Interviews

Published on July 10th, 2019 | by Percy Crawford

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Son of a Legend: Big Pun’s Son, Chris Rivers Pays Homage With New Single, “Sincerely Me;” Talks G.I.T.U. Album!

The look and the sound are undeniable, but Chris Rivers plans to create his own identity with his upcoming album, G.I.T.U.

Chris Rivers is the youngest son of hip-hop legend, Christopher Rios, AKA, Big Pun. Rivers shares similar features and flow as his late/great father, yet the more he grows as an artist, you start to hear his own sound breakthrough. Pun passed away while, Rivers was only 6-years old and although Big Pun’s career didn’t span over a long period of time, he most definitely left his legacy. A legacy that, Chris Rivers who used to go by the name, “Baby Pun” plans to keep alive through his music. The Bronx, New York native began his career in 2002 in a group called, “3 Down,” which also featured rapper, Benzino’s son. Since going solo, Rivers dropped, “The Good King” in 2014, “Medicated Consumption” and “Medicated Consumption 2.0 The Refill” in 2016 and “Delorean” in 2017.  The lead single to his highly anticipated return album, “G.I.T.U. is a tribute to his father titled, “Sincerely Me.”

Chris Rivers shares the thought process behind the, “Sincerely Me” record, explains how he has grown as an artist and explains how different things would be if, Pun was here.

How is everything going, my man?

Chris Rivers: Yo, everything is going great, bro. I released the first video off of, “G.I.T.U.  on July 4th and we have been getting a lot of dope feedback. I’m just really excited about this project and everything that’s coming with it. I’m flying out right now to shoot some videos in Arizona; just keep releasing content beforehand. I’m just pumped up, feeling great and ready for it.

Is the August 16th release date a hard date or is that subject to change?

Chris Rivers: To my knowledge it’s a hard date, but for the sake of not looking crazy if something does happen, it’s a semi-hard (pause) date (laughing).

You paid tribute to your father, the late great, Big Pun and I loved the tone of the song. You chose a more upbeat happier tone as opposed to a somber tone. What made you go that route?

Chris Rivers: It’s funny, while I was making the project, I was making a bunch of songs and, Rod The Producer and a lot of people around me were telling me that I needed a record that was really from the heart to take it there. So, I’m looking for a record and I’m going through these super sad beats and I wasn’t feeling nothing. I ran across that one and for some reason it was pouring out. I didn’t want it to be sad. I wanted to write a letter of everything that was going on. Though we’ve been through a lot of hardships, tough times and crazy stuff, I wanted it to be more triumphant. I wanted it to be an update to him and not overwhelming it with the sadness because that’s not the route I want to go. You know what I mean, so it was definitely super fun to experiment. That’s what I’m all about. Just experimenting and totally being on the chorus. It was fun, bro. I just rapped how I felt.

You could never pinpoint the perfect time to do a tribute type of record, what made now that time for you?

Chris Rivers: On some real stuff, this project… I haven’t put out a project since, “Delorean,” and that was about 2-years ago. So much has happened since then and doing this project, I have a lot of growth as a human and as an artist. So much has happened and for my father’s birthday or his anniversary, I’ll have a thought or sense something, but I don’t usually talk to him, but I felt it was time to update him. It’s just how I felt at the moment. I don’t strategically plan stuff like this. It’s usually based on how I genuinely feel. On this new project, I just felt like it was time to make this song and I wanted to talk to him and the best way to do that was musically and I did that. It just panned out that way and it felt like the right time internally.

We got the, “Sincerely Me” record, what else can we expect from the, “G.I.T.U.” album?

Chris Rivers: Man, it’s called “G.I.T.U.” and that’s an acronym for, “Greatest In The Universe.” “Greatest In The Universe” is a mantra that I used to tell myself when I was feeling low, down or depressed and bad about myself. I would give myself affirmation, I would tell myself, “If you fully applied yourself, you could be the greatest in the universe.” I feel like on the route to doing that you gotta challenge yourself. On this whole project, every time I heard a beat I would be like, “What would I normally do to it?” And I throw it out there door and I go places with it that I normally wouldn’t have; in my own way and staying true to myself. It was fun, man. It goes everywhere. There is introspective stuff that’s going to make you think, lit stuff that’s going to make you have fun, shit that you can drive to, shit you can chill to and smoke to. All of the types of vibes, but I think after this, people are going to respect me more as an artist and not just a rapper if that’s how they felt. It’s going to go a lot of places. I love it personally and I’m just excited for people to hear it.

It’s crazy you say that because a few years ago, you were that guy that if you put a beat on, you could kill it with a freestyle. Now, I feel like you have grown to make not only complete songs, but a complete album as well.

Chris Rivers: I think that’s one of the most important things right now. I think it’s pivotal to get to the next stage. I think it’s imperative that I show that kind of growth beyond just a rapper. I want to be an artist and well rounded. I don’t want to be remembered at the guy that just raps really good. I felt like I was limited slightly to that. I have records, but for the most part I think I was looked at as someone who just raps really good. I think I got as far as I could get as that person; both externally and internally. Not only career wise, but I get bored now just rapping-rapping-rapping. I want to make things that feel like something. I want to feel… when I rap, I want to come from a place… I rap what I feel. I think that’s imperative now to get to that next level of artistry because I think people really gotta get to know me as a whole person through my music. I have to have better range of music. Musically this one is the best one, from the production to the mixes and how whole it sounds. I thought that was really important to establish myself on that next level.

Part of establishing yourself on that next level, do you feel like maybe a year or two ago, Chris Rivers couldn’t do a, “Sincerely Me,” and it come off the way it did right now?

Chris Rivers: Absolutely! I’ve always been good at articulating my thoughts. I think I could have wrote another song that was like a letter or had that same subject matter, but in the way that I delivered it, my tone to the melodies to the production and the way that I stood on the top. I just think in all of those areas, that’s where I have grown a lot and I’m proud of myself. Not just on, “Sincerely Me,” but on some of the other records that’s on the project. I don’t think a year ago, I would have been able to do this. It’s definitely dope to me.

Are you real hands on with the production or do you get beats and you just rap to them?

Chris Rivers: It’s funny because in the beginning stages of my career, I used to just pick from what was available. That’s cool and all, but I wanted to go deeper on this one and be more hands on because some of these beats, shout out to, “Rod The Producer.” He produced the whole project and we sat down and we vibed. Sometimes I came up with verses and things and he would build a whole beat around what I recorded or what I had. It was dope and organic to build a song like that. It’s way more dope being hands on. It’s a lot more proactive. You gotta be there more for it, but it creates something way closer to your vision.

What features do you have on this album and who would you like to collaborate with in the future?

Chris Rivers: On this one, it’s minimal features; Oswin Benjamin, Denzil Porter and Anthiny King. There are some verses from them, but a lot of it is where voices were needed and background melodies. They added so much dopeness to the project. On this one it was mostly solo. It was most like a project coming from me. After doing this one primarily solo, my next project, I definitely want to collab way more. It’s weird, there is a bunch of people I want to collab with, but it’s really too much to name. I could go straight to the top. I would love to collab with, Kendrick or an “Em” collab, but I want to collab with everybody really; both way above me in notoriety and closer to my status as well. It’s really about growing as an artist and I think the best way to do that is to collab with anyone you feel is dope and can expand your artistry, so I’m looking forward to it.

You wanted this album to be an introduction to your growth. Was it done deliberately not to have many features?

Chris Rivers: I think it’s just a cause of the effect. It wasn’t intentional that it happened that way. It was really just a place I was coming from. I got a lot of my complete thoughts out on the songs. I think overall, I wanted to grow, and I wanted to showcase that and challenge myself. It kind of just happened that way, but it wasn’t intentional. It all comes back to that desire to grow and desire to prove to myself that I can make a project that I like. I barely like some of the work that I put out before. I didn’t feel like it was complete overall; getting the thoughts out. I didn’t feel like I had the skill level to get out what I heard in my head. This is the closest that I’ve ever gotten to it. I was just really digging into that feeling this project and while exploring that, I made all these songs and a lot of them were complete. It wasn’t strategic, but it all works out for the strategy in the end. I was pleased.

I have always wanted to ask you this, Big Pun has been gone for 19-years now. He was only 28-years old. Given today’s climate, where do you think he would be musically if still involved at all?

Chris Rivers: Yo, it’s crazy, I ask myself that sometimes. It’s hard. I think he would have had… he died in 2000, we’re in 2019, that’s 19-years. He only was really out for like 2 ½ years. He only really had 2-projects out and the third one was just a compilation and he was at the top of his game at the time. He probably didn’t even hit his prime yet. I think he would have been a real prevalent piece in it. He made stuff as hardcore as, “You Ain’t A Killer,” but he also made, “Still Not A Player.” His range and his versatility was just ridiculous, so I think he would’ve fit in and been a pioneer. I think he would have had a long run. I think he definitely probably would have retired by now. He was an ambitious dude and he was a genius and he wanted to build an empire, so I can see him being one of the people that put on other young artists. I don’t know where my life would be if he was still alive. I don’t know if I would be rapping. I think I would be, but I don’t know how that would go, you know what I mean. It’s definitely interesting to think about. I’ve always had a love for it, whether he did this or not or who he was, but it’s like the butterfly effect. It’s hard to kind of extrapolate where my life would be because of the billions of events that would be different because he was alive. I can be anywhere. I think I would still be rapping. Imagine if me and him collabed. I would have grown a lot faster. It’s just different. It’s crazy to think about definitely.

He was 28-years old and in his prime, you are currently 25, do you feel this is your prime or do you feel the best is yet to come?

Chris Rivers: Oh yeah, I’m still a baby right now. I would say I’m like a young child; almost teenage years. I’m nowhere near my prime yet. I feel like I just kind of cracked through that first seal maybe the second seal, but I feel like I just cracked through it and going into the whole other side of my artistry and doing more than just rapping. The growth is a lot on this project, but it’s just the surface, so I know I haven’t hit my prime artistically at all yet. And even notoriety wise and influence, nowhere near my prime. I know I’m going to go way further than I am right now.

Let people know why they should cop this album in August.

Chris Rivers: It’s produced by the incredible, Rod The Producer. I’m not just saying this for promotion, I genuinely and wholeheartedly feel that this is the best project I have ever put out by any means. I love it the most. It’s dope, bro. I impressed myself throughout it. It’s introspective, it’s deep, I think you get to know me more and I think that it’s going to make you think, it’s going to make you have fun and it’s going to take you on a rollercoaster of feelings and emotions and thoughts. At the end of it hopefully you will feel like you can be the greatest too because that’s what I learned throughout the project. I want to convey that message to others, so I definitely feel like everyone should listen to it at least once and maybe a thousand times if you like it.

 


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