getting to know cody b. ware: pma is a lifestyle – interview + download
By Sound Check
July 1, 2011
There’s no better time than summer time to discover new music and revel in getting a little sweaty on the dance floor. There’s something about the sun that makes people want to dance to new sounds and songs that don’t seem to fit in the winter. This is how I discovered Cody B. Ware, the Queens based black-metal hip-hop punkster, and his debut album ‘Welcome Home’ (download it below). It’s been a buzztape acclaimed by some Afro-punk favorites including Ninjasonik, The Bad Rabbits, and many New York heavy hitters. His fresh take on hip-hop has a light summer quality that is equally raging as it is danceable, a combo that’s hard not to dig immediately. I caught up with B. Ware to crack a few jokes, get a little insight and figure out just what the hell PMA is.
Contributor: Alexandria Gamlin
Who is Cody B. Ware? Who named you? (Both your actual name, and your stage name)
Cody B. Ware is Cody Morgan Verdecias. A 23 year old dreamer from the spirit world who represents Brairwood Jamaica, Queens. The child of interracial parents. Half Spanish Half Jewish. Hopeless Romantic keeping my PMA on high. My mother gave me my birth name & Graham Masser (Bad Rabbits) blessed me with the name of Cody B. Ware.
Create a new genre title for Cody B. Ware? Is it vodkabass-hop-spacecore?
Cody B. Ware is a black metal/hip-hop artist.
This is your first release, yes? When you wrote the album what did you want people to feel, if anything? What did you want people to know about you through your music, being that this is your debut?
BW: Yup, ‘Welcome Home’ is the first piece of fully composed music Cody B. Ware has done. I wanted people to feel evolution first and foremost. I wanted the ones who have been following my music since day one, and the new believers to feel like this was undoubtedly something fresh to them. That was my overall hope as far as a first listen went. Digging deeper I wanted everyone to connect to Welcome Home as if they were telling their story through me. I wanted to bring honesty out of each listener to the degree of acceptance like yes I get happy, yes I feel sadness, yes I fall in love and yes I have fun but you know what these are elements of me, so fuck it if no one likes it because I know who I am. I wrote this album to escape the person I was and to find a home for the person I’ve always hoped to be. I truly feel like I’ve accomplished that with the help of White Indian, who were kind of like my therapists they helped bring out everything within me sonically. I just wanted people to know that real humans with real emotion and real passion still exist within the arts, but sadly we are the outcast… and I make music for those kids.
I love people who love their own stuff…what is your favorite song on the album?
Hmmm I’d say it’s a tie between “#33 Forever” & “Run to the Sun”. 33 because I feel like it fully embodies my sound perfectly. Run to the Sun because that is the record I’ve always dreamed of making. I listened to The Dream a lot creating Welcome Home and I sat with Sheel & RP (White Indian) and was like how we can fuse that influence with something heavy as fuck. First we didn’t know where the heaviness would fit and then BOOM! It fell into place we got Jesse Korman to scream his ass off at the end and Dua to sing the words my mother would have sang to me and it was just pure magic.
Where do you think people place you in the both the hardcore scene and hip hop scene? Having listened to your album, I don’t think you necessarily fall into either category. Far from both, actually. How do you address these constraints and biases creatively?
Haha I don’t think people can place me in either. It’s funny cause I am reaching out to hardcore & metal promoters like yo I want to rock your shows and most have told me “we don’t know where to place you we don’t throw too many hip hop shows” I’m like my man have you even listened to my record?! Have you seen footage of me live?! And then with the hip hop scene I feel like I am a complete alien unless given a proper listen and chance. So here I am just in my own world. Which I like and amongst the negative aspects of it all the positive is that I can truly say I have created this sound that no one can place me in. I have made people feel uncomfortable and when you are doing something new and fresh, making people feel that way is such an achievement in my eyes. I grew up seeing the vision my uncle had and how he was able to put together a festival like Lollapalooza and have artist like Ice-T & Bodycount, Rollins Band, Snoop Dog, Korn, Beastie Boys, Tool, Living Color and Rage Against The Machine play on the same bill and burn so many barriers racially through the diversity of sound. Like real talk Lollapalooza 1997 changed my life, so I’m just like ‘yo put me in front of hardcore kids or put me in front of hip hop kids or just kids in general and I will blow their fucking minds’. I express myself about it a lot and I became an MC because this is the foundation I felt I could break the walls & reach the masses with. An MC has the most powerful voice I feel on the planet, next your mother’s words.
This story is not new for artists of color. Socially, we’re classified and defined by stereotype and expectation, and that limited mindset of the mainstream extends deeply in music. B. Ware challenges this in Welcome Home with upbeat party anthems like “Breaking Night” and immediately slays into hardcore three songs later with “Fear My Name”. It’s a ride that welcomes puzzling skeptics. As soon as you think you’ve figured it out, there is a surprise. And that’s tight.
What’s your favorite curse word?
FUCK is my favorite curse haha
Are you a rapper or a writer? If there’s a difference tell us what it is?
I am a writer. The difference to me is simple a writer lives what he writes & a rapper writes how he wants to live.
What is your single sentence philosophy you want to share with the afro-punk children?
“Live by the H.H.H. – Stay Hungry, Stay Humble, Stay Human”
What are you going to do after you send this email?
Watch wrestling, enjoy life and try to figure out how to relax….PMA all day.
POSITIVE MENTAL ATTITUDE
This guy’s got some insight, right? What impresses me most, beyond a well done debut album, is the guy’s positive-centric commitment to the music, even though punk-hop isn’t exactly for the smiley bunch. For many of us, music is life, and to take on life with thrashing about good times and friends, is something to get behind, and say ‘right on!’
Here’s to the summer! PMA! Let’s all start saying that!
CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD CODY B. WARE’S DEBUT ‘WELCOME HOME’
Will Cody B. Ware make your summer playlist or do you think positivity is for the birds?
Let us know in the comments and on twitter @afropunk
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