Q&A: Chicago’s CP releases debut project, ‘CINEMA’

For Chicago rapper CP, making music just seemed to go with the natural flow of his life. From messing around in the studio with his friends to dropping his first official song a few years ago, the process has never been something that’s forced. This approach to rap resonates on CP’s debut project, ‘CINEMA’, which showcases the artist homing in on his own sound–an eerily cold mix of hard trap and drill production paired with the rapper’s whispery, raspy vocal tone.

While CP distinguishes himself on ‘CINEMA’ by embracing this darker side of his sound, the rappers who’ve influenced him up to this point effortlessly come through in his own flows. As a result, ‘CINEMA’ functions as a solid introduction to a rapper who thrives off of following his gut, never overthinking while still delivering something that sets him apart from the pack. Listen to the full project and find out more about the making of ‘CINEMA’ in our latest Q&A below:

MDR: How did you get into rapping and how long have you been doing it for?

CP: I’ve been making music for about 2 years. It started ‘cause I was just trying some new sh** with my friends just in the studio for fun. I realized that I liked making music so I kept it coming, eventually making whole songs. Then, I put my first song out. It seemed like everybody was f**king with it; it got like 1000 plays in a night. So I figured, why not? That was in early 2018.

MDR: Who would you say are some artists who’ve influenced how you rap?

MDR: How long have you been working on your debut project, ‘Cinema’?

CP: Three or four months in total.

MDR: When you started working on the songs that are on ‘Cinema’, did you intend for them to all be part of a project?

CP: First, I was making the songs that depicted whatever mood I was in, fresh off traveling and doing a lot of stuff in the summer. Then I realized sh** starting to come together which led to the project idea. For a long time, I was thinking about what my project would be and thought all the things I was experiencing and seeing felt like a movie. So, I decided to call this sh** ‘Cinema’. From there, I started to piece the project together and make songs that give off that same energy that helps you visualize what I’m talking about.

MDR: I think it’s cool that you just started making music by messing around with friends, and the project is still just you working with artists whom you’re close with.

CP: Shoutout my boy Buru, RonSoCold, TheHxliday… All my homies and all the sh** that just came together naturally. Those just happened to be the songs that ended up fitting together on the project.

MDR: As far as the producers, I noticed you worked with people you haven’t released music with before. What was that experience like?

CP: I’m glad to be working with new producers because I think it really shows my growth. From just getting a couple of beats from my homies to now working with people who got platinum plaques and sh** like that. And a lot of those people are still just my homies. It just shows where we came from to where we’re at now. I’m excited to be putting out work with my dog Danny Wolf, Mulatto, DamnBenny!, Only Child, sidepce… It’s a lot of different vibes coming out.

MDR: One song that immediately stood out to me was “Set It Off” which is produced by Sidepce and features RonSoCold. It’s a little more upbeat than the rest of the project. What was the process like behind that song?

MDR: In general, what’s your process like when making a song?

CP: It depends on the beat. Some beats you could just load it up and get straight into it. Other beats take more time, and I’ll feel the need to write to it. It might take a couple of days, or it might just take a session. Sometimes I just write a hook and then go in.

MDR: Something that jumps out about your style comes from the tone of your voice. Is that raspy, whispery style natural to you or is it a style you’re consciously crafting?

MDR: The overall mood of the project is dark, but it still hits hard in its own way. Would you say that mood characterizes the rest of your music?

CP: What I wanted to do with this project specifically was make some sh** that fits the times when I thought of most of these songs. Usually, it’d be on a late-night drive when I’d just be kicking back. I made the project so that it could ride in the car specifically. Most of the time I’m in the car is late at night, gazing upon the city and thumbing through different songs. I want this project to fit in that rotation of music. It wasn’t intentionally dark, but I think that the vibe of it is definitely on some nighttime sh** which even gets communicated in the cover art with the blue and the black.

MDR: Who worked on the cover art?

CP: My boy Benskiaht, shoutout to him. He does cover art for a lot of artists in the city. I gave him an idea of what I was trying to do, and he just took it to the next level.

MDR: Who are some Chicago artists you’d like to collaborate with moving forward?

CP: I’d definitely look forward to collabing with Warhol.ss. I gotta make a song with femdot. I’ve known Qari for a minute and would love to make a song. Me and Cdot go way back. We used to hoop together, and it’d be dope to do a song with him. I’d also say my boy OG Stevo. It’d be raw as hell to get a song with Chance, Herb, Sosa–especially Sosa. And I f**k with Lucki. I think we’d make something crazy.