Chip Tha Ripper has been steady grinding and building a following for awhile, but on top of this he continously puts out audio dope. If you're not familiar with Chip now is the time to acquaint yourself. He just dropped his mixtape Tell Ya Friends, which has amassed close to 30,000 downloads on HNHH alone.
HNHH recently got the chance to converse with Chip. We found out about “The Almighty GloryUs,” (the name of his duo with Kid Cudi), we got some details on his debut album, Charles Worth, (he says it's going to be “the best rap album ever”), his come-up from the Cleveland rap scene, signing to Atlantic Records at 19, his friendships with Lebron James and Bun B, and more! In a world where many people claim to be real, Chip Tha Ripper is ACTUALLY on some real ish. Peep our exclusive interview below!!
HotNewHipHop: First off, just wanted to say Tell Ya Friends was illy and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Chip Tha Ripper: Wow, thank you!
HNHH: You are always spitting real shit, what's your writing process like?
Chip: I just live. My raps are my journal entries. It's hard for me to just write on a schedule, I just have to feel it or be inspired by something going on at the time.
HNHH: What was the rap scene like growing up in Cleveland? Cleveland rappers are really starting to get noticed: Machine Gun Kelly, Kid Cudi, Stalley-- did you see them coming up?
Chip: Well, there are a lot of musicians coming up doing their thing in Ohio. As for me, I was born and raised on the East Side of Cleveland, Ohio. When I came into the music scene in Cleveland, there was a real movement going on. Not one that was promoted or structured or forced. It was natural and real. The city had never been on that level musically.
I believe that inspired a lot of up & coming rappers that we see from Cleveland today. There were no outlets. Only the streets and the clubs. The people were our only promo. No labels. Radio had to spin our records. They couldn't act like we weren't killin' the streets, which was what they were trying to do.
I was introduced to Kid Cudi's music before I met him. I became an instant fan. I had always heard about him and that he moved to Brooklyn.
I saw a bunch of rappers when I was just starting out. I could drop names all week but I was one of the originators of the movement that started it all. Along with Ray Jr, The Royal Camp and them Bossbird niggas from 140th. A real Clevelander, I will tell you that.
HNHH: Kid Cudi has a feature or two on Tell Ya Friends, one of which is under the moniker The Almighty GloryUs. Can you tell us about The Almight GloryUs? Will you two be putting out more music under this name in the near future?
Chip: Mos deff. Me and Cud always have something up our sleeve. The Almighty GloryUs is a duo that we formed before he dropped “A Kid Named Cudi.” No date set yet for our album, but we have nothing but time and creativity. We are in full affect though.
HNHH: You and Cudi have been friends for a while now, how did you guys meet?
Chip: Me and Cud have mutual friends. They decided to connect us one day. Cudi had a show in Chicago at The Metro. So my guys and I drove and the rest is history.
HNHH: Back to Tell Ya Friends for a minute-- a lot of the tracks are produced by Rami, the result of which is dope. Can you tell us a bit about who Rami is?
Chip: Ahh yes. Rami is the Palestinian version of me. He is one of those kinda guys that is good at everything he sets out to do. I met Rami in 2006 or 2007. I recorded a mixtape called “Money” in his basement studio in 2007. He never charged me one red cent for his time and effort. He set the standard for anyone I deal with. He is also from Cleveland. He has been in my corner since I met him. When I look at him, I see myself. He's a great guy and extremely talented. He also produced “Ask About Me” [@ramibeatz]
[Kid Cudi- Ask About Me Feat. Chip Tha Ripper]
HNHH: I read that you were signed to Atlantic Records at 19 years old. How did that come about? Would you consider signing to a major label now?
Chip: At age 19 I signed my first major deal with Atlantic, and I thought I was on! That point in my life was a learning experience. Lebron James and one of the Four Horsemen, Rich Paul, had a production label called Dreamlife. With the relationships they acquired from NBA Basketball, they were able to crossover into music. Rich was always ballin'. He is from my hood in Cleveland. If he wouldn't have gotten the opportunity to be apart of sports, I think he would have still been successful.
Basically, the production company was ran by Rich. Lebron was the “larger than life figure” that had the streets talking and tuning in. Bron's main focus was basketball, but he would mob out with us to shows and hit the clubs with us and go ham to let people know our reign was real.
At that time I was under a management contract with a guy named Leonard Brooks, or “LB” as we called him. He is now the president of Capitol Records.
LB was on his own mission during that time as well, he managed Gerald Levert as well until Gerald passed. LB taught me a lot by his actions and how he handled things. Sometimes you have to be done wrong so you can know what to watch out for in the future. I thank him for that. Overall he is a winner. That's all that matter. He taught me that money solves almost all problems between two parties.
Anyways, Rich and LB landed deals for myself and another artist they were focused on named Fat Al or Al Fatz. After Al blew up, I was supposed to be “next.” Shortly after, Atlantic decided to discontinue the business relationship with Dreamlife & LB.
After that, I had lawyers work on my situation to make sure I wasn't bound to any contract with Atlantic, LB or Dreamlife. Now here I am, free in the clear, no strings attached.
I have always kept a good relationship with the men I've mentioned. Rich is my nigga to this day and still helps me out when he can. And Lebron James is also the fam!!
Would I sign again you ask? Only if I get a deal like they gave Ray Charles, life-changing.
HNHH: You are one artist that has consistently put out good music & dope tapes, albeit not that often. I definitely sense that it is quality over quantity. How long does it take you to perfect a record?
Chip:Yes, of course. Some songs take months and others take minutes. I like spacing my projects out to give people time to get hip to them. Especially since I'm not a major, I have to make sure my stuff wont get old to people so quickly.
HNHH: Can you tell us about your debut album, Charles Worth?
Chip: Yes, Charles Worth is actually my government name. I haven't really told my story on these mixtapes. This album will let people know who I am and the things I believe in, and my outlook on world topics. I speak for the people. The people from my hood. From all ghettos across the globe. I speak for people with logic and reason. People who don't let the world think for them. The album will be the best rap album of all time.
HNHH: I'm curious about the skit at the beginning of "Be A Model" 'cause its so jokes.
[Chip Tha Ripper- Be A Model]
Chip: [Haha] Yes that skit is priceless. I recently started recording my vocals on real expensive digital voice recorders. I was testing one out in my hotel room in a session with Dot Da Genius and Eva [@LoveEvanka] when they were conversating about some chicks who were going to extremes to get noticed as “models.” That skit is the secret to how great songs come about. Cudi taught me how to do that. Just “shoot the shit with your friends,” he tells me. Have fun ya know. The truth is in us. It's effortless.
HNHH: Do you have a favourite track off Tell Ya Friends?
Chip: No. I worked so hard on this project, that every song is my jam. I had over 100 records recorded for the project. It was hard to narrow 'em down to 23 tracks. I love 'em all the same.
HNHH: How did you link up with Bun B for "Boomshakalaka"?
Chip: I was blessed to meet the King Bun B on his birthday when I flew to SXSW for the first time. We shot the video to “Oil Money” for Freddie's [Gibbs] album. I was already in shock when I found out he hopped on that song. Then a brand new SUV pulled up and there he was, the King.
I don't feel worthy of even knowing Bun. UGK raised me.
[Chip Tha Ripper- Boomshakalaka Feat. Bun B]
I will never forget my talks with Bun. I ran into him in Switzerland in the Fall of 2011 backstage. We talked about raising a son. He gave me some pointers and tips on how to raise a champion. Priceless. Unreal.
The next time I saw him after that, was in Houston. I had a show at Warehouse Live and when I walked in to go to my dressing room, there he was! I was so excited, shocked, and honoured, that I could barely talk. As the night went on, he came out on stage with me and performed Bommshakalaka with me. Oh yeah, it was my birthday. He made the crowd chant “Happy Birthday” to me. That shit was like a movie! Peace and love to Bun B!!
HNHH: Before Kid Cudi blew up with "Day'N'Nite" I felt like you & him were coming up together. Although you've been on your grind, it seems like only now you're getting the recognition you deserve. Why do you think it took awhile for people to recognize?
Chip: Well, I still feel like a new artist. I think I always will... the move Cudi made to New York was, I think, extremely helpful for him and me as well indirectly. Things happen and don't happen to people for a reason sometimes. When you think of me, you think of Cudi. When you think of Cudi, you think of Kanye West. When you think of Kanye West, you think of Jay-Z...I wouldn't have it any other way. It was all worth the wait. All uphill from here, Lord willing.
HNHH:Word, that's true. Just to end on a lighter note, I'm always curious what artists are listening to, what are you really into right now?
Chip: Curtis Mayfield
HNHH: And what's your favourite pair of shoes?
Chip: The all-black Louis Vuitton “Jaspers”