Hurricane Chris Interview
|Label:||Polo Grounds/J Records|
|Next Project:||51/50 Ratchet (Oct '07)|
|Twitter:||Hurricane Chris on Twitter|
|Website:||Hurricane Chris's Website|
Is Hurricane Chris responsible for the biggest single of 2007? Is R. Kelly’s favorite movie High School Musical? Of course. No matter where you live there’s probably someone yelling out A Bay Bay right now, you just can’t help yourself when that song comes on. But the road to hip-hop success is littered with rappers who had one big hit and then disappeared. Hurricane Chris is determined to make his name a permanent fixture on the charts with 51/50, the album he swears will make Louisiana’s ratchet culture nationally known. In an interview with DJBooth’s Nathan S., Hurricane Chris talks about Louisiana’s thriving hip-hop culture, how he’s no Soulja Boy, and why A Bay Bay was just the beginning of his plans for world domination.
Hurricane Chris Interview Transcription
DJBooth: What’s up everyone, this is Nathan from DJBooth.net and with me today is the man who’s taking music and the country by storm, Hurricane Chris. What’s good man?
Hurricane Chris: A bay bay. What it is homey.
DJBooth: I had a feeling you’d say that. I did a little research, turns out a real Hurricane Chris hit the Caribbean in 2004, what do you have in common with a destructive storm like that?
Hurricane Chris: When I first started rapping I used to be a real competitive rapper, that’s how I got my name, from competing in battle raps. I used to go every weekend and do it, and I used to win every time. They gave me the name Hurricane because I used to leave my opponent silent, and after a storm it’s silent.
DJBooth: So you’d lay waste to your opponent like a hurricane?
Hurricane Chris: Oh yeah.
DJBooth: Well your single A Bay Bay certainly isn’t silent; it may be the biggest single of the year. Today I heard a six year old kid singing it in a Los Angeles grocery store, what is it about that song that has everybody feelin it across the country?
Hurricane Chris: Man, it’s a word that everybody can use. Everybody use some kind of positive vibe word. Everybody use a word like “fo sho, that’s right, that’s hot, that’s what’s up.” It’s just a new one, “a bay bay.” It don’t sound like nothing else but it mean the same thing, all it mean is “fo sho.” It’s a positive vibe thing. If you see anything you like, say “a bay bay” to it. “We hittin the club tonight, we gonna have a good time? A bay bay.”
DJBooth: “A bay bay” is a local saying from Shreveport, Louisiana, where you’re from. How does it feel to have everyone say it, and do people in Shreveport still say a bay bay?
Hurricane Chris: People in Shreveport gonna say “a bay bay” until they can’t say a bay bay no more. It’s an a bay bay state. The whole movement, when it first started out we didn’t think people was going to catch onto it like they caught onto it, cause we just used to holler it in the club in Shreveport. Now they say it in China.
DJBooth: Speaking of movements, I know you’re a part of the ratchet movement. What is the ratchet movement, and how is it a separate culture as compared to say crunk or hyphy?
Hurricane Chris: The ratchet movement is a movement we got comin’ from Shreveport, Louisiana. It’s gonna be all the way 51/50, it’s our culture. Our music is called ratchet too. Ratchet is how we walk, talk, eat, sleep, dress, how we do our music, sing. It just means do you to the fullest and don’t care what nobody else think. Just do you. Do your own thing, you ratchet.
DJBooth: So if I saw you walking down the street towards me how would I know you’re part of a ratchet culture?
Hurricane Chris: If I was walking down the street with my shirt off.
DJBooth: So no shirts in Louisiana?
Hurricane Chris: It’s hot outside. I don’t care what nobody say, it’s hot. I’m ratchet, I’m a do me.
DJBooth: Well, I live in L.A. and plenty of people walk around without their shirts on, so maybe you got something going.
Hurricane Chris: That’s ratchet right there.
DJBooth: I was ratchet and I didn’t even know it.
Hurricane Chris: Yeah, ratchet and you didn’t even know it. If you ever drunk out of a pickle jar you ratchet.
DJBooth: A lot of people have been comparing you to artists like Soulja Boy. Probably because you’re both young, both Southern, both have dance hits blowing up in the clubs. How do you feel about that comparison?
Hurricane Chris: They don’t compare us because of our music, they compare us because we’re affiliated with the same people, that’s the thing. It ain’t so much our music sound alike, cause it don’t sound nothing alike. Two different people, two different tones, two different dances, whole different vibes to the songs. We’re affiliated with the same people, Mr. Collipark. Collipark is who found me.
DJBooth: So people who would compare you just haven’t listened to the music?
Hurricane Chris: I say our music is way different. I disagree right there, I don’t think our music sound the same when you get down and listen to it. A Bay Bay was a slow beat that you lean back and put your hands in your pockets and rock to, or clap your hands and bop you head to. The other track [Crank Dat] make you jump all over the club from side to side.
DJBooth: So you’re a little more laid back when you dance in ratchet?
Hurricane Chris: No, because the Hand Clap was crunk too. The Hand Clap was all the way crunk. If you listen to the way we format out songs, his style is more teaching you how to do dances, my style is I do it all. I rap, I get you to do a dance, I can come back spit a verse fast or slow.
DJBooth: Hand Clap is your second single, after A Bay Bay. We’ve seen a lot of rappers lately in hip-hop drop that one huge single, like Mims with This Is Why I’m Hot or Huey with Pop, Lock and Drop It. What are you doing to ensure you stay in the game for a long time and have a long career here?
Hurricane Chris: The album 51/50 drop October the 23, we just shot the Hand Clap video. They thought we was gonna be a one hit wonder with the A Bay Bay, so we came back with the A Bay Bay Remix. I put The Game, E-40, Lil’ Boosie , Birdman and Jadakiss on the remix and it was number one on 106 and Park. They can’t play that no more cause we were at number one for so long, so now we dropped the Hand Clap. Call in and tell them to play Hand Clap on the air, and once that hit number one they gonna know we ain’t no one hit wonder.
DJBooth: You’re just gonna keep coming with it?
Hurricane Chris: We just gotta keep working and prove we’re no one hit wonder.
DJBooth: You’re also making it about more than just music. You’re from Louisiana and it’s been a rough few years for the state with Hurricane Katrina and now the Jena 6 controversy. Can you talk a little bit about how those things have affected your music and what you’re doing for the state of Louisiana?
Hurricane Chris: It gives me so much more to rap about. It’s so close, and Louisiana’s my state. Right where the [Jena 6] incident happened it ain’t so far from my hometown. It gave me a different feeling to put into my music.
DJBooth: You’ve also got a benefit concert coming up with Twista on Sept. 29, for the Jena 6. Can you explain what that controversy’s about for those who don’t know?
Hurricane Chris: The Jena 6 controversy, if you don’t know what that is just google it and it should come right up. Basically what happened is it’s a racial thing going on, it’s like a feud. Some kids got into it and had a good old-fashioned knuckle up, but the outcome was crazy. They charged the black children with about 20 years for just a fistfight, but the white kids had their charges reduced. It makes you wonder what’s goin on, it’s crazy.
DJBooth: It’s good to see an artist not only lighting it up in the club but also getting politically and socially involved in their communities as well.
Hurricane Chris: I appreciate that.
DJBooth: Everybody should look out for 51/50 which drops October 23…
Hurricane Chris: October 23, that’s right. If you gotta sleep outside the record store then sleep outside. Wake up in the morning and get 51/50, we gonna see who’s real. Go get that.
DJBooth: Why don’t you hit people up with a MySpace or website where they can find out more about you and your music.
Hurricane Chris: You can hit me up on MySpace at myspace.com/hurricane, send me a friend request I’ll send you one right back. On the MySpace page there’s a map on me where you can see every city that I’m in. If you ever want to see me go to the myspace map and there will be a storm showing you exactly where I’m at. Hit me up.
DJBooth: Hurricane Chris, a storm sweeping across the nation. Thanks for taking the time to stop into the booth.
Hurricane Chris: October 23, go get it.
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