In 2003, Chic Raw’s first mixtape, Shots For The Streets debuted, and gained great success on the streets of Philadelphia for his firm rap sound regarding to his struggles and pain. Raised in “The City of Brotherly Love,” Chic submitted to the materialistic fast life of money and respect, and so began selling hardcore drugs from weed to crack at the age of 15. Eventually, the fast life caught up to him and in 2005, he got into a drug related altercation and was shot, and by 2007, Chic was sentenced to prison for three years on federal chargers for distributing narcotics. Suddenly, the popular underground rapper found himself in a deep hole, almost ruining his chances to enter the music industry, however his determination, passion, and team behind him, he stayed motivated and focused.
Before incarceration, Chic Raw caught the attention of one of Rap’s powerhouse, 50 Cent, who still remained interested in the Philly rapper during and after his prison stint. During imprisonment, Chic had what he calls a “machine” behind him supporting him and updating him on what was going on in the music industry. In March 2010, Chic was released from prison and placed in a half way house where he would serve the remainder of his term, however, 50 Cent, was able to write a letter of employment for his lawyer to present to the Judge to get Chic out and back on his grind. Even though, unable to leave the State, money was put behind him, “They helped me put everything out and get back on the internet and the scene, as far as the underground scene for my city.” The Philly rap game had changed, but Chic’s lyrical content still remains harder than the next song, and doesn’t think he should alter his style of rap to acclimatize to the current trend, “(Meek Mill) really tries to cater to people on what’s going on right now. I write from my heart, the majority of my music.” One of the Machines supporting and managing Chic is Dwayne McKenzie, A &R of G-Unit, has supported Chic while he was in prison and now helps him select what he releases guiding him to a successful direction.
Recently, Chic had collaborated with one of Philly’s finest, Jazmine Sullivan for a song called Fame (Got To Have It), “They sent me some beats through my email and one of the beats they sent me is the joint with her already on the hook. I said damn, I’m gonna go and do it.” Shortly after releasing the song, Eminem released the same song with Jazmine Sullivan, called Cocaine, which has the same hook as Fame (Got To Have It), “I was like damn, I didn’t even realize he was watching, but see when people like that take your shit, there’s nothing you can do about it, cuz they in a better position than you.”
Chic Raw is now pushing his album, The Relief that’s being hosted by Mr. Peter Parker from Eminem’s Sirius Satellite radio show, SHADE 45. The album contains 11 songs with two bonus songs and is receiving rave reviews on the underground scene in Philadelphia. Chic promotes his music videos on YouTube to give visual detail that brings his songs to life. In the next year, Chic Raw expects to change his sound, “I got a fan base just from being aggressive and loud on tracks, that when I came home from jail, I matured, like I calmed myself down.” Now, Chic is working on a new project while perfecting his craft, determined to be on top one day, “Hopefully, you know, one day I get on. I ain’t gonna stop working hard until I get on.”
By: Mereb Gebremariam
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