An Interview with SC Static
Zachary Franck interviewing SC Static
SC Static is an independent Hip Hop artist from New York that prides himself on lyricism and songwriting. From the suburbs to the city, he spent years crafting his sound and style. He's a true student of the culture who has built a foundation on his knowledge and skill. After years of listening and writing music, he found his true voice in his 2016 release, Far From Free. His collaboration with Matty Beats stands out as his best work to date, and they'll be taking things to the next level with their follow-up release. Far From Free encapsulates SC's vision in its purest form.
The Joke Theory, produced entirely by Teddy Roxpin, will be released in October of this year.
ZF: So, for people that don’t know, who is SC Static?
SC: SC Static is an independent emcee, lyricist, and all-around Hip Hop enthusiast from New York. I’m the youngest of three and was raised by two great parents. I’m well aware that I’ve had a privileged upbringing, so I like to speak from the middleclass. My upbringing was heavily New York influenced, although I grew up outside of the city, both of my parents are from Brooklyn.
ZF: That goes to my next question, which you kind of answered, where are you from and where have you lived? How have those places affected you and your music?
SC: Like I said, both my parents are from Brooklyn. So, I grew up in a house with NY accents, Italian food, Frank Sinatra, Billy Joel, New York baseball – big Mets fans, my grandfather was a Brooklyn Dodgers fan. The typical New York Italian-American traditions have played a big part in my life. My parents ended up leaving the city to buy a house and raise their kids. They moved to the Hudson Valley from Queens, so I was raised around nature and wasn’t in the city that much as a kid, and that definitely plays a part in my sound. Even though I was raised by Boom Bap, I’m not the pure urban NY emcee, I’m an Upstate New York emcee and I look at life through that lens. I think I was attracted to Hip Hop because the imagery was the complete opposite of what I saw growing up. When it came time for me to go to college, I went to Fordham University in The Bronx, which was only 50 minutes from my house.
ZF: How did living in The Bronx for four years have an impact on you and your music?
SC: Well, a lot of it was premeditated because my sister went to Fordham. Whenever I’d go to visit her, I would love it. During my High School years, I was obsessed, maybe even addicted to Hip Hop. Going to The Bronx was very special to me, I’d walk around thinking, “Wow, this is where Hip Hop originated”, I loved it. The sights and sounds, from the train to graffiti, was everything I needed in my life at that time. The whole mentality was intriguing and necessary to me. I knew that Fordham would be a college that I would go to if given the chance. It worked out, I ended up getting offered a partial scholarship to play baseball there. I didn’t have that much time to work on music, but I took every chance I got to experience the city and write lyrics. I thought I was a good emcee beforehand, being around the city made me 10x better. I swear, riding the subway with my headphones in meant everything to be. I would always try to listen to rappers depending on which borough I was in. If I was in Queens, I would listen to Nas. If I was in The Bronx, I would listen to Big Pun and Fat Joe. I dove even deeper into Hip Hop and grew as a student of the art-form. I started cyphering with people on the streets, gaining more confidence. Most of these older guys only respected the highest quality of lyricism, especially coming from me, I had to earn their respect in a different way. A lot of them would spit about guns and hustling, and I never lived that life. I was a tourist in a sense, even though my parents are born and raised, I’m not. I always repped where I was from and told my truths, they respected that and saw that I was cut from the cloth of real Hip Hop. The city helped mold me, it really just changed everything. New York City is the Mecca. I felt that if I could get props from real NY Hip Hop heads, I could get props anywhere.
ZF: What was the first Rap album you ever heard?
SC: The Marshall Mathers LP. This is actually a funny story. My sisters are both older than me, one is four years older and the other is six, so that’s a pretty significant gap. They were into Pop music when it was Nsync, Backstreet Boys, Christina Aguilera – who I actually like a lot, she worked with DJ Premier. Then Eminem came out dissing all of them and took the industry by storm. My uncle Steve, who’s now a Steady Cam operator on feature films, was filming music videos back then. He’s worked on everything from Elf to Black Swan, but he filmed one of Eminem’s music videos in the early 2000’s. I forget which one it was, it was either The Real Slim Shady, Stan, or The Way I Am. He ended up getting a CD signed by Eminem, and it said, “To Kristen and Nicole”, and then underneath, “Love Slim Shady”. So, I stole that from them and listened to it in a Sony Walkman, crouched under the wine bar in my basement. I was in 3rd or 4th grade, I probably just started hanging out with Zoo. When that first song came on, "When I was just a little baby boy, my momma used to tell me these crazy things", it was over.
ZF: Since you’ve studied the art-form more than most people in the world, what are 5 albums that define your taste in Hip Hop?
SC: This is a really tough question. My answers are definitely going to be unique to me and my taste, as they should be. Two albums that would come as a surprise to some people are Jedi Mind Tricks – Servants in Heaven, Kings in Hell and Atmosphere – You Can’t Imagine How Much Fun We’re Having. Both albums showcase Indie originality in its purest form. They’re both complete bodies of work, from the album artwork to the track list. As indie artists, they showed me that there’s a way to make your creative vision a reality without the help of the mainstream machine. I’ll listen to both albums repeatedly for the rest of my life. Next would be Masta Ace – Disposable Arts, it was written from the position of an artist that’s been successful with a major label who then got dropped and abandoned. It forced him to create the album that he always wanted to without any expectations. It’s one of the best conceptual storytelling albums ever made. Eminem – The Eminem Show came into my life before I was old enough to choose what I would listen to. Eminem was my introduction into rap music, and I had to hide it from my parents. Looking back, he blew the doors open for what came next. KRS-One – Return of The Boom Bap embodies everything that I consider to be Hip Hop. Once I was enthralled in Hip Hop and had fully accepted it as my calling and lifestyle, I read The Gospel of Hip Hop by KRS-One and it taught me the spiritual potential of Hip Hop. It also educated me on the origin of the art-form and what it stands for. So, I went back and listened to all of his albums and Return of The Boom Bap was my absolute favorite. Because five is so difficult, I have to give an honorable mention to one more album. Nas – It Was Written encapsulates everything that I look for in an album, it is a flawless body of work. Illmatic and It Was Written are neck and neck, but the storytelling on It Was Written takes it for me. If you’re a Hip Hop head and you haven’t listened to all of these, you need to get on it!
ZF: After first hearing Eminem, how much time passed before you wrote your first rap?
SC: Two years. But before I wrote any of my own raps, I memorized my favorite songs. I used to print out lyrics to like 50 Cent – This Is How We Do, I didn’t know what any of the slang meant. I print them out and rap along to the songs and I got so good at it, I could memorize lyrics better than anybody. I would imitate my favorite rappers before I found my own voice.
ZF: Who are the emcees that inspire you most?
SC: Well, since those days, I’ve grown a lot and really studied the culture more. Nowadays I like a lot of guys that are underappreciated like Ras Kass, Planet Asia, Evidence, One Be Lo from Binary Star, Elzhi, Royce da 5’9, Apathy, Vinnie Paz, but also legends like Guru, KRS-One, and Kool G Rap.
ZF: If you had to give people a handful of songs from your catalogue that represent you best as a human and artist, what would they be?
SC: Luck Pushers, Self-Destruct, What I’m About, and I’m a Monster in order from present to past.
ZF: What projects have you released over the last two years and where can people find them?
SC: In 2016, I released Far From Free EP, which was the first project with original production from top to bottom. I dropped two projects with two different duos, Dry Cereal - !ll and SC Static & Zoo – The Lion & The Wolf II. Then came the Far From Free LP which dropped in December of that year. Matty Beats produced both Far From Free projects and we have more music in the chamber. FFF is my first all original full length and it’s my best work to date. After that, I came with Profit vs. Prophecy and a project called Rhyme Travelin’ produced entirely by Marxman. The last two projects I dropped were Scarin’ The Neighbors produced by Jesse Castro and Monetary Minds produced by Supreme da Almighty. You can find all of my music on Bandcamp and YouTube. My best work is yet to come and I cannot wait for my fans to hear my growth. I'm also looking forward to rocking as many shows as I can this Fall and gaining as many fans as I can.
ZF: What do you have lined up to release in 2018?
SC: The Joke Theory which is entirely produced by Teddy Roxpin, he’s worked with Chris Webby, Mac Miller, and Apathy. After that, I have The Righteous Rebel with Matty Beats. It might not come out by the end of 2018, but we’ll see. From now on, we’re going to really make sure everything is perfect before releasing it to the public. In 2019, I have some surprises planned that will hopefully get me to the other side. I plan on playing a lot more shows and really taking my movement to the next level.
ZF: I can see your passion for Hip Hop and I think it’s going to take you far. What does Hip Hop mean to you?
SC: It’s my purpose in life. Without Hip Hop, I don’t know what I’d do with my life. Hip Hop saved my life and I want to make the best of my time here. I truly believe that it’s my calling and I feel that my music will speak for itself in the future.
ZF: Where would you like to see yourself and your career in five years?
SC: I’d like to travel the world and perform for as many people as possible. I want to impact people every day and speak to them individually. I want to be the same person on the stage that I am off the stage. I want to someday not have to worry about money, I want to be able to give back eventually. I want to be a voice for the voiceless, whether it's addiction or other social issues. It’s bigger than music and people will see that if they follow my journey.