“No one should have any good reason to listen to me, but it’s dope if they do,” said the SUNY New Paltz graduate and up-and-coming rapper Christopher Canales, otherwise known as Chrissy C.
The terms “Sound Cloud rapper” and “new mixtape” “are usually met with dramatic sighs and eye rolls. Another Sound Cloud rapper? There has been an undeniable surge of young, amateur rappers compulsively promoting their music and their brand on social media in hopes of making it big. But not Chrissy C.
Chrissy C’s humility and altruism redefine what it means to be a young, up and coming rapper. “I’ve seen a ton of kids go ‘Hey look at my raps, look at my music, look at me!’ but to me that’s not what it’s about. It’s about the community and connecting with people, helping people and trying to find an outlet for them.”
As a Nanuet, NY native, Chrissy C initially got involved in hip hop through his ties with the local band scene. Since he was thirteen years old, Chrissy C frequently attended hardcore, punk, pop punk, and rap shows. While he is still involved in the hardcore, punk, and pop punk scene, he found rap as a great way of meeting people and making connections.
Chrissy C attended Rockland Community College from 2013 to 2015, and graduated SUNY New Paltz in May of 2018 with a degree in adolescent education and a concentration in history.
“I really started rapping in 11th grade. Just messing around. There are some pretty awful videos of my rapping that used to be on YouTube but were taken down,” Chrissy C said. It was during his time at Rockland Community College where his rap pursuit truly began.
Chrissy C initially started to create beats and freestyles as a means of refuge from his atypical family dynamic and to remain sane while living at home. Raised only by his grandmother, Chrissy C’s lack of a strong family unit deeply influenced his music. “I feel like my background story is a little different than most. [My music] is just a way of telling my story,” he said.
However, Chrissy C does not lyrically construct his “story” like most rappers. In fact, Chrissy C hates writing. He testifies that most of his recorded songs are freestyles that he fixes and tweaks afterwards.
“My rapping is a product of my ADHD. I have to be in a confined space or the studio to be focused or write. I have a million things running through my head all the time, so rap helps me get those things out in a way that makes sense to me.”
On Monday, Oct. 8, Chrissy C released his first music video for his song “Moving & Grooving” with the help of his video producer Paul Pikarsky, or Vanilla Dolemite. As a video producer for Chrissy C, Pikarsky creates 15 to 30 second social media promos, interviews and music videos. According to Vanilla Dolemite, their collaboration process so far has been very organic. “Chris and I naturally bonded,” he said. “It was like friends hanging out who happened to be ‘working.’ When we started bouncing ideas around of what type of music video he was going for, we were always on the same page.”
In “Moving & Grooving” Vanilla Dolemite’s directing stayed true to Chrissy C’s modest lifestyle and suburban upbringing. Instead of wearing flashy designer clothes or diamond necklaces, Chrissy C sported a SUNY New Paltz hat, a band T-shirt and shorts.
“Everything was very real and not trying to be something he isn’t,” Dolemite said. They recorded scenes at the Nanuet train station parking lot, the abandoned drive-in theater in Spring Valley, the famous Pfizer factory buildings in Pearl River, the downtown Nyack skate park, and even Chrissy C’s own home and backyard.
Chrissy C is not chasing after wealth or fame. His hopes for the future are modest to say the least. “I’d love to go play in other states and cities at some point but that’s wishful thinking,” he said.
But Dolemite has higher hopes—expecting the new mixtape, music video, and social promos will help Chrissy C get booked for bigger shows, which he could film. He also affirms that if Chrissy C continues to perfect his craft, he will make a name for himself. “The possibilities are endless as long as we are making art and having fun. That’s the most important thing,” said Dolemite.
Chrissy C is currently finishing his debut mixtape Class Dismissed. The release date is not known. To keep up with Chrissy C, visit his Instagram @chrissy_c_official or his Sound Cloud “Chrissy C Crazy Legs.”