Chaundon’s name has been ringing in the underground circuit for almost a decade. His debut mixtape Slow Leaks ignited a fire that Chaun has continued to fuel and it seems as 2012 is the year he take his heat to another level. The Planet caught-up with the Bronx bomber and he discusses his tireless work ethic, new album, his influences, Craig G, being a producer, French Montana, songwriting and more. Let’s get it.Planet Ill: For the people that don’t know by now, who is Chaundon?
Chaundon: Chaundon is the Bronx Borough President, the Punchline Perfectionist, repping Golden Era
Music Inc. I’ve been rapping since I was young and I’ve [rapping] professionally since 2003; basically I’m an emcee’s emcee. I rap for the people. I earn my respect with no cosign.
Planet Ill: Growing up, who were some of your Hip-Hop influences?
Chaundon: Of course Big Daddy Kane, Slick Rick, Rakim, Kool G Rap, Craig G, Biggie, Jay-Z ad
you know the emcees that were all about their bars, punchline and told stories.The list could go on, but those are my main influences.
Planet Ill: The Jammington is set to drop in March, how have you grown as an artist since the release of Slow Leaks, nine years ago?
Chaundon: Of course I’ve matured and wiser about certain things. My bars definitely progressed and my songwriting skills has become tighter and tighter. My knack for picking beats that fit my voice is better and I think that’s one thing that separates me from a lot of artist. Most [artists] think they can rap over anything and I know I can rap over anything, but it has to make sense to rap over. I’ve developed a formula for making quality records and that’s something you can definitely hear from Slow Leaks 2003 and the new album. It all has to with time and over time I learned to how to tune my sound. I was fortunate to be in the space to tune my craft, work with different artists and travel the world. Also the experiences has helped make me a better artist.
Planet Ill: You’ve worked with a host of producers in the past, but on The Jammington, ATG produces almost the entire album, why did you choose to go that route?
Chaundon: He was supposed to do it all, but instead I did two records. I actually kind of experimented working with one producer on my last album No Excuses where D.K. The Punisher did like 11 songs and I love how it turned out. I kind of wanted to bring it back to the essence of one emcee and one producer in order to develop that full-sonic sound. There are times where a lot of producers can disrupt the sound you’re trying to create and you can lose focus on your direction. My last album I had Illmind and he did two songs and I luckily I found D.K. that had that sound I was looking for and fit the mold. I think it works so much better that I am going to use one producer on every album.
Planet Ill: I can see where you’re coming from, but there are instances where having one producer can be repetitive in their sound. Was that ever a concern?
Chaundon: I wouldn’t say so, but even they were repetitive, they still give me the best
beats that fit my style. Regardless I just love working with one producer, because I don’t have to run back and forth hearing different beats. It’s a transition I have grown comfortable with.
Planet Ill: Craig G and Skillz are just a couple of features on the new album and you have worked
with a lot of artists on past works. Is there any rapper/producer you want to work with?
Chaundon: I want to work with Nottz and Fokis. Me and Fokis are real cool and we spoke about the idea, so lookout for that project next year. In terms of rappers, I like making music with anyone that has bars. Talking of new albums, I have two new albums are done and ready for release. The Freshington is produced entirely by Cutty Fresh and the other album is called the Dopington and that’s totally produced by Family Biz Entertainment who are incredible. The reason I chose them is because they know me and my style and what I want in terms of beats so it painless when we get in the studio.
Planet Ill: There are two records that are self-produced on the album and I know you hold yourself in high regard as a rapper, but where do you consider yourself as producer?
Chaundon: I’m a talented producer and I’m still learning. I had big producers sit-down and critique my beats and if they were given report cards, I’ll be getting good grades (laughs). I am not saying I’m the best producer by any means, but I’ still learning. I really have a knack for finding samples and as a rapper I know what sounds dope. That’s the main advantage rappers/producers, because I know what sounds good with different flows, lyrics and content. I am blessed to have Pete Rock, Illmind, Family Biz at a phone call away to tell critique my beats and that just makes me that much better and the best down the line. I don’t want any title, but I’m making stuff people want to rap on right now. I’ve always been a producer, because coming up; I didn’t have any beats or people making me beats, so I learned myself. As I was releasing material, I went back in and learned more. I have produced on some of my mixtapes, but I never advertised
it, because I wanted to establish myself as an emcee first.
Planet Ill: Have you produced anything for any other artist?
Chaundon: I got a dude named KVR from Harlem and he’s dope. I watched him grown up and get better. I sent him a beat and he shredded it. He’s dope and not just because he’s my man, nah, he is dope. He’ll be releasing that real soon so stay tuned. Mike Verse is another rapper that I produced for, but I am not trying to send my beats to anyone (Laughs). I’m a perfectionist so you won’t find me making a million beats.
Planet Ill: In this game, one has to be a hustler to succeed and you’ve definitely been that with your website, rapping and producing. Recently, you created the theme song for the game APB Reloaded, how did that come about?
Chaundon: Pretty much connections, man. One my peoples works for the company that was doing
music for that game and they needed a theme song. He threw my name in a hat and they called and were like we need a song tomorrow. Within 24 hours I sent the song back (Laughs) and it was a wrap after that. I made the song according to
the visual that made way before any theme song. I was in the West Coast and stopped by their office and they were bumping it and loving it. The owner of the company even posted it on iTunes and helped cut me a check so it was a
Planet Ill: The Bronx has struggled to cough mainstream talent since Big Pun passed, but
recently, Fred The Godson and French Montana are spearheading a mainstream Bronx revival. How do feel about it?
Chaundon: I’m a fan of both. When I first heard Fred I was unsure, not that he was wack. It
was I really wasn’t absorbing what he putting down, but after a while I was like son has bars and a dope flow, keep going. [French Montana] is not lyrically inclined like Pun, but he’s doing him and you can’t expect anything else. We can’t hold every rapper to a lyrical standard and if they don’t meet then they don’t mean anything. There’s only one Big Daddy Kane and one Biggie and everyone brings something to the table. Mr. Cheeks is a great example, because he’s not the best rapper, but he can write a song. The Lost Boyz first album [Legal Drug Money] was a classic and he wasn’t going bar for bar nobody. He had crazy party records, he had stories, dope beats, and at the same time he wasn’t acting like he was in the same league as Big L. Same thing with French. He probably not in the same league as Torae or Skyzoo, but when that “Shot Caller” record comes on in I’m doing a 150 mph in the car. If he said he was the best rapper alive then I might be like, you’re really not that dope, but he stays in his lane and that’s cool.
Planet Ill: People really underestimate songwriting in the Rap game.
Chaundon: Exactly. It is not easy to do. Ask Canibus. The dude is sick on the mic and one of the
best spitters ever, but he can’t make a hit record to save his life. None of his albums had a dope song, but can out rap a lot of people. 50 [Cent] is the same way. He has been making dope albums for a longtime, but he’s not better
than Jadakiss, but he makes better albums than ‘Kiss. Songwriting is an art. You want lyrics go to the street corner.
Planet Ill: You haven’t been in the game that long, but you have accomplished a lot on so many
different fronts. What’s the most memorable moment in your career thus far?
Chaundon: I have a bunch of memories. Going to Europe and have people quote your lyrics that don’t know English is a milestone. Seeing Peter Rock play my records on his laptop and asking me to hop on some beats. Being on the Little Brother album being that it was major release. Probably the illest moment was hearing Craig saying he was a fan of my music and calling me up to do a record. That was crazy, because most of my punchlines were inspired by dude. We just so happen to be on a few records by a third party and he reached out to me on Twitter, because he thought was dope. He just told me that whenever I need a verse just holler and by him saying that made me feel like greatest rapper of all-time. That was the ultimate honor.
Planet Ill: What’s next on the horizon for Chaundon?
Chaundon: Besides the albums, I have the website Goldeneramusicinc.com popping off crazy, so check that out and the main thing is a weight loss website coming out and it basically a guide that teaches people to lose weight, exercise, and take care of their diabetes and themselves at the end of the day. I had to get involve, because last year I found out that my cholesterol is through the roof and I had to lower it. I’m 35 years old and the last thing I want is to be on a pill regiment. I really had to buckle down and stop eating processed foods. So the
site acts as inspiration more than anything. Eating right and exercising is key, because pills and medicine a lot of times is just there to kill you (Laughs). I have the cookbook, the website and I have the cooking shows online about to pop off, so I’m working hard. Stay tuned.
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