We have the honor of speaking with battle rapper and musician Chilla Jones about his unique career journey, pursuing your dreams, navigating between the full-time and entrepreneurship space, and the difficulty of juggling your passion and your 9-5.
Zach: What’s up, y’all? It’s Zach with Living Corporate, and yes, you’re listening to another B-Side. Now, look, we talked about B-Sides in season one. This is season two of Living Corporate. For those who don’t know, B-Sides are basically random episodes in-between our larger episodes where we just kind of kick it, you know? Sometimes we have conversations with just me and Ade. Sometimes they’re, like, kind of extended monologues, just me or Ade. Often times though, most times, they’re conversations with, like, special guests, like, one-on-one discussions, and I’ma tell you, this time–this time this one’s special for me, okay? Now, y’all might not know, but I’m actually a huge–I love rap in general, right? I love rap, and I love battle rap a lot. Y’all know those air horns y’all hear in the shows, like [imitating them]? That’s actually inspired by battle rap, specifically Ultimate Rap Battle League, URL, and the reason why is because battle rap, to me, it combines public speaking, retention, charisma, improvisation, crowd control, all at the same time, right? And clearly y’all can tell I enjoy talking, so it’s obviously a clear intersect for me. Anyway, I was always a big follower of it as a kid, but, you know, life goes on. I kind of let it fade. Well, back when I was in college I stumbled upon a battle rapper who really got me back in the game. If you can imagine Jay-Z but as a battle rapper, that’s a crude reduction of who and kind of what this style is, okay? So our guest for today’s B-Side is Jerome Jones, A.K.A. Kingpin, A.K.A. Juggernaut, A.K.A. Chilla, A.K.A. Bosstown, A.K.A. your favorite writer’s favorite writer, Chilla Jones. Chilla Jones is a musician and battle rapper hailing from Boston, Massachusetts, New England. He has released several projects, but you most likely know him from battle rap. He’s traveled all across the world. He’s making a name for himself as one of the biggest writers to ever engage the arena. Chilla, how’s it going, man?
Chilla: My guy. What’s going on, man? Peace up. What’s good? We out here, man.
Zach: We out here, man. Look, man–so look, today, man, we’re talking about pursuing your dreams, you know, navigating between your full-time and the entrepreneur space. What was it like for you, and like–and you working your 9-5. When did you start really being like, “Look, I need to pursue this battle rap thing. I want to pursue this music thing.”? What has it been like to juggle that? What did it look like when you got started? You know, of course we see you now. You’re in–you know, you’ve gone to London, you’ve been all over the world. Of course all over the U.S., but [inaudible], you know, you’ve been to parts in Europe. Of course you’ve been in Canada often. You know, what has that journey been like for you?
Chilla: It’s huge, bro, and, you know, back in the day–you know, I’d been, you know, doing the 9-5 thing since I was, you know, fresh out of high school, 18 years old, and so, you know, that’s kind of always been a part of my adult life, but, you know, as time went on I really devoted more and more of my personal time into music or into battle rap, depending on the era, and so–it’s very interesting having to juggle both because–you know, especially nowadays. I have so many opportunities that present themselves that might require me to, you know, as you said, be in Canada or be in London or, you know, I went to Australia recently, which was a really eye-opening experience, you know? I get offers to go everywhere from, you know, Ireland to New Zealand to Amsterdam to–you know, all off the strength of my talent and my ability, so, you know, I never quite thought that I would get to travel the world and, you know, kind of expand my horizons just off the strength of my God-given talent. It’s definitely a blessing, but it definitely is a sacrifice, man. You know, it’s definitely–when you’re thinking of transitioning from that 9-5 to, you know, doing something you love full-time, or even if you’re not doing it full-time, if you’re deciding to kind of devote a little bit more time to it than the normal person, you’re literally having to decide and juggle between, you know, kind of having that steady income or, you know, kind of–kind of diving into something where you might be eating ramen noodles for a week, you know, waiting on your next gig, you know what I’m saying? And so I’ve kind of–I’ve kind of balanced both sides of that, and so, you know, luckily I have a job that is very understanding. They’re aware of my career and very supportive, so, you know, they give me all of the flexibility that I might need, whether that’s–you know, I might only be at work a couple days of the month because I might be, you know, traveling so much during that particular month, you know? And they support me, and they’re very supportive in that, and I’m very lucky to kind of that situation to where I can always know that if I don’t have any battles or if I don’t have any shows or, you know, if I don’t have anything on the rap side that’s helping to contribute to my income, I have a job that I can–that I can kind of rely on for that, and, you know, when I do have all of these gigs and stuff like that, I’m not–you know, I’m not having to sacrifice the 9-5 that I have, and so I kind of have a really, really good situation worked out for me right now, but it’s definitely–you know, I’ve been in situations where my job wasn’t so supportive, and so I’ve had to make decisions like, “Okay, I can take this offer and go to Canada for 4 days, and I don’t have any more paid time off at work, and I know if I can’t make these two shifts, then I might not have a job when I get back. So, you know, I’ve had to make those decisions and kind of try to–try to do what’s best for me in the long run, and so you really just gotta believe in yourself at the end of the day. You really just have to believe that you’re doing the right thing, and you gotta follow your dreams, man. There’s nothing–there’s nothing worse than, you know, feeling like you didn’t give it your all, and that’s always just kind of what I’ve–what I’ve always kind of gone by and stood by, is like I would rather, you know, go for my dreams and fail than to stay stuck at a 9-5 and just always wonder “What if?” Like, you never want to wonder–you never want to wonder “What if,” you know what I mean? That’s my stance.
Zach: Yeah, man. Yeah, and it’s funny you talk about your job. That was actually another question I had. So, like, what does it look like, right, when you–so you show up–of course for those who don’t know, right, like, who haven’t seen you do your thing, whatever whatever. You know, you’re a black man, and you’re a moderately tall person. You’re a–I wouldn’t say, like, you’re a scary, imposing–you’re not, like, you know, sloppy like Suge or nothing like that, but, you know, you’re a large black man. Like, what does it look like when you articulate to people, “Hey,” you know? When you talk to your employer, “Hey, I’m a battle rapper.” Like, how do those conversations go, and how does that–you know, you say they’re supportive. You know, what does that–what does that look like, just to kind of, like, broach the topic and then talk about your profession?
Chilla: Right. I mean, honestly it was–you know, initially it was something that I–that I hid, you know? And I think a lot of us, us battle rappers, do that, you know? I hid my career from my job, and so, you know, at first I would say “Oh, I’m going out of town for this reason,” or that reason, and, you know, “I need to be off. I need to leave on Friday,” and, you know, “I’ll be back Sunday night or Monday morning,” and so I’d name this shift or that shift that I’m scheduled for, and, you know, doing that a couple of times, they really–they really don’t trip, but as it–as it happens more often and more consistently, I kind of–I kind of just thought in my head, like, you know, “The only way this is going to work and work in my favor is if I’m honest,” and so I actually had just got offered a promotion, and, you know, the promotion was kind of to a lofty position, and they–you know, as we were in the office and we were discussing salary and everything like that, you know, I figured that was a really good time to kind of be honest, and so–you know, I told them I was interested in the position and I would love to the job, but I have a career, and this is what I do, and this is what that looks like, and this is what I need from you if you want me to do this position for you. And so, you know, I need flexibility on your end for me to be able to do A, B, and C, and if I can do that, then when I’m here and I’m working I will give you flexibility on D, E, and F, you know what I mean? And so it’s definitely a compromise there, and like I said, they are in support of it. They will even watch my battles, and they’ll come to work and quote certain things that I’ve said, and it’s so weird because it’s such a–you know, the environment that I work in, you would never expect, you know, to have, you know, 40-year old, 50-year old, you know, Caucasian men and women or [inaudible] with all types of different, you know, backgrounds and, you know, all types of different, you know, places that they’ve grown up in and things that they’re interested in. Like, you know, I don’t think anybody where I work is even interested in hip hop to be for real, you know what I mean? It’s other things like that, but, you know, they take an interest in it because, you know, they see that I’m good at it, that I have a talent, and they see where it takes me and where I go and how long I’m gone and the kind of money I make when I’m not there, and so it’s just a–it’s just a really, really beautiful situation, and so, you know, it really, really helps to have the support of your higher-ups, because they, you know, are just so understanding, and they allow you to do what you need to do, and they understand that, although it is a priority, you know, it’s just a means to an end, you know what I mean? So that was a–that was a big turning point for me in my career, to have their support and to have their kind of–you know, them behind me in terms of me being able to go after what I’m trying to go after.
Zach: Well, I would imagine, man, it’s also, like, a weight off your back, right? Because it’s one less thing you gotta worry about, right? The more transparently you can move while you do–while you pursue your passions, the more energy you’re gonna have for your passions, right? So, like, I would imagine you just being able to just kind of be more of yourself and bring more of yourself frankly to work. Not that you’re gonna be scheming on your boss, but you can just kind of–you know, you can be yourself and let people know what you’re about. When you leave, you say, “Hey, I gotta go.” Like you said, you’re not having to kind of create stories and excuses and narratives and things of that nature. So, you know, you talked about–you talked about the travel and the doors that battle rap and your really–again, just kind of beyond just battle rap, your music has opened for you. Would you mind talking a little bit about Drop the Mic? I’m not asking you to share any secret sauce or anything like that, but kind of talk to us about how that opportunity happened. And for those who don’t know, y’all, Drop the Mic–when y’all see, like, these celebrities and they’re, like, rapping against each other, that’s a TV show called Drop the Mic, right? And Chilla Jones is involved in that. So yeah, you go ahead, man.
Chilla: Yeah. You know, so the opportunity first presented itself through another battler named Rome, and so Rome at one point was one of the contributing head writers on the show, in the very first season, and so, you know, he had a little leverage and a little leeway to kind of be able to–you know, he and the executive producer by the name of Jensen Karp. You know, Jensen was formally a battle rapper in the California, Los Angeles, scene. And so, you know, he is a big battle rap fan. You know, he knows, like, you know, the sources and the [inaudible] and a lot of those people from back in the day, the early [inaudible]. WRCs, [inaudible], in that kind of era. So, you know, it was very important for Jensen to incorporate some of the new age, you know, battle rappers into the show in terms of having them contribute by, you know, either assisting in the writing process or in coaching some of the celebrities to, you know, make sure when they go on stage they sound as good as possible. And so during that very first season, you know, they both reached out to me in regards to helping and contributing on the show, and, you know, obviously my kind of reputation as, you know, the Kingpin or, you know, one of the greatest writers in battle rap, it kind of seems like a no-brainer to have me involved in that process. And so, you know, they reached out to me. I went out to Hollywood. I was able to work with, you know, Wayne Brady, Jake Owen, Boyz II Men, Rascal Flatts. A bunch of different–a bunch of different people who were all really dope, humble, down-to-earth celebrities, and, you know, I got a chance to work with them and, you know, help them construct their lines and teach them the best ways to rap it or flow it over the beat, and man, I’ve been on every season since, you know what I mean? And so it’s a very dope process. I’ve got a chance to meet and network with a lot of dope people. I love the concept of the show. I think it’s a genius show. Salute to Method Man as well, who had a big hand in bringing me on as well. Method co-hosted my battle with Daylyt in 2014. He’s been a big fan as well as a mentor ever since. He always keeps in touch and, you know, he also was somebody who cosigned bringing me on the show as well. So it’s just been a really humbling experience, man. That’s just one of the many things that battle rap has done for me and has allowed me to do, and it’s just–it’s really humbling, you know? I never thought that battle rap would lead to so many different avenues, you know, that could [inaudible], you know what I mean? It’s just–it’s really been a humbling and a wonderful thing.
Zach: You know, and speaking of that battle, when you hit that blue meth line in that battle against Daylyt, I saw Method’s face in the background and I was like, “Oh, I bet they’re gonna be cool after this.” Like, that was one of my favorite battles also. Yeah, so let’s keep it going. So I’m curious, man, and I don’t want to get you in trouble, and this is not a battle rap podcast, but you know I’m a battle rap fan. Let me ask you this. If you had to look at–if you look at the battle rap scene today, who are–out of the new guard, right, who out there is in your atmosphere, right? So are you looking at Loso? Twork? A-Ward? Like, who out there this year are you like, “Yo, you gotta face these bars.”? Like, who out there is on your list?
Chilla: As far as, you know, people I want to see in the near future, A. Ward for sure is in there. I would love to battle Nitty. I would like to battle Loso, but you know what’s funny? Me and Loso, as well as me and A. Ward, we’re actually al pretty close, you know what I mean? They’re both two guys that are humble. They’re smart, they’re talented, and, you know, I kind of make it a habit when I come across certain people to reach out and just be like, “Yo, if you need something, if there’s anything I can do,” you know, any advice I can give you. You know, I always extend myself to the new guard to let them know that, you know, I’m here as a support–as a veteran, as a support system. You know, if there’s anything you need, like, you know, I’m here for that, and those are two guys that have both definitely taken advantage of that, but the funny thing is I still want to destroy A. Ward, you know what I mean? Like, me and A. Ward are so competitive that, you know, that battle is still gonna happen, and, you know, it’s still gonna be an amazing battle, but on the flip side it’s–like, I don’t know that I can see myself battling Loso, and it’s not even that I’m closer with Loso, but me and Loso just have a different type of–a different type of relationship. I’m not saying it could never happen, but I guess I’m just saying that I’m more anxious and eager to battle A-Ward. But A-Ward, Nitty for sure, Ave–I’m really close to Ave too. I think Ave is amazing. Ave is also on my list. I would love to battle him. I think it would be a really good battle.
Zach: That’d be a great battle. Now, you skimmed over Twork. Was that on purpose? Are you–
Chilla: Those are the names that come to mind. I think Twork’s dope, and I would battle Twork as well, but I don’t know.
Zach: All right, bet. Bet, bet. So, you know, it’s interesting because–so to your point about the people that you named, right, I definitely think–so when I look at, like, that four horsemen group–so of course, you know, you and I have had conversations before, like, when you and Saga battled and you was kind of clowning him about the thing, and I was like, “Aye,” you know? Whatever whatever, but out of the four horsemen I actually think A. Ward has all of the elements–like, his pen to me is the most aggressive and impressive in terms of the fact that he can do–he kind of does everything really well, right? Like he has the–he always has a crazy scheme in the second round. He starts off with some nice personals. He wraps it up at the end with, like, a Christian gospel presentation at the end, which of course I find is dope. I’m biased in that way. [laughs] And then of course you got Nitty, who I just think–I really think, man, he’s up there, man. Like, I think he would–I really think–so A. Ward would be an entertaining battle, you know? Loso would be cool. I think that Nitty, like, honestly, man, would give you, like–I think Nitty would give you your best challenge though, I do.
Chilla: Oh, for sure. No, I agree. I think Nitty–right now, you know, my honest opinion is that me, Nitty, and JC are kind of the three best pens.
Zach: I agree with that.
Chilla: And so, you know, obviously me and JC have already gone to war and so have JC and Nitty, and so yeah. I agree with you 1000%. If we’re talking bar for bar, if we’re talking pen for pen, yeah, nobody’s gonna give me a tougher match than probably Nitty and, you know, maybe Twork, you know what I mean? If that ever happens.
Zach: Yeah, if it happens, if he–you know what I’m saying, if he comes ready and all that stuff, you know, all those various elements, I think–I think what’s scary about Nitty is I don’t think we’ve–I think he’s had a couple of stumbles, but when you talk about consistency, man, like, he’s up there. Like, him, when you talk about–let’s take, like, a kind of, like, pivot for a second. So when you talk about consistent battle rappers, it’s like, what, him–A. Ward’s pretty consistent, but him, DNA, Danny Myers. Like, them cats are, like, very, very consistent, man. You ain’t gotta really worry about if he’s gonna come at you–not even if he’s gonna get his bars out. So being that you never have to worry about him getting his bars out, but sometimes you’re like, “Eh, these bars are kind of [inaudible],” but then, like, Nitty it’s like–not only do you not have to worry about him getting his bars out, them bars gonna be crazy when they come out, right? And so, you know, it’s just–I’m really curious, man. I’m trying to see what’s going on, you know? Of course we’re all–I follow the news and stuff, and I’m hearing about, you know, people that you might be battling, but I’m really excited to see some of ’em, and I think 2019 is gonna be a crazy year. You’ve been on top for a while, you know? And you talked just a second about, you know, being a mentor. You know, what–and you say, you know, you offer your services and your time. You know, what are things that you wish folks would have helped you with as you kind of got into it? Like, after you whooped Interstate Flames, and after you beat Gatman Jones, and then after you beat M. Ciddy, and then you beat Cash Eatin. And, like, at what point–at what point was it like, “Okay, can somebody help me?” Like, did anyone kind of help pull you aside and kind of pour into you, or did you kind of have to find out things the hard way?
Chilla: For the most part, man, I had to find out things the hard way, you know what I mean? Like, I didn’t really–being that, you know, A. I was from Boston, and, you know, there was kind of nobody before me from Boston, and so I–you know I didn’t have a path to follow. I had to create one, and, you know, there was kind of nobody that I could reach out to or anything like that. So I’ll tell you for the most part I had to kind of learn everything, but I can tell you back in those days, you know, there were some people that helped, you know? Mickey Factz was a big mentor for me, you know, in terms of helping me make certain career decisions, and a great person to spar with, and he’s a very, very tough critic as far as you let him kind of hear your material. Stuff that you might think is amazing he might hear and be like, “Eh, you can do better,” you know what I mean? And so he was a really, really important part of the elevation of my pen and the, you know, versatility that I began to show over time, but I do wish I had more of that on the battle rap side, you know, from somebody who actually battled back then, because at that time Mickey hadn’t really jumped in the ring yet. He was still just, you know, an underground artist that everybody kind of knew about and followed the culture, but I didn’t have anybody within, you know, as a battle rapper within the culture really take me under their wing or anything like that, and, you know, leading into the DNA battle and even after the DNA battle, I feel like that’s something that that would’ve been the time where I would’ve needed it the most, you know what I mean? And I kind of didn’t have that, and so that’s part of the reason why I extend myself, especially to certain people. Like, when I look at Loso I’m like, “Man, you don’t–there’s nobody else that I know of from Tampa that’s, you know, making as much noise as you are as far as battle rap, and so you probably don’t have that person.” I mean obviously he has John John, ’cause he came up through BullPen. So I know he definitely has some people in his corner, you know, and it’s kind of the same thing with A. Ward. He’s from Missouri, so obviously there’s the Hitmans, the Verbs, but he’s also from Kansas City. He’s not from St. Louis.
Zach: Right, it’s different spaces.
Chilla: Exactly, way different spaces, and so, you know for a lot of those guys that I know are coming from maybe some towns or some markets where, you know, they’re kind of creating a path for their town or their city, I like to kind of extend myself and say, “Yo, if you ever need anything, if you need to run your bars by someone, if you have any career questions about what battles you should take or anything like that, you know, inside and outside of battle rap, man. Just, you know, in life in general, man. Just know that I’m a resource here for you that you can use whenever necessary.” And so, you know, at the end of the day I just–I see it every day, and I think we all see it as black men. We see talent go by the wayside a lot of times, whether that’s, you know, people falling victim to the streets or jail or whatever the case, and then, you know, even within battle rap there’s a lot–there’s a lot of people with extreme talent that we see don’t live up to their potential.
Zach: So look, man. Let’s talk about it. You’re absolutely right. Then to your point though around just people in your circle, making sure they’re holding you accountable and being like, “Hey, you know that bar wasn’t really that great.” You know, you can kind of tell if you’re a fan and you’re listening to the–you’re watching these battles, like, who had someone who they sparred with who told them the truth, and then who had maybe just a bunch of yes men or they rushed it and wrote it at the last minute? They didn’t really have anyone holding them accountable, and I think–you know, I think in any realm, in corporate, creative, music, whatever the space is, you need someone who’s gonna kind of keep it 100 with you, otherwise you walk out here talking about that Surf/Twork battle when he said, “Think witch’s parking lot – all brooms.” I was like, “What does that mean, sir?” Like, what does that–what does that mean? Like, what are you saying, right? You know? And there’s plenty of people we can name. This is not a–it’s not no disrespect to nobody, but it’s just–like, there’s value in that mentorship, and to your point, right, as black men, like, it’s obvious when you see talent go by the wayside in a variety of spaces for a variety of reasons, and when you–and it hurts because you can see the potential. You’re like, “Man, I know you want it. I know you want to do better than this. I know that you don’t want to be rapping like this,” right? “I know that you don’t want to be performing like this. I know that you want to be the best you can be,” and what sucks about battle rap is that it’s on such a public stage, right? So it’s like you can’t–you don’t have the luxury of failing in moderate privacy. Like, you’re failing in front of, like, potentially hundreds of thousands of people online, right? Well, look–go ahead. No, keep going.
Chilla: No, I was gonna say it’s–you know, that was what I learned with, you know, the DNA battle and, you know, I mean, even though I feel like I won that battle, I feel like it was [inaudible].
Zach: It was a–it was a body bag, but yeah. [inaudible].
Chilla: Yeah, but there was a lot to be learned, because that was–you know, I went from battling in front of 400-500 people to battling in front of 3,000 people. I went from getting, you know, 200,000-300,000 views on my battles to 700,000-800,000 views. Like, that was a huge step up for me in terms of name and tier and everything like that, and so coming into the–coming into the sport, you know, the DNA battle was maybe my sixth battle ever, and so it’s different–it’s different when you look at other people, like, say, John John Da Don. John John Da Don had maybe 12 battles on Grind Time before he even walked onto URL, and so he was able to take that experience with him to a new league and kind of dominate, because he had already kind of worked out the flaws in his style. He had already figured out the best way to memorize his bars. He had mastered performing in front of certain groups of people. And so for me, I had to learn in front of the world, and so it was–it was such a big, different–it was such a different environment for me than for a lot of the other people that we look at as stars today, because they had–they had the opportunity to groom themselves in their leagues and have between 10 and 20 battles before they went to URL. I had the two battles that you had talked about earlier on this podcast, which was the Gatman Jones and the Interstate Flamez. Those were the only two battles I had in this format before I stepped foot on the biggest league in the world. So imagine–so, like, imagine LeBron playing two high school games before he gets called up to the NBA, you know what I mean?
Zach: It was a crazy jump, man, because you went from–yeah, you did. So you went Gatman, Interstate, and they were crazy body bags, so then–so the buzz got quick, right? Your stock went crazy up, then you went–correct me if I’m wrong. Was it Cash Eatin then M. Ciddy then JC?
Zach: Yeah. So it was Cash Eatin, bodied. M. Ciddy–you know, at the time classic, whatever whatever, then JC of course a certified classic. Then from there–in that room, how big–how many people were in that room with you and JC? Like, 500? Like, how many people?
Chilla: Me and JC was probably like 250, 300. It was a really small room, intimate space.
Zach: Small room, yeah.
Chilla: Small room, intimate space, but the energy in that room, man, I’ll never forget it. Such an amazing energy.
Zach: Crazy energy in that room. So you go from a small–and again, a small room battle where everybody’s gonna feel the bars more, whatever whatever, to this, like–and admittedly, ’cause I came from–when I was watching battle rap as a kid, Chilla, I was watching it, like, with–you know, of course everybody, every millennial who watches battle rap knows the Serius Jones/Murda Mook battle. So, like, that was the kind of vibe I was used to, [Jin’s battles?]. Like, those were the types of the spaces, and so I was even kind of taken aback when I was watching you rap, and I was like, “Dang, okay. This is crazy. This stage is really big.” Like, “This is completely different.” You got Kevin Durant in the background. You got a huge–it’s like an auditorium, right? It’s a theater. And so yeah, it’s crazy, man. It was a crazy jump, man, but it’s interesting, and, you know, I’m trying to take my fanboy hat off, ’cause part of me is like–1. it’s great that you chose to learn and grow from that. I’ve seen–I could see another angle of–and I’ve seen this in other battle rappers that we don’t have to namedrop, right?–where it’s like you can be stubborn and be like, “Nah, I was just ahead of my time. Y’all weren’t ready at the time. If I was to do that now it would be crazy, and I’m not gonna change,” right? But you made a decision to start doing other things, right, what you kind of highlighted in that Prep battle when you talked about you got–you got angles, personals, you know, you have all these different weapons now, and you grew from that. Man, this has been a great conversation. I’m curious, you know, you have a ton of bars, right? Like, you have a ton of schemes, battles, people that you’ve battled. You know, if you had to say, like, one of your favorite punches, your favorite schemes, you know, what–do you have one that you kind of, like, think about often? If so, would you mind kind of, like, breaking it down?
Chilla: Let me think. I mean, recent memory… there’s a couple. So there’s one in my battle versus Iron Solomon, and it’s in the first round, and it’s a Celtics scheme. And so it says something–it’s something along the lines of–so first I’ll do the scheme, and then I’ll break it down. So it goes, “My fans strong in the building, of course I’ma sell tics so save the hatin’. You think it’s Rozier on this side, but be Smart before you make a statement, ’cause Brown-nosing will only cause more issues. Say the wrong thing and Ks is wavin’, that Larkin sparkin’. You’ll be taking more shots in Boston than Jayson Tatum.” Right, and so it actually starts before that, but I’ll get into that in a second. And so how I introduce the scheme is I say something like, “I’m hands on. You came for God, and hey, word. I told him “break a leg” from the jump, just hope his punches don’t land wrong. My fans strong in the building.” So you came for “God, and hey, word,” so that’s Gordon Hayward. “I told him “break a leg” from the jump, just hope your punches don’t land wrong.” So that’s about his injury last year when he–you know, he broke a leg when he jumped and he landed wrong. And so then it goes into “My fans strong in this building. Of course I’ma sell tics, so save the hatin’.” Sell tics, Celtics. “You think it’s Rozier on this side, but be Smart before you make a statement.” So that’s “you think it’s Rozier,” Terry Rozier, on this side. “Well, be Smart,” Marcus Smart, before you make a statement, ’cause Brown-nosing will only cause more issues. Jaylen Brown. Brown-nosing will only cause more issues. Marcus Morris. “Say the wrong thing and Ks is wavin’, that Larkin sparkin’.” So back then we had a backup point guard named Shane Larkin. “That Larkin sparkin’. You’ll be taking more shots in Boston than Jayson Tatum.” So it’s like, Gordon Hayward, Terry Rozier, Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown, Marcus Morris, Shane Larkin, Jayson Tatum. So it’s, like, seven or eight Celtics players in that Celtics scheme. So for personal reasons, battling a legend like Iron Solomon in Boston–and I don’t get very many battles in Boston nowadays–to be able to do a Boston Celtics scheme while they were in the middle of a crazy playoff run without Kyrie Irving was really, really dope to me. The other scheme that comes to mind [inaudible] that I really like was a scheme I did versus Gjonaj. It was the Super Mario scheme.
Zach: Oh, yes, yes.
Chilla: Let me see if I remember this one off the top of my head. I wish I could also remember what he said, because he had a line about Super Mario in his third round, but I kind of rebuttaled it with lines of Super Mario 3. “I’m making moves behind the scenes. Who’s whistleblowing?”
Zach: Oh, I remember that, yeah.
Chilla: Yeah, which if you’re a Mario fan that’s dope. Super Mario 3, you can run behind the level, behind the background, and when you blow the whistle you warp to a different–to a different world. And so in response I said, “I needed talks like this when I got in the game. This is a lot like–” I said, “You’re right, this is a lot like Super Mario. I know, I first thought it was strange, but they battle rap ’cause a good job is not in their range, and they don’t want to jump up to hit the block for change. Haters will try to put your face on a bullet if they the jealous type. The best advice: she ain’t your princess ’cause she let you pipe. Your boo gonna make moves behind your back, having sex at night, ’cause if y’all split, having 1-up on you will give her extra life.”
Zach: Oh, my God.
Chilla: “But the most important thing, love from the fans ain’t unconditional. When there’s much room for growth, they campaign and they stay with you, but when you get bigger, they’ll do anything to belittle you. But win or lose, star power makes you invincible.” So the whole scheme is–the whole scheme is, like, all Mario’d out. So “Jump up and hit the block for some change.” Obviously if you’ve played Mario, you jump up, you hit the blocks, the coins come out. “Haters will try to put your face on a bullet.” So there are bullets in Mario that have faces on them that fly at you. “The best advice: she ain’t your princess ’cause she lets you pipe,” so Princess Peach, and obviously in Mario you go down the pipes into the different levels and warp zones and things like that. “Your boo gonna make moves behind your back, having sex at night.” So Boo is the name of the ghost that if you run toward it it stays still, and if you turn your back to it it flies towards you to get you. So “Your boo gonna make moves behind your back, having sex at night, ’cause if y’all split, having 1-up on you will give her extra life.” So 1-up is the green mushroom that gives you an extra life. “And the most important thing, love from the fans ain’t unconditional. When there’s much room for growth, they campaign and they stick with you.” So when you’re an up-and-comer and you’re learning and developing, everybody’s on your team, but then also in the Mario sense, when you get a mushroom you grow. “When there’s much room for growth, they campaign and they stick with you, but when you get bigger they’d do anything to belittle you.” So whether it’s on Mario when you get hit with a shell or a fireball or a plant or something happens, you get smaller. They’d do anything to belittle you. “But win or lose, star power makes you invincible.” When you get the star, nothing can kill you. So the whole–that whole scheme is–yeah, it’s just, like, 8, 12 bars of just Mario references, but also relating it to him. Kind of funny it ties into what we were talking about earlier, but it’s like I’m almost mentoring him. I’m telling him–you know, the whole thing is me saying, you know, “We battle rap because some of us can’t get a good job for whatever reason,” so we battle rap because we don’t want to go to the streets. We don’t want to jump up and hit the block for some change. “Haters will try to put your face on a bullet if they’re the jealous type.” People will try to kill you for your fame. “The best advice: she ain’t your princess ’cause she lets you pipe.” Just because she sees you’re famous and has sex with you doesn’t mean she’s really down for you. “Your boo gonna make moves behind your back, having sex at night, ’cause if y’all split, having 1-up on you will give her extra life.” She’s gonna do you dirty because in the end, if you guys end up breaking up, she wants to feel like she has something on you. “And the most important thing, love from the fans ain’t unconditional. When there’s much room for growth, they campaign and they stick with you.” They love you as an up-and-comer. “When you get bigger, they’d do anything to belittle you.” When you hit a certain tier and you stop being the underdog, all fans want to do is see you lose. “But win or lose, star power makes you invincible.” So whether or not you’re winning or losing battles, if you have that charisma, if you have that star power, you’ll continue to grow and [inaudible]. So I was, like, totally mentoring him, but at the same time breaking him down using Mario references. So that’s probably one of my favorite schemes ever, but that’s from the battle I did with Gjonaj. I want to say this was 2017–
Zach: Was it 2016?
Chilla: I don’t know if it was 2016 or 2017. I want to say it was 2017 to be honest, but–
Zach: Oh, right. It just hit 2019. You’re right. It was 2017, man. Yeah.
Chilla: It was 2017, yeah. So it’ll be 2 years in April that that battle came out–that that battle happened, I’m sorry. But yeah, that’s easily–especially because he had the Mario line in the third round and this kind of came after it. Easily one of my favorite schemes that I’ve ever done. Like, the way it’s put together, I just think it’s so good. So good.
Zach: Nah, man. It was phenomenal. I remember that battle, and it was–so my homeboy E. Mike–I’m actually gonna drop his name–we were watching it at his apartment, and man, he heard that, and he had–I think he had his phone, and he threw his phone across the spot. Like, he was shocked. It was so funny. I was like, “That is crazy.” See, I thought you were gonna say–first of all though of course, phenomenal choice. Like, how can I critique you on the choices? I asked a question and you gave me your favorite schemes. I thought that you were gonna talk about that third round scheme against JC when you said, “We handle MACs well, so whatever I’m aiming will leave your baby face on that black street.”
Chilla: Oh, the R&B scheme.
Zach: Yes, that was crazy.
Chilla: I mean, yeah. I mean, there’s so many schemes that I can reference. I mean, obviously that’s a really good one. The music instrument scheme in that same battle, the car parts scheme in that same battle. M. Ciddy I had the Out of This World scheme, which was like–there’s so many schemes that I could mention. I tried to pick something that was fairly recent.
Zach: And they were clean too.
Chilla: Yeah, but there’s so many, like–man, I probably have 25 to 30 schemes that I could have picked, you know, that I really, really like. Like, I have a–especially over time, man, I’ve–my standards for schemes have gone up because A. because I have a reputation for them, but also B. because people do them so much that, you know, I have to separate myself. So it would be different if I was the only person doing it. You know, my standards wouldn’t have to be so high, but the fact that every battler tries to scheme at some point in their career and at some point in most of their battles, like, I have to–I have to have a–I have to be at a level that shows a clear difference of, like, “That’s why they say he’s the best at scheming. He’s way better than everybody else.” And so I try to put it together in a way that gives people that impression.
Zach: Well, you know, what I’m excited about, and I’m just happy that you were able to join the podcast, because, you know, we–the type of people we try to interview, right–so we try to interview corporate professionals, social influencers, and then creatives, right? Non-white in all those different spaces, and I think, you know, your space is unique because, you know, there are just very few people who can do what you do, and it’s exciting because I feel as if on our podcast, the guests that we have, they all have, like, really unique talents, skill sets, experiences, perspectives. So as I let you go, and before I do that rather, what, if any, projects do you want to shout out? Do you have anything you want to plug? Anything you want to talk about? Any parting words? Anything going on at all?
Chilla: So shout-outs, first and foremost King of the Dot Championship, London, England, March 3rd. Make sure you guys tune in. It’s Chilla Jones versus Head Ice for the King of the Dot Championship. If you’re not into battle rap, if you don’t follow battle rap, this is a really good event for you to get started. You can get a pay-per-view and watch it live on your computer, your mobile phone, your Xbox, your PlayStation, your Amazon Fire Stick, your smart TV. However you want to do it. Definitely get involved with the culture. See what we’re about. See what I am about. Also I want to give a big shout-out to my bro. Me and my brother have a big project coming out in 2019 musically. I haven’t put out a music project since 2014. I’m super, super excited about it. A lot of big features. I got Method Man on there. I got a couple other people on there. Man, I’m so happy with this project. I can’t wait to start letting you guys hear it. We’re planning on releasing the first single with the Head Ice battle, as that drops on King of the Dot’s YouTube channel at the end of March, so be on the lookout for that as well. Otherwise you can follow me on Twitter @ChillaJones. Follow me on Instagram, @ChillaJones as well, or tune into the website, www.ChillaJones.com. I got all types of Kingpin merchandise. You can see all of my battles there. You can read my bio. You can check out my last music project. Anything Chilla Jones-related, I promise you can find it on www.ChillaJones.com.
Zach: Man, first of all, again, I’m just–I’m shocked that we were able to get you on the show. We’ve been scheming trying to–no pun intended–trying to get you on here. We’ve been plotting this for some months.
Chilla: Yeah, for a while, man. I’m happy to be here. Happy to do it for sure.
Zach: Yeah, man. Well, look, man, thank y’all for joining the Living Corporate podcast. Of course you can check us out everywhere on living-corporate.com. Please say the dash. We’re also at livingcorporate.co, livingcorporate.tv. Just know livingcorporate.com, we told y’all this before, Australia owns livingcorporate.com. I don’t know what’s going on. They’ve got, like, some type of apartment selling website over there, so we can’t get that domain, but we have every other domain. Like, it’s crazy. You can also follow us on Instagram @LivingCorporate, Twitter @LivingCorp_Pod. This has been Zach. You have been listening to Chilla Jones, A.K.A. Juggernaut, A.K.A. Kingpin, A.K.A. Martin Luther Kingpin, A.K.A. Bosstown.
Chilla: Yes, sir.