Tell us a little about yourself D’Chrome Foster. Where are you from? How long have you been making Hip Hop?
I’ve been making music for decades. I wrote interpolations of nursery rhymes that I can barely remember back when I was 6. That is as far back as I can remember rapping. I’m from Flatbush Brooklyn and my parents are Caribbean. Flatbush is one of the most populous Caribbean enclaves in the world, and the Jamaicans next door would throw house parties every weekend during the summer with a half a dozen 7-foot speakers in their yard. The bass would going until past 5 in the morning and me and my family would be up all night. My dad hated it but I thought it was fresh. I’d look out the window and see all the dancehall slackness and all I could think about was being on the mic. Hip-hop made more sense because I was born here. New York Hip-hop gets in your boots.
What influences you in making Hip Hop?
Biggie. Ready to Die, the early freestyles. So Brooklyn. All the arts. Theatre, Phil Collins, whatever. Sometimes I’ll see an actor onscreen that embodies a certain quality that I feel is missing in myself or in society– like “Grace” or “dignity”. I’ll write a song about that.
Describe your music, and what separates you from other MCs?
The Funk Ratchet is really musical and intricately produced. SuperProducerRobTone has a minor in music, and I play a couple instruments so the sound is varied and musical, but bass heavy. If nothing else, the hip-hop has to hit you in your lower chakras. I have a Masters in Fine Arts from Rutgers and that what gives me such a work-intesive artistic process. I learned how to find the art inside of you and make it fresh for those who don’t have the luxury of being in your head or heart. When you do that, it resonates truthfully for everyone. I mean, it may not be to your taste, but you’ll know the truth when you hear it and relate. We all have really fine-tuned truth meters inside.
It’s like when I first heard Kanye’s “Through the Wire.” I mean, the beat was moving at this weird Chi-town mid tempo, and he has all that mouth work done from the car accident I guess so his flow sounded all fucked up. So I was like, “meh.” But I knew the shit wasn’t wack.
Who have you collaborated with? Who would you like to collab with in the near future?
When I was battling a lot I connected with a lot of dope emcees around the Tri-state, a lot of them at the Pyramid in the LES and other open mic and tournaments. Big Zoo, Vice Verses, Vanguard, Immortal Technique, Jess James, Majesty, and Poison Pen are ALL murder. They do a thing called “the MC Challenge” every while or so that isn’t a battle, but just like a lyrical fitness exercise with judges checking out your writtens, your acapokos, how your rock a beat juggle where the DJ takes you on a journey and of course freestyle grab bag when you just have to rhyme about random objects. Any dude who competed on that level was crazy fresh.
I’d like to work with Droog, French. I just saw French do a show. He came out all blacked out with diamonds and a ski-mask and didn’t take the mask off until after he was done with his “Hot Nigga” remix. Fresh.
More than that I collaborate with a lot of my Rutgers fam. It helps to have gone to art school because you spend years in a dedicated artistic community. You spend that kind of dough, you’re serious about doing it and doing right. I met BBasstheillest doing “House for Sale” directed by Daniel Fish. After he graduated we did some Black theatre up in Harlem, singing, dancing, rapping all that. Mark Cirnigliaro, the director of all my videos graduated from the program, too. I’m trying to have him be the Spike to my Denzel.
Your definition of “Underground Hip Hop”?
Underground Hip-Hop is music made for the Underground. That’s it. Any artist know that when you create something, your target, who you’re writing for, affects the tone of the work. If you’re making music for 14-year-old Wisconsin girls, I don’t know if that has anything to do with the “underground.” The Underground market is really smart, familiar with Hip-Hop’s history and traditions. It’s actually a really nerdy set. But it’s a high bar that they set and it keeps you sharp. If you can get the heads nodding in the Pyramid you know you got something.
Production wise, who are your influences? Who does your production? And who would you like to work with?
I’m trying to bring the Funk back, man. Rick James, Prince, Clinton, Bootsy. Just an open, hazy, bass-heavy vibe. Black sexual autonomy and dignity in the Funk. Dope lyrics over that is what it’s all about. We produce in-house. We picky that way right now, but… you know, Detail, Buckwild,..
Any current or future projects you are promoting?
Just dropped CYANIDE. Masterpiece. The hook alone is like a loving hug from a big-breasted Romanian woman. I took BBass’ song Around the World and shined it up. And “January” is next. The video is so ice-cold. That’s why I called it “January.”
Can you give us a brief description of the creative process of CYANIDE The Music Video? Also how was the Film crew during the Shoot, any ups and downs or did everything go smooth during filming?
Miss Poison Ivory was our burlesque performer. She spent the entire one-day shoot naked. But she has such a grace and dignity it was like being in the museum shooting around the Venus de Milo. The fam at STK MKT Entertainment and Tandem Pictures are all about efficiency so we’re racing around, getting into the 1930s threads styled by Caity Mulkearns, having a ball. The fight choreographer Rivera Reese was a cool chick, too. If you couldn’t tell we’re having fun, it probably wouldn’t have been so good.
Where can we find your music and info?
D’Chrome Foster on FB. www.dchromefoster.com @dchromefoster CYANIDE is free to download right now… the people need that. The times are fraught. The art needs to soothe and CYANIDE is a breath of fresh air.
Any shout outs?