XXL Magazine highlights CJ Fly, discussing his background in Brooklyn hip hop, joining Pro Era, and the future of the group. View excerpts from the article and lookout for new music for day Day 4 of Pro Era Week.
CJ FLY: Being from Brooklyn, you can’t avoid the music that’s around you. Outside, hip-hop will be playing on the radio; you want to be a part of something so deep in your culture. Being the Brooklyn kid that I am, I had to tap into it. [Brooklyn] definitely helped bring definition into the music and the view of what life was. It definitely had a big influence on that. Aside from Brooklyn, look at Bedstuy, for example—Jay-Z and Biggie. There’s a lot to top. Not in the whole Brooklyn, but just from my neighborhood alone. At the top, it’s Jay and Biggie.
Rapping just came naturally. I don’t think about it too much but I’ve always listen to music as a kid and I didn’t want to do anything else. I’ve always loved poetry, too. I definitely tried to fuse it. You can hear it even when I don’t try. You can hear an accent when I speak sometimes. I try to make my music American and sometimes in our raps, people say they can hear reggae in my voice. I wasn’t trying to, though; it was more natural. All the stuff I was listening to as a child comes out in my music.
I don’t try to sound like any other artist. Even when we were making Joey’s 1999, we didn’t really pinpoint the hip-hop and be like, “Let’s do this to sound differently.” But that’s what came up—that’s what we projected once we started rapping. We definitely try to manifest everything we’ve planned. But a lot of things were blessings and a lot just came.
I want Pro.Era to be as big as big as every rap crew in history. I want to be the greatest to do it in the history of legendary rap groups. We have a bunch of spitters with each one of them being able to rap. It separates us from a lot of groups. We can all genuinely rap.
View the article in its entirety at XXL.com.