Charlie Chan (C-Chan) of Jersey rap group Slow Suicide Stimulus and Dusted Dons e-stopped by and we talked about his new record, his record label, the late great Camu Tao, his hip-hop family, the early rap days of C-Chan, and well, Shia Laboeuf for the win! Not that Shia would ever do Hollywood Squares.
Shabooty: Isn’t ‘Slow’ Suicide ‘Stimulus’ a paradox, like jumbo-shrimp?
C-Chan: I guess. Both are dope. Slow suicide stimulus represents the thing that that got you killing yourself to create, acquire or become. Music, goals, dough, vices, fame, style… whatever.
Where did the name C-Chan come from?
I figured pick a name that could actually get me sued or huge in China. I used to have another name that was my graff tag, but it sucked to rhyme with. Govone coined “C-CHAN”….ask him.
When did you first meet Cage?
I guess a long time ago at Wetlands, but really when Camu introduced me backstage at a Jux show at Bowery Ballroom, but we were all Absinthe’d up off Hangar’s import from Europe. I don’t remember much, but Mu and Cage running through closed doors and smashing shit. Later my old group, DUSTED DONS, got asked to open up for the LEAK BROS at a SUNY show, and we stayed in touch after that. After seeing his ping-pong game, I knew he too had spent time fighting the white coats.
Talk about your solo LP effort.
The tentative title is “SHARKS N DINOSAURS” cause really, what’s better than them? Since I was a young fuck, I always loved sharks-n-dinosaurs. I think you will, too. It’s my last two years head check. I just made the songs as they came… no deadlines or contrived music. No hired guns… just songs I dig and represent me outside of the groups I am a part of. I try and record everyday and fuck it, I got the opportunity to put ‘em out and maybe reach some folk who can relate. I’ve done nearly two more albums since its completion, as well as the LIMITED DEAD project with Tommy Phenoms and trying to wrap up the rest of SSS 2.
Is that going to be the next release from Flospot records – when’s it dropping?
It’s gonna be the next release for FLOSPOT RECORDS. I’m waiting on the mixes from JGotham Studio NYC right now and going to go back in and do the final tweaks before mastering. The artwork is done, so maybe late Feb 2009 / early March, hopefully no later. Much respect to Todd Westphal for the cover shots.
Who out of the whole Cardboard City Weathermen (CCWM) collective do you go back the farthest with?
Well, Govone most definitely, then Tamer cause of the ol Artifacts days. I played drums a couple times at open mics at the ol PIPELINE in Newark when Artifacts were poppin. My man Shag was tight with Tame’s old partner in Artifacts, so we’d burn tough with all dem Boom Skwadians back then. I’d bump into Tame now and then thru the years. Then when I started throwing parties in Manhattan, I booked Tame for a show and mawfukas just clicked. Then I met CAMU TAO r.i.p.. I met him through Metro from SA SMASH when MU lived with dude from Fat Beats and METRO lived with EL-P in Brooklyn. CAMU TAO was doing amazing things. That was a crazy ass time where much music got made back in Hoboken at STFU and also the time when SLOW SUICIDE STIMULUS went from a song to an album. At any given night, Yak, Tamer, SA SMASH, Grandmaster Caz, Vast & CAGE were in the crib making that turbo music. One of the illest memories I got is me and Camu in Grandmaster Caz’ apartment in Soundview, BX with LoveBug Starski and almost all of Cold Crush getting schooled on how it really was back when this all started.
Are you a Howard Stern guy or an Opie and Anthony (O&A) guy?
I got converted to O & A by Cage, but I grew up on Stern and don’t really care who’s on top, just entertain me.
You a fan of Artie Lange? He lives in Hoboken.
Artie Lange is the shit. Danny Aiello lives in Hoboken, too. My man used to get fucked up with Artie.
What type of chicks you go for? The pin-up girls?
I more come for girls than go for, but there’s really no set type. I like girls with that undeniable thing that you just cant explain, but if I had to try and define it, I guess it would be no gag reflex and low self esteem.
Do you recommend dating them or staying away from them?
I recommend staying dating them.
Are you sad the Knitting Factory is closing?
I appreciate I got to see so many dope shows there and got to play there a bunch of times. My favorite show of all SSS time was at Knitting Factory, but when its time to go, you gotta move on. All the good clubs go. Palladium, Tramps, Wetlands etc etc…
Are your fans crazy/mad outta control?
1/ and 1/2. I got my squad that keeps me grounded and everyone else is somewhere in-between. I don’t really fuck around with cats that are gonna constantly risk getting me arrested anymore. But I also don’t judge as long as you “handle your handle” – (ROO R.I.P). Our fans are fam and control isn’t a character trait we attract.
How is the fucked up economy affecting you?
I feel art and music is always the first to suffer. Physical music stores are taking a hit, and digi sales barely cover the returns some quarters, but fuck it. You gotta find a better way to get your music out there, step out of the conventional rounds and try and STAY ON TOUR pushing that music that is worth the price. I hope
Who are you working with on the new album?
I did all the arranging and pre-production at the studio in my apartment. I worked with Chapter 7, Blockhead, Govone, Mineral Ink, Mondee, Thomas Phenomas and I did a couple beats, too. Joey Raia is mixing down the work.
Who do you hope to work with in the future?
I’d like to spit with Mikah9 sometime before I die. Other than that, I just wanna stay working with people who inspire me and have the same passion and enthusiasm about music as I. There’s not really any one specific person, alive at least, because most of the people you want to work with end up being jaggoffs.
What was up for New Years Eve?
My New Year’s resolution is to be able to walk away.
How did CaMu Tao’s passing affect you?
Mu’s passing is something I haven’t fully grasped yet. I still hear his voice crystal clear in my head. It’s so easy to go into auto-pilot when speaking of the deceased… but CAMU really was all that you hear. I have never met someone as talented, inspirational, amp’d or creative as Tero. I have a lot of songs from my old studio he did that are just amazing. I think (hope) they will come out on Definitive Jux sometime soon. Mu’s passing certainly changed a lot of relationships in my life where he was the glue between us. I will always miss his honest criticisms, convos and of course, the excitement of getting a new song from him and those first couple of bars of “holy shit-ness” you got when you heard what he was doing. I am sincerely thankful I became friends with Mu and have so many great memories with the brother. I’ve never met anyone like him… no matter how hard they try.
Are you off that “dust?”
What dust? I don’t fuck with dips and that ‘ol 117th n Lenox ain’t there no more… so yeah. I don’t react the same to the shit anymore and would rather not smoke it. But that’s me… I don’t judge cats on what they do to medicate. If you want me aggressive and isolated in the corner, hating everyone I see… bring me back there.
Teach me your favorite slang word that you don’t mind sharing.
Man, I don’t know if it’s my favorite, but I’ve been trying to really integrate “perpetrate” into my vocab more. I noticed all my favorite MC’s and dudes that are really getting $$ got it on lock. Start checking for it and tell me I’m wrong. I coined “homohawk” and “homomies” to help us all stereotype people a lil’ easier, thank you very much.
F, Marry, Kill – you have to F one, Marry One, and Kill One: Lindsay Lohan, Katie Cupcake, and Megan Fox.
I’d kill Katie Cupcake by bacon overdose because I think she’d like it. As for Lohan n Fox… fuck ‘em both. And by fuck ‘em, I mean marry ‘em.
What’s your biggest vice?
My biggest vice is not being able to tell which one is the biggest vice.
Who would you say is a bigger narcissist – a rapper or a comedian?
A punchline rapper.
Have you met Shia Laboeuf?
Yes. I have met Shia. I met his parents, too. What do I win? Shia came on tour with us on Hell’s Winter 2006-07. He’s a normal cool dude with great taste in music. The first time he hosted SNL, he invited me to the after party, which to me was dope cuz I wanna whorenap Amy Poehler into my harem. That was a weird question, no?
You’re getting over a cold right now? How is the seemingly invincible C-Chan getting sick?
I get sick because I get off stage a sweaty mess and go right outside to build and smoke with real people, instead of fronting backstage like I’m responsible for curing AIDS or something.
Thank You. Don Corleone, C-Chan, I am honored and grateful that you have invited me to your home on the wedding day of your daughter. May their first child be a masculine child done this interview.
[top photo by Todd Westphal, edited by shabooty]