Holding It Down: A Quick Interview with Chuck Thomas
Chuck Thomas has had love for music for many years now. When he was 15, he was a bass player in a hardcore band and thanks to the encouragement of a close friend, he eventually made the to transition in to becoming a rapper.
A native of Southwest Philly, Thomas resided in Sewell, NJ for a number of years before returning to Philly last year.
This past Saturday, I was lucky enough to catch Chuck Thomas’ performance at The Bus Stop Cafe in Pitman, which included other local acts including: Stay Gold, Dot Destin, Charlie Blaze, Skrewtape, and Rich Quick. I am happy to present our first interview here at Beats, Rhymes, Life with Chuck Thomas, a true veteran of the South Jersey/Philly hip hop scene.
- What inspires you to make music?
Honestly, I have no choice. It really makes me feel like I have a purpose. I started rapping at 22 but didn’t stay steady with it this whole time. So it’s 11 years since I started but 5 years of actual work. I realized when I wasn’t doing it I was a miserable mess. So, I do this s–t cause I am sick without it. I truly feel like it is why I’m here.
- Whats the message behind it?
I like to think I rap about my mistakes in life, so maybe someone hears it and decides not to make those same mistakes. I rap a lot about my drug addiction in the past and how it held me back and how I made it out. I don’t think that will always be the theme, in fact I know it won’t. But, right now it’s what I have going on. I honestly want to bring a style of rap that I grew up with back, I feel like there is hardly any substance with mainstream rap….there isn’t. I want to be a part of the movement that brings substance and lyricism back to the game.
- Who are your biggest influences when you write?
My favorite rapper ever is Slug from Atmosphere. I also listen to a lot of Aesop Rock, Royce Da 5’9″ and Slaughterhouse as well. Of course Eminem, Biggie, Tupac and a ton of Rock/Metal bands. I am very influenced to write raps after listening to metal, don’t ask me [how], but that’s how it works for me.
- How many albums/mixtapes have you released and which are out now?
In total five albums and I just released my first mixtape, “Holding It Down Vol.1”, this past week. I have a few features with some of my favorite artists in South Jersey coming out and coming in July, I have my next album titled “The Influence” coming.
- What makes Hip-Hop in South Jersey different from the other areas of NJ?
The mix of different styles, you got the college kid hip hop, the street shit and everything in between. I have a few artists in the area I really look up too, and its all for different reasons. This scene is about to blow up! This area is on its f—ing grind right now!
- What do you like best about it?
The dedication, and the loyalty the artists show each other. I like that you [can] do a show with a dope artist and they like you, they show love. They book you on the next one, tell their friends about you download the stuff, everything. Everybody has each others backs and its great cause without each other this s–t don’t work.
- What local artist are you listening to nowadays?
- If you could work with any producer and any rapper (dead or alive) who would you choose?
Slug…all day, it will happen or I’ll die trying.
- When is your next show?
I’m playing next Sunday march 10 at the Voltage Lounge in Philly.
“Dj Siege Presents: Holdin’ It Down” is Available here