Atlanta Indie Fest 2012: Chippy Nonstop Interview

Story by E.J. Ogle

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Based on her live show you’d think 20-year-old Chippy Nonstop was wild as hell off stage. I won’t say she’s the opposite, but Chippy is definitely more composed in conversation. There’s a lot of energy, opinions, and self-determination packed into her tiny frame. Though her career is in its infancy—she independently released two mixtapes,  #MONEYDANCE101 and #GlobalSkoolofTwerk, earlier this year—you know Chippy isn’t going to let anybody tell her how to run it. She kindly talked to Eidé about her crazy work ethic, avoiding female rap beefs, and getting kicked out of clubs for dancing too hard.

Where are you from?

“I live in Oakland but I’m figuring out where I’m going. I’ve been in and out of NYC all summer. “

How did you learn to twerk*?

[laughing] “I don’t know how it became my thing, it wasn’t premeditated. But people would see me [dancing at clubs] and say ‘Chippy twerks! Chippy twerks!’ I’ve danced my entire life. My mom is a dance instructor. She teaches mostly Bollywood-type stuff and I bring that into my performance.”

*twerk = high-energy dancing based around ass-shaking.

How do you describe your sound? What are you listening to that influences it?

“It’s not really rap, it’s club music. I listen to a lot of dance and Jersey club/vogue music. I listen to a lot of Southern rappers like Future, Gucci Mane, 2 Chainz, and Rick Ross. I want to keep releasing EPs while I find my sound, so it’ll take some time until my album is ready.”

Where do you get your fashion sense?

“I thrift a lot but lately I’ve into costuming—the bra I’m wearing is from a dominatrix store. I’m really into a lot of color but I’m also into a lot of dark shit. When I wear dark stuff I go super dark, when I wear color I go all out.”

Both of your mixtapes were recorded in 24 hours. What’s your creative process like?

“The producers and I just drink beer and chill out until I’m in the zone. Once you know where you want to get to you just do it. I don’t need to take drugs because being in the zone is its own drug. I can’t feel anything else in that moment. The same thing happens during a show-- my music is made for performance. I go all in. That’s how I live life in general.”

Given your travels, which region has the best club scene?

“I like partying in the Bay Area because there’s no rules. People in Oakland don’t give a fuck. In Oakland you can be reckless—I’m banned from every club in L.A.”

What’s gotten you kicked out of clubs?

“I’m not a fighter. I listen to the music and dance too hard and get kicked out. I’ll cry before getting violent.”

What’s your take on females in the rap game at the moment? Is there a lot of competition between artists, or with male artists in general?

“I don’t think about it like that—guys aren’t really competition. Girls are doing shit right now. Girls can be catty and bitchy but I don’t want to be like that; I’m from the Bay Area where it’s about community. People will compare you [to other female rappers] no matter what. They have a need to categorize and label. So I might as well do what I want and see where it goes. When you’re noticed [as a female artist] people will talk so much shit. You’ll get called a slut and even though my music is kind of ‘promiscuous’ I’m not really like that. It’s just me being confident enough to say whatever the fuck I want. I actually wanted to do an all-girl mixtape but it was so hard to coordinate. Hopefully some day though.”

Finally, what do you want to achieve with your music?

“To be honest, I want to be mainstream. I want longevity and the only way to do that is to be on the next level. I’m not even close to the level I want to be at.”

@chippy_nonstop