During this past year, I’ve been watching Chae’s development with a consistent excitement. So when the opportunity arose to expand the conversation beyond the listener and the lyricist into a conscious back and forth, I had to take it.

After a failed video chat sabotaged by my frail internet connection, we decide to conduct ourselves via email. The choice somehow felt oddly fitting.

Tell me a little bit about yourself.

I’m Chae Buttuh (you can call me Chae) and I’m 24 years young. For those who aren’t familiar, I’m a hip-hop artist from the back woods of America out here trying to make a name for myself, primarily through music at the moment. Also I’m a Leo and I like to sip mimosas with my pinky up while I listen to 90s jams.

What music did you listen to whilst growing up that still resonates with you today?

I listened [to music] so much while growing up, mainly because I was an inside kid. It was either play outside or stay inside and listen to CDs, so of course I chose to stay inside because I was too diva for bugs and grass. I would have to say that Missy Elliott and Timbaland’s music resonated the most with me though. I remember when I was first introduced to cable and the TV stayed on BET, back when all they played were videos. Missy’s The Rain had just came out and I was instantly hooked. Their music was so different at the time and still is ‘til this day. Through history projects and biographies I’ve learned so much from them that I that I apply to my artistry.

When did you start making music? 

I started making music seriously in 2012. Before then I had been making music but never with real intentions of having people listen to it or never thinking “I can’t wait to perform this”. I remember that year letting one of my friends hear a song I wanted to record and I was like “I want to take this serious now”. I felt like there needed to be a new voice and point of view on life. And people like me need a voice, the weird black fag, the one who isn’t token. It’s funny because I had no clue of what was going on underground and once I started taking it serious and made a Soundcloud I realised I wasn’t alone, so naturally that just inspired me more.

What are your views on the rising DIY culture within the arts?

I have mixed views on it. On one hand I love it because it creates this huge learning experience and if you’re not a jerk it takes away the whole artist ego thing which makes networking less intimidating. But on the other hand I can’t stand it because it makes some things unprofessional, which brings headaches.

What have you learnt from navigating the industry as an independent artist?

I’ve learned a lot from recording to the stage. The most important thing that I’ve learned and I’m still learning is patience. Before I started making music I had zero patience, and patience is something that you must have as an artist or you’ll go crazy worrying over things you can’t control.

Who do you consider as your role models?

My mummy because she taught me to have self confidence and to not give a fuck about what anyone thinks. She’s the strongest person I know and if it weren’t for her I would not have the creative drive that I do now.

Man Eaters because to be able to bring a man up to your level and then knock him down when he gets out of hand is the ultimate power. Read The Art of Seduction [by Robert Greene], it’ll change your life.

And Diddy because he’s a hip-hop mogul, something I hope to be one day. From clothes to alcohol he owns it, and he’s black. It’s so inspiring to see someone black make a mark in American history and to make a mark with hip-hop as your platform just makes it better.

Your sound is very dystopian and futuristic. What sort of world does Chae exist in?

The world I exist in is very much primitive, yet so futuristic due to technological advances.

You’ve been doing some shows recently, could you describe the Chae Buttuh experience?

Imagine drowning and someone finally pulls you out the water and gives you CPR… that’s the experience finally coming back to consciousness and realizing you’re alive.

Chae performing earlier this year at KAHLON in Baltimore. Photo by Diamond Dixon.

Chae performing earlier this year at KAHLON in Baltimore. Photo by Diamond Dixon.

I find your flow similar to a stream of data type consciousness; downloaded code, something out of The Matrix (1999) etc. Is this deliberate or just my imagination?

Love that you recognise my coding… it’s deliberate. Soon we’ll all be flowing like computers.

There’s finally a distinct LGBT space being forged within hip-hop. It’s wonderful to acknowledge but does continually pointing it out restrict it to just being a sub-culture? 

All music creates sub-cultures, but continually pointing it out something personal like sexuality creates segregation. And if you got to create segregation then somebody must be scared.

What other artists have caught your attention, are you working with or would love to work with?

Right now I’m working with Bbymutha (HEY GIRL HEEEEEY) she is everything and a bag of weed. I would love to work with Mykki Blanco, Abdu Ali, and Future Brown just to name a few.

Look out for the NU GRAPE EP coming soon on Knight Werk Records.

Hear more of Chae Buttuh’s work on Soundcloud, Twitter and Facebook or at www.chaebuttuhworld.com

Image Credit: Ashlie Acevedo