Cory Jreamz makes art-rap at its most jagged. Syllables are bayonets, references are re-arranged like toy furniture in the hands of a bored child. He is the Black Marlon Brando, the Black Ernest Hemingway, 2Pac, David Lynch, but clearly none of those people. He’s taking his heroes and dismembering them so you only see the occasional limb lurching out. The 19-year old Houston Rapper arrives in the broader consciousness with his own visual aesthetic. Wan-faced women dazed and stumbling towards the camera like a gun moll on too many grams. Cory with the 100-yard homicide glare. The occasional fox mask.
If the current trend in Houston combines Top 40 components with tradition, he takes no part. He’ll kick raw raps over dissonant Sun Araw beats. He’ll make his own videos and release them into the void. They got picked up in LA and London before his own backyard, which is to be expected if all original things really do look ugly at first. I believe he’s one of the most talented new rappers of 2013, so I wanted to ask him a few questions, so I did. — Weiss
You’re from Houston but your music bears none of the usual signifiers of Houston rap music. Did you come up on Screw music and Swishahouse and just decide to make music that sounds nothing like it or do you think it filters into your aesthetic in a different way?
Yeah, born and raised in Houston. I’m very aware of the Houston chopped and screwed culture, I mean it’s very hard not to be with residing here. I’m not the most knowledgeable person about it, but I’m also not naive about it either. Honestly, it would have been easy to take that path of creating music that sounds like artists of the past from Houston, but I really want to be a trailblazer and set something new ablaze. There’s people in Houston still stuck on the C&S style and probably won’t ever accept me as a artist, and I’m fine with that. Furthermore, I started writing poetry at 14, purely from me not thriving in anything else. When the world finds out my real name, people will be able to see all the poems I had online years ago. Shortly after, someone suggested I put the poetry to actual instrumentals. And that’s when it all begin.
I remember the first beat I took off the internet and rapped over was the Diddy ”Angels” song. My relative had told me about some guy doing cheap recording (25$ an hour) so I decided to give it a try. Funny thing, it was an abandoned house, plus my mom had to come with me. Dudes were in there smoking, so it was very uncomfortable for my mom. It was a real rough recording, no mixing or no hook or anything. Just straight rapping.
You’re a big Hemingway fan. What is your favorite Hemingway short story and why?
The End Of Something. Metaphor Galore! I actually feel like that could be a film one day. It’s very realistic from a point of view that not catching the fish symbolizing trying things that will just ”never work”, like relationships.
Who is your favorite rapper of all-time and why?
Wayne. And that’s based off what I’ve listened to constantly for so many years. I remember jamming Wayne all the way since I was 10. Recently, It seems to be the ”cool” thing to dislike Wayne, furthermore I still think he has some gems here and there. I always respected Wayne for being a individual first and foremost. You can’t compare Wayne to anyone. He carved out his own universe, and I’ve always been fascinated about by it.
Who is your least favorite rapper of all time?
I’m going to say Al Yankovic. Simply because, it’s not very funny to me.
Has it been difficult to gain traction within Houston because your sound is very different? Why do you think English DJs embraced you first?
I’m fairly unknown in Houston. A few people know me here and there,but no one is really messing with me here. Sometimes, I get really angry just thinking about how the UK supports me more than my hometown, but I get over it. I saw early on, that people overseas were reacting to me more, so I just decided to go full force with it. I’ve told people in Houston on all the things like being on TV, Radio, Magazines over there, but the reaction is ”Until your on radio or TV in Houston, you ain’t shit”. I just stopped caring about support from my hometown. I love Houston, but I understand the whole support thing. I’m not angry about it. Well, sometimes (laughs).
What do you like the least about the modern climate of rap music. What do you like the most?
I love the things social media can do. An artist could go record , release it, and the next day it’s on some big publication. On the other hand, I dislike social media. I believe instagram, and twitter killed the ”superstar”. Would Michael Jackson impact been the same if he showed the world what he’s eating on instagram? Would Pink Floyd be the same if when they kicked Syd out they decided to rant on twitter?
What is your favorite David Lynch film? Why?
Mulholland Drive most definitely. It was the film that first introduced me to Mr Lynch, so it will always be special. It gets a slight edge over Lost Highway simply for 2 reasons. 1 : Naomi Watts. 2 : The scene at the party in Lost Highway freaks me out every time.
If you could have dinner with any group of five people dead or alive, who would it be?
David Lynch, Jonathan Ive, Marina Abramovic, Woody Allen, Nas.
What would you be if you weren’t doing music?
Part of me could see myself as a film student in another life. I actually had a chance to go to art school freshman year of college, but I ditched it and decided to stay home and work on music. The other part of me believes I would just be another ”lost” human if I never started doing music. I’m not good at anything else besides music and screenwriting, so it’s unimaginable. I’ve been doing this since I was 14, it’s hard to imagine anything else.
If you had 24 hours to live, what would you do (answer to this must be different than Black Rob/and Jadakiss/Mase)
Honestly, I would just stay home and watch films, and listen to music. I would most likely watch all the Star Wars films silently, while listening to Tim Hecker.
If you got a million dollar deal tomorrow, what are the first few things that you would do with the money?
Make sure my family is good financially, purchase a flat in London, buy my mom the truck she has always wanted. My conscious would probably tell me to purchase a Cuban Link chain or something, and I would (laughs). I would also shoot a music video with a big budget with the idea I’ve been saving.