I had a quick chat with Connecticut rapper Chris Webby recently, who touched on the UK scene, imaginary dinner invites and his favourite tattoos…
Describe your latest album ‘Chemically Imbalanced’ in three words.
Chris Webby: Well-Rounded, Mature, Relatable.
How did you feel about the XXL Freshman shoutout you received and how relevant do you think these lists are these days?
CW: As far as the XXL Freshman Class goes, I’ve been in the top few fan voted artists for the past three years or so. That matters a lot more to me than gaining the approval of the small handful of people who choose who is and isn’t worthy of being on their magazine cover… I’m always happy to see people who have truly earned their spot get picked though. I love seeing other talented lyricists get the shine they deserve.
Any artists you’re listening to from the UK, if you’ve heard much?
CW: I’ve seen some really dope UK rappers throughout my exploration of YouTube. I love how many of the emcees out there actually freestyle off the top and battle rap. It seems that hip-hop artists in the UK are still very focused on their lyrical content – a trend that has sadly declined in the American mainstream. As far as UK artists go, I remember hearing Skepta in particular and being impressed with his rhyme schemes and intricate flows. Much respect to everyone over there doing their thing though! And shout to Westwood for making all of us Americans step the bar game up when they’re in town. I can’t wait to be on his show in the future.
If you could have dinner with three people – dead or alive – who would they be?
CW: One would definitely have to be James Gandolfini… as a fellow Paisan and lover of Italian cuisine, having dinner with Tony Soprano would be one hell of an experience. Another would have to be Keith Richards – I’m sure he would have some of the craziest stories to tell over a meal. The third one is Cheech and Chong… I know that’s two people, but they would have to be a package deal. The munchie session would be off the charts.
TWU: What’s your favourite tattoo?
CW: That’s hard to say! Of course I love my Super Mario sleeve/backpiece and my cartoon vixen collage on my other arm…. and my Ninja Turtle on my leg – which I plan on expanding upon – but I also have some more meaningful ink as well. After my childhood dog Molly died a couple years ago, I got her pawprint tatted on the back of my ankle. And I have a piece on the inside of my right bicep in memory of my good friend Nick, who died in a car accident a few years ago. I see ink as a cool way to document certain people and events that you never want to forget. Ain’t nothing more permanent than a tattoo, ya know? Except herpes. Wrap it up kids.
What MOTTO do you live by?
CW: Hakuna Matata… Obviously.