BEST IN TEXAS BREEDING GROUND: Tha Centop – The New Houston Order

[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 […]

[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 we’re 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. That’s refreshing to say the least.


Centop’s 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. He’s a pleasant surprise to a scene and sound that

is generally overlooked by mainstream recently.

Music:Tha Centop – “Tha (Cy)pher” Tha Centop Ft. Alicia James – “Morality Music” 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. Describe your take on the Houston music


Tha Centop: As far as the sounds of the music, or the

environment? I’ll 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. You’ll 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. That’s 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 ’ Tell me more about these shows you put


Tha Centop: Basically we started a show circuit called

Tha Four Horsemen Circuit. It’s 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 we’re

doing now. We have R&B shows, comedy shows and stuff like that to get the

entertainment life back to where it was. What’s 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 weren’t 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 can’t say that I’m a gangster rapper or I’m a conscious rapper or

I’m a party rapper because my music it’s just how I’m feeling at the time.” 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 wasn’t really enthused by Hip-Hop.

Basically taking those words three years later, I was playing football and once

I couldn’t play football anymore, that’s when I really got into writing. A few

years later I got into recording my own stuff. I didn’t record my first song

until about 2005. Whenever I write I think about what 8 Ball told me. Have you had any other star encounters

since? How about working with other artists?

Tha Centop: I’ve met with a lot of different people. I’ve

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. Have you performed outside of Texas?

Tha Centop: We’ve 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 I’m 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, 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. What do you want people to take away from

your work?

Tha Centop: What I want people to take away from my music

is the fact that it’s my music. It’s what and how I feel at the time. It’s very

scattered. I can’t say that I’m a gangster rapper or I’m a conscious rapper or

I’m a party rapper because my music it’s just how I’m feeling at the time. Even

when I do the fun music, I try to present it in a clever enough way so that

it’s 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. That’s my thing, to have something to make people think. 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 don’t really hear myself, but I get that a lot. I’m

a big Jay-Z fan. I like J.Cole, I like what he’s doing. I would like to do some

type of cipher with Cassidy or Joe Budden; somebone like that. What Southern rap trend would you like to

bring back?

Tha Centop: I think to bring back more of that late 90’s

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 that’s what they’re told to do. There’s 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.


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