Get To Know: Chris Webby
Lots of tats, tons of raps.
Why You Should Get To Know Him: Because his Pop culture references are too on point.
Chris Webby will be the first to admit he's a suburban white kid from Connecticut. Yes, he's the face of most Hip-Hop consumers. The only difference is while many rappers across the spectrum claim to be something they're not, Webby is true to who he is. On top of being honest, he knows how to rap. Well. With a few mixtapes under his belt and an EP There Goes the Neighborhood out now, Chris Webby is here to have fun and talk Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. He chats with Groove about his love of Pop culture, his multiple tattoos, and how being himself is the only way he knows how to be.
How would you describe your experience in the music industry so far?
It's been a crazy ride. Nothing was handed to me, and I had to pay my dues more than most. To be honest though, I wouldn't want it any other way. It was a very gradual rise to where I am now, and that forced me to remain level headed and it kept my ego in check. I think that's important, man. I love Hip-Hop, though. The music, the lifestyle...I'm the type of dude who can spend a Friday or Saturday night in the studio until the sun comes up and consider it time well spent. Not that I don't like to go out and get bottles with a bunch of beautiful women at the club like everyone else. Because I definitely do. But the music has, and always will come first for me.
Do you feel traditional rap heads are coming around to your style of Hip-Hop?
I think that, while my style is not necessarily traditional, it's clear at this point that I know how to rap. I grew up freestyling and battling at house parties. I have seven (soon to be eight) mixtapes and an iTunes EP out online. I've performed across the country several times. I've put in my work. I've been writing since I was 12 years old. I'm almost 24 now. I take this shit seriously, man. I'm a middle class suburban white kid from Connecticut and I'm OK with it. I don't try to be something I'm not. At the same time, I know that I can rap better than most, and I'm not afraid of having to back that up. You don't have to like my music, but you have to respect my work ethic, dedication, and hustle. I breathe Hip-Hop.
You make a lot of pop culture references in your music. What was your favorite TV show/cartoon during childhood?
That's hard to say.. I was always watching cartoons or playing video games. A few that come to mind off the top of my head would be Ren & Stimpy, Rocko's Modern Life, and X-Men. Pee Wee's Playhouse was my shit too. I'm still a big TV fan though. Nowadays I'm into Sopranos, The Wire, Breaking Bad, Sons of Anarchy, Dexter, and Game of Thrones to name a few.
How many tattoos do you currently have? What do they all reflect about you?
Depends on whether you count all the components of the Super Mario sleeve on my left arm as one or not. If you do...probably like twenty something. I forget about some of them sometimes and then I'm like, "Oh yeah, I have Simba tattooed on my thigh." I have a lot of cartoon/video game influenced tats though. Super Mario characters all over my arm and shoulder, the Mortal Kombat logo on my other shoulder blade, the Autobots logo on my chest, and Rafael from the Ninja Turtles on my right calf to name a few. And Connecticut across my collar. Gotta be proud of where you come from. Some people think I'm an idiot for getting a lot of my tattoos. Perhaps they're right. I like em though, so fuck it.
Explain your ninja fascination.
I love the Ninja Turtles. Always have. I had all the action figures, video games.. even a Ninja Turtle electric toothbrush. I talk about them a lot, especially in my earlier music, and my second mix tape was named Teenage Mutant Ninja Rapper. One day a fan suggested that I start calling my fans ninjas. I gave it a shot and it stuck. My fans are crazy, though. They really care, and are a lot of the reason that I am where I am today. I even know a good handful of them by name at this point. Ninjas go hard.
What rappers did you listen to coming up?
I grew up listening to the whole Eminem, Dre, Xzibit, D12, Snoop, and Nate Dogg movement that was going on back in the early 2000's. Everybody was working with everybody and making good music. Jay-Z and Eminem's song "Renegade" is probably my favorite Hip-Hop song ever. I listen to all kinds of music though; everything from reggae to classic rock to dubstep. I think it's important for rappers to have a good understanding of many types of music in order to take their style to the next level.
What was the moment you realized your career was reaching the next level?
I started off doing whatever shows I could get on. Showcases, opening slots for bigger artists.. anything I could. Then once my buzz picked up a bit I started getting booked for Sweet 16's and graduation parties. I wasn't getting paid much, but anything was better than the weak ass paychecks I was getting at Leslie's Pool Supplies. I knew that everything was reaching the next level when I started getting my own shows and seeing people singing along to every word of my songs. It was a crazy feeling the first time I saw that. It's great to know that people are appreciating all the hard work you're putting in man.
What's next for you?
A lot of new music. I should have this next mixtape ready by early summer, but I'm just getting as many songs in the vault as possible right now. Aside from that, I guess we'll see. I have some big plans. It's finally about that time where I put every piece I've gathered along the way thus far into place.
If you weren't here doing this, where do you think you would be.
Hopefully I wouldn't still be at Leslie's Pool Supplies. That job sucked. Who knows though. I was at a pretty low point in life when this all started taking off, so I'm just happy to be doing it. I love my job. Anyone who can honestly say that has nothing to complain about.
about the bloggers
MSN Music’s Groove covers the Urban cultural landscape of music, fashion, politics and lifestyle. The Groove team includes writers and reporters whose work has appeared in print and online through such respected media outlets as Billboard, MTV News, Vibe, Essence, The Source and GIANT, among others.