Kanyon Crow – The South Bronx Come Up
Kanyon Crow was born on May 18, 1984 in the South Bronx, New York. His up bringing was surrounded by crack dealers, pimps which were projected in his projects. His mother died when he was 2yrs old, leaving him and his brother alone with an alcoholic father who couldn’t bear life without the love of his life.
In the same year, his grandmother got stabbed to death, Crow and his brother were taken house to house because no one wanted to take care of them and bear the responsibility of two more kids. Then came this woman who was an immigrant from Dominican Republic, very educated with a degree, and fell in love with the 2 abandoned children, and a thug father who was always on the streets.
She tried her very best to deal with life decisions for she had left her own flesh and blood son behind in another country, meanwhile she was raising Crow and his older brother Jose who just happened to cross into her life, and with the father who was out on the streets doing the unforgivable.
All the more reason to up and leave but didn’t have the heart to walk out on him because of knowing the life of Crow and his older brother would have with no parental love and guidance, and the worst, having to deal with an alcoholic man who’s heart was still very much with his deceased lover.
Still wounded and in mourning she was able to provide the support he needed to help recover and breathe life again. With his Father’s mother still living, not giving a crap that her grandkids who just lost their mother, put Crow and his brother into the hands to a stranger, whom she never knew, who now Crow recognizes as his birth mother. He is half Dominican, half Puerto Rican, but to his knowledge He is 100% Dominican.
The only reason he mention’s that he is Puerto Rican is because of his dead mother who lays in the grave. After his family recovered, and actually became a family, they took in his step mothers sisters family who were immigrants from D.R. and it was a total of 9 people living in a 2 bedroom section 8 apartment out of 350 St.Annes. He grew up in a place where walking to the local grocery store, you would see dead crackheads laying next to the store with a needle in their arm.
Crow’s parents saved up as much money as possible to get their family out of the ghetto. Once they did, He reached a place called Montague, New Jersey. Where his father bought a house. Now with 4 kids, working 5 days a week, driving 77 miles each way, from work and home, he sacraficed to keep them out of the ghetto.
He was a doorman opening the doors for the rich. As he worked day in and day out, he only saw him 2 days out of the week.He was a rebel who took advantage of every opportunity he had to do what he pleased. Crow got kicked out from school to school, and didn’t learn to read untill he was in the 8th grade. He always looked for the attention of his father to hope he would one day be proud of him.
He realized it took him joining the military to ever get the first “I’m proud of you son” statement in his life. While he was in the military, he strived to find out who he really was. he always looked up to his cousin J.Peso A.K.A Cash who can freestyle “lyrics like no other”. Crow followed in his footsteps and continued going from a freestyle artist to a music maker, studio engineer, and now label owner, hence the creation of Kanyon Crow.
Darkness, rebelling, believing that nobody is better or worse, that we all ate food and wore clothing for the same reason… Survival! No matter the surroundings of your backgrounds. It’s been Kanyon Crow’s dream to put together a team that feels his joys, pain and wrath and can still pursue the same dream no matter what in unity. His dream is to retire his family and stop them from working and to give a proper education and upbringing that he never had to his kids
If you read Kanyon Crow’s bio above then you know he has one hell of a story. On a mid summer day in June we had a chance to chop it up with the South Bronx native and it went a little something like this …
HipHopLead.com- You got one hell of a story we are going to get into. But for starts how did you come up with your name?
Kanyon Crow- I was in the airforce as a security force guard soldier, bored out my mind, I was freestyling and out of nowhere I said, “these niggas raised with farm mentality wondering why they branded, couldn’t grasp my poetic concepts because they as deep as Canyons”.
There that was. My boy Jahara Brown said that shit was ill and that should be my name. I pondered on that name but felt incomplete, so as I kept coming up with failures, another dude I worked with came out of the office building and his last name was Crow. I”m a huge fan of the movie, “The Crow”, and the Lee family chain. That movie was dope and very dark so it went hand in hand.
HipHopLead.com-Ok if you don’t mind us asking what were the unfortunate circumstances that took your Mother away at such a young age?
Kanyon Crow- She lost one of her kidneys at a young age in a car crash with my pops. She got sick one day and went to the hospital in the South Bronx and had an allergic reaction that took her life. I should have been rich from this incident but my pops at the time didn’t know better, and we, as a whole, took a serious loss.
HipHopLead.com-Damn sorry to hear homie. As a young kid living in the hood with an alcoholic Father, how did you cope being so young in such a traumatizing situation?
Kanyon Crow- When you grow up around violence and drugs you become immune, No traumatizing significance and my Dad was a binge drinker coping with shit. I’d rather my pops drink 2 days or 3 days out of a week then be going to therapy subscribing some bullshit that would really fuck’em up.
My pops is a soldier, a real OG, who ate the plate he was served and shared it with his kids. My step moms was his rock and body. Without her in our lives it would have been a catastrophic up bringing, considering her family were the ones there for us. My Pops drinks his liquor and smokes when he wants because he’s a grown ass man who takes care of business. All his kids are professionals one way or the other and although, not always there, it was because he worked so hard. Love you pops
HipHopLead.com-Is it safe to say that your Father has cleaned up for good?
Kanyon Crow- You can never recover when someones time is taken by surprise. His healing all came with time and patience, it’s hard living knowing you were somewhat responsible for something you had no control over. Life is life and his second chance was with Mom dukes.
HipHopLead.com-Did his alcoholism and bleeding heart effect your relationship with him in a negative way, or as Joe Budden says there is “No Love Lost” ?
Kanyon Crow- Hell nah, I loved my pops drinking because at the time, it was the only time raw emotion came up out of him. My Pops was raised hard-body and its hard to make steel soft without a weakening agent… Liquor. I look at my pops and know I am my Father’s son. We’re both loving assholes with dry humor. No disrespect pops.
HipHopLead.com-When you were living in unbearable conditions of 9 people in a 2 bedroom apartment, how would you explain life in your eyes?
Kanyon Crow- Dope as shit.It’s always fun when you a kid and the people that love you, and the people you love, are always surrounding you. Even after they moved out it’s like it never happened. Either we were at their house or they were at ours.
HipHopLead.com-Do you feel like these horrible struggles make you the artist you are today? If so, how so?
Kanyon Crow- That’s the beginning struggles, the intro to my life story. What makes me the artist I am is, being immune to pain, death and tragedy. That became my comfort zone. There’s things in life growing up that I did that I can never take back. By the time I was 13 I was already trying to slow down from all the dumb shit I did trying to convince the O.G’s I was a down ass nigga. In the end, most of the peeps I looked up to got killed or locked up. Cliché but truth.
HipHopLead.com-What songs you have done to date that seperate you from the norm? and why?
Kanyon Crow- Shit…..That’s a long list. I’d say the first song that sparked my energy and respect was, “Death Judgement”, off the (Starz Still Below Album). Still mostly impulsive, freestyled then recorded. Literally the 4th song recorded at the time, done by a rookie at that given moment, I had been given credit as a lyricist. Young minded, ready to attack all. I’m 20 times more dope then that and people still claim that’s they favorite.
HipHopLead.com-How could someone make it to the 8th grade without knowing how to read?
Kanyon Crow- In the 7th grade I was put in an upstate New York Orange County school….Port Jervis. My dad just finally saved up money and moved us out the South Bronx to New Jersey. In PS27 they were about sending you to summer school and then the next grade. I never went to summer school but always got pushed forward. Here I am being asked to read in this new school, embarrassed as hell, read what I could, and then started cursing.
She immediately saw what was going on and said see me after class. The class took it as the South Bronx bad boy cursing. I was just embarrassed and she saw the defense and helped me out. Her name was Mrs. Kennedy. Thank you for teaching me reading comprehension, because of you, you have opened up the portals of self education.
HipHopLead.com-What happened in your life that made you join the military?
Kanyon Crow- Two things happen. First, I did it to get out my parents house. Secondly, I did it to get out my girlfriends house. But the original truth is, I got locked up for aggravated assault charges against a police officer and it was my ticket out the charge.
HipHopLead.com-What branch did you enlist in and for how many years?
Kanyon Crow- I enlisted myself to the Air Force, originally for 6 yrs but a nigga is only a slave in that racist sexist system. From the fucking get-go these niggas was trying to fuck me over. They can all fuck themselves . Much respect to the soldiers enduring in their bullshit. If you got tits or blue eyes you good to go. I done seen a lot of fucked up shit. So fucked up its contagious and almost makes you become like them. Couldn’t see myself at a glass top when I had dreams to pursue.
HipHopLead.com-Any memorable experiences of being in the service?
Kanyon Crow- Yup. Only my brother in arms can know that one..real talk. Dont need to get charged years later. They know who and what we talking about. Shouts out to Garcia, Valerio, Baca and Springer, these niggas told me from the get I was gonna be dope, I always thought they were just being good friends.
HipHopLead.com-On “I Am” you were spewing bar after bar with a dedicated aggression. You spit “I believe every man serves a true purpose/ whether it’s important or the cause seems unperfect”. With that said do you think that everything has a role in this game of life? Even the crackheads you used to walk past on your old South Bronx stomping ground?
Kanyon Crow- Like I said in “I Am”..the purpose is more probable then it is closing. This is what I feel like, if I get up and punch you in the face there is no purpose. The only purpose would be given to me if you punch me back or stay in fear.
Life lessons go punished or unpunished. If you punch me back, you could possibly serve the purpose of saving my life to stop me from acting like a fool. If good at heart all positive probabilities shall come your way. If you didn’t punch me back then I’m going to get shot one day. Know your surroundings at all times. The Crackheads on the corner taught me never to end up like them.
HipHopLead.com-A lot of your music is a testimony into your life. A lot of it has deep rooting and meaning. Do you feel like those type of records are missing from the main stream nowerdays?
Kanyon Crow- No shit. This is the most annoying shit when a Madonna song raps about coffee, is more real then these fake niggas. Lyrically speaking niggas is nice, but what is nice if no feel? When I rap you always get raw emotion. Very rare do you hear me not sound passionate about something. Niggas need to grow some balls and get vulnerable. Speak that embarrassing shit thats truth.
Make someone feel like they know you and not your act. I respect an artist and their creativity but don’t make your creative portion outshine who you really are. Give some testimony to your upbringing. Rap creatively and it will sound dope trust me. Look at Kanye West, Lupe, Immortal Technique as a perfect example. Also, try to educate people once in awhile. I think we all have a doctors degree when it comes to jewlery and bitches and cars.
HipHopLead.com-What’s next on your agenda, project wise?
Kanyon Crow- Just trying to get a real credible DJ to put out my “Zection 8- Krazy 8′s” mixtape. These niggas is bananas lyrically. For real. These the only niggas keep me on my toes.
HipHopLead.com-What are some of the features you have planned for that project?
Kanyon Crow- We got Cyril Blizm out the ATL and James Halstead, 2 real ass niggas I respect. Bliz is the hustle, Halstead’s like my blood brother..we’d be 80 yrs old and still be popping off like its highschool. My man Blizm got a dope indie artist radio station you all should check it out. Its called K-100 radio. Blizm is a beast on the mic. I be getting mad when he be putting tracks out and I aint get an invite.
Big fan of the homie. I only fucks with niggas that are saying something. Besides Zection 8 niggas, these the only 2 niggas outside my family I fucks with. Shouts out to my nigga Slim Pimp Aka Errthang Gucci. From HSS who doing a bid and have a song with him waiting to release when they release him. It’s dope
HipHopLead.com-What are the concepts on there?
Kanyon Crow- The name speaks for itself, Yulia is a hard ass singer and lyricist. I be scared as shit when she spits because she a female that could make a nigga look weak on his own track. Women love her. Fatboy fresh aka the 1.n.e is a Street Punchline rapper. Every nigga from his point of view on life be like that my favorite nigga. This nigga is so dope he is also a threat. There’s this one track named Yuck, he murdered that track so hard that there was no purpose to push that hard on a mixtape track. Nigga said jump in if you want with a smurk and was right.
I sat that one out, til you hear my verse tho.Ty is the ladies man, and I mean ladies man. They hear this niggas voice and forget about the rest of us existing. When he 1st started he always had a suede smooth flow. As he’s getting older and experiencing more life, hes with a team of lyricists and is proving with how nice he’s become. Lyrically a beast and flow wise a beast. Me on the other hand I’ll let my music tell you who I am.
HipHopLead.com-Do you still link up with your cousin who inspired you to rap?
Kanyon Crow- Nah..Its crazy that you asked just recently he called me a leach ass nigga and told me I’m only out for myself. Crazy how the niggas you look up to make you feel irrelevant. I thought he’d be my number one support, given he’s the reason I started to rap. He don’t even like my music. He put me on originally to battle Zacario due to some label beef and that started my rap venture. Nothing came of it but I kept rapping.
HipHopLead.com-How would you describe your style of hip-hop?
Kanyon Crow- Chameleon like. I’m a real hip hopper but im also an artist. I can conform to the beat. There’s not one track that I’m on that sounds like the other. I change forms in music so we can flow better and there aren’t any limits. Blues, rock, pop, etc.
I can do it all…even better I can impulsively freestyle. That’s actually how 90 percent of my lyrics are. I Don’t recite, then memorize rhymes, and then call them freestyles.
HipHopLead.com-Can you let us know how Zection 8 was started and give us further details and enlighten on what exactly Zection 8 is as a label/ group?
Kanyon Crow- It started as an idea before Aixa Raven came into the picture. It was Nilsplif, Ruby and me. They wasn’t feeling none of my ideas at the time. Aixa was feeling it all along and flew down. That was it. I said section 8 or Zection 8 stood for what I learned.
That’s just because you were black, white or spanish. You most likely came from a similar fucked up Project housing or trailer park dump with no hope. Believing that life is meant for you to just take it day in and day out, until finally the light of dreams awakens your curiosity.
HipHopLead.com-Just to confirm you are living in Florida now right?
Kanyon Crow- Yes. I’m about to move back up North and hit the music scene hard.
Here at HipHoplead.com we like to ask our features some questions that really are out of the norm. We do this because it gives the fans a broader outlook on you. So lets get it cracking ….
HipHopLead.com-Best food spot in the Bronx?
Kanyon Crow- Kennedy Fried Chicken and any local chinese food spot. They all the same drunk or high.
HipHopLead.com-If you HAD to make a record with either Vannilla Ice or Hammer in 2013 .. who would it be?
Kanyon Crow- Shit. Both them niggas were dope and both them niggas was real. They both did they thing to entertain. Vanilla ice on the Ninja Turtle soundtrack was dope as shit. MC Hammer only had 2 tracks I like, “Prey” and “Cant touch this”. But his act was impeccable.
HipHopLead.com-How would you rate President Obama (out of 1 thru 10) ?
Kanyon Crow- .005
HipHopLead.com-Who is the hottest chick in the game right now?
Kanyon Crow-Aixa Raven and Yulia
HipHopLead.com-Miami Heat or Spurs? Who’s gonna take it?
Kanyon Crow-I dont care for sports it’s just a distraction, Albert Einstein wore the same outfit everyday. Do you know why?
He said that if he worried about what he wore it would distract a greater purpose of learning. Our minds are like a hard drive and why fill it with useless storage. I know people and that is the only thing they can talk about is sports..that’s not me. But can ball like motherfucker tho.
Back To The Norm…….
HipHopLead.com-Name 1 song you’ve done that will have the HipHoplead.com viewers hooked!?
Kanyon Crow- Shit..too many. Between Z8 and my music its endless..just listen.
HipHopLead.com-Thanks for hollering at us and in closing give any shoutouts….links to your sites….F.U.’S or whatevers clever?
Kanyon Crow-Shout outs to my Mother Carmen Polanco and my Pops Jose Cabrera, Brothers Hamlet and Jose who always there from the get, telling me its aight keep trying. Nadelly my little sis.
My most ride or die chic ever Aixa Raven and her family.
To My brother Hutch Murdock and his wife Ash, R2b’s Who makes the illest custom chessboards like no other, my motivator Ruckus, the only nigga in the world that makes sure I dont quit on my dreams and pushes the shit out my lazy ass.. Fatboy Fresh my lyrical sparring mate. Yulia the one chic that when we in the studio together we are all about eachothers success. There is not a song me and her are on that aint dope with both our touches. Ty for always keeping the camp young and aggressive. Last but not least..To all unloyal niggas who couldn’t keep up with themselves and thought they were all beyond the rest of the group..Loyalty brings royalties.
Enrique Valasquez been my brother since we were 2-3 yrs old and Franco and the whole fam. 350 st anns is the hood that raised me, RIP Alfred love you little homie, RIP Shaheem one of the niggas whos deodorant still on my head from being sonned as a young nigga. His moms Maria and sis Tonya who were there for me as a kid. Deliah, Tia neddy, Nano, Titi, Carlito Vega, Lizzy, Felix, and the carrasco family. My Tio Ceelo always made sure that I had money to go and get chinese food and clowned with us., Edwin, Dulce ,my favorite nephews Edwin Jose I love you homie, Jose Eugene, tio jesus,
grandma grandpa..Oh wait my Montague family, James halstead, Keith, Eric rocco, the Gerstmanns, The Lopez Family who hid my dirty house secrets and house parties… Oh yeah and the Panama City family.
You can buy the Zection 8 album on itunes or amazon. But for up to date music visit www.reverbnation.com/kanyoncrow and Zection 8
www.facebook.com/kanyoncrow and Zection 8. Look out for the mixtape coming soon..Open for collabs but only if your resume right…Z8 all day.