By: India Sage (@indiasagethebrand)
While most hip-hop fanatics love and appreciate the fundamentals of the genre, over the last decade, there has been a progressive movement toward integrating with other styles of music, including rock, jazz, house, r&b, country and more.
The integration of various cultures is a part of the fabric of America and while some people focus on building walls.
Newer artist like Lil Nas X, Chef Sean and more are finding entertaining ways to seamlessly bring us all together.
Chef Sean is an emerging trap rock and hip-hop artist, a native of Chicago, which is home to hip-hop artists like Kanye West and Lupe Fiasco as well as rock acts like Neko Case and Wilco.
Chicago's popular musical roots go back to the beginning of the 20th century and include important contributions to the fields of blues, jazz, and gospel.
It's no surprise that this musical entertainer and his work is influenced by a few of these differing worlds.
In an interview with AllHipHop, in two words, he described his experience growing up in Chicago as “growing and developing.”
“I like music so I had inspiration from a lot of different places, Michael Jackson, James Brown. I like Nas, Nas was a big piece,” Chef Sean shared.
After hearing Illmatic (which debuted in 1994) it sparked his passion to start penning his own rhymes and writing music.
“I was a baby when I first heard the album, but still, that first Nas album was crazy,” Chef Sean said.
It is no secret that certain artists have been known for allowing other people to write their raps. Chef Sean takes pride in being a part of the entire development process of his music including, writing the song, performing and producing if he has to.
“Producing was something I stumbled into I wasn't prepared for it,” he admitted.
Chef has been doing the work for close to 10 years now, not only as an entertainer, but he also has ventured on the business side of the industry.
He opened a studio where artists—mainly from Chicago— come in and record. His cousin Chance the Rapper, actually completed his 10 Day album in Chef’s studio.
“I had my own equipment and I didn't want to let it just sit there,” Chef Sean explained.
In 2014, he moved to Los Angeles, California, with the intention to develop his own independent sound and style.
While building new roots in Los Angeles for the past 6 years, he has created relationships and received kudos from a plethora of entertainers and is also starting to make a name for himself on the radio and at major performances such as Rolling Loud.
Just last year, he was on stage with Gucci Mane, Suicide Boy$, Lil Uzi Vert, Fat Nick, Chief Keef and many more artists at the highly anticipated festival.
Since then, Chef Sean has gone on to release singles like “Benihana” and “Overdose” and both songs are streaming on platforms like Spotify, iTunes, and iHeartRadio.
His most recent single “Overdose” challenges the definition and effect of the word.
By insinuating a new twist to the definition. In his lyrics, you will hear him talk about overdosing on the positive aspects of success and leveling up in life, saying, “ OD on money, I'm an OD on racks, just like that.”
“The song isn’t about being a druggie or anything it's just about leveling up,” Chef Sean said.
Although the glorification of drug usage has been prevalent in mainstream music, a few artists are exemplifying the shift in mindset by separating their songs and music from this aspect of the culture.
Codeine, Percocet, Promethazine, Adderall, and Xanax are amongst some drugs that are magnified in music. Within the last few years, the passing of Mac Miller, Lil Peep, Fredo Santana, and others has woken up a few rappers to make some lifestyle changes.
“I had some homies that used to overdose. They would go outta town and just splurge,” Chef Sean added.
The "Benihana" rapper shared that he had a friend that passed away in his sleep from a drug overdose; he was one of the people Chef met when he first moved to LA and that made him not want to indulge in the lifestyle.
Chef Sean wants to continue creating his own lane and bringing a new vibe to the culture. On his next project “Groomed Different” produced by Rodney Jones jr., is a build up from his latest single and describes it as a fun uptempo track. His EP will also feature Al B Sure giving his female audience something to look forward to.
Music is not the only thing that the burgeoning artist can chef up, he also has the recipe for acting.
Believe It or not, Chef Sean stars in The hip Hop classic "Jason's Lyric," as the young Jason, alongside Allen Payne, Forest Whitaker & Jada Pinkett Smith.
He has also had roles in “There are No Children Here” (Harpo productions) and “Missing Persons” on ABC and a recent Sci-Fi / Thriller film “Teeth & Blood.”
Make sure to check out Chef Sean's latest songs "Benihana" and "Overdose" and while you're at it, listen to the rest of his music out on Spotify and iTunes.