The Break Presents: Chynna
The new wave of talent coming out of Philadelphia's hip-hop scene is vastly different than the past. From Schoolly D to The Roots to Beanie Sigel to Meek Mill, Philly has always produced a young batch of stars but today's generation is a bit different from the history path. Lil Uzi Vert is a rock star, Kur is one of the most versatile new rappers in hip-hop and PnB Rock supplies the melodies. One new rapper to focus on out of Philly is Chynna (a.k.a Chynna Rogers).
The rhymer, whos' also a model, has a presence about her that's both dark yet tantalizing. With her rapid-fire flow and her deadpan delivery, coupled with her songwriting ability, Chynna is rising fast.
The 22-year-old rapper has been in and out of the game for a few years now. She hung out with A$AP Yams and A$AP Mob back in 2011, and began rapping around 2013. Her first look was “Selfie” but she caught her big break in 2014, when she dropped “Glen Coco.” In 2015, she dropped her EP, I’m Not Here. This Isn’t Happening. But because of her modeling schedule—she's modeled for DKNY, Sophie Theallet and Gypsy Sport—and an opiate addiction, things never took off.
However, Chynna made her comeback last year. Fully recovered, Chynna released her fantastic Ninety mixtape—a beautifully honest and refreshing project on which she discussed her battled with addition. With her newest single "seasonal depression" off her upcoming project doing numbers, 2017 is looking like the year Chynna becomes a major name.
"Going to put this project out very soon and write all my videos and everything," she tells XXL. "I’m trying to show everyone how diverse and what my writing can do. It doesn’t have to be always making songs. And really just trying to give everyone a general idea of who I am as an artist."
Pay attention to Chynna.
I grew up listening to: “If I was with my mom it was probably a lot of neo-soul stuff. She liked a lot of borderline country; I guess I give her Melissa Etheridge at best, no farther than that. My dad was into 1990s hip-hop from the womb. He refuses to evolve so it was like cassette tapes of pre-recorded mixes that he made off the radio of just whoever from the 1990s. I think the most current he got was Fabolous when 'Breathe' came out. But on my own, I was listening a lot of rock music and stuff because it was already so much hip-hop influenced everywhere. I got way more into metal and emo.
"I started making music in 2013; I think that was the first time I recorded. All throughout high school the basement we hung out in was also a studio. That were a bunch of teenagers would hangout. The teenage me, the teenage Kur or the teenage [Lil] Uzi [Vert] would record there. But it was like never really thought if it was going to be anything else. Eventually one day, I was like let me record something since I’m always down here and I really liked writing anyway. From the first time I did it I was pretty much addicted to it.
"I didn’t want to start rapping until I thought I was pretty okay at the writing aspect of it. Over the course of the last couple of years I got better. Like my cadence and flow and breathe control and stuff like that because I’m a pretty fast rapper."
My style’s been compared to: “I never got compared to a girl but when I first started trying to develop my sound I got compared to A$AP Rocky but it wasn’t for the way we were rapping; I think it was because of beat selection.
"My sound is scary and dense and kind of cryptic but it sets a mood where I think a lot of times when people are rapping fast, you can’t create an atmosphere to it, but [my sound] creates a kind of dark doomsday atmosphere that still if you want to listen closer you’ll get something more from it, but if not it sets a tone."
Most people don’t know: “I hate poetry, like spoken word. Like I really don’t like spoken word. It’s something about having a beat behind you and you’re purposely not speaking to the beat is a big pet peeve."
My standout records or moment to date have been: “It’s probably 'Glen Coco.' I don’t think it was that good of a song, it wasn’t arranged properly. But I guess female rap is that bad or people just don’t listen to it enough but it went farther than everything because I guess people never heard a woman rap for four minutes straight. The title is a title that captured everyone’s attention because Mean Girls is a cult classic [movie], everyone seen it and could reference it. It all worked out."
My goal in hip-hop is: “I don’t want to rap forever. I’m not trying to keep doing this to 35. I feel like now I’ve been through a little more stuff so I feel a little more deserving of this being my career choice. So I want to take it as far as it can go. I want to travel as much as I can and retire and let the next generation take over and own some House of Blues-type venues so those side spaces always exist. I have seen them disappear, the 300-standing room venues."
I’m going to be the next: "Axel Rose. I don’t want to be the next version of a rapper or someone who already happen. But if you can compare me to someone who’s not in my genre, that’s the artist I look up to mostly as a whole entity. It started when I first started listening to Guns N' Roses and whenever I become a fan of someone, I try and find a book about them. That’s what I ended up doing. I was probably in middle school and his book really resonated with me. Not that I could relate to everything but I really like the stories."
Standouts: "seasonal depression"
Suicideyear, Chynna and Da$h's "Bat County"
Kur's "Razor / Havoc"
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