What’s up everyone, I’m Rob Lyrical ¼ of Chicago’s music collective Chinza Fly.
How was life growing up?
Growing up life was insightful. I was able to see both sides. Being born in Chicago and raised in the city and the suburbs. I was able to meet different people and become immersed in different cultures, which played a huge role into how I am now, whether it be how easy it is to interact with different types of people, to how eclectic my music taste is.
When did you begin to witness you had creative talents?
My parents always taught me to explore my curiosity. Anything I liked, I would indulge into. I tried out a few different mediums like culinary, photography, and music. I always tell people I feel like I only have one real talent, and it’s my ability to experiment and learn things quickly. Everything for me was a skill before it was a talent.
When did you first get into photography?
I got into photo when I was 14-15. In school I took a few photography classes and learned the basics. It wasn’t until a few years later when I made enough money from music I decided to pursue photography more in depth. It’s still more of a hobby right now than anything else.
You stated music came last on your creative journey. When did you start getting involved with music?
I was in band for all three years of middle school. Not willingly at all. My parents pretty much said “pick out an instrument, you’re gonna be in band’. I played the trumpet.
Everything I do stems from curiosity. Music, like photography started off as a hobby in high school. Around mid 2009 I started making music. My Pops bought me my first software (Fruity Loops 8) Christmas of 08 and stuck with it and now we’re here.
When did Chinza Fly come about?
We all went to high school together and in my Senior year, we came together to start Chinza Fly. It consists of Steven Pugh (producer), myself, Jofred Estilo (rapper) and Joe Rico (engineer). Chinza came about through our appreciation of music and vanity reasons. Haha as individuals we all thrived pretty well but knew if we came together as a group we would be a force.
Chinza Fly has a ton of hit records, but two of those that stand out are your tracks with A$AP Ferg and Nicki Minaj. Talk about how two records
I’ll talk about the Ferg situation first. Funny side story about Ferg. When Live Love A$AP first came out in 2011, I remember hearing Kissin Pink and being like “who the fuck is this on the other verse?…I fuck with this dude” and squad thought it was funny as fuck because Ferg had a very peculiar way of rapping. I told Chinza we were gonna work with him, and we did, no pun intended.
Fast-forward a bit. A friend of mine had been with Ferg and reached out to me to see if we had any beats for Ferg. We sent a folder of beats and ‘Work’ ended up being one of those beats. I remember when it dropped we didn’t even know. I was on Facetime with Steve and he was on Worldstar like “Oh shit Ferg dropped a new track called “Work” then he played it was like….”wait, I think I left the FL open, this shit sounds like something we made….OH SHIT, WE MADE THIS!” That night we got into contact with Ferg and we found out niggas had been looking for us for a while and reconnected. After reconnecting we kicked it with A$AP anytime they were in Chicago and I remember one night we were together and Ferg was like “So….we did a remix to Work, and I’m not gonna tell you who’s on it, I’ma just play it” and he did, and it was fire, and the history came from there on out.
‘Work’ was our first major placement and through that we were able to get the song with Nicki Minaj. Also shout out to Steve. None of this would be possible without him.
The end of 2013 this dude reached out to me via e-mail who had worked with YMCMB and asked if I had any beats to send him. We sent him a bunch of beats and then he disappeared for some time. One day I’m at LA Fitness and I get a phone call from the guy saying that one of our songs got placed with a very big artist, but he wouldn’t tell us who it was until we signed splits. After we did we found out it ended up being Nicki.
You’re involved with the guys here at Private Stock. How has it been working with the guys here?
Man, it’s been amazing. All of the people here are very genuine, which I appreciate. I’ve always been looking for energy like that in Chicago, because there tends to be a lot of ego and shade, but I’ve never witnessed that with the guys here at Private Stock. I knew this was a good place to be from the start.
Name your 5 favorite songs of 2017 so far
Ishmael Raps – Manana
Sampha – Reverse Faults
Jofred – Problems
Migos – Tshirt
Alina Baraz Feat Khalid – Electric
When it’s all said and done how do you want to be remembered?
Right now I’m just trying to make as big of a positive impact on people’s lives as possible. I could die any day so I contemplate how I could remembered now and that’s all I’ve come up with so far. I’ve been in this weird mental/spiritual place lately where I’ve been trying to figure out not only my purpose but the meaning of life in general. So far the only conclusions I’ve come to are happiness and love. So I do what I can to help people find either/or while searching for my own. Doing what you can to help people achieve their dreams or find their calling only gets you closer to yours. It’s a cycle. So with the resources I have now that’s about all I can do. Long term end goal, I want to be apart of something that’s way bigger than myself; it doesn’t even have to be music, just something positive that helped the human experience in some kind of way and made my time here not completely worthless.
Written By: Nicholas Rud