"Rap is a meritocracy"

Chilly Gonzales has mouthed off to ClashMusic, giving us his views on rap music.

Chilly Gonzales is almost totally unique. A renowned producer, the Canadian artist recently stepped in front of the mic for an orchestral rap album. Grandiose yet brilliant, a follow up effort effort dropped earlier this month.

'The Unspeakable Chilly Gonzales' was funny as hell, but also makes you think. Continually playing on the audience's preconceptions of rap music, Chilly Gonzales constructs an over the top persona to drive the point home.

Intrigued, ClashMusic asked the rapper to drop in for a chat. Holding court, Chilly Gonzales gave the team his views on rap music.

"I came up first with music wannabe virtuosos (I played in a Sting tribute band!) and later I flirted with the condescending, defensive posture of jazz musicians, and finally, I cut my professional teeth in the decidedly droopy-drawers, lazy, bearded milieu of indie rock in Canada" he explained. "So strangely, rappers seemed like the only ones I could relate to."

Continuing, Chilly Gonzales argued that rap is a democratic playing field. "Rap is a meritocracy: the best ones are the most successful ones. Many don’t share this view, but they’re like people who live in Brooklyn: no-one REALLY wants to live in Brooklyn, they’d all rather live in Manhattan, but they have conspired to believe they wanted it that way" he argued. "Alternative rappers can only DREAM of being on top but pretend that it’s a nightmare."

Rap has evolved over time. Once seen as a gimmick, the era of socially conscious music gave way to gangsta rap and a period of ferocious wealth. "Every era deserves the rap it gets. Rap is now in its adolescence, and the pre-occupations of the teenager are the focus now: status, fashion sense, sex, elusive ‘swag’, seeming like a badass... It’s a lot less “political” than it used to be, but it’s also much less violent."

"But the materialism you hate in rap music is STILL the best social commentary we have. Wouldn’t it be pathetic to hear a rapper pretend he hadn’t risen to a new tax bracket?"

Read the full article HERE.

'The Unspeakable Chilly Gonzales' is out now.

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