Death Chamberz Music Interview
- How did you get your name?
- Centri had different meanings but my entire rap name is Centri God Killa Zilla…Centri it is actually an abridged version or acronym for Center –of –the-Eye. I’m in the group the Lenzmen and we all had different sights (Hindsight, Insight, Foresight, and Outersight) and numbers (1,2,3,4). Since I was Lenzmen number 3 the T-R-I at the end of Centri was added to reinforce that my number is 3. Centri also means success whereas Zilla mean survival. In my opinion most people worship money and on the dollar it says “In God we trust”. Zilla is the antagonist of that way of thinking and what balances me in life is to always stay centered between survival and success.
2. What inspired you to become producers? I am not a producer but as an artist I can say what would inspire me to be a producer is the ability to be a self contained as possible, and well as the option to have more to barter with in this volatile hip hop community. The thing that would deter me is the learning curve to become a good producer. Even if I was to naturally become a good producer in 6 months I think it would be a disservice to myself, and almost disrespectful to the craft if I didn’t put in at least a year or more. By the same token I still have to continue writing so it could become difficult to allocate time to mastering making beats. I’d have to plan wisely and be realistic about my goals.
3. When and how did you start?
I started when I was in 6th grade. It initially started when I wrote a poem and placed 6th in the county and I honestly had no idea that it was as good as people thought it was. I just knew I liked it. After that I remember pretty much rapping because it was popular and more or less it’s what my friends were doing. I then stopped about 17 when I joined the military. At that point I had left to go out of state and I was content with being a fan. The entire time in New York my peoples started forming the group the Lenzmen and through different conversations it sounded like they were making moves. My man Dokta Strange was like you need to be down with us, and asked me to get back to writing so next time I touch down in New York I can have something to spit. Long story short I restarted rhyming again at about 21 and have not stopped since. I have to admit, It took a minute to get my skill back but the unique rhymes style that they brought to the table gave me a solid foundation for the level I write at now.
And have you created any records yet? or mixtape?
I contributed heavily to the Lenzmen group albums (Scientific Community/Magnify Lenz and Bend and Blur your Optics), as well as a few other compilations in the past. My first album was released on 11.11.11 (Veteran’s Day) titled Article 15: The Rebel Knowledge Story which is an entire album about the military from a Black Soldiers perspective. 80% of the tracks are in story form, half of the album is from the point of view of a rebellious enlistee, and the other half of the album is from the perspective of a knowledgeable veteran. It’s the realest album I have ever written…It on ITunes and Amazon so…check it.
If you’re not familiar with my music and you just want to get a good summary of what I have been up to then you should check my Mixtape titled “Rise of a Veteran” which was release on 4th of July 2012. It a free download at my Bandcamp site (http://centri.bandcamp.com/album/rise-of-a-veteran) and it has a bunch of material I have done over the years as well as a few snippets from my upincoming album “Headless Nobody”. It was basically my way of playing catch-up with the hip hop community as well as giving back to the fans form my hiatus. It is mix and blended by DJ Jedi (Brooklyn) in a way that DJ’s used to blend mixtapes back in the day. The mix tape is fire!
I also recently release The M.O.M.M. #MusicOnMyMind EP featuring Sha Stimuli, Akir, and my Lenzmen family Dokta Strange and Earthadox with Production from Dynamics Plus who is also a Lenzmen, Nasa (Uncommon Records) , and a Electronica producer I have been working with for a while named NEOREV(http://centri.bandcamp.com/album/m-o-m-m-extended-play) . I’ve also done a few features and side projects, as well as writing for a couple heads.
- What’s your favorite thing to do when you aren’t writing/producing/playing etc?
It’s hard to say sometimes because it does consume a lot of my life when you add normal day to day responsibilities. I am a big fan of UFC, and I do like to read or maybe go to a hip hop show if it’s a good line up. I also can computer programming so at times I may be coding or learning a new programming language. Other than that I may go to the range or the gym or just relax and reflect on things.
- Who are your musical inspirations?
My influences growing up were more or less different song and different era in hip hop. Like When Scraface dropped “Mr Scarface is Back”, one of the older heads around the way would drive around the hood and play that track literally 24 /7 for like 3 months. I was a youngin in the passenger’s seat feeling mad cool but at the same time I was studying the lyrics and understanding what it takes to draw a listener in and how to effectively end a story. So many songs I remember influencing me one after another. Now that I am older I fully understand how to let my environment influence me and how to be sensitive enough to feel it and relay it in a song. I actually didn’t believe artist when they said “I’m influenced by my environment”. I thought they were just saying some typical BS and that they were full of shit! Once I moved to Brooklyn….i was like Ahhhhh now I get it.
- What kind of music do you listen to today?
Pretty much just hip hop, and maybe some talk radio. I don’t have much of a tolerance for any other music and I have tried. But…you know…it is what it is
- What surprises would we find in your music collection?
Possibly several…I listen to everything hip hop , from Wacka Flocka to Skyzoo, as well as a lot of up - incomers. I definitely have had my share of hip hop music and learn from every song. It’s more of a responsibility for me to listen to everything and naturally study each song in order to progress as an artist. It just your job.
- Todays music is about collaborations what "hot" rapper out now, you would love to work with on a project?
That’s a good question because artist are hot today…better yet hot this hour and not the next. I would say Jay Electronica. Reason being is he does surprise me at times, and if I can get his best verse and I can write my best verse it may be something quite ill.
- What do you think your listeners will get out of your music?
Just the way hip hop could and should sound like. I can write with the best of them…I can write stories, hooks, concept songs concept album….None of my song have the same style, or flow plus in my opinion I pick dope beats. It’s all because I am a true fan and the only thing that keeps me going is because I always can find a way to evolve my sound and still cater to the old and new fans of the music. Because I listen to new hip hop I feel as if I can create something that will adjust my already niche sound to the current market.
You may also learn that I am a guy who struggled and broke through some formidable barriers in life from listening to my music. I have songs like Courage, Everything (I’m Winning), and a song on my album titled r2s produced by 5th Sense that are basically all about surviving and succeeding through tough times to reach your goals. It’s just part of my personality to stay visualizing and making those visions come to fruition. It’s all about making sure you know how to side step adversity and persevere.
Also you may learn that I make music that I want fans to be addicted too as I am to hip hop music. I really try to make music that fits multiple moods. A lot of artist to me are sort of one dimensional. Like for instance…an artist hears a track and he’s like “oh that’s a club joint right there”. So what do they do…they write a song about being in the club and yada yada yada. I try to challenge myself and I may write something to make it where it’s not just a club banger. It may be thought provoking or something you would prefer to ride to. It’s just an art in making music for multiple moments in life and that what I strive to do.
- What do you hope to do with your music?
Just to do my best. I just like to make dope music man. I’m not into the all the “you need an image”, and all the social networking, and whatever else they’re going to come up with next. I understand connecting to your fans through social networking but there were artist who connected to their fans before social networking. The vehicle they used was their music. I don’t mind a little light social networking to spread the news and be open to the public but I don’t want it to be an annoyance... I just make dope music and pass whatever wisdom I can over a beat.
I hope to be able to leave some sort of standard and legacy when people bring up my name in music, and that is for now. I also hope to have my song in a few films or a commercial. Other than that I don’t know man…this game changes every second and so do the personalities of the people. It’s not like it was when I started.
- Where do you see the generation heading?
I see this generation growing up way to quickly due to the easy access of information. The problem is I don’t know how each person interprets the reality of a situation through their computer or phone. It’s weird…Like you can watch the news and see something happen to someone that sounds out right insane and tragic. And the next day something else can happen and that thing that happened the day before is just like old news. I’m like wait… that really happened to someone and their life is affected and we as people just blow it off as long as it doesn’t affect us. Nowadays its not reality if it hasn’t directly affected you. That is exactly one main ingredient on why the music industry is in shambles today. That apathy we have toward things that don’t affect us directly, as well as the younger generations feeling they are entitled to your music for free. If you sold your music for 5 cents they would still think it’s too expensive.
- Is there any advice you'd like to give to young aspiring artist ?
I would say just try to understand the business and try to set realistic goals. I can almost guarantee you that when you ask an artist how does you define success in this game, most of them don’t have a solid answer. Also I would say have a back-up plan and try to understand the sacrifice you make for your music. Know some hip hop history or something that was here before you and way before you. The 90’s was a golden era in hip hop and so was the 80’s. Lastly listen to a song intently and not just listening to it on the surface. Listening to it on the surface is how you end up copying someone’s style or rhymes and that is just leads to inevitable failure. Nah…Ask yourself why do you like it, what do you like about the hook, and how can you add that to your arsenal to better your style. That’s how you keep it authentic.
- What projects should we be on the lookout for in the near future?
Yes. Right now you can pre – order my album titled Headless Nobody which features, feat. Skyzoo, Sha Stimuli, Akir, Blaq Poet, Awkword and more (http://centri.bandcamp.com/album/headless-nobody) . It’s slated to drop on July 16th. Also add yourself to my mailing list at my website centrimusic.com or at my Bandcamp to stay in the loop with all my music.
- Any shout outs?
Just a shout out to my family, my peoples, and everyone who has supported me through all life’s obstacles…and not just music.