Chevy Woods may not have always dreamt of becoming a rapper with fans in other nations and 100K twitter followers, but that is the reality. “I didn’t really get serious until a year or two after Wiz and I met and were recording. Like I was really just running around, doing sh*t in the streets still while he had something bigger for me to do, and he had a dream, ”states the Taylor Gang MC who only recently began taking this rapping thing seriously. Chevy has calmly sat back and watched his label-mate and good friend Wiz Khalifa define blowing up, so after that what would you do? Exactly, drop a mixtape feat. Wiz with production from Cardo & Big Germ, while opening up sold out Wiz shows across the globe.
With 2011 coming to a close, Chevy Woods is readying his next project Gang Land. I spoke to the Taylor Gang freshman on his latest mixtape The Cookout, the realization of his future success, and his upcoming project Gang Land.
RubyHornet: You dropped The Cookout in September, been touring with Wiz. Went to the UK, and Hawaii – how has it been?
Chevy Woods: It’s been real cool. Hawaii is a place I’ve never been before. The views from the hotels are awesome, just the love out there is real genuine. Everyone is kind of happy, I guess being off the Maui is making everybody smile. haha.
RubyHornet: If I’m correct, you started writing in college. But at what point after you began writing did you sit down and really begin to take this rapping seriously, trying to make a career from it?
Chevy Woods: I didn’t really get serious until a year or two after Wiz and I met and were recording. Like, I was really just running around, doing sh*t in the streets still while he had something bigger for me to do, and he had a dream. But I didn’t really understand it at first because I didn’t see where he was going, and I didn’t see what it would do for me. I had my own thing going on at the time, but I was like, ‘let me just stop everything and see what he is talking about,’ and everything from there just snowballed.
RubyHornet: Building off that, what were some of those deciding factors that made you settle down in the streets and begin to hit the studio seriously?
Chevy Woods: I just wanted to be done with that part of my life. I needed something to bring me away from that and this is what it was. I had already been writing and everything. He had bigger plans than what I was thinking of, so [I figured] if I put my little plan with his big plan then something can happen for me. It was just a chain of events that just happened leading up to it, like jail time for some of my homies, people getting killed that I was dealing with on the music side, and all of that was put into getting me focused even more.
RubyHornet: At this point you are another example of a buzzing artist who has claimed territory in the game, but really have no LPs out. You are working straight off mixtapes and internet buzz. Can you speak on being one of these buzzing artists?
Chevy Woods: It comes with the times. People grow up, people dabble in different business interests, like some of my old peoples are in real estate now or opened their own business and things elsewhere going on in their life, and it’s at the same tempo that I’m doing the music. After I started really doing the music, after me and him met, it was like a light bulb clicked and it was like ‘alright this is what you’re doing, this is what I’m doing, maybe it will work maybe not.’ But when people started hearing it, they were like ‘Ok cool, they sound good together’.
RubyHornet: Can you speak on your last release The Cookout. Did you get the reception you expected from the fans and listeners alike?
Chevy Woods: Yeah, it’s been a lot of love. I’m getting shows now and people are checking for my music, like artists I never really thought would that are on, that are friends with Wiz and not even friends with Wiz are checking it, saying ‘good job.’ But after I dropped The Cookout I found my place. Like I did Red Cup Music before that, but now, it’s more at home. Even though we’re recording the whole thing on the bus, to where I was waking up in the morning, like every song you hear on The Cookout, I woke up in the morning I recorded it and Wiz got up later, I let him hear the song and he laid his verse.
RubyHornet: That’s very dope! So with the song “Chi-Town”, did you wake up in the Chi and head downstairs to the bus to record?
Chevy Woods: I was actually on the bus recording and it was freezing! I was like, ‘Yo it feel like Chicago in here lol.’ So let’s call it Chi-town.
RubyHornet: Word. That track is smooth as sh*t.
Chevy Woods: See, everything with me is real hands on. If I feel something like in that situation, like I was cold, so I named it that. But I do sh*t genuinely, not trying to find the name for a song or album it just comes to me.
RubyHornet: Can you speak on the Taylor Gang family. You have a tight bond with Wiz and the team is very successful at this point in time, you, Will, Wiz, everyone. Can you speak on that?
Chevy Woods: It’s all love, like we’re all brothers and there are a lot of us that people haven’t even seen yet. We’re like forty of fifty deep. Not all of us rap, but we’re all Taylor Gang. It’s real homely, real family. We don’t do all the arguing on tour, no fights or bullsh*tting, because we all know what it is at the end of the day. We’re all working towards a goal, so you can’t be bickering and sh*t and still make it, because that’s how people get dropped off. I may not like something, but if I’m in a different situation I might voice my opinion and tell everyone I don’t like it with an attitude. But with us we bring everything to the table. So if you have a problem with someone, with the music, or how something is being handled then we’ll converse over it and we’ll go from their. Very family oriented.
RubyHornet: If there is one point you want to get across with this next tape you’re dropping (Gang Land), what is that? Is it distinct from The Cookout? What one point would you want to get across?
Chevy Woods: With everything that I do it’s like, I tell everyone the same thing. I was already running around the streets, I already had money and all of that sh*t, not saying this is better and cleaner, but I already had all that sh*t so I’m not doing it for a pot of gold. As long as people respect what I do, respect my loyalty to my homies, and to Wiz, then I’m cool with that. That’s money in my pocket to me.