The internet can turn local stars into household names overnight. It seems like every month a new artist breaks because the web gets a hold of a song. That’s what happened to Chedda Da Connect’s “Flicka Da Wrist.” After fans began mashing up the song’s hook into Vines, the song quickly went viral, eventually becoming a new staple in clubs and on the radio around the country. To continue the momentum, the Houston native released the official remix of the song last week (June 15) featuring Yo Gotti, Boosie BadAzz, Boston George and 2015 XXL Freshman Fetty Wap. But Chedda isn’t settling with his recent success. He recently dropped his mixtape, Chedda World, letting fans know that he isn’t a one hit wonder, and performed at Hot 97 Summer Jam at the beginning of the month.
“I really want people to embrace me; I really want people to see the real Chedda Da Connect,” he told XXL while in New York. “This nigga ain’t no one hit wonder, he didn’t just go and make that up. That shit came natural, it’s in me. I didn’t go in and study somebody swag, I just went in there and did me. I didn’t put no extra in it, I just did what I normally do.”
Now he’s preparing for his debut album Catching Planes, which he plans to drop in the fall, and is going on tour in July. Get to know him in the Break. —Emmanuel C.M.
Name: Chedda Da Connect
I grew up listening to: I grew up listening to 2Pac, Biggie, a lot of New York rappers. Nas, stuff like that. I was big on the whole Bad Boy movement, Scarface, Pimp C, everybody ESG, Slim Thug. I started rapping back in the Swishahouse days. That’s how long I’ve been rapping. I never put anything out, I just been behind the scene and chilling; it was for my personal use mainly. “Flicka Da Wrist” was my first original song I put out. I took things serious about a year ago. I like the whole business side of [being a rapper]. I don’t like the fame side. Going around, everybody always fucking with you, everybody always expecting you to do things for him or her. I like the money side of the situation, so when I saw the value it brought that’s what made me take it more serious and be a rapper.
Most people don’t know: I’m a good, smart businessman at the end of the day. I’m not some one hit wonder, some dummy that don’t know how to function his money or spend it on a bunch of dumb ass shit. I’m a good businessman and I have a great heart.
Houston teaches you how to be independent. So if you want to make it or if you’re to live successful or want to be a wealthy man, you got to be independent, you got to own your own business. Just being around a bunch of older cats owning their own businesses and stuff, cashing out and going to the bank, all of that. That’s the type of lifestyle I’m going to live.
My style has been compared to: I see people comparing me to Gucci, but I don’t think my style compares to anybody. I just feel like I have my own style. Some people are like, “You sound like this person,” but we’re all using the same little auto-tune tech. I just used a little bit; I don’t use it too much. My style is original to me.
Standout records and/or moments to date: When I saw Lil Wayne hit the “Flicka Da Wrist,” that’s some shit I never thought would happen. Sometimes people that good, you either got to fuck with them, know somebody or pay them. So for him to do that genuinely was love. I think we were in New York when I saw it. Somebody showed me the video and I was like, What the fuck?! When I seen him flickin’, Lil Wayne on his shows, he only do three songs right now for his tour so “Flicka Da Wrist” to be one of them was an honor.
“Flicka Da Wrist” came from an old verse I was using. I was rapping this verse when my boy Fred was making the beat like 4 a.m. in the morning in my in-house studio. We were in there just chillin’ and he started playing some piano keys. We were in there fooling around and then I was like, “Give me the microphone real quick.” I went in that muthafucka and started rapping. The rest of it came naturally; the whole thing is a freestyle. I didn’t know how big it was going to be. I was actually pitching another song called “Sauce”; that’s the one I was thinking about pushing. My boys was like, “Naw, you should push ‘Flicka Da Wrist’,” but I wasn’t sure. But then we went to the club and seen the reaction and everybody started putting their watches in the air. I was like, “Okay, yeah we got one, let’s go.” It got on Vine and went crazy.
It’s a major difference [between “Flicka Da Wrist” and Lil B’s “The Cooking Dance”]. It’s similar, but there’s a major difference. They cook down, we flick up, you know what I’m saying? Some people may cook down with it on “Flicka Da Wrist” but they’re doing their own thing. But when we flick, we flick up with it. When you break your wrist, you break up. Like when I was considering rapping, I didn’t say let’s go ahead and make a dance song. Nah, I did some real street shit and fans incorporated it with a dance, so I said fuck it, let’s ride with it.
My goal in hip-hop is: [I want] to be successful, to maintain my brand, brand my name, brand my face and to get my singles out. Get these albums going. I’m just trying to be grounded, to solidify my spot again.
I’m going to be the next: Jay Z. He’s just a big icon; he started with Dame Dash and Roc-A-Fella and branched off into the most successful artist right now. They don’t even consider him an artist anymore, just a straight businessman. Him and Diddy, they’re two of the most successful people in the game. And then they laid back and cool. Jigga don’t be doing too much, he’s chill and he’s still a street nigga at the end of the day.
Standout: “Flicka Da Wrist”