IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What is your music background?
CHEEZ D: I grew up listening to hip-hop and R&B. I have an older sister and she used to babysit me so I would listen to her tapes of Snoop Dogg and Bobby Brown and other artists that were popular in that era. Her boyfriend at the time (now husband) introduced me to music such as Das Efx, Dj Quik, and Ice Cube. I’ve always loved hip hop. As I entered junior high I got into east coast rap real heavy. It felt like they were giving me the knowledge I needed to survive. I started rhyming on a toy called Talkboy around the age of 14 but it went nowhere. I never took rapping serious until the age of 20. By that time I felt I had a story to tell so I felt more confident when I rhymed. My childhood friends and I formed a group called “Uncookd” where me and my boy Mike, aka Halbonise, were the front liners of the group. We dropped a few mixtapes and decided to do our solo projects, which we both still work on. After over 10 years of rhyming and dropping mix tapes, I’ve also developed skills in mixing songs. My specialty is rhyming though, that’s where my heart is.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: Why do you want to record and release your own music?
CHEEZ D: I believe I have a story that should be heard. I feel that my music can bring light to the music game right now. Music is inspirational. I would like to inspire people the way music did for me growing up. In my opinion, rappers and singers are no different than black leaders from back in the day. Rappers have power to move a nation like Martin Luther King or Malcolm X. I would love for my music to be the reason a person smiles or nods their head after having a bad day or the reason a person decides to get married and handle responsibilities.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What are your songs about?
CHEEZ D: My songs range from love songs and stories to party music. Sometimes I just like to get lyrical and show MCs what I’m made of. All of my music is real life music. It’s life from my point of view. I’ve been through a lot and made a lot of mistakes and now I’m here. I’m a grown man now and anybody that respects realness and lyrics will respect my music.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: Who is your fan base directed towards?
CHEEZ D: My fan base ranges from ages 17 to 40, all across the world. People over 40 are welcome to check me out too. I have a few gems that they might be able to learn from also.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: Who are your musical influences?
CHEEZ D: My biggest musical influence is Nas. He’s a rap god in my eyes. But my others are Tupac, Biggie, and Jay-Z of course. Mobb Deep, Das Efx, Cassidy, Lords of The Underground, 50 Cent, Lloyd Banks (he’s a lyrical monster also), and the LOX. I’m even influenced by the new guys such as J. Cole, Wale, and even a young cat by the name of Joey Bada$$.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: How would you describe your music to people?
CHEEZ D: I would describe it as hardcore hip-hop. It’s not too backpackish and it’s not too gangsta. It’s somewhere right in between.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What makes you stand out from other artists?
CHEEZ D: I stand out because I’m unique and I have a different story to tell than these other cats. Actually, I think everyone has a different story to tell. I just think they get caught up in other people’s lives and stories and they start making it their own. I don’t rap about the typical flashy cars and clothes. I rap about real life from a grown man’s perspective. I have a different style of flow. I don’t follow the trend of rap. I don’t follow anybody (except on twitter).
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What are some upcoming projects you are currently working on?
CHEEZ D: I’m currently finishing up my 4th solo mix tape “Red Dawn”. After that I will begin working on my album titled “The Love” which should be out in summer 2014.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: What are your career goals? Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
CHEEZ D: My goal is to take my music to the next level. I want to do movies and write books. I also want to create job opportunities for people in Chicago. I want to be wealthy and make sure that my kids and their kids will never have to flip burgers (no disrespect to the burger flippers). I see myself somewhere in your home. Whether it’s on your TV screen, your CD player, your iPod or whatever new gadget they will have by then.
IAA INDUSTRY NEWS: How can your fans access your music and contact you?
CHEEZ D: Fans can contact me on twitter @cheezdinero or on Facebook under Billy Fox. I’m on Sound Cloud under Cheez D. Also, my email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
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