Tell us about yourself and your music
My Reverbernation.com bio is a good summary to start:
This bastard sounds like a Colombian Immortal Technique who joined Cypress Hill and got drunk with Redman spitting crazy anarchist lyrics!
CTRAFFIK was born and raised in Miami, FL – specifically in the Little Havana area. He is a producer, rapper, graphic designer, and all-around freeloader. He self-produced, recorded, mixed, and released his 2002 debut album “The BumRush”. He co-founded Tha Union Entertainment in 2003 and released several Mixtapes under that label. He was a radio DJ on 88.1FM and the Cable TV show “Mun2” as DJ Traffikante.
After making so much noise with international shows and records he met Dre Brown of the Lo-Life Miami Family and then the Lo-Life General Thirsting Howl the 3rd gave Traffic his L’s. He transformed into traffic, and is taking Miami Hip Hop flavor world wide throwing 2 Ls Up!
As of today, he continues to record and release music on www.ctraffik.com. Bootleg his tracks and he will love you for it. Seriously.
Talk to us more about your latest release
“Vietnam” is a single that will be featured on the upcoming album “Chico Town”.
It was produced by Da Beatminerz (Mr. Walt and Dj Evil Dee of Black Moon & Boot Camp Clik) featuring Shabaam Sahdeeq (from Sound Bombing fame, also a LoLife) and Kenyatta Black (Cannibal Ox & Brooklyn Wu Affiliate).
Here is a rough draft press release for the single “Vietnam”
CTRAFFIK has announced the music video release of his single, “Vietnam” from his album,
“Chico Town”, dropping in July.
The politically-charged track, produced by Da Beatminerz, features Kenyattah Black and Shabaam
Sahdeeq, who all feel strongly about police brutality and racism. While the digital single has been
streaming everywhere, CTRAFFIK decided it needed a visual. As the lyrical content tackles ongoing
issues regarding social injustice, Sandra Bland and Philando Castile are mentioned. The song has
powerful meaning behind it and comes in light of recent events, including protests everywhere, stemming
from the murder of George Floyd. With CTRAFFIK and Shabaam Sahdeeq being members of the Lo-Life
community, the ideas for “Vietnam” were conceived during a Love and Loyalty event in Miami they both
CTRAFFIK is a member of the Lo-Life Miami Family, based in South Florida. The branch remains very
active, hosting events all year long. Both he and Shabaam Sahdeeq got their L’s from Thirstin Howl the
3rd. Birthed in Brooklyn in 1988, Lo-Life is now a worldwide movement with branches on almost every
continent. Under Thirstin’s leadership, CTRAFFIK is active in the Hip Hop scene, filming videos,
recording, releasing records, etc., always representing Love and Loyalty.
— The Music Video is being finalized this week of Oct 12. Will be uploaded to Youtube and link provided when ready.
What inspired you to write this release?
On my first album “The BumRush” I had a skit about Police profiling Latinos (“Punk Ass Cop (skit)”) and spoke about racism on the track “Stop 2 Think” and “Ole Ole Ole”. On my second album “Rushed again 2,” I released the single and video “Freedom” which was a primer or hip hop TED talks on how to defend yourself when stopped by police and in danger of their brutality. The topic of minorities defending and protecting themselves from the tyranny of Police abuse has been a common theme on all of my albums. This song predates the 2020 protests by 3 years and was making in my catalog until the completion of the “Chico Town” album. I had to release it as a single in 2020 to help contribute to the sentiment that Police Brutality is inexcusable and the communities affected by it have been screaming about it for years before the 2020 riots. We need to be heard and change needs to take place no matter what.
Describe the writing and recording process
Da Beatminerz had sent me a few beats, including the beat for “Badness!” featuring the LoLife General Thirsting Howl the 3rd and “The Gimmicks” the first single from the album “Chico Town”. The beat for “Vietnam” didn’t have a direction until I met with Shabaam Sahdeeq and Kenyattah Black at a previous Love and Loyalty Weekend event in the Wynwood neighborhood of Miami, FL during the annual Art Basel events. During that meeting, we brainstormed a collaboration and the continual struggle to address the Police state and brutality fit the hook perfect. Just like the Vietnam War, the locals were invaded by a foreign occupying force that didn’t understand the local culture and struggles and instead used weapons of war to try to solve problems. There is a disconnect between the outsiders who come to minority neighborhoods using guns, aggression, and violence to try to solve problems and the animosity only grows with each innocent life that is taken.
Any plans to release a video?
Any plans to hit the road?
The Lo-Life Miami Family is planning to host the next Love And Loyalty Weekend as soon as the covid restrictions are ended to keep our Hip Hop audience safe and enjoy the Hip Hop events we are used to. In the past, we host Graffiti artists, legendary break dancers like Crazy Legs, Hop Hop Legends like The Beatnuts, Talib Kweli, MayDay! 2 Live Crew, Meyhem Lauren, Dj Tony Touch, Buckshot & Smiff-n-Wessun, and many more. I will be performing at that next event and hosting with the Lo-Life Miami Family in South Florida.
As an indie artist, how do you brand yourself and your music to stand out from the rest of the artists out there?
My vibe is Miami, FL all day, Spanglish speaking, Caribbean accent, Colombian cultured, boom-bap Hip Hop with effort in the Lyrics to create the best multi-lingual rhymes possible. Being a member of the world-wide Lo-Life crew, specifically, the Lo-Life Miami Family helps affirm the musical tradition of hard beats, impactful rhymes. Similar artists to my style include Immortal Technique, Redman, and Cypress Hill. I focus on conscious content, uplifting music, and also the Miami party vibe we grew up on.
Who have you been listening to lately?
I listen to everyone in the Lo-Life camp who is constantly releasing new records, Thirstin Howl the 3rd, Shabaam Sahdeeq, Sadat X, DjExes, Kingdom Kome, Joey Duz, DV Alias Crist, AjaxLo, Spit Gemz, Mayhem Lauren among other LoLifes with new releases in 2020. Back in February, I opened for R.A. The Rugged Man in Acapulco and also he chose me to be his DJ during his set, so I’ve been listening to his new album “All My Heroes are Dead” which is one of the best releases of this year. Kendrick Lamar, Black Moon, Boot Camp Clik, Ghostface Killah, Serum & Dj Heron are also on heavy rotation for me.
Who are your biggest influences?
Redman, Immortal Technique, Cypress Hill, Thirsting Howl the 3rd, Wu-Tang, and Black Moon.
I produced my first album “The BumRush” and always aim to include my own beat production on every release, my production influences include Dj Premier, Da Beatminerz, RZA, Dj Muggs.
Non-Hip Hop Influences include Manu Chao, Sade Chuck Berry, King Tubby, Bob Marley, James Brown. When I perform at Karaoke bars I’m usually doing James Brown, Johnny Cash (A boy named Sue), and Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
Tell us about your passions
I’ve had lots of success in music under my Dj Traffikante Persona. I had a successful college radio show, club DJ gigs, and appeared on the Cable TV network Mun2 during the advent of the Reggeaton movement on the show “The Roof”. I’m practicing my Dj skills to begin releasing more mixtapes to help showcase the best Hip Hop releases from the Lo-Life movement and other great artists such as Nas, Wu-Tang, Boot Camp Clik.
I also have a passion for craft beer and craft brews, I make my own Kombucha and have begun bee keeking as well. I’m a graphic designer, I have designed all of my album covers and singles, and merchandise. Also, explore the possibility of working in films thanks to the Lo-Life Miami Family and namely BoxLO and his Gold Box Studios for giving me experience in film making and being a leader on a film set to get the project done. Have some film script drafts cooking as well.
What else is happening next in your world?
The album “Chico Town” is in the final stages of production, being mixed down and mastered, and preparing for the Vinyl pressing process. The cover for the next project “DubziLLa” is in the works now by the Miami Hip Hop legend Serum. Gearing up to record “DubziLLA” which will feature the entire Lo-Life Miami Family and Thirstin Howl the 3rd, including Serum on the mic as well. Also getting ready to release some Dj Traffikante mixtapes to showcase the best new Hip Hop from my affiliates.
Thanks for an awesome interview, CTRAFFIK
Connect with CTRAFFIK
Website: http://www.ctraffik.comFacebook: http://facebook.com/ctraffikInstagram: http://instagram.com/ctraffikTwitter: http://twitter.com/ctraffikLastFM: https://www.last.fm/music/CtraffikYoutube: https://www.youtube.com/user/ctraffikSoundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/ctraffikReverbnation: https://www.reverbnation.com/artist/ctraffik