Rap is in an amazing place right now and this generation is in a golden age. Like I’ve stated before there is a type of rap for everyone right now and it’s a beautiful thing to see the genre taking over. Along with that there is great hip-hop music coming out of places that you would never expect or cities that were not really known for producing rappers.
Now let me introduce you to the rapper Cambatta who hails from New Haven, Connecticut. His twitter bio is “How God Would Rap If He Was Black, psychedelic using stoner from the 1980’s crack epidmic.” Just from that alone, you should know the cloth that he’s cut from. He has been in the game for 10 years releasing his first mixtape Visionary back in 2008 and after a spiritual awakening returned to the game in 2013 with the release of his Smoke & Mirrors mixtape collection which was fueled by mushrooms, marijuana, and other mind-altering substances. Since then the New Haven lyricist dropped a compilation project and last year dropped his Holy Ghost EP with the producer Black Magik which Complex recognized as one of the top releases of the year.
Cambatta is now hard at work on his upcoming album LSD but before that arrives he released his latest mixtape Camballah Vol.1 which was just released in April. I had the opportunity to speak with Cambatta about his influences, growing up in New Haven during the 80’s, his spiritual awakening, the creation of the mixtape and much more. Check out the interview, his new mixtape and get familar with New Haven spitter Cambatta below.
What was it like growing up in New Haven in the 80’s and how did it influence your music?
- I grew up at the tail end of the 80’s and throughout the 90’s while the crack epidemic was still producing zombie-like conditions, so things were chaotic but it was all I knew. The trauma adds color to my story and the struggle sharpened my pen. The music that scored my childhood was Hip Hop and Neo Soul in their purest forms, the music reflected exactly what was happening in the urban cities across the country. I feel blessed to have a natural connection with that music, I literally remember when DMX, Nas, Jay-Z, and Eminem first came out!
Growing up who did you listen to that influenced your style?
- I would say the MCs that most influenced my style is Big L, DMX, Camron, Jay-Z, Cassidy, Eminem, and Biggie amongst others. I was a fan of anyone that had punchlines and rhythmic multi-syllabic rhyme schemes.
How would you describe your music?
- I would definitely say my music is passionate, metaphysical, highly metaphorical, rhythmic lyricism, based on pushing the limits of philosophical thought and abstract word combinations.
Where did the name Cambatta come from and what’s the meaning behind it?
- My name is Cameron, growing up everyone called me Cam. I remember writing a freestyle to a Juelz Santana track and he said “old school like Bambaataa no man’s hotter ” so I cleverly replaced the “bam” with the “Cam” and created Cambatta in the rhymes but it stuck beyond that. Plus I was influenced by the music of Afrikaa Bambaataa (not his sexual abuse ), it just had that ring. Also, both the words Cam and Batta can be individually defined to mean many things.
Can you tell me about your spiritual awakening and what pushed you to take that journey?
- I have always been connected to spirituality but I didn’t have that big epiphany-like moment until I was 24-25 and I started experimenting with psychedelics, it allowed me to see through the veil of reality and experience complete ego death, endowing me with the ability to have a sense of fearlessness.
You just released your new mixtape Camballah vol.1. What’s the meaning behind the song titles?
- The Camballah project is based on the ancient Hebrew Kaballah tree of the knowledge system, which is a tool or template for spiritual ascension. Each song correlates with its corresponding sephiroth or principle. The Album title Camballah Is a portmanteau of Cam and Kabbalah fused together, or on another level of entendre, it’s Cam-be-Allah.
I know your working on your upcoming album LSD. We’re any of the songs that are on Camballah leftovers from the album or a song that just didn’t fit LSD?
- Some of the songs in Camballah were created during the creation of LSD but they are not leftovers they are separate pieces.
What was your creative process like when making the project?
I study constantly and collect ideas and concepts for bars and songs then I get really stoned and wait til the hours of 4-6am and go into trance state and write til I fall asleep.
If you had to pick one song to introduce yourself what would it be and why?
- I would show them “Tupac Murder Confession” because it shows the potential of my writing ability and my capacity to execute original difficult concept songs.
Can you tell us anything about your upcoming album LSD?
- LSD is an acronym for the Lunar Solar Duality and it will be a double-disc concept album guaranteed to deliver the most thought-provoking rhymes any human has ever heard or pondered.
What else can we expect from you this year?
- I plan on releasing at least 3 more projects after LSD drops this summer.
Is there anything you would like to add?
- Yes! Thank you for the love and opportunity be sure to download my newest projects “Camballah” and “Holy Ghost” exclusively at www.cambattamusic.com or hit me at @cambattamusic on IG or Twitter