Bay Area Local Artist Spotlight: Crucial Point

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Crucial Point is local Bay Area rapper based in Fremont, Ca. He’s releasing a new Hip Hop album entitled Back to the 80’s, with a standout track called “Keep Movin,” which is an ode to Hip Hop. Check it out HERE. The rapper reached out to Music in SF, and we spoke about what got him started into music in the first place, where he draws inspiration, and who he’d like to collab with most.

When did you first become interested in playing music?

I had the music bug in me from a young age but it wasn’t until high school when I really started to take music seriously. A high school friend by the name of First Degree The De was putting out singles and he asked me to perform on his debut album called Southbound after he heard me freestyling. Ever since then I have been hooked on the creative process of constructing music.

How would you describe your sound?

I don’t know if I really have a sound or better yet, I wouldn’t know how to describe it.  I grew up listening to mostly east coast rap. Rappers like EPMD, KRS One, Redman, Jeru the Damaja, and Slick Rick were my favorite artists. I would best describe myself as a storyteller, I think that for me it is important that my songs have a theme.  Some rappers excel at saying clever metaphors or bragging about their money, girls, or guns but that has never been me, I just speak about what I know from my life experiences.

Where do you draw inspiration from?

I draw most of my inspiration from my life. I will rap about things that have happened to me or things that have happened to the people around me. I also draw inspiration from other music artists, I try to be subtle but I do take some of the great things I hear from other artists and incorporate into my music. For instance, if I hear a rapper flow over a beat with a certain rhythmic pattern, I may incorporate that flow into part of my rhyme scheme, kind of like how Biggie did when he rhymed with Bone Thugs in Harmony.

What does music mean to you?

Music is life, it is the soundtrack to our everyday existence.  There is a song for every mood a person may feel, music simply captures the emotions of life.

What do you think of the music scene in San Francisco?

I think the music scene in San Francisco is awesome. The SF Bay Area has a large and diverse talent pool when it comes to music makers. I am constantly amazed and impressed but the creativity and the talent that SF has to offer.

What’s your favorite place to hang out in the city?

Good question, there are so many places to have fun in the city. Usually, I hang out near the water so that could be on the Pier, or Golden Gate Park. If not there, you can catch me in the Mission probably feeding my face at some random restaurant that serves unhealthy food.

What are some of your goals with music?

My goal with music is to make songs or albums that are about real life experiences.  I have fun when I am creating something from scratch. As far as making music a career, that is for the people to decide? Music for me has always been about telling part of my story, when you hear my songs you should get a partial idea of who I am as a person.

If you could collaborate with anyone, who would it be and why?

Hmm, that is another great question. There are so many artists that I would like to collaborate with but if I could choose just one, it would probably be Andre 3000 of OutKast. I think he is a genius and I am a big fan of everything he has ever made.

What’s one thing that most people would be surprised to find out about you?

That I like heavy metal music. I grew up listening to it with my neighbor who used to live around the corner from me. I find it a little disheartening that heavy metal music doesn’t get any commercial play anymore.  The award shows don’t seem to acknowledge it and it seems like it has been wiped from the mainstream.  I am a big fan of musicians and that is my one big knock on Hip Hop music, the fact that Hip Hop is so computerized with drum machines and music software makes it sound more manufactured than authentic. At least when I was growing up, the old school producers were sampling Jazz or R&B albums that were played with live instruments. It seems like that is gone and now producers are just using music software to make beats.

What’s the craziest thing that’s happened to you at a show?

The wildest thing to ever happen to me at a show was back in my college days in Athens, GA, I was opening up for a West Coast Hip Hop group called the Alkaholiks also know as The Liks. For some reason, the sound system didn’t have an album to play the music that I was supposed to rap to, so I was told that either we could cancel or we could do the entire set A’cappella. My rhyme partner at the time wanted to bail but I said the show must go on and I convinced him to perform our set A’cappella.  That is when I realized that as an artist it is important that you are saying something of relevance because if you took the beat away a lot of artists would sound awful because really it is the beat that is carrying their careers. Content matters …

 

An avid drummer whose discography includes albums on Digital Nations (a Steve Vai imprint), music critic Louis Raphael has always kept a pulse on the San Francisco music scene. After many years as the San Francisco Music Examiner for Examiner.com and AXS.com, he decided to start Music in SF® as a way to showcase what the San Francisco music scene really has to offer.

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