Hurricane Chris: Ratchet City

If you asked M.O.P. about ratchets, you'd get an entirely different explanation than you do from Hurricane Chris. Ratchet is a lifestyle in Shrevport, Louisiana - where the regional "Ay Bay Bay" has recently become commercial rap vernacular. The Pologrounds/J Records artist wants his face and talent to spread like the slang he's helped his DJ spread. In his teens, that just might happen. Hurricane Chris, and his 51/50 Ratchet debut have a lot to prove. But the former battle-rapper isn't caught up in ringtone labels. Chris explains his roots, his name, and the components of his album to, who keeps it ratchet all For those of us who don’t know, can you explain what it means to be “ratchet”?Hurricane Chris: Ratchet is more than a word, it’s a culture. But mostly it’s just us. Ratchet is how we walk, talk, eat, live, all that. That’s our swagger, that’s what we are. If you in the club and you run into both your baby mamas, that’s ratchet. If you on the block with the same clothes you had on the day before, that’s ratchet. If you party all night, come home when the sun come up, take a shower and go to work, that’s ratchet. It’s all about being free, wilding out, and living life to the fullest. The word ratchet is also used as a slang term for a firearm in many cities across America. Are you worried about possible controversy from the association of that word with you and the movement?Hurricane Chris: Well, it might mean something different in different places. It can mean that here too. It can have a bunch of different meanings. But that’s not what our movement is about. That’s not what we’re putting out there. We’re about living life the best we can. I’m the first one but it’s so much more to the movement. We got a lot coming, man. We’re trying to get it bigger than everything out there. And it can be bigger than everything because it’s not like anything that’s out there. You’ll see, just You’re gaining a lot of momentum for yourself and your movement with the single, A Bay Bay. Where did the “A Bay Bay” chant come from? Hurricane Chris: The “A Bay Bay” came from a DJ in my home town, in Sheverport, LA. When he would come in the club and do his thing everybody would be like “A Bay Bay, A Bay Bay.” We decided to take it and make it into a Was that record made for the specific purpose of having the obligatory “club song” or was it something that just happened? Hurricane Chris: It was part of us, part of the movement, part of where we’re from so we just did it. We never thought it’d get so big, but it did. It’s crazy right now. People are loving it everywhere. It's real catchy. It gets stuck in your head the first time you hear it. Everybody relates to it, White folks, Black folks, hustlers and Artists are usually labeled by their singles. Can fans expect something different from your next single or have you chosen to stay in the “party song” lane? Hurricane Chris: My music, my album is more than “Ay Bay Bay.” Me, the whole movement is versatile. There’s a lot of versatility. The movement is not just the party songs. Anybody who hears my album will know how it is. If you want to see the bigger picture, get the album. It comes out at the end of There are many new rappers who get in the game with the hopes of having a hit single, which ultimately leads to ringtone sales. Are you worried about being labeled a “ringtone” rapper?Hurricane Chris: I’m a fan of Hip-Hop. I’ve always loved Hip-Hop. I’m a Hip-Hop artist. I will always consider myself a Hip-Hop artist. I don’t get into the labels. I don’t get into all that, “He’s not a rapper, I’m not a rapper,” or the “He’s a rapper, but I’m a MC.” I don’t concern myself with it. But, at the same time, I won’t let people call me anything that belittles or disrespects what I do and, at the same time, I don’t try to make myself seem bigger than anybody else. Where does your name come from?Hurricane Chris: My name comes from battling. I come from battling. That’s why I’m standing here. I would be going against all these dudes and they’d say their rhymes then I’d say mines and destroy them. After it was over everybody would be quiet. I’m like a storm, like a hurricane. Because a hurricane will destroy everything then after the storm hits everything is real Is there anyone in the game right now you feel you could take in a battle?Hurricane Chris: [Laughs] Honestly, our movement is bigger than that. We’re trying to do more. We don’t get involved in little stuff like that. But if the fans want it and somebody is willing to pay to see it go down, then we’ll step up against Louisiana has changed a lot since hurricane Katrina. How has it affected you and your music?Hurricane Chris: Everybody always asks that question. “What’s it like back home? How’s home doing?” Home is home. I wake up happy to be where I’m from. That only made us stronger. Hurricane Katrina came and left but we’re still there. We been there and ain’t going nowhere… That’s another thing that’s ratchet. [Laughing] See, we getting real deep into it today. So, with that in mind, what can fans expect?Hurricane Chris: When I write, when I rap, I think about the fans. I try to give people what they want so that’s what I did when we did the single and everything else on the album. I tried to talk about a lot of different subjects. I feel like there’s something on the album for everybody. When I come to your town, spend that money. I’m going to give it all I got. You’re going to get a show. That’s what the whole ratchet movement is about, doing everything to the fullest.