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 Citys own, C-Ride. His grind
has gotten the attention of super-production duo, Cool & Dres.
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-Rides 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 representatives vocabulary.
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.
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?
Yeah, I think that its already over saturated. I look at Cool &
Dres [MySpace] page and I know that they dont go to anyones page
because there are too many people who send notes. I mean, its a free
site. When you link people to celebrities, its bound to get out of
control. I dont think that anyone in the game is really listening to
these people that are out there trying to be in the celebritys 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 artists albums. So, it can
work you just have to utilize it the right way.
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 Joes Clap &
Revolve, Lil Waynes 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 youll be different than that
other Carol City dude?
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 hadnt 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 Ive 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 thatll blow their minds.
AllHipHop.com: Are you down with Cool & Dres Epidemic recording label?
Nah, man were family. Those are my big brothers. They believe in me
and what I can do in this industry. But as of right now, theyre trying
to get themselves off the ground before I would jump on. Its 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; were family like that. Hes 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 Ive
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 dont understand that. Especially since Im
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 Im with love problems, so the worst thing that anyone
could is come up to us with some drama. When Im with Dre, though,
thats a different story [laughs]. Its crazy.
AllHipHop.com: What do you mean?
[Laughs] Its like what you think. Its just like how it is on
television. You have the fans, the hysteria, the shows; the girls
thatll do anything that you want, and dudes that just hate it.
Rap has always been deemed the CNN of the Hood but the subject
matter hasnt 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?
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. Im 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 cant even
leak it, but I think Im going to because I cant sit on it for too
AllHipHop.com: What do you believe is the key to being a successful artist in this business?
I think that you have to have your business right. Its 95% business
and 5% talent nowadays. I mean you have to have your business
legitimate. You need to have the lawyers situated. Dont 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 isnt hot.
You have to have a demand one thats 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
youre not signed. I think like that and you make better decision for
yourself. If you fail, you can only blame yourself. You dont 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 didnt appear on the soundtrack, the placement
had to give you some looks in the industry. How did that come about?
I dont 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 mightve 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 itll probably
only be in there for like forty-five seconds.
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?
I came up under Luther Campbell. I was wild. People in Miami werent
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 dont you think they lost a step with Idlewild ?
Hell no! They didnt 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 dont 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 couldnt switch it up. It
wouldnt feel right, but to each is own. Outkast are musical geniuses
who are on top of their game and are something for the ages. Im 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?
I cant 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,
theyre 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
dont like you, theyre not going to really buy into that message.
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?
Not to put down the rest of the South, but this city was built on
money and drugs. Were a lot faster than the rest of the South. Weve
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 didnt catch on to the slow talkin and syrup stuff. We
dont even slow down our music here; everything we play is fast down
here. Were 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. Theres 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. Were different because
of those experiences and how they shaped our perception of things. All
of that stuff that catches on in the South doesnt really fly down here
in Miami. There is this artist by the name of Plies that gets a lot of
love in Florida, but doesnt get any play here in Dade County. But hes
really well known and he gets money and hes on Slip-n-Slide
records which is something different! If you go to Georgia, theyll
fuck with you. Atlanta will catch on with you quick. But in Florida,
you may blow in Orlando, but itll 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, yall will be talking about
something that you all have in common. In Dade county, theres nothing
like that, youre not talking youre watching your back. I dont know
where it came from. Luke probably did that when he raped all his
For people 25 years and older, 61% only have a high school education.
Since success is every artists goal, what would you do to help
encourage the youth to pursue a route that leads to college and beyond?
I would ask them this Do you want a Mercedes or a Cavalier when they
get older? See here people dont 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. Its your choice. The more people that
listen to you the more you got to go back to the hood and help them
out. People dont really give back to the hood because they were never
AllHipHop.com: And thats real. So to try and continue to make your mark on the hood whats next for you?
Right now, Im prepping up an all original mixtape CD that Im going to
give out and distribute in Minnesota. Its going to be in the stores.
Im going all the way out on the independent tip. Im following my own
path. Nobody is doing independent. Nobody is trying to be on any record
labels thats doing it independently. Im talking to Michael Watts [of Swisha House] and Im trying to take that Houston blueprint to Miami. I
dont want to get signed without having a bidding war or some sort of
lead-way. Itll be called Coming from the Bottom Part 2. Im going to
try to have it in Ozone magazine, on MySpace, and itll be down with DJ
Ideals next album. DJ Ideal is one of my closest boys. Hes a brother
from another, if you dig what Im saying. Real talk. He has a show on
103.5 The Beat here in Miami and hosts a mixtape series called The
Bottom thats very successful. Hes also down with Serius and AOL
Radio. He inspired me to go the independent route, full blast, and I
thank him for all that hes done. Im still down with Epidemic and if
someone throws them 10 million dollars then my situation changes
[laughs]. Thats the real world, man.