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C-Ride: Coming From The Bottom

Dade County. Home of Ricky Ross and

countless other aspiring artists who are striving to put their stories

into the minds of millions. Insert Carol City’s own, C-Ride. His grind

has gotten the attention of super-production duo, Cool & Dre’s.

He

is one of the few hoping to escape out of a city where 61% of people 25

and over only have a high school education. As the spotlight starts to

shine over one of the hottest places in America, C-Ride dons his shades

and remains cool and fresh to def. With songs like “P-P-P-Pushin” and “So Seriouz” the buzz is there as his MySpace page has over 25,000 views and the total plays of his featured songs are close to 80,000.

C-Ride’s hustle is definitely an everyday thing as the aforementioned, “P-P-P-Pushin” is even featured in the David Petrarca helmed, Steppin’ Up: Save the Last Dance 2 movie. Clearly steppin’ it up is in this Dade County representative’s vocabulary.

Young

Rizzle chops it up with AllHipHop.com about his songs, what he feels

that he can bring to the game, and what makes Miami so much different

that the South.

AllHipHop.com:

People within the industry (and the media) have been saying that

MySpace is the new demo. Songs like, “So Seriouz” and “P-P-P-Pushin’”

allow you to express yourself to millions across the globe. Do you

think that this form of marketing will eventually be over-saturated by

rappers who are all trying to be in the game?

C-Ride:

Yeah, I think that it’s already over saturated. I look at Cool &

Dre’s [MySpace] page and I know that they don’t go to anyone’s page

because there are too many people who send notes. I mean, it’s a free

site. When you link people to celebrities, it’s bound to get out of

control. I don’t think that anyone in the game is really listening to

these people that are out there trying to be in the celebrity’s shoes.

But for the up-and-coming artist, MySpace is better than spending a lot

of money trying to have a website designed for you. Essentially, you

can do all of your promotion – have the t-shirts, stickers, and CDs and

put your MySpace link on all of it. The site helped me, personally, by

getting me features on other independent artist’s albums. So, it can

work… you just have to utilize it the right way.

AllHipHop.com:

Rick Ross is really taking off now in the game and Miami seems to be on

the rise. But there has been some small criticism about some of the

production. Particularly with the Runners — Fat Joe’s “Clap &

Revolve,” Lil’ Wayne’s “Money On My Mind,” and Ross’ “Hustlin’” all

sound similar to your “P-P-P-Pushin’” song. How can anyone taking a

vested interest in C-Ride think that you’ll be different than that

other Carol City dude?

C-Ride:

I mean when Pharrell and The Neptunes started out, all of their beats

sounded the same. I felt like at the time they were trying to create a

sound that hadn’t been displayed before. The Runners are crazy

talented. With the song, “P-P-P-Pushin,’” I had already got that track

with the hook on it. I do think that Dre was inspired by The Runners

with that one, though. But still, the song was a success. It fell into

the hands of someone over at Jive records and was placed in the Steppin’ Up: Save the Last Dance 2

movie. Since then I’ve started to push it harder. I let the streets

tell me that they dug it. But if someone is trying to compare me to the

Runners, I can play a whole catalog of music that’ll blow their minds.

AllHipHop.com: Are you down with Cool & Dre’s Epidemic recording label?

C-Ride:

Nah, man… we’re family. Those are my big brothers. They believe in me

and what I can do in this industry. But as of right now, they’re trying

to get themselves off the ground before I would jump on. It’s more than

music right now. If they had a situation where a major label was

throwing millions at them, I would be the first one down for the cause.

I am trying to start from the ground up and they respect that. I do

shows at a few clubs down here. I just recently started doing one to

two shows a week. People started spreading my name around through word

of mouth. Sometimes Dre will bring me out when he has control of a

show; we’re family like that. He’s trying to get his shit out though.

They have a lot of stuff going on. Down here I like to do a lot of hood

clubs. I try to cater to them first. The most ignorant thing that I’ve

seen is dudes fighting over girls. I did one show in Ft. Myers and

another in Tampa, just off of the strength that the promoter and DJ

knew who I was. But people don’t understand that. Especially since I’m

an underground artist and my clique and I get the V.I.P. treatment. So

sometimes we find ourselves in the thick of some problems. Well, the

clique that I’m with love problems, so the worst thing that anyone

could is come up to us with some drama. When I’m with Dre, though,

that’s a different story [laughs]. It’s crazy.

AllHipHop.com: What do you mean?

C-Ride:

[Laughs] It’s like what you think. It’s just like how it is on

television. You have the fans, the hysteria, the shows; the girls

that’ll do anything that you want, and dudes that just hate it.

AllHipHop.com:

Rap has always been deemed the “CNN of the Hood” – but the subject

matter hasn’t really varied since the days of NWA. What do you have to

offer your fans besides songs for the streets and song for the ladies?

Essentially, what makes you different than anyone else?

C-Ride:

For me, what makes me different is that I got a movie script and a

soundtrack to the film that I wrote already in the can. I have a song

about my dad… and this is a man that I have never met. In Hip-Hop,

everybody says the same shit; I mean we can only write about what we

know. But not everyone makes you move when you hear it. Others may not

make you vibe the same way. For instance, Yung Joc is talking about the

same thing that everyone is… but it sounds better. I’m just trying to

do the same. Basically, I was with my very good friend, DJ Ideal and he

said that I needed to test myself. So, I just thought about some stuff

that no one ever did. I did a song called, “Dear Daddy.” I can’t even

leak it, but I think I’m going to because I can’t sit on it for too

long.

AllHipHop.com: What do you believe is the key to being a successful artist in this business?

C-Ride:

I think that you have to have your business right. It’s 95% business

and 5% talent nowadays. I mean you have to have your business

legitimate. You need to have the lawyers situated. Don’t sign anything

unless you have one present. That comes first. You have to have

undeniable music. You have to be above the rest or else is isn’t hot.

You have to have a demand… one that’s created by you, as an artist. You

got to have to hand your stuff out for FREE! Trust me, it works. I kind

of learned my lesson early. These white boys thought I was talented. I

was only 18. They threw a contract in front of my face and I signed it.

I had been fighting that decision for two and a half years. I learned

from then on that you can only depend on yourself. You have to act like

you’re not signed. I think like that and you make better decision for

yourself. If you fail, you can only blame yourself. You don’t have a

label to place your blame on. I have a plan for a future in this game.

AllHipHop.com: I mean all in all, your plan has to be working to a degree. You were able to get “P-P-P-Pushin’” into the Steppin’ Up: Save the Last Dance 2

movie. Even though it didn’t appear on the soundtrack, the placement

had to give you some looks in the industry. How did that come about?

C-Ride:

I don’t know if it was from MySpace or whatever, but it fell into the

hands of someone who played it for someone at Jive. They did the

soundtrack and asked Dre and I what they could do to put it in the

movie. Honestly, it might’ve been someone downloading it from MySpace.

But either way, Dre got a call and told me that the song was going to

be in the movie. I got my check and kept it moving. I got $3500 for it,

after it was split up between Cool & Dre and myself. Shit, just to

be placed in the movie is good enough for me! Even if it’ll probably

only be in there for like forty-five seconds.

AllHipHop.com:

Now, Miami is mostly known for its heavy bass and booty music – how did

you get your start and who were your influences coming up?

C-Ride:

I came up under Luther Campbell. I was wild. People in Miami weren’t

rapping too hard in ’95 and ‘96. It was all about booty shaking. Later

on, I got into some trouble in 2000 and moved to Atlanta. I really

started there. You see my influences were people like Outkast, Master

P, Cash Money, and Trick Daddy. To me, Trick is the King of Miami! Them

boys were all that I used to play. When I thought about doing music was

after I heard Andre 3000. I still think that Andre is number one on my

list of emcees.

AllHipHop.com: But don’t you think they lost a step with Idlewild…?

C-Ride:

Hell no! They didn’t even lose the streets. They still have the streets

to be honest. I think it helped them better to branch out and do things

on their own than to stay the same. I don’t know what I would do

something like changing up who I am. I would seriously doubt it due to

where I come from and how I was raised. I couldn’t switch it up. It

wouldn’t feel right, but to each is own. Outkast are musical geniuses

who are on top of their game and are something for the ages. I’m just

trying to go from nothing to something to something to greatness.

AllHipHop.com: How would you think your influences would feel about your music?

C-Ride:

I can’t really answer that. But I think that how the streets are

talking and how the industry is co-signing me as an artist that they

would recognize the real. You have to like the perrson first in order

to appreciate the music. Because nowadays people are buying artists,

they’re not buying the music, you know? Take a look at Rick Ross and

Young Dro. Dro is about to do 100,000 in his first week and his single

is way better than “Hustlin’.” But Ross may sell more over the course

because people are respecting his movement. I really like them both,

but people are buying the personality instead of the music. If they

don’t like you, they’re not going to really buy into that message.

AllHipHop.com:

The South has really been able to take off and snatch a lot of the

limelight from the West and East Coast. But Miami seems standoffish in

its comparisons to their rap counterparts. What makes Miami so much

different than the rest of the South?

C-Ride:

Not to put down the rest of the South, but… this city was built on

money and drugs. We’re a lot faster than the rest of the South. We’ve

had mansions and Bentleys before anyone down here was doing that. We

had all the sports teams a lot earlier – from hockey to football. So,

we really didn’t catch on to the slow talkin’ and “syrup” stuff. We

don’t even slow down our music here; everything we play is fast down

here. We’re very opposite than the South. Miami was making more money

than any other city in the country. The banks in Miami had billions

because of the drug trade. There’s this documentary called Cocaine Cowboys.

From 1980 to 1984, the film talks about when the ports were wide open

all over the place down here. It all came through here in Miami,

Florida! They talk about all that in the movie. We’re different because

of those experiences and how they shaped our perception of things. All

of that stuff that catches on in the South doesn’t really fly down here

in Miami. There is this artist by the name of Plies that gets a lot of

love in Florida, but doesn’t get any play here in Dade County. But he’s

really well known and he gets money…and he’s on Slip-n-Slide

records which is something different! If you go to Georgia, they’ll

fuck with you. Atlanta will catch on with you quick. But in Florida,

you may blow in Orlando, but it’ll take you awhile to get the love and

respect here. This is not a friendly city. In Atlanta, you could be at

a bus stop and by the time the bus arrives, y’all will be talking about

something that you all have in common. In Dade county, there’s nothing

like that, you’re not talking… you’re watching your back. I don’t know

where it came from. Luke probably did that when he raped all his

artists [laughs].

AllHipHop.com:

For people 25 years and older, 61% only have a high school education.

Since success is every artist’s goal, what would you do to help

encourage the youth to pursue a route that leads to college and beyond?

C-Ride:

I would ask them this… “Do you want a Mercedes or a Cavalier when they

get older?” See here… people don’t really start thinking about life

until their late twenties. The only thing that you can do is give them

some real life experiences. The jails are already jammed packed down

here. Unless you want to be dead, broke or in jail, you just got to

work hard to get what you want. It’s your choice. The more people that

listen to you… the more you got to go back to the hood and help them

out. People don’t really give back to the hood because they were never

from there.

AllHipHop.com: …And that’s real. So… to try and continue to make your mark on the hood – what’s next for you?

C-Ride:

Right now, I’m prepping up an all original mixtape CD that I’m going to

give out and distribute in Minnesota. It’s going to be in the stores.

I’m going all the way out on the independent tip. I’m following my own

path. Nobody is doing independent. Nobody is trying to be on any record

labels that’s doing it independently. I’m talking to Michael Watts [of

Swisha House] and I’m trying to take that Houston blueprint to Miami. I

don’t want to get signed without having a bidding war or some sort of

lead-way. It’ll be called “Coming from the Bottom” Part 2. I’m going to

try to have it in Ozone magazine, on MySpace, and it’ll be down with DJ

Ideal’s next album. DJ Ideal is one of my closest boys. He’s a brother

from another, if you dig what I’m saying. Real talk. He has a show on

103.5 – The Beat here in Miami and hosts a mixtape series called “The

Bottom” that’s very successful. He’s also down with Serius and AOL

Radio. He inspired me to go the independent route, full blast, and I

thank him for all that he’s done. I’m still down with Epidemic… and if

someone throws them 10 million dollars… then my situation changes

[laughs]. That’s the real world, man.

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