Standish913.com has been blessed to do an exclusive interview with...
Pittsburgh native Chevy Woods’ epitomizes the mantra “when hard work meets talent.” Born Kevin Woods, Chevy grew up in the Hazelwood section of Pittsburgh with sports as his primary goal and Rap on the peripheral. An elite student - athlete and All American, he earned an athletic scholarship from Robert Morris University. Known at the time as Kev The Hustla, Woods balanced dabbling in music while grappling with the temptation of fast money from
selling drugs. Scholar by day and hustling by night, Chevy’s love of rapping went from a hobby to his main focus. Eventually the risks of drug - dealing never outweighed the rewards with Chevy ultimately shifting all of his energy towards a career in music. His hard work and dedication to his craft would lead to Chevy developing a friendship with fellow Pittsburgh rapper Wiz Khalifa at ID Labs’ studio in 2004. The chemistry between the pair resulted in Woods appearing on seminal Wiz mixtapes including Grow Season and Prince of the City Pt. 2.
Woods and Khalifa’s creative bond would blossom from frequent collaborators to labelmates - with Wiz recruiting Chevy to join Taylor Gang.
Serving as Wiz’s hype man on the road during his early years, Woods developed into a seasoned artist and performer with 20 tours under his belt - collaborating and sharing stages with the likes of Snoop Dogg, ASAP MOB, Joey Badass and Pro Era. Woods has built a loyal fanbase with over a decade’s worth of mixtapes including Red Cup Music featuring appearances from Juicy J and French Montana, the Gangland series and The Cookout with Wiz. Over the last few years, Chevy has blossomed into a versatile songwriter with themes and topics that reflect his evolution from rapper to artist. From his 2015 introspective release The 48 Hunnid Project named after the block hewas raised on, the Trap-A-Holics hosted Gang Shit Only, his innovative 4 - part video EP And the Story Goes... and his appearances on Taylor Gang’s compilation tape TGOD Vol. 1. After 17 projects over the course of his career under Taylor Gang, Chevy released his debut album - Since Birth in 2020. Since Birth, Chevy’s most mature body of work to date finds the Pittsburgh native reflecting on his journey while looking towards the future. Chevy’s videos for “No Drama,” “Hands On The Dashboard,” "Gang Wit Us," and “To The Grave” touch upon Chevy’s growth as a man as well as a rapper. Reflecting on the past and the road from humble beginnings, songs like the intro “Since Birth” and “Flowers” - dedicated to his parents and Grandmother respectfully, continue to showcase the maturation in Chevy’s music. Since Birth includes the standouts "No Drama,” "Alive" ft. Wiz Khalifa, and "Dapper Dan.” Beyond music, Woods has shown his talent for the culinary arts, launching a cooking show on his YouTube channel - “Make It Good With Chevy Woods.”
Let's get into some exclusive questions...
STANDISH: "Oakland Originals" is an awesome track, how does it feel to be recognized as a Pitt legend?
CHEVY: Actually it feels good. It was easy to do the record being a hometown kid because I’ve already got the vocabulary and then the music brought a lot of energy. The thoughts for the lyrics came easily because I’ve experienced real situations in Pittsburgh.
STANDISH: With that being said, how did the track happen?
CHEVY: My boy Wiz started the record, then our management had me hop on it. We were on tour, so I wrote my lyrics on the tour bus. Then we went to Pitt to shoot the music video and it just felt like an alley-oop the way Wiz and I both did our thing on the song and were part of it together.
STANDISH: You were an athlete growing up, can you tell us about your experience as an athlete in Pittsburgh?
CHEVY: Being an athlete was fun, it was some of my best times. I played sports at school, in the summer basketball league, and in a lot of tournaments. Sports were always there for me - and then music had its own purpose.
STANDISH: You released a single titled "Tony" this year, where'd you get your inspiration for this track?
CHEVY: Ghostface, a rapper from Wu-Tang, and his album Supreme Clientele.The hook of “Tony” is inspired by a song on that album that came out a long time ago called “One” that I always loved.
STANDISH: How does it feel to be such an inspiration in the Hip Hop community?
CHEVY: Aw, I’ve never even really looked at it like that, but I know I have a fanbase that likes what I do. That’s what keeps me doing it, and it feels good to be recognized.
STANDISH: Tell us a little about your overall mission, Chevy -
CHEVY: We’ve done so much already. Now I’m in a place where I’m trying to do less. I want to go bowling more, do backyard barbecues, and spend time with my family and friends. So I have a goal to take more breaks and enjoy those moments.
STANDISH: Out of all the projects you've done, what's been your favorite?
CHEVY: There’s been twenty of them, but my album New 90’s embodies the moment I fell in love with hip-hop. It has east coast, New York style rapping and I didn’t put it together by piecing different songs together, I recorded the project song after song, so it flows really well and was made in one piece.
STANDISH: How old were you when you first realized you wanted to do what you do today?
CHEVY: Growing up, I was out in the streets hustling a lot and didn’t pay much attention to the music world. This career path didn’t really kick in for me until I went on my first tour with Wiz at age 25. I realized I couldn’t have one foot in the streets and one foot in music - I couldn’t balance it. Wiz told me he was going away on tour for two weeks and said if music is really what I want to do, then I need to stop, cold-turkey, hustling in the streets. So I left the streets and pursued music fully.
STANDISH: Where do you find your motivation to be great?
CHEVY: Through a lot of things - my family, friends, my comrades who I do music with, sports, athletes, lawyers, doctors. I’ve been around and in so many places - I’ve had so many conversations with different kinds of people and I’ve pulled all the good stuff from and put it all in my pot. I enjoy listening to good stories with good endings for motivation.
STANDISH: What can we look forward to in the future from you?
CHEVY: More music. And we started our Taylor Gang Gaming company, so there’s a lot coming there. I’ve also been writing country songs and I’m hoping for something big to come from that space. Writing country music is something I’m close to and something I like to do. It’s a nice change from having to write rap punchlines, and witty and clever words. I’m more intrigued by storylines, which is why writing country music has been fun. I’m just finding out more new things that I like to do, so you’ll be seeing me do more of that in the future.
STANDISH: Where do you see yourself in 5 years from now?
CHEVY: I’ll be chilling. I still want to do music, but there are some things outside of creating music that are required of an artist and it takes away from the artistry - so I want to make sure I relax a lot more and do things that are good for my health.
STANDISH: Who are some of your mentors?
CHEVY: Family members and the people I grew up with. They’re not doing what I’m doing, but they have good energy and perspective that applies to life in general. Wiz is another mentor when it comes to living a positive lifestyle and having a good attitude.
STANDISH: During COVID, we all faced struggles, what was one of your main struggles?
CHEVY: One of my main struggles was not being able to properly promote the album I had released right before the pandemic hit. I wanted to go into radio stations and do interviews, so that was unfortunately a detrimental time for that album. But I ended up finding another passion, which is cooking, and started my YouTube cooking series Make It Good with Chevy Woods.
STANDISH: Anything you'd like to include?
CHEVY: Shout out to Taylor Gang, shout out to Pittsburgh, to my fans, family, and the squad.
STANDISH: What are your social links?
Thanks so much for your time!
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