it in Hip-Hop?
CY: It doesn’t get the most attention in the industry cause we’re only two hours away from one of the entertainment meccas of America. Kinda like New Jersey in the shadow of the New York spotlight. I think there’s a San Diego sound now, it’s called the Black Beans LP. I got a few favorite artists from SD and y’all should definitely check out PCH and Odessa Kane. Homies right there.
CS: *scribbles names down to research later* Got it. Speaking of Black Beans, this Black Beans project from 2019 was in heavy rotation over here (and makes an appearance in 2020 too). What did you learn from making this project? What was a big lesson from this process?
CY: Thanks for keepin’ it in rotation, glad you enjoy it. I learned patience and how to fight for a sound and style despite of what’s hot at the moment. I learned to stick to what I feel over everything. A big lesson I learned and kind of always knew is that you can’t expect anyone to see or understand what’s in your head completely, you have to show and prove it.
CS: Fighting for your perspective in your art is everything. That’s important game right there everyone who creates needs to remember.
What has changed for you between your Dirty Science debut of Left Field, and then Black Beans with Exile?
CY: The Left Field project was mostly songs I had before I met Exile throwin’ together with songs Ex and I made. We just wanted to get a project out before our real material came together. I love Left Field but it wasn’t as focused as Black Beans or our next work we have in the chamber.
What changed mostly is that Black Beans was my first full release ever and it was respected as such. I got to really display who I am and what I’m about. Left Field was just a small glimpse I guess.
CS: Black Beans certainly let us know who you are. I noticed you’ve also produced some tracks, is production a big part of your creativity when rhyming, or do you more so dabble a bit?
CY: Nah I’m fully a producer, writer and composer. I’ve been working hard on the low for my self-produced music but that’ll see the light soon. Been setting things up for this moment.
CS: That’s dope. So you know we gotta ask: any new projects in the works right now you can tell us about?
CY: New Choosey & Exile album or albums. New self-produced work and much more. I got a lot of design projects coming as well but hopefully y’all can sit tight for the ride. There are more serious issues in the world right now so I’m waiting for the right time.
The world outside of music
The ongoing protests against police brutality. COVID-19 pandemic. An economic crisis. All of these things are impacting lives across the United States, and so we get a small glimpse into how this particular artist is dealing with the current world we all live in.
CS: Outside of Hip-Hop, the world around us is a very strange place. How has COVID impacted you, and what have you been working on around the protests since George Floyd’s video came out?
CY: The state of the world is truly heavy. I’m a sensitive being so I feel it all. Thankfully it hasn’t directly impacted what I protect the most, which is my mental and spiritual health as well as physical. I don’t feel my calling is to be out at protests, I’m an artist and an observer. I’m a voice for my people so I’m tending to that calling. I have a lot in store.
CS: It’s good to hear you hear what your calling is in all of this. To relax a bit on heavy questions and about your music, what do you do outside of music to take a break, reset, etc.?
CY: I spend time with family, skate, draw, design, eat all damn day and try to catch up with homies as much as possible.
CS: Dope. What advice would you like to pass along to the next generation of musicians and creatives, or people who are just starting on creating music?
CY: Stick to your gut. Block out all the noise and trends as well as keep your ear to the streets just enough. Find the balance. Speak your truth cause honesty reigns supreme.
CS: Honesty definitely reigns supreme. What’s your social media handles?
CY: All my handles are @kingchoosey or /kingchoosey
CS: Choosey, I very much appreciate you for taking the time to answer all these questions!
CY: Thank you G! Shout out the whole Dirty Science crew, Black Lives Matter, Defund the Police, salsa verde over roja. Stay Blessed!
With that another Cypher Sessions interview has come and gone. If you haven’t listened to Choosey before now, do yourself a favor and go check his stuff out. Also, check out what his label Dirty Science is up to! I appreciate you all for taking the time to read this, and until the next interview, take care of yourselves and jam all the music. Peace.