Mr. CG on New Hip Hop and Respecting the Hustle

Courtlin “Mr. CG” Edwards is fairly new to the music game, but no stranger to hard work. Since 2007, he’s earned spots on BET’s 106 and Park, Spring Bling, and VH1 to name a few, along with millions of YouTube and Myspace views for his “Crank dat Batman” song.

With his debut solo album coming out in 201o, Mr. CG takes time out of his busy schedule to speak with SoJones about the respect he deserves, the three people he’d love to work with in music, and his favorite shoe right now, Supras.

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SoJones : What are you up to right now?

Mr. CG: In the studio right now just laying down the record. Had to stop cause I had to do the interview, you know?

SoJones: No doubt! Tell me a little about what you’re working on.

CG: Right now, I’m just getting a lot of mixtapes together. Basically I’m just gonna take over this mixtape market. I’m also workin’ on the album, so that’s what I’m doin’. I feel like everything I’m gonna drop, it’s gonna be a single; I don’t just wanna drop no crap, I wanna drop a single after single. So that’s what I’m workin’ on, just making sure my music is perfect, you know?

SoJones: You did a mixtape with Yung Thug. Tell me how that came about…

CG: Ah well it’s one of my homeboys from the hometown and I was showing him love. He comes to the studio faithfully, and I was like “yeah, I’ma host your mixtape, you know? He was grateful, happy that I hosted it. I did it for him cause he’s my homeboy, he goes to school with me so I helped him out.

SoJones: Your album is coming out in Summer 2010. What do you want the most out of your career?

CG: I just want respect; most of these artists that’s coming out in the game, they not earning no respect, you know? People are looking down on the new Hip Hop… I wanna be that person that comes in the game this time with the new Hip Hop, and they go “I like him”, You know? I just want some respect.

SoJones: If you weren’t rapping, what would you be doing for a career path?

CG: If I weren’t rapping, I’d still be doing some music, behind the scenes writing. But I still do that now, so if I wasn’t doin’ music right now, I’d be doin’ my basketball; that’s what I came up off of.

SoJones: Tell us about you as a kid growing up with a studio at 10 years old.

CG: It was kinda rough from where I was at, because you know we didn’t have a big radio station or a big community like Atlanta and Dallas, you know what I’m saying? So it was kinda hard for me to get a record deal. It was unbelievable when I got the deal, I was like, what!? But basically my pops set something up for me. His friend from Cali came down and introduced me to a thing called Cubase [computer program for music production and recording]. He showed me how to work that and Fruity Loops and from there, me and my partner Lil’ Action, we just went in constantly making beats, constantly recording on tape, so we could get it on the computer and make CD’s and stuff. After my deal with Universal/Motown, I put all my money into the studio. Speakers, microphones, laptops.

SoJones: you mentioned your top 3  influences to be The Dream, Drake, and Michael Jackson. If you had the chance to work with one of them, who would you pick , and what do you think the collaboration would sound like?

CG: Man! Honestly, working with somebody, I would wanna sit down and just watch Michael Jackson work. Like, what does he do? How does he do it? I’m the type of person that likes to study music, and I would like to study his music.

But studiowise? I would love to get in the studio with Drake cause I know me and him…the collabo would just be crazy laid down real lyrical…we’d probably bust out and do 5 tracks in a couple of hours, you know? Matter of fact, we wouldn’t do a track, we’d do a mixtape! It’d be bananas…

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SoJones: Do you have a mixtape with DJ Drama or any of them coming soon?

CG: I don’t know the exact date but I can tell you it’s in the process of getting done right now and it is gonna happen. The mixtape with DJ Drama is called “He Went In, Part 1”. …it’s basically a mixtape with a little bit of everything on there. I got some lyrical stuff on there just to show people I can spit for all the people who think I can’t spit. I got a little bit of the ABC music on there for the fans who like ABC, you know? They like the simple stuff so why not give them the alphabet, it’s money. I got tracks for the females on there, I got club bangers on there, and I definitely got the dances on there, so there’s a lot of stuff on there.

SoJones: You were quoted as saying “We appeal to a crowd that older people can’t catch. They’re not gonna do it like we’re gonna do it.” Exactly what themes and concepts do you expect to give to the older audience that will make them consider that true?

CG: Well, when I said that, basically what I was saying is: We’re young. If an older person tries to make music like we do, you’re not gonna appeal to a teen crowd as much as an actual teen would, you feel me? Why would an older person try to make music like a teen? You gonna try to go to teen clubs and shut it down? This is our era! We can’t get into your clubs, so we gotta make what we can do!It’s like one going ” I’ma go make me some Jay-Z music, and then try to get into the 21 and up club and they like “bruh, you 17. You not getting in the club!” “BUT I MAKE RECORDS JUST LIKE JAY-Z!” “We don’t care, you’re 17!”

You know what I mean? So it’s like, “okay let me just make my kiddie stuff, let me just make my fun stuff. Go in the club with my friends, we kickin’ it!”

Somebody like Jay-Z, he can go on stage [and appeal to] all these millions of people that’re older. You know Jay-Z, he attract the older crowd but still I love Jay-Z, loved “The Blueprint 3”, I listen to everything. But it’s just…his age attracts his age, and my age attracts my age. So its like, my age is kinda like the new Hip Hop.

SoJones: What do you consider the older audience?

CG: Some of the grown and sexy type music… the real R&B type stuff like 112, Maxwell, some of the Usher, some of the Ginuwine, Alicia Keys, Keyshia Cole, 50 Cent, KRS-One, stuff like that, that was the Hip Hop before our time. I’m not saying “old Hip Hop” because of their age, I’m saying Hip Hop that was before our time, before us new Hip Hoppers even came into the picture.

Honestly I think the new Hip Hop came around in 2007, cause that’s when “Crank that Soulja Boy” and “Crank that Batman” came out, after we came out with the crank that, it was over, totally different ball game. We got talked about and we got talked down on, but this time around I want people to know that I respect ya’ll music, can you please respect mine? That’s all I’m asking for, some respect.

SoJones: Will it be a dance craze that gets America talking about you, or a more lyrical song?

CG: Honestly, it’s gonna be my album that has people talking about me because a dance song, I can just say thats one type of song but me, I call myself a walking mp3 player because when you listen to an MP3 player, it’s everything on there. I can do Pop and Rock, I can do R&B, I can sing, I can write, I can rap, I can do lyrical, I can make an ABC song, I can do snap, dance, whatever you wanna make, I can do it. I can do country if you want me to! Give me an acoustic guitar, I’ll go crazy! (laughs). When you hear my body of work, you’re gonna sit back and say “Wow, you’re very talented” and that’s in the words of Memphitz, when I was signing my deal.
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SoJones: Yeah, Memphitz from The Hitz Committee (Jive Records). Mr. CG, is there one song in the history of music every time you hear it you say “God man, I wish I had produced this!”

CG: Let me think; That Black Eyes Peas song “I Gotta Feeling”. Every time I hear that I go, man I wish I produced that! That one and Miley Cyrus “Party in the USA”, I wish I would have wrote that song man!

SoJones: Whose particular albums and singles are you working on right now (as a producer)?

CG: Right now as a producer I’m just gettin’ my foot in the door. A lot of people don’t know that I write… but once I get in the door it’s gonna be a lot of people that’s like “oh he write?!” But for right now I’m just working with the New Boyz; we just do songs back and forth cuz’ they my homeboys so that’s really it. I make a beat, they rap on it, they make a beat, I rap on it. So that’s kinda it for right now.

SoJones: Moving on to our fashion questions: when was the first time you spent major bucks on fashion apparel or a footwear item for yourself?

CG: Man, when I got my money from Universal! you know I’m from a small town, I’m from Carbondale, Illinois. We have one mall that is one floor, so we don’t have a lot of stuff. When I got my check from Universal, I was scared to spend money! I was like “how much them shoes cost?” “120 bucks” “$120 bucks?! Nah I’ m aight”

But my pops was like, “man, you spent all your money on your studio, this is your reward go get some clothes”, so I’m like okay! So I’m in Times Square gettin’ $1000 Gucci bags, $300 for Louis Vuitton! (laughs). I’m in there having fun balling, in Times Square like “Yo! this is what I need right here!” But this is just the beginning man.

People come up to me and say, “CG man! that boogie board song is so good!” Well, I’m glad you like the song, thats wassup, but this is just the start. I’m not even getting hype right now cause this is just the start but when I’m done, that’s when I’ma sit back and get hype cause ya’ll gonna sit there and give the respect that I want after I’m done with the album.

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SoJones: What kinda kicks are you wearing right now?

CG: On my feet right now I have these Adidas, silver and black. They got wings on em, kna’mean? But I just kinda jumped in these. Earlier I had my Blue, Black and White Supras on. I’ma big Supras fan, I got HELLA Supras! I did a song about Supras, I’m reppin Supras and the 501 Levis jeans…

SoJones: Dude I love Supras man! Such a comfortable skate shoe…

CG: People always ask me “when you shop, do you shop for a certain brand? No, no. I don’t do brands; if I see it, and it looks good when I put it on, yo’, I’m rockin it.

SoJones: So Levi 501’s are your favorite jeans?

CG: Yup, Levi 501’s is what I’m rocking these days.

SoJones: What trend would you like to see go away on men and ladies?

CG: Man, I would like to see this sagging go away! I mean, I’m not trying to hate or anything, cause I was sagging too back in the day, but it gets embarrassing when someone is about to take an award and their draws are hanging out their butt, you know? It looks unprofessional; I know people hating on the skinny jeans; you ain’t gotta wear skinny jeans!

You can get you some fitted jeans. I mean sometimes I wear fitted and sometimes I wear skinny…not TOO skinny. But yeah the sagging, it’s old now, it’s about to be 2010, come on! If you go into an interview with sagging jeans, do you think they’re gonna accept you? Probably not! But if  you go into the interview with some fitted jeans on, they’ll probably accept you.

Another thing is over sized t-shirts; come on now! Why is you wearing a 4XXL, and you 5’2”? Come on man get outta here! You walking down the street with a dress on! Like I said, I’m not gonna knock it though, cause I wear a long tee sometimes, but I walk around the house with it. You ain’t gonna see me outside taking pictures with this long dress tee on. Just wear your size man; fitted!

SoJones: Is there anything you stopped wearing this year because it was just game over?

CG: Jordans. I kinda stopped wearin Jordans, kinda overrated. And Air Force Ones, all white.

I can get down with some all white Adidas or some Supras though. I had seen some purple ones (Supras) and purple is my favorite color, so I was in Minneapolis and I was like “yo, gotta get the purple ones right now!” Then I saw this purple G-Shock watch and I was like “yo get me this Purple G- Shock and these Purple Supras” and I’m bout to go bonkers! I don’t wear no other watch; only watch you’ll see me wear is G-Shock.

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Purple Supras!

SoJones: You made a song about G-shock watches, right?

CG: Oh yeah, it’s featuring Grand Hustle’s artists Rich Kid, they the hottest thing out of ATL right now.

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Mr. CG has an album to look out for in Summer 2010.