Richmond, Virginia native, Cha$e Royale, has debuted his new album, The Gemcutter's Prism. What Cha$e really wants to be known for through his music is delivering “the funk” or truth and quality information that may help someone along the way. Cha$e doesn't point fingers, and conveys his message in a light confrontational way, but never overwhelms. It's simple truth at it's finest. Cha$e chatted with us about his newest album and it's production, the local music scene in Richmond, and his favorites in hip-hop. Check out Cha$e's exclusive premiere with his new single, "He Who Came to Bring the Funk" here.
AXS: Why did you go with the stage name "Cha$e Royale"? What about it is significant to you?
Cha$e Royale: It started off as Chase Royalty. I was always in it for the long haul. Meaning I wanted more than just immediate satisfaction (show money, feature money). I want to be able to receive royalties from what I create for a lifetime. Generational money. I liked the name so much, I started toying around with Chase Royal and eventually started saying and ultimately sticking with Cha$e Royale.
AXS: You rap about subjects that are very important to you, and yet seen as controversial to others. How do you think your music can transcend those boundaries?
CR: I believe that I can transcend those boundaries by being genuine with my approach and trying to offer a solution. Solution might not be the right word even, more so Conclusion. Sometimes we need to conclude our previous thought process and open ourselves up to new ways of thinking.
AXS: How do you think the local music scene in Richmond encourages you and your music?
CR: The Local Music scene really doesn't influence me too much to be quite honest. I'm not from Richmond, nor did I grow up on any Richmond artist. I chose to live in Richmond while working in my other field. Im from Prince George's County, Maryland. Folks like wale and Fat Trel kind of influenced my sound. Doesnt mean that the city itself doesn't influence some of my writing, and also I'm not saying I haven't been inspired by certain local artist.
AXS: What was it like recording your debut album?
CR: It was a fun experience. I can live in a studio. Quite frankly, I long for the day I can leave my 9 to 5 and do just that, haha. It was a true introspective experience. It was also a little dark. I walked around with a pensive mood, in deep thought being extra analytical about things around me in order to write a project I thought could break me into the game. That was more so the writing process. The recording process, I kind of broke out of that shell and brought back the vivacious character.
AXS: Who was your first concert? Which concert has been your overall favorite?
CR: My first concert was, If I'm going to be completely honest..Raven-Symone, haha. I was a kid and had a huge crush on her. I was still big into rap at the time but also a growing little boy. She was performing at an Amusement park called Kings Dominion and we all went as a family and decided to check her out as well.
My favorite concert, was one that I recently went to with Curren$y headlining the show. I've been a fan for some time, and He held it down during his show.
AXS: What album was your first on cassette, CD, and/or vinyl?
CR: The first CD I got was a gift from my baby sitter at the time. I was 12. I've been into the genre since 7 or 8, writing music since I was 10. That should give you some insight on how serious I take the craft. Anyhoww, she always saw me writing raps when I had to go spend my time with her after school. So it was around 2004 and they just released Pacs 5th posthumous album called Loyal to the game. She bought if for me around Christmas time. I still have it til this day. I listened to everyday.
AXS: Which five albums and/or artists would you not want to live without?
I will give you both, if you don't mind. Artist and Albums.
Five Artists I couldn't live without.
Steel Pulse (group)
Tie between Styles P/H.O.V
Five Albums I couldn't live without:
Hip Hop Is Dead - Nas
Illmatic - Nas
Earth Crisis - Steel Pulse
Me against the world - 2pac
The Phantom Menace - Styles P
AXS: Do you have a guilty music or entertainment pleasure?
CR: I believe that I come with Quality music. Real music to get you thinking. Music that will lift you up and get you going. I stand by that and forever will.