Written by Calvin Schneider
Ciggy Blacc is one of the longstanding leaders of the Brooklyn Drill movement. Hailing from Flatbush, Ciggy has been putting in the work to get Brooklyn on the map. He told us he was rapping since he was a young kid, but wasn’t really taking it serious. Once he came home, he started rapping for real. He linked up with childhood friends MaxThaDemon and 22gz, and the rest is history. He dropped his debut project Dark Days in late November 2019, this is where we first really meet the force that is Ciggy Blacc. On his song All Star, Ciggy connects with Bizzy banks and Leeky G Bando. When the track dropped in 2019 they time were all fresh to scene, but the three of them are now key prospects in the Brooklyn drill scene. He’s amassed millions of plays on streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music, and his personal youtube channel currently sits at over 400k views. He recently dropped a fiery single, Dishonest, out now on all platforms. Music Xclusives recently sat down with Ciggy to talk new music, labels, and how he broke on to the scene. If you haven’t tuned in to Ciggy Blacc yet you’re seriously slacking. Check out our interview below!
Where’d you grow up in New York?
I’m from Brooklyn. Flatbush and Crown Heights.
Do you feel like being from New York has influenced your sound?
It has a lot to do with it I’m not even gonna lie. Just with the drill scene. I was young, listening to Bam Bino and them, Rah Swish, Curly Savv, 22. At the time I wasn’t really taking it serious you feel me? I was rapping just like on some around the guys type shit, but I wasn’t taking it seriously. I started getting locked up. I did my last bid, came home and said this is what I’m gonna do, i’m gonna make something out of this. Make my mom proud, feel me. I know I’m gonna get better and I’ll get what I need. I started dropping heat and it just went from there.
What does 23 mean to you?
23 is a family bro, feel me. It’s just us. It’s crip too, but it’s mostly family. That’s what it is.
How old were you when you first started rapping?
I was rapping as a kid bro. I was always freestyling. I was rapping in my crib, school, but I started taking it serious when I came home. I was 17. I turned 18 then I dropped my first vid. It was Defenders on my Central. That was my first track on my birthday.
Where did you come up with the name Ciggy Blacc?
I was locked up, right? My name used to be Ciggy Bando. I was locked up, then Kodak Black started coming out. He started to be like a little inspiration, like cuz he had just came home and then he started coming up. I was dark-skinned, my complexion. I was like that could be good for me, I’m coming home with that name. That was gonna be my rap name. Ciggy Blacc. I like blaccin a lot. I’m always blaccin on something.
When did you first link up with MaxThaDemon?
MaxThaDemon that’s like my childhood friend. He was rapping too but he wasn’t taking it serious yet. He was getting locked up too and stuff like that. We was really getting in trouble feel me, trying to make bread. He came home too. Me and him was on the same timing and I ain’t gonna lie our energy is different, always different when we in the booth. He just came up. He was on a home pass actually. We went to the studio with Scotty. The next weekend we shot it. Then the next week we dropped the preview. Viral. A crazy college kid posted it, say cheese. That was our first track. It went crazy.
Yeah. Those the fuckin bros. That’s street shit. I’ve been knew KG from young too. That’s AR’s brother, feel me. That’s how I linked up with him. But I always knew AR too. I knew of him because of my son KG. He was booked and stuff like that. He came home then we just locked in with Rocko and he locked in the street. That’s the bros KG and them. We started chilling each other before music, so we built a friendship, a bond. Then AR came home then KG was yo you should cook up with my brother. I’m like alright say that just tell him we got the studio session. We got the studio session, we made the song to the beat, but then we changed the beat and then we shot it in the next two weeks. then we dropped it. We been locked in bro, I fuck with them. That’s gang.
Do you think that we’ll see a new project soon?
Of course y’all are gonna see a project. But on the project I’m trying to do what the people try to hear, feel me? I’m trying to give them a drill me. There’s gonna be different songs, you’re gonna see different sides of me. I’m trying to come big and I’m gonna put money behind it too and stuff like that, you know?
What are your thoughts on the current state of Brooklyn drill? How quickly it’s risen, the legacy of Pop Smoke and where do you think it’s going?
Pop Smoke, he made drill global. He made it global. I respect that he did that. He opened doors for a lot of artists like me. He just put it on the map where it took more drill artists. That’s basically the new hip hop you feel me. Drill is the new hip hop. It’s a generation type thing. Our next generation coming up they gonna be looking at hip hop, but they gonna be looking at drill. That’s gonna be the new type of hip you feel me. The mellowed out drill, I do that too. There’s different sounds.
Any artists you’ve been fucking with that you want to shout out?
Are labels knocking at your door?
Yeah, there’s some. Certain labels and certain people that have been reaching out, you feel me. I’m still waiting to get more opportunities on the table.
Where do you see yourself five years from now?
Be on. You gonna remember this day, I’m telling you.
So you got a gun to your heard and you got to rap a full verse by your favorite artist, what song?
I ain’t gonna lie not my favorite artist, but a song I’d be able to sing off the top of my head, G-Herbo – Kill Shit.
What producers have you been working with?
I’ve been working with certain producers. A Lau, Ghosty, Yozora, Likkledotz OTB. There’s a lot of them. Shoutout KF_Beats, you feel me. My producers Slay and Freezer, those are my producers. You’re gonna be hearing them more. Any drill beat i’m gonna be dropping is by them two.
Are there any directors that you’ve been working with that you like?
Shoutout Wonton, shoutout Caine Frame, definitely my son Kreative, feel me. I gotta tune in with some more of them. Shoutout Natey FX. I definitely want to work with Cole Bennett and them and Azae Productions.
What does 2021 look like for Ciggy Blacc?
Up to God, you feel me. I know I’m gonna have a good year. There’s a lot that happened in 2020, lost a couple people. That’s gonna be my motivation. I used to see myself on with them, but now they can’t be there. Now I gotta do it for them. This year I’m gonna go crazy. You gonna see some shit.
Interview and pictures by Calvin Schneider