Ball Till We Fall- Ceno x IAHHM Interview
“ I’m forever embedded in music I genuinely feel like music chose me, I couldn’t stop making music even if I wanted to. But deep down inside I am a businessman and I naturally know business just as much as I know how to create a record. “
Making his first appearance on the IAHHM platform coming from Prince Georges County, Maryland, we got rising artist Ceno here to drop off his latest single “Juice” from the NO DAYS OFF EP. The project was inspired by living the life of a true hard worker as Ceno would be at work at 8-9am and sometimes not get off until 1 am where he would immediately work on music before bed and work the next morning. Avid music listener and true hip hop fan, Ceno began falling in love with music at the age of 9 and began taking his craft seriously in his teenage years. In one of the better interviews on here, I was able to catch up with the rising DMV artist to discuss topics such as Best HipHop Group of all time, pros and cons of the streaming era, Kanye West, Top Producers, What's lacking in the music industry and so much more. Be on the lookout for more new music as Ceno prepares to wrap up his next project and releases more visuals. Check out the latest from Ceno and stream “No Days Off”. Full interview below.
Who is your favorite newer rapper?
Lately, I been listening to IDK & J.I.D heavy, to me, they can actually rap rap!
What is your favorite music streaming platform? Currently, Spotify because it’s the only one I can use without signing up.
Where is your favorite place to write/record?
In my home studio.
FAVORITE PROJECT OR SONG SO FAR THIS YEAR?
Haven’t really heard anything this year I can call my favorite, maybe I’m still stuck in the past. Nothing has stood out, lately, it seems like everything comes and goes.
FAVORITE HIP HOP GROUP OF ALL TIME?
Bone Thugs & Harmony hands down.
WHAT HAS THE HARDEST OBSTACLE AS AN INDEPENDENT RECORDING ARTIST BEEN?
Marketing. Finding legit PRs, & everything to do with that.
WHAT PLATFORM ARE YOU USING TO DISTRIBUTE YOUR MUSIC AND WHY?
All of them, because I feel like I have to give people a chance to hear my music no matter what platform they use.
WHAT IS YOUR STANCE ON KANYE WEST?
Lol, I think he’s living his life above criticism, I might not agree with everything he says or does but I can respect it.
HOW MANY ARTISTS HAVE YOU COLLABORATED WITH LOCALLY?
A lot, over 30 easily.
HOW SERIOUS ARE YOU ABOUT MAKING A LIVING FROM MUSIC? ARE YOU A STUDENT OF THE GAME?
Once upon a time I was very serious about making a living off music as times change I realize the industry change and the later in the game it gets “making a living” off of music solely is starting to become non-existent. I’m definitely a student of the game or I wouldn’t realize this, I am for ever embedded in music, I feel like my message is deep enough to touch somebody, and I always want to love making music, so I changed my mindset on pursuing making a living off of it because then eventually it becomes work. It would be nice but I don’t have to make a living off of my music per se as long as my message is heard.
WHAT IS LACKING IN HIP HOP MUSIC THAT YOU THINK YOU CAN CHANGE?
IN ORDER, RANK YOUR TOP 5 PRODUCERS IN THE GAME RIGHT NOW?
I don’t really have an order but I like their production:
John Cunningham, sizzle 808 mafia, Mike will, metro Boomin, Tay Keith
FAVORITE ALBUM SO FAR THIS YEAR?
None of them. Honestly, haven’t had time to really dive into the albums that dropped this year. Too much music to consume and again nothing has stood out to me.
IN ORDER, RANK YOUR TOP 5 RAPPERS IN THE GAME When you say rapper I think of people who actually rap, like lyrics…
Biggie, j. Cole, Kendrick Lamar, Tupac, Drake
J. Cole, Kendrick, Drake, Meek Mill, J.I.D
Not so mainstream
Samuel Shabazz, IDK, YBN Cordae, Joey Badass, LB199x..
If you said hip hop artist, to me that’s more general & it would be a whole different list.
IF YOU COULD COLLABORATE WITH ANY SINGER MALE OR FEMALE FOR A JOINT ALBUM WHO WOULD IT BE?
Beyoncé no question. It doesn’t get bigger then her right now, but there are some vocalist who I love & I’d love to work with, but If I gotta choose 1, Beyoncé all day.
DO YOU THINK THE STREAMING ERA IS HURTING OR BENEFITING ARTISTS THESE DAYS?
Hurting.. Especially independent artist. Imagine an independent artist getting 1,000 unique streams, (meaning 1 stream per person).. that equates to like $3 currently in the streaming era. But now imagine if that same indie artist got $1,000 unique downloads for .99… case closed.
WHAT WOULD YOUR ADVICE BE TO ASPIRING ARTISTS FROM YOUR AREA?
Go hard, believe in yourself, study the game, learn the business, & learn your market.
Where are you from?
Prince George’s County, Maryland ..the grimiest parts
-How did the crew get started?
My crew?, we all came from nothing and crazy enough had a common goal, & from what we know, there’s strength in numbers & it only takes one of us.. & from there we linked inspired each other by our own individual goals & talents. Luckily enough for me, it ain’t no weak Niggaz in my circle so when one of us see another one of us ahead we don’t hate, we don’t get mad, we get inspired to go harder like Nah I can’t be the weak link lol.
-When and how did you get into music?
I got into music when I was like 9 years old, my older cousin used to come over and challenge me to a freestyle battle for fun, and I was trash. And like I said before I’m no hater so I didn’t get mad but I was like Nah I can’t keep letting her kill me while I say dumb stuff, so one day I went home and secretly wrote some stuff and rehearsed it so I could be on point the next day & that spawned my writing.
-How did you choose your rap name?
I didn’t, the streets gave me my name & I ran with it.
How will you change the industry?
I’m not sure that I will, I’m not even trying to honestly. The industry is the industry, I know I have some crazy ideas that have never been seen & if that’s what changes the industry, to keep up with me, then I guess it will be through my visuals.
-What motivated or inspired you to record your last project?
My most recent project that’s released, “No Days Off”, was inspired by the fact I was working a job where I went in at 8 in the morning and it was no telling what time I would get off, could be 5pm could be 1am 5 days a week, come home and work on music, and go just as hard with those hours on my “off days”. Making me realize I honestly have no days off. & that project is a reflection of that.
-Has there been any time in your journey where you felt like pursuing something else instead of music?
Everyday. But as I said before, I’m forever embedded in music I genuinely feel like music chose me, I couldn’t stop making music even if I wanted to. But deep down inside I am a businessman and I naturally know business just as much as I know how to create a record. So I’m actually pursuing both & I can’t complain.
Whose side were you on.? Biggie Or Pac?
I was too young to pick a side, I was born in 92, so as I got older I loved both of their music, I think my father was more on the Tupac side but musically I was more drawn to biggie. The storytelling, flow, and delivery combined just won me over and that’s where my style comes from.
If you had one song of yours to perform on national tv which would it be?
That’s a good question, & currently, the song I would perform on tv is unreleased but it’s my most lyrical to date and I feel like it’s not too explicit so the world can listen, feel it, and see my true ability to actually rap. I got plenty of lit songs that might do better but as I said before I got a message I want to get across and for national tv, I’m not trying to be the hype of the day. I want my message to resonate so the world can understand where I’m coming from.
If you were offered a perfect distribution/sponsorship from every major company in America which company would suit you and your brand the most? any black-owned company that's not trying to exploit our people.
-What is your favorite movie? Favorite actor?
Favorite movie, shutter island. Favorite actor Denzel Washington
-Tell me some of your biggest and/or most enjoyable moments so far? The birth of my daughter, who was born on my birthday! August 6th, almost 4 years later & it still blows my mind to this day.
-What equipment and software do you use to record/produce?
I use ProTools, blue baby bottle mic, Yamaha hs8 & a mac. 3 unique things
–Where do you see yourself going with this? What are your big plans? There’s a bigger play other than music. That’s all I can say.
-Any projects in the works?
Too many projects in the works, which is why my last project dropped 2 years ago. I can’t stick to one direction. So many things happening in my life and in the world it’s all inspiring. But I’m trying to make something cohesive to my life story, while still spreading a message that plenty can relate too. But yes I’m finalizing my debut album which I believe will change my life!
-What are your rates for features?
Depends on how I’m feeling, could be $100 could be $10,000… That’s what I love about being independent. Just catch me on a good day with a good vibe and you’ll end up on the lower end of the spectrum lol.
-What's the best way to get in contact with you if we need work done?
Info@cenorudeboy.com or Instagram @cenorudeboy I’m literally always on ig lurking for no reason