I’ve always been confused by the phrase “hip-hop is dead”. When asked what he thinks about the alleged demise of hip-hop, up and coming MC Dominique “Ceewhy” Suttles says “hip-hop can’t die…[hip-hop] is a way of life and a people so if its dead we are dead and I been breathing all day!” He does state that hip-hop is currently lacking originality, balance and inspiration, which is what he is trying to bring to the game. Ceewhy hails from Minneapolis, Minnesota and grew up listening to his father’s record collection, which included everything from Bach to Nina Simone. He attended Clark Atlanta University in Atlanta, where he pursued his budding music career, winning rap battles but also improving his song-writing ability, since we all know battle MCs don’t always have the most longevity in the rap game.
Ceewhy provides a long list of influences from the obligatory Big & Pac to the Clipse and Slum Village to Jimi Hendrix and even Langston Hughes. He even jokingly adds Grey Goose to the list. Far from arrogant, Cee admits to being a “very influenced artist”. “I just want people to believe in me because I believe in them thats why I do what I do. I am an artist and musician and growth is paramount to my survival and evolution as an artist,” he says. “Nas once rhymed that ‘no idea’s original’, and he was right. When it comes to music, let’s be honest: few recreate the wheel. The great musicians haven’t necessarily created something brand new. They gave us the right balance of entertainment and thought-provoking material. Think Michael Jackson, Prince, Nina, Stevie and a score of others. Their catalogues aren’t just comprised of solely ‘dance’ tracks or ‘conscious’ tracks. Mike’s catalogue consists of tracks like ‘Rock with You’, but also ‘Black & White’. Whatever happened to that balance?!?” Ceewhy is poised to bring that balance to the game.
While he isn’t necessarily trying to “re-invent the wheel”, he’s introducing a new way to roll. Both of his projects, Dreams Are Bulletproof and The Sickness: Designer Drugs & Disease Meets Panic are highly conceptualized…more than what you would expect from a new artist. While still having fun, Ceewhy also gives you food for thought to snack on, mixing what you want with what you need without being preachy. Look out for the homie in the future and enjoy his music…oh and kill your radio. You won’t find too many artists with such a clear direction and innovative approach there. For now, just visit his bandcamp.com site linked below and download both projects…then tell your whole ‘hood to get familiar.