interview KRUCIAL STYLES   (November 2007) | Written By: Rud

Inglewood California is once again the base of talent that has led us to this, to our most recent "On The Come Up" feature. Born and Raised in the city, Chris Thomson aka Krucial Styles possesses talent that defies the usual MC that comes up on the Westcoast - as he puts it on his debut album "I ain't tellin' no lies / I'm a white boy with blond hair and blue eyes"

Having grown up as a minority within his environment Krucial Styles struggled to fit in on either side of the tracks and turned to Hip-Hop for inspiration and eventually an outlet to express himself.

Growing up his parents sent him and his brother outside the Inglewood school district in fear that there might be gang influence or threats. This proved to be a bigger challenge due to an already rebellious attitude and problems at home. While going through these high school challenges he hooked up with a kid called Phil from Philadelphia and they hung out in the streets and partied and freestyled together. From there the two began writing lyrics and rapping together, and it was on a trip back to Philly with Phil that he realized that writing and rapping gave him an outlet to express his emotions and release his anger and frustrations of his youth.

It wasnít until the December of 2004, after his father had committed suicide, that rap became a serious part of Krucialís life as it is today. It was from this tragedy that he has gained the experience of releasing his pain through the pen instead of a knife or a gun. His father shot himself only a few months after Krucial himself had been hospitalized on a 72-hour lockdown for trying to commit suicide and this wasnít the first or last time he tried that. In the track "Outta Control" we have below, he refers to this traumatic time in his life; "I ainít never gonna fall ball up and die, commit suicide and donít tell nobody why, Iím much smarter much wiser, Iím not trying to go out like my father"

He started showcasing and doing battle raps in the summer of 2005 with a couple of friends and from this he was picked up by an independent producer Greg Smith [Big "G" Smith] who became a strong male influence in his life at a time when he most needed it. Krucial tells us that Greg spent over a year mentoring him, and taming some of that anger behind the mic.

Now in 2007, as he approaches his 21st Birthday [October 29], having already released his debut album, Krucial has built upon its local success and is ready to progress further and as such he has started working with a variety of talented artists and producers on the West Coast.

His aforementioned debut solo album, "Outta Control," was released independently in January of this year and produced entirely by Big "G" Smith [Greg Smith of Music Star Matrix in Long Beach, Ca.], when asked about the album Krucial Styles refers to it as "my entry project for Rap University." The lead single and title track from the release "Outta Control," which features his brother Cameron on the hook, has been well received with its crisp production and mainstream, radio friendly feel.

DJ Shy of 102.7 KIIS FM gave her verdict on "Outta Control" earlier this year; "The song has a cool west coast vibe. I loved [Krucial's] voice and it was well put together. I can imagine listening to it on the radio driving around LA on a warm summer day. If I were to spin this at a club, I would play it at the beginning when people are hitting the bars...it's got that same vibe as Young Jeezy's "I Luv It" The singer on the hook sounds a bit like Akon. The lyrics are creative yet simple enough commercially for the listener to understand and relate to." We have the track for download below so you can draw your own conclusions.

Krucial Styles - Outta Control (Feat. Cameron)

Since this release Krucial Styles has been busy recording new material in the studio that his mother has had built behind their house. The fully equipped recording studio and sound booth is where Krucial is working hard to succeed. As he acknowledges, L.A. is a tough place to break out; "In Los Angeles everyone wants to be famous, and music is no different from the Hollywood movie scene, thereís a lot of good competition and a lot of wannabees. 

The good thing about L.A. is that thereís tons of places to showcase your talent, meet other artists, hook up and network within the industry, you just have to be real if you want to stay in the game and succeed."

With that industry and networking attitude Krucial has already lined up producer Dem Jointz for his latest single "Sip it Slow" featuring Bangloose. The single has already been shipped to radio stations and a campaign is in place to increase spins locally and eventually nationally. The track is set to follow on from the radio success of the two Bangloose singles "Greygoose" and "Rated R" also produced by Dem Jointz. We have the single for exclusive download below, courtesy of Krucial Styles.

Krucial Styles - Sip It Slow (Feat. Bangloose) (Produced By Dem Jointz)

His networking has also lead to collaborations with more artists that are contributing to his currently in-progress sophomore album.

G-Unit member Spider Loc recently got in the studio to write and record with Krucial and it left a positive impression on him; "I worked on a track with Spider Loc, I really appreciated the way we sat down and collaborated on the writing, he actually took the time to work toward my style and made me feel comfortable."

His local shows and promoting have also led to him linking up with fellow Inglewood artist K-Active who has got him involved with Killa Krock, and Problem as well as the clothing company Blu Leaf, who he recently did a photo shoot and taped interview with to help promote the LA and West Coast T-Shirt line as well as a concert series for inner city youth entitled "Lyrically Lyfted." Krucial Styles performed live at the opening on October 13th at the Hollywood Musicians Institute.

As well as the aforementioned relationship with Bangloose and producer Dem Jointz, which is set to produce more music, he has also linked up with Eminem's protťgť Cashis. The Shady Records signee recorded a verse at Krucial's home studio for Krucial's next street album "Imma Ryda" which we have for download below. "Cashis was really down to earth. I like his lyrical style, to me he sounds a lot like Proof," explained Krucial. The track below is a result of the collaboration and also features the aforementioned Inglewood native K-Aktive - all delivering over a production by Cashis' Renegadez companion Rikannatti. The plan is to record together again this year should schedules allow.

Krucial Styles - Imma Ryda (Feat. Cashis & K-Aktive) (Produced By Rikannatti)

When asked why he feels his music should be listened to over someone else's Krucial explained; "'Cause I am diverse and relative, I am young and fresh, my flows change up, and I can relate emotionally to people even those that wouldnít usually listen to Hip Hop. So basically I feel I can cross over to incorporate a larger audience. My name says it all, Krucial cause rap is crucial to my survival, and I am crucial to the game - or will be soon - and Styles cause I have style in my lyrics and swagger. I am a westcoast artist cause I grew up here, but my style can go Eastcoast and all the way to the South.

This attitude and self belief has given Krucial Styles a head start in the industry and his realisation that the music business has to be seen as a life long career and not as a hobby seems to hold him in good stead.

Krucial also told us about the people around him; "I am grateful to my mother who has put all her hard earned money into mine and my brotherís future, and my brother Cameron for supporting me and putting up with my drama. He is the rock my dad couldnít be. He is in this business too, having played piano and keyboard since he was 5, and he sings. Heís now at school for Recording Engineering, mixing and mastering. I want to be able to repay my mom and give her the life style she should have had if my dad hadnít bailed out on life. Love you mom"

Only time will tell how Krucial Styles will fair however with his work ethos and belief in building locally within a team of people he certainly has the talent and ability to achieve success in this business. Stay tuned to Dubcnn for more news and media and don't forget to check out more media and information via his official MySpace page. To hear more music from or to order his debut album "Outta Control" visit his CDBaby website.


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