Hometown: Sacramento, CA
Label: T.U.S.T.B.C.UND - HAK-INT'L
Management: Lesa Devaughn
Sounds Like: Abstract Ninjaa
Genre: Hip Hop
They say the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. That seems to be the case with Sacramento’s Chuuwee a.k.a Chez Rivierra. Most young emcees name the upper echelon of rap royalty such as Jay Z, Pac, and Nas as influences, and while Chuuwee does acknowledges those artists as influences, he mainly names two major influences at the top of his list: East coast hip-hop duo Gang Starr and his mother. While Chuuwee was writing poetry at the tender age of 5 years old, his mother studied music production and it was in their home studio where the seeds of Chuuwee’s artistic aptitudes were planted, as he witnessed the creative the art form that is hip-hop. Between that and Gang Starr’s “Mass Appeal” video, not only was the seed planted, it was poised to start growing.
Discouraged after his first attempt at writing a rap to Beethoven’s “Greensleeves” as a child, it wasn’t until his early high school years where he knew verse and flow would be his life path, but unfortunately, the discouragement continued. While in a group called The Squad, the talented teen was constantly picked on by group members, but that intimidation soon wore off when Chuuwee gained a fan base and notoriety at school poetry slams where he would rap and perform his poetry.
Now only 22 years old, the Sac-Town rhymesayer has already opened for Mistah Fab, Rakim and Rymefest, not to mention a hefty discography behind him consisting of twelve mixtapes and four albums, but Chuuwee isn’t slowing down. “I have a problem, I can’t be regular,” he explains. “If I’m not doing music, I feel like ‘aww man I’m slackin! I’m not putting work in, I’m not grindin, I’m slackin, I gotta make a tape!’” And so it is: he’s readying his fifth album titled Thrill, what Chuuwee calls “lyrical trap music.” “I blended skate culture with it, cause I’m super into skateboarding…it’s just a refreshing sound of what’s out today,” he said. Already a well-known talent in Northern Cali, Chuuwee could be on the fast track to national, if not international stardom after the masses hear his flow on new songs like “O.P.P,” “Kamikaze,” and “Holdin” (just to name a few). Chuuwee’s Thrill ultimately showcases his artistry consistent with past projects, and triumphing over the naysayers, which, as anyone can testify, is always a Thrill.
“With co-signs from the likes of 9th Wonder, the Alchemist and Statik Selektah, San Antonio rapper Chuuwee has been preparing to drop his first mixtape with his new label Amalgam Digital.”
“With a growing buzz already under his belt, 21-year-old Chuuwee sets his eyes on bringing new aspects to the old school golden era’s style…”
“Local rapper Chuuwee wasn’t born yesterday, but he was barely an infant when Gang Starr’s Step Into the Arena first hit the streets. Out to get a rep, Chuuwee is only 19, but his mind is old. Case in point: I never expected the first influence he mentioned to be Big L, another late great-just like I never expected Chuuwee to be underage when I inadvertently invited him to meet me at a pub.
On “6 Feet Deep,” a track Chuuwee played for me, he harks back to the Nas lyric, “I keep falling, but never falling 6 feet deep,” like he grew up on Illmatic. With the right influences in place, Chuuwee just needed his Premier, his Large Professor, hell, even his DJ Jazzy Jeff, to provide the proper backdrop to his voice. He found his complement in Lee Bannon, who is three years his elder. “There’s been duos throughout time and usually the producer is older,” Bannon said. “I look at it like we’re part of that tradition-the classic way of doing it.”
Blake Gillespie - Submerge Magazine