Brooklyn-via-Philadelphia rapper and model Chynna shares five tracks which have influenced her sound.
Growing up in Philadelphia, rapper and model Chynna Rogers wasn’t your average high school student. After signing to Ford Models at fourteen, she spent her teenage years travelling to New York City on weekends to shadow A$AP Yams and hang out with the A$AP Mob. After originally setting her sights on a career in A&R, she credits Yams, who died of an accidental drug overdose in 2015, with encouraging her to try rapping. It seems to have been a smart move.
Now 23-years-old and based in Brooklyn, some of Chynna’s early successes include the viral hits ‘Selfie’ in 2013 and ‘Glen Coco’ in 2014 before releasing her I’m Not Here. This Isn’t Happening EP in July 2015. That was followed by 2016’s Ninety and last year’s music 2 die 2, which is a smart, turbulent four-track release spanning themes of drugs, death and despair.
Whilst well-versed in hip-hop, her music is influenced by a range of other genres as well, including psychedelic rock and emo. Ahead of her first London exclusive show at Camden Assembly on 20th March, we asked Chynna to explore five tracks which have influenced her.
Johnson, Hawkins, Tatum & Durr – You Can’t Blame Me
This one I discovered through probably the first rapper I ever properly stanned, Wiz Khalifa. He was a sample god at one point, and this song ‘When You Find‘ was the first for me. My young ass thought I was really going through emotional trauma aha. Anyway, I had to find the original song since it was so heavily used. I wasn’t ready. It’s literally perfectly structured, evoked some real feeling in me at a pivotal point in my emotional development. I haven’t heard voices like these since. I wish I would’ve found it first.
Blue Oyster Cult – Don’t Fear the Reaper
This came from getting Rock Band for my 16th birthday. Safe to say I came up crazy. At first I didn’t focus in on the meaning of the lyrics consciously but I knew I was into it. It wasn’t my introduction to psychedelic rock but its where I realised my own interest in the genre. It’s pretty apparent I’m interested in death. People automatically brand that suicidal but it’s more a curiosity in what comes next. This song lyrically is totally suicidal, no question, but I dig the lack of drama about it. Like, we are gonna die. It’s gonna happen. You ain’t invincible. This is actual mood music to die to and a direct inspiration for that project.
Circa Survive – The Difference Between Medicine and Poison is in the Dose
It’s funny cuz I didn’t know the lead was one of my best friend’s cousins. It’s simple. This band, album, and singer simply mean a lot to me. Lyrically, they just perpetually hit nails on the head and I strive to evoke the same and just as much emotion. Not to mention, this was my Myspace song for months. Did I say that already?
Busta Rhymes – Everything Remains Raw
That song ‘Selfie’ that I have? It was on this beat. Still one of the best instrumentals in hiphop/recent history. I tried to bar up as much as he did…. impossible. But I tried. Since then I’ve tried to outdo myself lyrically, cadence-wise and in beat selection. I may be understating the influence here because there aren’t words for its power yet. You kinda just gotta listen to it.
Gucci Mane – Peepin Out The Blinds
I didn’t know which song to choose but you know guwop had to be on here in some kinda way. He is my biggest influence, period, in how to handle myself, my career and the quality of my music. Although he has a fucking arsenal of tunes, they’re so brilliant. Cohesive, honest and BANG. I wanna be like him when I grow up. This is my fav off his most recent project.