The Big Ten with Chris Webby (Interview)

Posted by on Feb 22, 2011

Chris Webby

Interview by Christian Silvestri for The Higher Plane

Intro written and interview edited by MK for The Higher Plane

For those unfamiliar with up and coming East Coast rapper Chris Webby, it may be time to get familiar. With over 8 million views on YouTube, the young Connecticut rapper has been blazing a his trail all over the Eastern seaboard, and his latest release, Best in the Burbs shut down Dat Piff on the day of its release.

From getting booted out of school to working with producers Ski Beatz and Statik Selektah, Webby’s story is an interesting one for sure. While some may call his raps and subject matter bizarre, the MC is certainly passionate about his craft as he looks to build his ‘Ninja’ fan base throughout the US. Now, let’s hear more from the man himself.

THP: For all our followers, fill them in on who you are and how long have you been doing this music thing.

Chris Webby: My name is Christian Webster. I’m better known in the hip-hop community as Chris Webby. I’m from Connecticut and Norwalk specifically. I been doing this shit for a long time time. I been doing this since I was in sixth grade.

THP: When did you realize rapping was really the career path you wanted to pursue?

Chris Webby: Well, I kind of always lived in my own little fantasy World where everything was going to work out regardless, so I always thought I was going to be a rapper. Everyone else just thought I was crazy, and now I think everybody else is crazy so there you go.

THP: As a white rapper you are going to get comparisons to Asher Roth, Sam Adams, Yelawolf and sometimes Eminem. What do you feel sets you appear from them?

Chris Webby: Well, I really try to stay true to myself and just have fun with it because it is always something I have been passionate about. I really just do whatever I like to do, and lucky for me, other people fuck with it so that’s how been rocking.

Obviously, there are some differences between me and those other guys. I am possibly the goofiest and most bizarre with the shit I rap about like cartoons and video games and all that shit. Dude, I just have a good time with it.

THP: Outside of Eminem, what other rappers did you look to for inspiration over the years as you were coming up?

Chris Webby: Well, I have a wide variety of musical influences. I grew up listening to classic rock so I’ve always had a pretty wide range of music I’ve listened too. I fuck with reggae. I fuck with house music, and obviously, hip-hop is my favorite genre.

Who else did i look up to? I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again just cause it really was the album that got me started rapping. It was Dr. Dre’s Chronic 2001. That was honestly my shit, but back then I used to listen to a lot of Dre, Eminem and Xzibit when he was on point. He used to have some fucking jams. You know shit that was really popular then.

Then I got into underground rap for a little bit like Jedi Mind Tricks and Non-Phixion and all those cats. After listening to all different kinds of hip-hop, I tried to find my own style and run with it.

THP: When you hear people listening to your music, what do you want them to take away from it?

Chris Webby: I want them to take away whatever emotion is put into that particular song. I get misconstrued a lot by people saying all he raps about is weed, partying, bitches and shit. Which I do, granted, rap about. I’m not gonna lie because that is the shit that I enjoy.

I really made an effort especially with this last mixtape to bring in other emotions, and really let you know there is more than just a one-sided artist behind the mic. There is a lot of shit going on so songs like ‘Crashing Down,’ ‘The Rain’ and ‘Almost There’ that are on the new tape that kind of let you know the other side of having a good time.

THP: Speaking of your last tape, congratulations on your Best in the Burbs project. It’s sick. Do you feel as though you have made your big break in the industry?

Chris Webby: I am still unsigned which is what it is. It doesn’t mean I haven’t talked to people. I think people have it confused. I wouldn’t necessarily jump on the first thing I’m offered. I’m having a good time with it. We are able to financially sustain ourselves right now. That’s a pretty dope concept. To be able to do shows and pay for travel and this and that. Sneakers, hats, other things that are dope.

Dude, I think there’s a lot of work to go, but I think the momentum that we have right now is crazy. I’m not the biggest out of all those guys you mentioned before, but men, women, girls or anyone can be a Ninja. These fans hold me down, and I do my best to interact with them through Facebook and Twitter. These guys, they got my back. They defend me. They stick up for me in any sort of arguments. Even if it’s not the biggest fan base, it’s a loyal fan base. I’m pretty happy where were at so we just need to keep moving up from here.

THP: I actually just bought one of your shirts. The Trouble Maker one.

Chris Webby: Yeah dude. That’s a whole new thing we just started, and it’s dope merchandise. There are so many more alleys to go with that. We’re just getting the engines revved up right now.

THP: You are grabbing shows thru Nue, and it would seem they book a lot of dope up and coming acts whose next progression is stardom. How large of a role has shows played in solidifying your fan base at the beginning of your career?

Chris Webby: Shows have been very important because, first of all, that’s my income. To me, that shit is important. The fact I can pay my bills, so finally my parents are much happier people. That’s the greatest thing. They’re happy. I’m chilling. It’s been huge. It gives me the opportunity to go to places and get my shit out. I love to do it. There’s nowhere I’d rather be than on stage.

THP: What advice would you give to an aspiring artist who sees you being young gifted, white and having success?

Chris Webby: The best advice I could give is to keep working hard at this. It’s always been my passion, but I got kicked out of school two years ago in March. Once that happened, I really kicked it into over drive.

Everything that’s been accomplished has been accomplished in the past two years. I had been perfecting my craft then we released The White Noise, and I released that the month after I got bailed out. That was like April of 2009. It’s just been working from there.

My advice is to keep grinding. I’ve been booed at. I’ve been hated. I’ve been taunted. I’ve been told that I fuckin’ suck balls. You know what? Uou just get back on your high horse, and you keep rapping. If you think you can do it and you truly believe that is what you love, then just keep doing it. Fuck what everybody says.

THP: Let’s talk about your latest project a little bit more. You always been known as a lyrical dude, but how has your approach to songwriting and delivery evolved from your previous release until now?

Chris Webby: Well, it has definitely evolved songwriting wise. I was on the punch line shit. That’s how I grew up. I grew up freestyling. You know punch lines are huge when you’re in a cypher. That’s definitely the vibe I came out with. Still, I love my punch lines. Punch lines are dope.

But you have to become a more dimensional artist than just spitting clever punch lines, as dope as that is. You gotta put feeling into certain songs, so people can relate to you on your level. That’s what I really tried to do.

THP: You worked with some solid producers like Statik Selektah and Ski Beatz. How did your usual process change working with those guys?

Chris Webby: With my usual go to producers, I get a beat in my e-mail. I write to them, and then I go to the studio and record. When I was with Statik especially, it’s him finding a sample, then chopping it up. While he’s chopping it up, I’m writing my verses. It’s just a crazy creative process.

A song you write in the studio and a song you write before the studio are always different. When you write it before hand it might be more polished, but when you write it in there you just get a crazy vibe out of it. Everybody vibes out and bounces ideas off each other, then you come up with a dope little song.

THP: As an MC, how do you measure the success of one of your projects like Best in the Burbs?

Chris Webby: I definitely look at Best in the Burbs as a success regardless of whether it was placed in certain top Mixtapes of the Year, or fucking lists, or whatever the fuck. I think it was a huge success and I’ll tell you why: I released this shit, and datPiff goes offline. I get a call from the guy from datPiff, and he says this has never happened before. You know what I mean?

Literally, the dude from the website called me and said, “this has never happened before. We don’t know what to do we’re trying to fix it.” Obviously some blogs got it and put it up, and I lost downloads on datPiff because of it. Just the fact I shut down a website is pretty intense.

I think it was a pretty big release especially for an unsigned artist. If you think about a lot of these other dudes who are in like the same league, most of these dudes are signed to something or another. My name is not on one piece of paper right now that legally binds me to anything.

That makes for a lot more work with me and my manager and the other people on the team. We work hard. We really do. It’s a lot of busy work, but the money at the end of the day is ours.