Chris Webby is becoming a force that can’t be stopped. His teenaged, generation X fanbase stretches across college campuses coast to coast. Now that his debut solo album Chemically Imbalanced has finally dropped, the Connecticut-raised rapper has been yearning to get back out on the road to see his loyal fans, aka the “Ninjahs.”
“I haven’t been back out [on the road] since last December, aside some random runs at colleges,” said Webby, who’s set to hit 23 cities across the US this fall. “It feels good to be out.”
After already hitting up major cities like New York City, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Boston, Webby is back in full swing and plans to take on Michigan next. He’s able to be himself on stage as he brings his stoner raps and party anthems to the people while being able to jam out alongside his father, who plays the guitar with the live band during some of his shows.
But how did Webby go from a well-educated, college student with a 3.0 GPA to a rising rap star? We got to sit down with Chris Webby to talk about his Chemically Imbalanced tour and who he worked with on his debut album, including producer Scott Storch. We also got some insight on his advocacy for the environment, his supportive relationship with Sway and what drove him to start rapping full time.
WL: How are you feeling about your Chemically Imbalanced Tour?
Chris Webby: I’m excited. I’ve got a lot of new material. I got a good squad with me, I got Jitta On The Track, who we just signed to our HomeGrown music group. We got Saigon out here with us. He’s going to be opening the whole tour. I got my drummer, and I got my pops who’s going to play guitar for a couple stops.
You have a live band play in a majority of your shows. Does your pops come through a lot?
My dad comes out and plays guitar whenever we have a show around home. We brought him on a leg of a tour one time because we had the tour bus and it was cool. I mean, my dad was cool as f*ck but still. I remember one time we had our rooms next to each other at the hotel and I didn’t know that. So one night I was banging this chick and apparently the walls were pretty thin. The next morning he said that he just heard the headboard hitting the wall. He was like “It was a pretty unimpressive amount of time.”
Which city are you most excited for?
I tend to have a great time in Minneapolis and Chicago. Michigan is always good. These are a lot of my best markets that we’re hitting up. I’m pretty much excited for the whole run man.
Chris Webby “Superhuman”
What made you pick the title for your album Chemically Imbalanced?
Well I would consider myself chemically imbalanced for sure. I think a lot of people in this generation would be able to relate to that quite well. It’s whether you take it as a subtle drug reference or you take it as everyone’s a little fucking crazy. Everybody is a little chemically imbalanced.
Recently you sat down with Sway to talk about the album. What’s something you took from that? This isn’t your first time speaking with him.
No, me and Sway go way back. That was probably my sixth interview with him. Sway is the fucking man. I think he’s one of the most important people in hip hop culture because he supports both the shit everyone’s covering and, for example, he was supporting Chris Webby four years ago. He’s the kind of guy that if you are talented and can show him proof when you go to his show and you’re a nice person he’ll fuck with you. Hip Hop needs him you know? He covers everything in hip hop that deserves it. He’s been supportive of me for years.
Before you hit it big, you were attending college but got kicked out. What’s the backstory?
Basically I got in trouble, learned a lot of lessons from it. But because I got kicked out of school, it pushed me to start rapping full time because I was rapping there too. But once I realized certain options were f*cked up, it just gave me that motivation and drive to be like ‘holy sh*t you better figure it out right now.’ But it was a blessing in disguise.
Name three top producers of your personal preference that you think are running the game right now.
I had the opportunity to work with Scott Storch on the album. He produced two tracks including the title track “Chemically Imbalanced.” He’s super dope, a classically trained musician. That was one hell of an experience. His era is not what it once was but he’s still an incredible producer. But Mustard is clearly killing the game. I would love to get on a track with Mustard. I also worked with Sap. He’s done a lot of work with The Game, Mac Miller and he’s got a track on my album. You will know that name soon enough.
I also worked with Supa Dups, who has done a lot of hip-hop but has done more reggae shit. I made sure to get reggae beats from him because he’s worked with Collie Budz, the New Sublime. I’m a big reggae head. There are a handful of reggae moments, whether it’s a full-out reggae song or there’s some influence by it.
What song really hits home for you personally on the album?
There’s a couple and for different reasons. My favorite song on it is called “Stand Up” and that talks about conscious issues, things that I care about personally. I feel the need to kind of put [things] out there for certain people who might not be aware of certain things going on. The song talks about political corruption type sh*t. Not so deep like Immortal Technique but I touch upon some things that is digestible for your average listener who might not be aware. For example, I’m very environmentally conscious. A lot of rappers aren’t and that’s cool. But it’s just something that I care about. Right now while on tour I’ve got one garbage bag for trash, the other for recycling like I don’t play around with that shit.
But then I got other songs like “Brim Low,” which talks about what I consider to about being a regular guy dealing with being viewed as not such a regular guy. Some artists are quick to embrace that some think they’re better than a lot of other people whereas I see myself as one of the people who just has a cool party trick that I’ve able to turn into something that I could make into a living. But if you put your brim low, it acts as a “do not disturb” sign and that applies to everyone. If you wake up hungover and you go out, you don’t want to see no one so you put your brim low.
What got you interested in the environment?
I just always loved animals and nature. As much as I love people, I’m not a fan of the human race is all. I think we’re a very flawed species that is very destructive. Everything was cool until we came around. For example, over 50% of wildlife that’s been on this planet has died since 1970. That’s a staggering statistic. We’re causing a new mass extinction and that’s terrible. I understand I don’t want to be preachy about it because I know people don’t care as much but it’s something I feel we could have gone about so much differently.