Ciddy – Steady Reppin’

Words + Interview By Tyrone Davis

Ciddy is an artist and battle rapper from originally from Ann Arbor, MI. He moved to Detroit at the age of 10 and has been active in the city ever since. Check him out.

I came across you for the first time after seeing someone (it might have been Quest MCODY) post your “Ask Me If I Care” EP on Facebook. The artwork was dope and it caught my attention. It’s a solid project as well. What was your thought process behind the concept of the project?
Thanks man.  The cover took a couple of months to paint.  I thought of the whole artwork concept myself and it was done by Roger Betka.  My thought process was just making a project with no skips, a project that every song could be a single, ya know?  That’s without it being bubble gum or super commercial. I’m just being myself, basically.

I didn’t learn you were also a battle rapper until after I heard the EP.  I had mentioned you to a friend who is more knowledgeable about who is who in the battle rap world and he told me.  How did you get into rapping period and which came first, records or battling?
I started off cyphering and freestyling and started recording myself on this portable recorder that my mom bought me.  I was basically doing songs and battling all at the same time.

Which do you prefer more, recording or battling?
I prefer recording because it’s more personal.

As long as I’ve been watching battle rap on Youtube, it seems the winner is left up to the fans who are present during the battle and the people in the comments online to decide, which basically boils down to them debating about it.  How does that work within the ranks of these battle rap leagues themselves? Do they say, “Yo bro, you won/lost” or do they leave it up to the fans as well?
You ever heard the saying “opinions are like assholes……”??? That’s battle rap fans, to me.  It’s just a preference thing.

Being an entertainer and performing in front of strangers can be tough period but I think it takes a special kind of person to be a battle rapper. How do you approach it?
I get asked that a lot.  I’m comfortable getting on stage because it just feels natural, especially at this point.  Confidence will make or break you as a artist/battler.  You have to convince people that you’re legit with this shit.

How do you feel about “crowd bias” regardless of whether it’s in your favor or not?
In my opinion, it actually helps you as a rapper battling in hostile elements.  We’re from Detroit and it’s not like a big east or west coast market.  All of us from here got no problem with road games.  We’re use to it.

Have you gotten a chance to see the battle rap film, “Bodied”? If so, what did you think about it? If not, what do you think about the trailer?
I haven’t seen it but if it gives battlers shine, I’m with it.

One of the themes of the film and battle rap in general is being able to say things about someone that one shouldn’t say. What’s your take on it, being that we also live in an era where everyone is being politically correct out of fear of offending someone and being “cancelled”?
The only shit I really don’t like is speaking on dead relatives/homies.  I don’t rock wit that.  Anything else is fair game.

Being that you are from the state that birthed Eminem (who is also a producer of the film), how do you feel about his contribution to Hip Hop overall and his recent project, “Kamikaze”?
Slim is one of my favorite rappers ever.  I’m a huge fan of a lot of his shit.  “Kamikaze” was crack.

For those who aren’t familiar, what other battle rappers from Michigan should they be checking for?
Bruh, this question is a whole interview in itself.  There are so many dudes doing their thing here that I’d be naming people forever.  Michigan got killers!  It’s scary!

One thing that has been hard for me is that I’ve seen a lot of rap battles, but I don’t know much about any of the battle rappers like I know the recording artists. What can be done to change that?
Binge watch.  It is like sitcoms.  You have to follow the storylines.

There are quite a few leagues out there. Do you think the game is becoming oversaturated, even though the masses aren’t necessarily up on it 100%?
There are way too many leagues.  When I was coming up it was way harder to get in the battle rap circle.  You had to be dead nice to even be able to come around.  I wish there were only a few leagues or at least one per region or some shit.

What was your most challenging battle to date?
Challenging?  Maybe Chilla (Jones) because he’s the only person I ever battled that I knew before hand was probably more lyrical than me.  So, I had to blend aggression and jokes with my bars to compete.  Also, Young Kannon in Chicago was no joke since I was on his turf.

What are your “Top 5” of all time:

A)  Rap Battles
There are so many I like but these are some of the one I watch often.  Murda Mook vs Serius Jones, Conceited vs Tsu Surf, B Magic vs Qleen Paper, K Shine vs Tay Roc and Hollow vs Passwurds.

B)  Diss Records
“Checkmate” by Jadakiss, “Back Down” by 50 Cent, “Ether” by Nas, “Takeover” by Jay Z and “Back to Back” by Drake.

C)  Artists
This is not really a “Top 5” but some of my favorites are Lloyd Banks, Eminem, Nas, DMX and Mase.

Tell us something about yourself that most don’t know.
I’m a huge skateboarding fan.

What do you have coming up next?
I have a few projects coming in 2019.  Visuals also.  I might do a battle or 2 as well.

Follow Ciddy on social media @Itsciddy.

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