Updated: Dec 31, 2020
Tadhi Coulter. ‘Csawitall’, I’m excited about your work! Your freestyles and mixed tapes add something truly amazing and important to the art of Hip Hop. I just want to take some time with you to consider some of the people and things that’ve meant a lot to you and the growth of that art. Paying homage to people who’ve paved a way for you. Tell me, tell your audience, ‘What project or set of projects hasvm inspired you the most’?
Csawitall. I really have 2 artists. The first artist I’m going to say is T.I. when he dropped “I’m Serious” in 2001, I want to say. The thing about T.I., in coming from the streets, he still was an individual who’s very intelligent and, it wasn’t like he was just out here being a product of his environment, he actually really knew what he was getting into but he also had a plan. You know what I’m saying? I can really admire him, how he was able to how he could go from being the Trap-boy rapper to getting the opportunities to take it to a bigger platform to where he became a big businessman. Like, he’s going to be a big icon and a legend forever.
He really just influences me and encourages me to be the same way, man. Coming from the streets, man, I feel like there is sometimes that’s our way of paying back [forward] the things we did when we were younger, you know what I’m saying. And so, I kind of want to do some of the same thangs, and speak to some of the younger brothas’ that…younger kids out here that…and kind of let my story kind of like inspire them ‘cause sometimes in our life when we’re running the streets doing all of that, we’re not even aware of the talent or the natural abilities we already have, you know what I’m saying. He could’ve blown up before that if only he had known just how much his talent was really worth, so I just kind of want to do the same thang, man, to speak to the community. I like how he’s maturing to the point where he can speak to the community in a different way. You know.
The other artist is the late, great Nipsey Hussle, man. Most definitely! He’s the definition of never giving up. Man, he’s everything I would want to be as an artist. Like, as a human being, he was an intelligent human being, too. And, like the same way, man, he gave back. He gave back to the point where he got comfortable, though. You know, the way I feel. Sometimes, man, like we’ll do so much good coming from the streets, and we feel like, that we’ve done so much good that we should be comfortable anywhere we go, and we don’t have any worries. You know, sometimes our guard can be down like that, too, like the situation. You know, that was a misfortunate situation. At the same time, it kind of like, it reminds us that no matter how far a past or whatever…thangs in the past, you know, we kind of like sometimes remember that, and we’ve got to move that way. Not to put anything on his team like that because I’ve got much respect, high respect for them, like…if it wasn’t for them, I would’ve quit, if it wasn’t for Nipsey. I was going through a divorce at the time and it kind of like motivated me. No matter what he went through, man, you would’ve never known it ‘cause he just never stopped growing, and until he got his partnership that he got in his thirties. That says enough, though, right ‘der. Like he’s been running that marathon like he says--It never ends though. It’s a marathon for life, man.
TC. Tell me a little bite about 'patience' because it seems that running a marathon definitely is something that requires it. Can you speak to that?
Csawitall. That’s one of my weak points, right ‘der. That’s probably one of the worst things about me is ‘patience’. It got me in a lot of trouble growing up. Really just seeing him [Nipsey Hussle] like back away from everything, the streets and all that, and being patient and believing in himself at the same time. You know, ‘cause a lot of times we go through some frustrating thangs in this industry, with the music game or whatever, and it can come to the point where you feel like you’re doing all of this work for nothing. But one thang about him I learnt that, ‘Yeah, if you feel that way, then yeah it is for nothing’.
But he never held his head. He always poked his chest out. You know--No matter what! Even I remember him doing a movie with 'Gillie' [Da Kid] [The Wrath of Cain (2010)] I saw later on. You would’ve never known…you know! But, he was just a real diligent and patient person. Nothing interfered, you know what I’m saying. He didn’t force it; he just stayed in his own lane and kept doing him, and stayed positive. He put in a lot of work, man. And he has allowed the work that he put in to have long-term effects, you know, ‘cause he’s been rapping about this stuff for years--years! A lot of people didn’t even really know him until after he died. But I’ve been listening to him since [his album] Crenshaw [in 2013].
TC. What do you have to say for people who have ambitions and goals but it’s also equally important, I think, to take your time, and to know why you’re doing what you do. Nipsey Hussle seemed not so much concerned about getting the reward or "light at the end of the tunnel," whether that took the form of some kind of accolade or his getting some financial gain, but he seemed to be about being more of a positive example or light in his community, and the music seemed to be an extension of who he was, who he was trying to be.
Csawitall. That growth, man! The maturity level of it. That’s the main thing I look at as I listen to his music. If you listen to Victory Lap compared to Mailbox Money, uhmmm Mailbox Money was like the beginning of it, if you ask me. But if you listen to his music, and like that progression, I want to be like that too. I want to be able to grow. I don’t want to be the same artist that I came in as, or I don’t want to be the same artist that every time it [the music] is identified with my street life, man. He gave them something that they really didn’t expect from him, and I think that was like a gift and a curse. They wouldn’t expect that coming from a 'Rolling 60's Crip' from L.A., you know. From the outside, they look at us. I was an active gang member myself. You know, so I want people to be able to look at me and actually see that "he grew through this lifestyle." It wasn’t like it broke me; it made me better. I made mistakes. ‘Cause that’s a blessing. If you can learn something--from something. That’s a blessing, to me, whether it’s good or bad.
TC. Great points, right there. Speak to that segment of your audience who may be struggling or trying to get out of a gang. How would you encourage or help them see that their lives matter, and that they can break through any obstacles or situations they may be facing. Also, 'How can music be a source of or gateway to their overcoming some of those things'. How has music helped you?
Csawitall. Well, man, if they’re involved in all the gang activity and everything, I’m not against what they represent but they need to know what they represent; they need to know the rules and the routes—'What is a gang'?--because it really began with our wanting to regulate our own neighborhoods from the police brutality and all that back then. So, I would say for them to really find something good in it, and make sure that they are a reflection of that, and not a reflection of what people put out ‘der to the press that's made us out to be bad guys when we were really just trying to protect our own.
But at the same time, don’t let that limit you to what you speak about, too--you know! Because we deal with the politics and everything else that goes on in the world, too. We might not rap about it but there’s a lot more thangs we can talk about. You know what I’m saying? We don’t always have to be stuck on that. Don’t get me wrong because recently I’ve been telling my story from a different point of view, you know the way the world vents. You know what I’m saying—just so that they know what I’m saying. Just like Nipsey said, “I’m no different than you. I’m just like you,” you know what I’m saying. That’d be the main thing I would tell them. I’m just like them, myself. I still make mistakes. But no matter what, if you’ve got goals and dreams, don’t limit yourself. Sometimes you have to get away from the environment in order to see changes. You’ve got to change people, places, and thangs, you know what I’m saying.