Rapper Chris Webby discusses upcoming Colorado Tour, rap industry

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April 10, 2018

Eric Friedberg

efriedbe@ucss.edu

     Rapper Chris Webby is brining with witty flow and aggressive lyrics to Colorado.

    Originally from Norwalk, Connecticut, Webby is excited to spend a few days in the Centennial State.

    “I’ve been out in Colorado on the holiday for the past few years doing shows, so now I see it as a special tradition with me and my CO fans. And let’s be honest, there’s nowhere better to be on 4/20,” he said in an email.

    “I’ve performed in CO Springs many times; it’s actually been part of my usual tour routing since probably 2001 or so, and it’s always proven to be a fun crowd.”

    Webby will kick off his 4/20 Colorado Tour on April 19 in Grand Junction. He’ll perform songs from his newest album, “Wednesday,” released last year, at the Black Sheep in Colorado Springs on April 21.

   Doors open at 7 p.m., and tickets start at $20.

    Although Webby explains that it is hard work to be an independent, label-less artist, he still has full control over his music career and has had much experience dealing with the corporate world of the music industry.

   Webby sat down with The Scribe to discuss being an independent artist, his newest album and the rap industry as a whole.

 

What is it like being an independent artist today? What challenges do you face?

W: Most of the time, my answer would be yes. But this game will beat you down mind, body and soul: the constant judgment and insecurities, the ever present and manipulative snakes that populate the industry, the financial instability involved in the early to mid-stages of an independent music career.

    There have been low points where I’ve questioned everything… It’s all I know how to do. Being indie is a tough road, but one definitely worth traveling if you have what it takes.    

 

How has the reception been for your new album “Wednesday?” 

W: This project seems to be connecting with a larger group of people on a deep level, which is amazing. I think a lot of that has to do with me just getting better at my job. It took me awhile to figure out who I am as both an artist and a person.

    I had a lot of growing to do, still do for that matter. But I feel more comfortable as an artist now than I ever did. I also think I’m just objectively better at song making than I was previously. All these years in the trenches taught me a lot.

      

Are you bringing any other rappers on tour with you?

W: I’m not sure what the next full tour will consist of roster wise yet. I have had some super dope openers travel with me in the past though. ANoyd from CT who’s been really starting to make a name for himself this past year, Justina Valentine who’s blowing up on MTV’s Wild’n Out right now.

    Back in like 2012, I had this high school band out of Chicago open for a whole run. The rapper from the band grew into Vic Mensa, and the band is now Chance the Rapper’s touring band. It’s cool seeing people go from inexperienced rookie to celebrity. We all start somewhere.

    

With ADD, do you find it hard to concentrate on music and projects that you’re working on? Or do you use this to your advantage? 

W: It’s a double-edged sword. On the one hand, organization and time management are difficult for me. Overall focus on anything is hard sometimes. But on the flip side, my mind is always going a mile a minute in a million different, and often strange, directions.

    That can be a huge plus when it comes to songwriting. It keeps my thought process unique and has allowed me to write over 300 songs throughout the course of my career.

 

I saw you freestyle on Sway In the Morning in January. How much time did you practice growing up with rapping on the spot like that?

W: All I did was rap. At parties, on burn cruises in the car, in the shower — whether written or freestyle, I was practicing constantly in my developmental years. That Sway verse was pre-written specifically for the show, and knowing the importance of Sway’s platform, I made sure to be extra prepared.

    But being where I am in my career now and what I’ve already proven, flawless execution is the current mission.

     And apparently it worked, because that video went more viral on Facebook than any piece of content I’ve ever released before. Over 30 million views the last I checked.

 

You mentioned in an interview once about “White Rappers Syndrome.” Can you elaborate on this for me? 

W: White rappers from my generation and before tend to have had issues with each other…. It’s different now. There were a lot less white causation spitters back then, so a lot of us became accustomed to being the one white dude in the cypher.

    Also, the only real comparison people would make was Eminem, arguably the best to ever do it. That meant you either had to be one of the best or you would be seen as a joke and get laughed out of the room.

    We had to be better than good if we wanted to get any sort of respect as an emcee. I think those things combined gave a lot of us this subconscious complex and rivalry, myself included. It’s not really like that anymore, so the feeling has faded. Hiphop is, or at least used to be, a competitive sport though. It’s understandable to see why a lot of us thought that way.

 

Are there any underground rappers out there that deserve more attention? 

W: Yea, this guy Chris Webby is crazy. Somehow, a huge portion of the population still isn’t hip to his music yet, but I have no doubts that they will be in due time.

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