AMP’D Up: NYC Rapper Chapman Dishes On His Rap Game
photo / Elizabeth De La Piedra story / Erica Russell
“It’s an out-of-body experience and it definitely takes energy out of you—I’m always tired after we make a song.”
“Hold my motherfucking drink,” Chapman demands in the opening track on AMP’D, his explosive new EP. It’s a worthy request considering how impossible it is to hold a drink and dance at the same time – and trust us, you’re going to want to dance to this one.
The NYC based MC teamed up with LA based producer Saint on the 3-track release, which dropped just before Valentine’s Day. The EP opens with “Hold My Drink,” an aggressive, glamorous post-apocalyptic club-rap jam, and is followed by the hypnotic, hyphy “Exquisite.” But the magnum opus of the record is “Finish Him,” a hypersexual, Mortal Kombat-sampling after-hours rager complete with lines like, “I’m your Blue Crush, gonna get you wet like squirtle.”
Of working on the EP with Saint, Chapman dishes, “Working with [him] is like rapper bootcamp. He’s all about a schedule and he is not about fucking around. We’d wake up at 9 and be working by 10, have a lunch break, and then work some more into the night. [We] play off each others’ instincts and it makes collaborating easy and fun—I’ll think of a song title or a concept, he’ll build a beat… and then next thing you know we have a song.”
Continues the young MC, “We’re a musical match made in heaven. We both love the radio and want to be on the radio on our own terms, so that was our goal with AMP’D. We wanted to make club jams that anyone could listen to but still had a sound and style that was inherently ours.”
Aside from being a “white boy” in the game, Chapman is also openly gay, and lends to his work a genuine gay voice and narrative. He explains, “I watched that speech Ellen Page gave at HRCF; it really moved me. It made me think about my role in giving young gay people a voice in a genre where it is really just developing one thanks to amazing artists like Le1f, Mykki, Cakes, etc. I just want young people to know that they can be anything they want to be, and that they should never let others make them feel uncomfortable or deter them from their goals.”
The sentiment hits close to home for Chapman: “A lot of people have told me I will never make it in this genre, based on my race, sexual orientation, religion, whatever. I definitely want to prove them wrong—I want to make it in every genre.” Amen, dude.