It is hard to believe this talented Hip-Hop artist from Brooklyn is only in his early twenties as his music sounds like the work of someone who has been in the world, let alone in the music industry, for much longer. You might remember CJ Fly from being part of Pro Era, a collective of American rappers, which formed in 2011. CJ Fly was a founding member and now he spreads his wings with his first commercial release, ‘FLYTRAP’ out now.
Also hard to believe is the fact CJ Fly hardly wrote any of the 14 track album in advance but freestyled once he was in the studio. If that isn’t raw talent, I don’t know what is. Especially as each track is so unbelievably good. FLYTRAP produced by CJ Fly himself as well as a member of Pro Era, Kirk Knight, DF (Travis Scott), SmokeyGotBeatz (Jayrock & Kendrick Lamar) and Hannibal King (Mac Miller).
Close to his mother and family who he incorporates into his songs through lyrics, references and even using his late grandfather’s voice, CJ Fly is at a significant point in his career and we look forward to seeing what he does next.
The first single from the album, ‘Now You Know’ is a “self-empowering song inspired by (his) exes and doubters that tried to play (him).” As he says in the lyrics, “hope you hear this and you know.” Other momentous lyrics are: “Only 22, so I’m in my prime, Made it here without committing crimes, Making paper off some different lines, Took my life and put it in these rhymes, Transformation like I’m Megatron, Give my music everything I got, And I don’t think that I’ll ever stop.” As you can see, ingenious flows.
Here is an exclusive Q&A into the mind of this exquisitely talented young rapper, CJ Fly:
Q. What is your favourite part of being in the music industry?
People being able to connect with my music and appreciating my efforts.
Q. How do you go about writing your music and lyrics?
Sometimes I write to a beat or I freestyle as it comes to me. It depends on what my mood is.
Q. What influences your music-making process?
I’m very honest, so I tend to talk about my life and my surroundings because I’m a product of my environment. Whatever’s happening in the world or things that personally affect me, influence my music the most.
Q. What track or lyric is most meaningful to you and why?
“Confined” from my album FLYTRAP because it’s about my late grandfather and his voice is on it. I wanted to help him be eternal in this world.
Q. What is the overall theme of your new album?
The overall theme of my new album is to not be held back from spreading your wings and being the best you, you can be. The flytrap is a metaphor for all obstacles, negativity, doubt, and haters trying to prevent you from doing what you have to do to succeed.
Q. We like ‘Get Me’ – is it true re the relationship with your mum, going to private school and dropping out to become a rapper?
Yes, that’s a true story. I went to a private elementary/junior high school and a city college. Like many parents, mine were worried about what I’d do with my time.
Q. What is ‘Now You know’ about?
“Now You Know” is a self-empowering song inspired by my exes and doubters that tried to play me. Hope they hear this and they know. Haha.
Q. I can hear quite dramatic, classical music in “IDGAF,” do you like other genres of music? What do you enjoy listening to generally?
I like all types of music; jazz, reggae, soca, grime, rock and r&b, the list goes on.
Q. How long did the album take to write?
Half of the songs I didn’t write – a lot of them came to me naturally as I freestyled in the studio. But the rest were made over the past few years. I don’t take long to write verses for songs, as long as the beat speaks to me.
Q. What’s a typical day for CJ Fly?
Wake up, hit the roach from last night, brush my teeth, take my dog outside, build up a next thing, shower, something music related or watch a movie, feed my dog then take her out, touch road/ make moves, back to bed when that’s done.
Q. Tell me something people might not know about you?
I secretly want to be a reggae artist.
Q. What do you think you would be doing if you weren’t making music?
I’d be one of the illest chefs in NYC or a computer tech of some sort.
Q. Who are your favourite new / emerging artists?
Some of my favourite new artists are Devontee WOE from Toronto, Young M.A, AJ Tracey, Lekeli47, MadeinTYO, & Lil Uzi Vert.
Q. What artists/ tracks/albums did you listen to growing up that influenced you and your style of music?
Buju Banton, A Tribe Called Quest, Snoop Dogg, 50 Cent, Jay-Z and Nas.
Q. Is there anyone you would love to collaborate with?
Timbaland, 50 Cent, D’Angelo, Erykah Badu and MF Doom.
Q. Where is your favourite place to perform?
London is always special, I like the U.K.
Q. What are your plans for next year?
I want to tour the entire 2017 & share this beautiful music with the world.
Q. What has been your greatest achievement so far?
Releasing FLYTRAP on my mom’s 49th birthday, 9 December, and being able to celebrate both with her.
Q. What are your dreams going forward?
To be the best.
‘Flytrap’ is available now on all digital streaming websites