Just like Jerellz, I met Ciph Boogie through the Stationhead app. He was one of the first people to welcome me to the platform and made me feel comfortable interviewing on air. While I was getting my concept and format together, he was supportive and ALWAYS promoted his music on the app and social media channels, so he was a natural choice for an interview.
Date: January 23, 2020
Host (P): Photobombshell
Artist (C): Ciph Boogie
P: Alright, Ciph! How are you, man?
C: I’m good. How are you doing?
P: I’m good! Thank you so much for being here.
C: Thank you for having me.
P: Absolutely. Give the people a rundown. I know you have some of your people in here, but there will be people who hear this who don’t know you even though you are pretty in the Stationhead scene. For people who don’t know you, who are you? Where are you from, and what is your music about?
C: I’m from Brooklyn. Brooklyn Stay Winning, you know, that’s the motto. I’m Ciph Boogie. I’m a lyricist, artist, poet, deep-thinker, and writer. I’m a very passionate, low-key, laid-back, funny dude. I’m just myself.
P: Okay! That’s the best way to be; yourself. We talked previously about, not necessarily an album coming out, but singles?
C: Yeah. Yup.
P: What can people look forward to with the new stuff that you have coming out?
C: In the vein of motivational stuff, the human experience. I like to say. It’s the real good and bad of life with a motivational twist to it. Stuff to get you through the day, uplift you, keep you going forth and keep pushing.
P: Excellent. We are going to play Cannot Lose. I always want to call it Brooklyn Stay Winning because that’s the hook. I know that’s going to be a fan favorite. I also know, a few of your songs have gotten “most streams” already.
C: Yeah, that says a lot. That means a lot of people are liking the work and rocking with me. I’m appreciative, very grateful for that.
P: Absolutely. It also speaks to the community of Stationhead. That’s something that I like about this radio station and this program, is that you can make it what you need it to be. People who are creatives, who want to make a show, can put up a show. People who are creatives who are musicians can interact with hosts and push their music far. In that vein of talking about new music, I saw that you’re performing at SOB’s!
C: Yeah. February 25th. Yup, with Fred the Godson.
P: How exciting!
C: I’m looking to rock out. It will actually be my second time performing at SOB’s. I performed there on November 20, 2019. You know SOB’s is SOB’s so, you can’t fuck around with that one.
P: Right! So for people who are not from New York, SOB’s is a big deal. It’s a club. Pros come out of there all the time. The culture of it – I don’t want to say is underground because, at this point, it’s mainstream. Pardison Fontaine was there, right around the same time. It had to be in November.
C: Yeah, I think my show was the next day or two days after.
C: Yeah, yeah.
P: So, for people not from New York, it’s a big deal. For people who are in the area, how do they get tickets and get there?
C: They can go to my site www.ciphboogie24.com. They can go on my page, on my Instagram. I promote it every damn day so, there’s no excuse for not getting tickets. It’s everywhere. Trust.
P: So, what is significant about the 24 in your name?
C: I just like the number, you know? I guess you could say it’s a lucky number for me. I remember when I was 24, and that was the time that I dropped Black Mamba. Yeah, 2008 was a good year.
P: Alright, so it wasn’t like you’re next right after Michael Jordan.
C: I mean, hey, I could add that too. That works.
P: Gotta be careful with that one. You might catch some heat on that. I’m giving people bad ideas now.
C: It’s all good.
P: If you are familiar with my interviews, you know I do some straightforward things and I do some whacky things. Brace yourself because I probably have some whacky things coming. If you were not a musician, what profession would you choose?
C: I would probably be an author. I would write books because I have always had an imagination from the time I was a kid. I liked characters; I’ve always liked writing. That’s my natural talent. Away from rapping, I write stories and things like that about the culture.
P: Part of the rap game is being an eloquent lyricist. Some musicians have great beats, a great producer, someone mixing and mastering their tracks, but they are just throwing up word salad.
C: Yeah. Word vomit.
P: That makes me crazy. Having a background in writing, or at least understanding writing and the play on words, and using traditional rap methods gives you strength, in my opinion, over some of the younger folks who are coming into the word salad.
C: Yeah, just saying whatever.
P: In that same vein, what inspired you to get into music, or who got you into music? How did this all start for you?
C: As I said, writing was my natural talent, and I always loved music. As a kid, I used to be at my grandmother’s house a lot, and it would be the radio, video games, and TV. That was the world. My mother didn’t want us to be outside a lot. My grandmother lived in the Marcy Projects, you know, where Jay-Z is from, and if anyone is familiar with Marcy Projects, you know. You can understand why my mother didn’t want me to be outside. At the time, I was the only kid, and I had nothing but girl cousins, so when they would leave, it would just be me at my grandmother’s house. It would just be me and the music and my imagination. I would dabble in that.
P: So, from the beginning.
C: Yeah, from the beginning. My grandmother listened to gospel music. It was my mom’s childhood home so, she would be there too with her Motown records, Michael Jackson stuff, just different things. That was the beginning of my musical foundation and as I got older, just being around my neighborhood, everybody started rapping. I was like, let me try my hand at this. It was my boy and me. We started out rapping together. He is in the Cannot Lose video standing next to me. He stopped. He didn’t keep up with it as I did. Our first rhymes were wack. I am not even going to lie to you. They were like the worst raps ever.
P: I think everybody’s first raps are wack, though. Give yourself a little bit of grace.
C: I kept with it. When I went to high school, I would go to ciphers and connect with different artists. I had mad rhyme books. I used to always write rhymes, even in class, writing songs.
P: Did you keep any of them?
C: I still have some. I always thought I’d do a Ciph Boogie museum of something. I still have a lot of them and look at them and am like, wow. I said some shit.
P: I mean, you probably have some good stuff in there that you forgot about that’s not even at the forefront of your mind.
P: Have you done other interviews on Stationhead? I’m sure you must have.
C: I have. Omeditation. I know I have been on Bourgeois Latte’s show. I’ve been on a couple of shows.
P: What is the weirdest thing anyone has ever asked yet? Because we are going to try to top it!
C: I low-key believe that!
P: Word. That means you know me a little bit now.
C: It wasn’t on Stationhead. It wasn’t really weird, but it was an interview I did a few years ago. Somebody asked if I would rather have car sex or shower sex, and my answer was shower sex.
P: And why?
C: Something about being, it’s erotic.
P: Okay! It’s also cleaner; you’re already in the shower.
C: Clean and dirty at the same time, though.
P: Boom. Multi-tasking.
C: Multi-tasking, right!
P: We’re too old to be playing around. We have to multi-task now.
P: That is pretty wild. Alright. Props to them for giving you a wild one. I think this one is tame, but I also do weird stuff (on this show), so as an artist, if you could brainstorm about music and you could choose any person at all, alive or dead, from the past, from the future, who would you want to pick their brain and why?
C: Honestly. Jay-Z. He’s the godfather of Hip Hop in the music industry. He’s very well respected. Just look how he is received when he walks into a room; people get stupid.
P: True. He’s also a Sagittarius, so he brings a certain kind of energy.
C: To the room, yeah. He just has a business sense.
P: That’s true.
C: I would just ask him different things, like how was it when you made your first mil? I feel like I would ask him mad business questions, you know?
P: Always with your head in the game.
P: I like it. Alright, so goofy one. If you could be a superhero, what superhero would you be? What powers would you have and what would you do with them?
C: Whoa. That’s a tough one.
P: Boom! I’m playing hardball.
C: Hardball, for real. Let’s see. Who would I be? I think I would be Spiderman.
P: Alright. Spiderman has fake powers. What does he have?
C: He’s got spider senses. I don’t know. I like the high flying and moving around. Well, Peter Parker, he’s a nerd. I say I’m a cool nerd, so we identify that way. It’s either that or Batman.
P: Alright. Well, Batman’s got cool gadgets.
C: Yeah, I like Batman.
P: Alright, Ciph Boogie is going to be flying around building to building. You’ve got that going on, somehow, whether it’s a cape or a web.
C: I’m going to be flying somewhere.
P: As a musician, what do you think is one of your greatest successes so far? What is something that makes you want to pat yourself on the back that we should all know?
C: Man. Wow. Definitely when I got my ESPN placement.
C: Yeah. When I had my song ‘Solemnly’ when it was on ESPN. My uncle called me. He was like, “I saw you on TV!”
P: That’s amazing.
C: It’s a good feeling. At that point, I’m not saying I was like, what do I get out of this, but it was a validation. It was a real validation like you’re doing something right. You’re on the right path. Not saying I need that kind of validation, but it’s dope. Hearing your voice on TV, hearing people say your name, introducing your song, Ciph Boogie, you know? Nothing beats that.
P: That’s amazing. I did not even know that. Alright! Go you!
C: Thank you.
P: You’re welcome. We were talking before, not on the airwaves, about how you’re name evolved. Talk to us about how you went from Ciph to Ciph Boogie. You’ve been in the game for a while and have a lot of experience to bring. Talk to us about your transformation in that regard.
C: Well, on Black Mamba, I branded myself as Ciph. Before was Cipher, I hated Cipher because I thought it was so corny, so I dropped the er and made it Ciph. My boy used to rap too, and we did a freestyle over the Quiet Storm beat. So he referenced me and was like something, something, something, Ciph Boogie. I was like, oh shit. That shit sounds kind of fly. Let me run with it, but I was still running with Ciph. When I started recording Black Mamba, when I would get on songs or get to the intro, I would be like Ciph Boogie. Ciph Boogie in the building. At this point, people were calling me it.
P: It’s stuck.
C: It just stuck. So when I made the transition from Black Mamba to Sometime in New York City: Volume 1, I was like fuck it. This [Ciph Boogie] is my identity now. This is who I am as an artist. Let me brand it because I feel like with Black Mamba, I love Black Mamba; it’s like it’s one of my kids. I look at my albums like my children.
P: It’s the baby.
C: It’s the baby, you know what I’m saying? Black Mamba came out in 2008, so I feel like I was chasing trends at that time. That’s why I was telling you, I feel like that is where I was developing my songwriting and things like that, but I feel like I was chasing trends. My mentor was telling me, transcend the trend. Ride the wave, but don’t be the wave; don’t let the wave consume you. I took a lot of that to heart. I had to be honest with myself. What kind of artist do you want to be? Do you want to be an artist that chases trends and is here for a few years, and that’s it or a year? Or do you want to be an artist that stands the test of time, timeless? I want to be timeless. I want to make timeless music. I want my music to represent me when I’m long gone because my words represent me when I’m not here. What did I say at this time when I was on this earth? I started looking at it like that, and I was like, you know what? Ciph Boogie. With Sometime in New York City: Volume 1, I would just do what the fuck I want. I was just my true authentic self and went with that. I felt like I had the most success with that.
P: That’s awesome. I think that’s probably some good advice that any musician needs to hear. I made a joke about it tonight. I was listening to somebody’s track, and it had like 67 high-hats in it. I was like, I feel like I need to message him and be like, dude, I need ten more high-hats!
C: More cowbell!
P: More cowbell! Sometimes, yeah, it’s cool, but is that who you are as a musician? What I like about you is that your music, at least your old stuff, I’ve told you, I think your shit slaps.
C: Thank you.
P: But also, that you’re doing your own thing. You don’t have to use 67 high-hats to get somebody’s attention or rap about something that’s already been rapped about 80,000 times.
P: Yeah, so that’s huge.
C: Thank you.
P: You’re welcome. My last one for you is one that I ask everybody. What’s something you wish I had asked you, but I didn’t. Or what’s something that nobody has ever asked you before in an interview, but you wish they had so you could talk about it.
C: That’s a good one.
P: I try, you know. You make us think; I make you think. It’s a fair exchange.
C: Yeah, fair exchange. I love it. I would say, I guess my background with my parents. Nobody ever really asked me anything like that. Like, talent comes from generations sometimes, like when your mom is a singer, and your dad plays the drums.
P: That’s an excellent question, so tell us! Do you have musical blood?
C: My mother wasn’t a singer or anything, but she was a dancer. She liked to dance. My dad, from what I know of, no.
P: And you had music around you all the time, so it’s no surprise.
C: All the time. All the time.
P: I tell people there are two kinds of people. There are people who like music and there are people who are made of music. I think regardless of whether you make music, or you dream about music all the time, or you have lyrics running through your head, or you sing, or you dance, or you surround yourself with music, it’s very different to be a fan of music than to be made of music. I think that’s the kind of person you are, that you are made of it.
C: Yeah, I am. Thank you. I have a funny story.
P: Tell me.
C: I remember I was at a bar in LA about two years ago. I’m at the bar, and I have a habit where when the bands are playing I start murmuring to the music and doing my thing. So, the bartender walked up to me, and she’s like, you’re an artist, right? I just busted out laughing. I was like, yeah. She was like, I could just tell. Your vibe, your energy, it’s in you. It’s crazy.
P: Like recognizes like.
P: Thank you so much for being here. It was awesome getting to learn about you and laugh a little bit.
C: Thank you.
P: For the people who are listening on demand, give us your social media and everywhere that they can find your music, just one more time for them.
P: I love that you have a website. I’m going on there to investigate.
C: Check it out. That’s the hub.
P: Thanks again, Ciph Boogie. I appreciate you jumping in. I had fun with you tonight.
C: I did too. Brooklyn Stay Winning!
P: Love it!