Meet the Artist: Chief Wicked
Welcome back to another edition of Meet the Artist, where we sit down with up-and-coming artists who’re just beginning to bubble. While we wait for them to boil over the proverbial pot, we here at Stay Laced take some time to get to know the talented heat. Today, we were gifted with the opportunity to get to know Chief Wicked. The Homie has a sound that sounds like so many influential rap areas that you can’t pinpoint just one. Through rhyme and versatility, Chief Wicked is bringing a sound through Chicago that is new and refreshing. Let’s get better acquainted with this Chicago-based wordsmith.
J Bow: You're pretty wordy with your lyrics. Where does your delivery come from?
Chief Wicked: Lyricism has always been my favorite part of rap. I’ve always wanted to be a lyrical rapper, so it comes from years of practicing how to use words in ways that most other rappers don’t, and use similes and metaphors and euphemisms in ways that nobody has heard before. Crazy wordplay is the easiest way to turn heads.
J Bow: What makes you different from other up-and-coming artists out of Chicago?
Chief Wicked: It’s gotta be that I’m not from Chicago. I go to school here, and I’ve been here for two years, but my sound isn’t influenced by Chicago. I think of myself as a South Florida kid before anything else, but the rap scene there hasn’t had much influence on me either. I guess what makes me really different is that Chicago hasn’t shaped my rap style at all (yet).
J Bow: The Chicago/Detroit connect is pretty tight. What appeals to you about this area?
Chief Wicked: I haven’t been to Detroit before, but Chicago is unreal in terms of rap music. So many different artists with different sounds in different stages of their growing careers. It’s really inspirational to see people like Chance and Mick Jenkins and Vic Mensa and Lil Durk building themselves from the ground up, they make me feel like I can do it too.
J Bow: What artists do you look up to?
Chief Wicked: Tech N9ne is my favorite rapper of all-time. In terms of technical skill, I think he’s the best rapper on the planet, you can quote me on that. I also look up to Earl, Tyler, Migos, and MF Doom. Bunch of other rappers too, but those are my biggest idols.
J Bow: What do you want fans to know about you and the style you bring to the game?
Chief Wicked: I want fans to know that I’m dropping my biggest project yet in a couple months. Some old stuff but mostly new stuff. It’s gonna be my best work ever, that’s a guarantee. I think the style I bring to the game is pretty relaxed delivery mixed with intense lyricism. It catches people slipping a lot. Check out 52 Special on my Soundcloud and you’ll see what I’m talking about.
J Bow: What artists are you working with right now?
Chief Wicked: My good friend Hersh and I just formed a duo called Showtime85, so recently I’ve been working with him a lot and trying to figure out what our next move should be. I’m also working with Ted Park, undoubtedly the most talented dude I’ve ever worked with. We got a track dropping this summer that might get premiered on some major blogs, so it’s gonna be dope.
J Bow: To you, what is more important: A good beat? or a good feature?
Chief Wicked: I used to think the bars were the most important and the beat was secondary. Now I know it’s about 50-50. I’ve discovered that regardless of how hot the lyrics are, whether they’re my lyrics or a feature’s lyrics, the beat has to be just as hard, if not harder. It’s the only way people are gonna pay attention.
J Bow: What inspires you to create?
Chief Wicked: My parents inspire me to create. They’ve worked hard every single day to provide for me and my brother, and they continue to do so. They’re honestly my biggest fans. All they show me is love and support, never any doubt or discouragement, and I’m more than blessed to have them in my life. My brother inspires me. He’s the smartest and most driven person I know. All my life I wanted to be like him, and I still do. The immense success he’s had makes me want to succeed just like he has. My friends and fans inspire me. They really think I can make it, and I appreciate every word of encouragement and criticism from them.
J Bow: Mad respect, Man. What do you think it will take to get you to the next level in your career?
Chief Wicked: Money and product. Studio time, industry beats, promotion, etc. don’t come cheap. People won’t take me seriously unless my music has that professional sound. I also need to drop my big project, not necessarily a debut (because I’ve already dropped a tape and an EP), but a statement project. Something that says “I’m here.”
J Bow: Where can the people find your next live gig at? What's coming next for you?
Chief Wicked: The Stay Laced Summer Showcase is the only gig I have lined up right now. I’m in Chicago all summer so I’m hoping to perform at some apartment parties this summer and next school year. I also need to hit some open mics in the city, but first I need to get a fake because every spot I’ve tried to get into is real serious about the 21+ rule. Big project on deck, single with Ted Park on deck, merchandise bouta be on deck, it’s gonna be a HOT summer.
There you have it, Folks. The Chicago Sensation live in the flesh! Well... more like "Live via text" but you get the point. Wicked comes with a sound unbothered by the city's surroundings, and a delivery that is surprisingly clever- equipped with bars you never expected to hear. Expect to catch Chief Wicked and a band of other talent RIP the stage on July 23rd at our Stay Laced Summer Showcase! It will be an event to remember and we're happy to have the homie apart of the mix.
In the meantime, make yourself familiar with Wicked's stylistic sounds! Click to links below to get acquainted.
"Stay True. Stay Fresh. Stay LACED"