[Editor's Note: I already knew he was an ill MC before I met him. He sounds like this Philly/NY rapper transposed in Houston over these ill beats but he's from the H for sure. Then I saw how musical he was in the studio, from audio mixing and breaking down elements of a track and verse. His music knowledge is crazy and his flow is fierce, this kid is NICE. -Steve Raze]Tha Centop, who is lovingly referred to as the Remix
King by fans, is about making movement not only for himself but others. I
experienced this first hand after texting Tha Centop manager to schedule an
interview. At the bottom of her e-mail it said, Tha Centop were going to GET
IT and highly motivated to get YOU there. Not only is he trying to help other
people in the industry get some shine, his main goal is to bring some
positivity to Houston rap. Thats refreshing to say the least.
Centops sound is a mixture of those deep soulful country beats laced with
lyrics that contain content. Tha Centop is reminiscent of Scarface, as cliché
as it may sound, the comparison is there. Working to build a better environment
not only for Houston but Hip-Hop as a whole, this Texas lyricist is making his
mark one showcase at a time. Hes a pleasant surprise to a scene and sound that
is generally overlooked by mainstream recently.
AllHipHop.com: Explain your name Tha Centop.
Tha Centop: Basically centi is one hundredth of a
measurement. Then there is top, which is the peak. Therefore my name stands for
one out of hundred.
AllHipHop.com: Describe your take on the Houston music
Tha Centop: As far as the sounds of the music, or the
AllHipHop.com: Ill take both.
Tha Centop: As far as the music goes, most people would
notice the style as being DJ Screw, Bun B, Scarface and Pimp C. It would be
that kind of country rap where they would talk about their cars and stuff like
that. What is beginning to happen is its starting to change over to newer
artists being more lyrical. Youll notice more sampling. There is a stronger,
well rounded sound. As far as the environment, I would have to say it is very
click oriented. You have the small circles and what not. There are so many
different artists that have talent that it gives that crabs in a bucket
mentality. Thats why we started to put together these different shows to try
and bring these artists together. This way it can get back to where we were mainstreaming
in 04 and 05.AllHipHop.com: Tell me more about these shows you put
Tha Centop: Basically we started a show circuit called
Tha Four Horsemen Circuit. Its based off the group that has Rock Show,
Kriktal, Mr. PKT and myself. We put out a couple songs. One of them got posted
called For Introduction and we got a lot of good feedback and we also got a
lot of backlash. We got it because of the original Four Horsemen that put out
music about 10 years ago. People felt like we were riding off of that name. We
feel like there was never a project so it was never really a group. Yet we put
together a circuit that gets a bunch of artists together. It has everything
from homosexual artists to conscious rappers to gangster rappers. We put them all
together in one show. It does pretty good as far as selling it out, promoting
and what not. We have some good footage. Those are the types of things were
doing now. We have R&B shows, comedy shows and stuff like that to get the
entertainment life back to where it was.
AllHipHop.com: Whats the response like for the
homosexual rappers in your shows?
Tha Centop: There are a lot of male and female homosexual
rappers. Some of them have huge followings. We took a female rapper by the name
of Rome, she has a good following. We put her in the show because the artists
we put in have fan bases. They werent able to book shows because they were not
running around in those circles. We gave them an opportunity to get to perform
for their fans and people who may not know who they are.
“I cant say that Im a gangster rapper or Im a conscious rapper or
Im a party rapper because my music its just how Im feeling at the time.”
AllHipHop.com: What was meeting 8Ball & MJG like for
Tha Centop: When I was in 8th grade, he came
to my school and talked with us. He came and gave us music to some unreleased
songs at the time and videos. He was around us and freestyling and talking to
us. At the time no one was doing that really. He was the first person to tell
me that rap is good for rhythm and poetry. I wasnt really enthused by Hip-Hop.
Basically taking those words three years later, I was playing football and once
I couldnt play football anymore, thats when I really got into writing. A few
years later I got into recording my own stuff. I didnt record my first song
until about 2005. Whenever I write I think about what 8 Ball told me.
AllHipHop.com: Have you had any other star encounters
since? How about working with other artists?
Tha Centop: Ive met with a lot of different people. Ive
done some engineering work for people. I have sat around and met with people or
sat in on conferences talking about the trade. I am around artists mostly from
the Houston area and I just listen to what they say. Everybody has a story.
Everyone has a reason for doing it. Everybody might try and say what to do and
what not to do. I would rather spend time listening to these artists then
actually talking to them. I would like to hear what they had to say. What they
would offer up.
AllHipHop.com: Have you performed outside of Texas?
Tha Centop: Weve done some things in Oklahoma. We have
done some things in Louisiana. Personally I like it because I have a pretty
decent MySpace buzz when MySpace was the thing to do. I would go places and
people would notice me from my MySpace. That was cool to me to be in New
Orleans and have people come up to me saying Im one of their MySpace friends.
For me not to have a record on the radio was a big deal. People would ask for
autographs, mixtapes and things like that. To me that was great. To get that
buzz was cool. To have people tell me, I saw your face on AllHipHop.com, I
liked the type of freestyles you did. Then I would have some people want to
battle me. To have things like that happening was cool. I would like to excel
so I can get into more touring in the earlier part of 2011.
AllHipHop.com: What do you want people to take away from
Tha Centop: What I want people to take away from my music
is the fact that its my music. Its what and how I feel at the time. Its very
scattered. I cant say that Im a gangster rapper or Im a conscious rapper or
Im a party rapper because my music its just how Im feeling at the time. Even
when I do the fun music, I try to present it in a clever enough way so that
its not considered bubblegum music. For people o really get my stuff, you have
to listen a couple times. I have said stuff before and after the actual punch
line. People can see they have something before and after to take things
further. Thats my thing, to have something to make people think.
AllHipHop.com: Have you been compared to any other
artists? What artists would you like to work with?
Tha Centop: Probably the Gift and the Curse, mostly because I have a lot people tell me I
sound similar to him. Which I dont really hear myself, but I get that a lot. Im
a big Jay-Z fan. I like J.Cole, I like what hes doing. I would like to do some
type of cipher with Cassidy or Joe Budden; somebone like that.
AllHipHop.com: What Southern rap trend would you like to
Tha Centop: I think to bring back more of that late 90s
sound. Not even just the Southern rap, just the way that you felt and believed
what rappers are talking about. It just seems like a lot of rappers are just
image because thats what theyre told to do. Theres no realism to it. I would
like to see that realism come back. I think it would help record sells. If
everyone is gangsters and selling keys and what not then it seems unbelievable.