Los Angeles rapper Rafiq Chique is carving his route into the scene with a diverse assortment of drops this year. We caught up to discuss the process, legends of the game and what the future has in store for him.
The scene in the US is obviously massive, does it help knowing so many people can and have made livings off music in your country?
Rafiq: It does help to see that it is possible, and there is a lane for most people to fill. I would be thanking God just to be able to make a living wage off of what I love. That is a goal I’ve explicitly journaled about and am currently shooting for. I know it may be a harrowing process, but it is possible. I’m working tirelessly, but also taking a sec to live my life and be mindful. Music has been just another facet of my process.
Unstruck, your first multiplatform release, has such a variety of sounds, was this a kind of demonstration of all the styles you have?
Rafiq: I was very much in an experimenting stage. I don’t think I’ve fully come into my sound at all. I also believe experimentation is key throughout a musical career.
Do you have a hand in the beats as well or focus on the spitting?
Rafiq: I tend to just focus on my lyricism and engineering. I will get beats from friends or buy them from producers on the internet. Lately, however, I’ve played a much more hands-on role in the beats I vocalize over.
Who would you say has influenced your music?
Rafiq: Some of the primary influences I can think of on hand are Andre 3000, Mos Def, Kendrick Lamar, Black Thought, Kanye, Freddie Gibbs, Q-Tip, and Drake. I have an extensive music palette, though, and listen to alternative, metal, r&b, and jazz a lot, taking from each where I see fit. For example, my favourite band would have to be System of a Down. Future work will probably reveal my taking to various artists.
2020 has been busy so far for Rafiq with a handful of singles available for listeners on Spotify, are there plans for a full-length album too?
Rafiq: Yes, quite busy. I have a lot in the works. That being said, no album is planned. In terms of the future, everyone can look forward to an EP I will likely drop towards the end of July. Beyond that, me and my buddy Feckless, the guy who produced Rose Out of Concrete, are working on a joint EP for September.
If you could work with one artist dead or alive, who would it be?
Rafiq: I’m leaning strongly towards Mac Miller, I’ve been a fan since I was a little kid . I was listening to his albums recently, and they got me through a lot. I’d say he embodies the message I want to portray through my music. I want to be candid, fun, and overall genuine. I really owe it to him, and it is honestly heart-breaking that I will never get to meet the guy. Rest In Peace Mac.