The Real Chinoo Talks Working on Saint JHN’s Latest Album, Being in the Studio w/ A Boogie, & Starting His Own Rap Career
If you’re not familiar with the name The Real Chinoo, I can almost guarantee that you’re familiar with his work. The producer/rapper is half of multi-platinum, multi-gold, Billboard charting producer duo The Atomix (with the other half being Tay Da Producer). His resume includes production credits for A Boogie wit da Hoodie, Kodak Black, Rico Nasty, and Shoreline Mafia, among countless others. After starting a successful production career, The Real Chinoo has tried his hand in the booth as a recording artist. He released his debut single, “Diamond in the Rough” earlier this year. The DMV native sat down to talk about his new career as a rapper, working on Saint JHN’s While The World Was Burning, linking with A Boogie wit da Hoodie in the studio, and what’s next for him.
NS: You released your debut track as a recording artist “Diamond in the Rough”, how has the reception been?
Chinoo: “I’ve been getting a lot of different feedback. I’ve had people reach out saying the song like helped them. I like hearing both good & bad feedback. At the end of the day, it all helps.”
NS: After listening to that track it sounded like you got a lot off your chest, is that fair to say?Chinoo: “Yeah I think so, cause in the time I recorded the song that’s how I was feeling at that time. It was like a therapeutic type of session. It was probably like 4 o’clock in the morning, that’s what it was on my mind, and I was like this is how I’m going to get it out.”
NS: When did you make the decision to start your career as a rapper?
Chinoo: “To be honest, it wasn’t even like an actual decision (laughs). Once quarantine started I was just kind of in the house, cause they were beginning to shut down the studios. I was just at home making beats all day, and I was just like ‘I’m gonna try something out’. I was originally just trying to write and get better at songwriting, so I could just shop out records on my beats. I was just playing it for a few people, and they were like ‘why don’t you put it out yourself?’. I gave it some thought, I talked to my friends & family. I was just like it’s time to put it out, so I dropped it.”
NS: Now that you're both producing and rapping, do you tend to keep beats for yourself instead of sending them to other artists?
Chinoo: “I’m actually never really too attached to a beat. I rather send them out and get a placement, because I can always make a new beat around whatever I record, you know because it’s my beat. I never really save stuff for myself.”
NS: Saint JHN just released his album, While the World Was Burning you worked on three songs, what three tracks? & how’d you two link up?
Chinoo: “ I worked on ‘Freedom is Priceless’, we did that one down here in Atlanta. ‘Time For Demons’ we worked on here in Atlanta. “Back On The Ledge” we worked on in Atlanta. “Monica Lewinsky, Election Year” was originally from his last project, so I worked on that one too. It’s crazy, like he’ll call me just to like record him sometimes, but I like working with him because he lets me just do my job, and let me be creative. He’ll record a bunch of takes, and he’ll just let me piece stuff together. There’s stages to this, and he definitely gets it, so I like working with Saint.”
NS: You worked on Yung Manny’s album Confused was there just a DMV connection and how'd you two collaborate?
Chinoo: “That’s crazy that, that happened. It wasn’t really like a DMV connection. We just happened to be in Atlanta, and the managers I had at the time kind of just connected us. It just worked. (laughs)
NS: A couple years ago you worked on A Boogie’s Hoodie Szn how’d you and Tay get that opportunity, and what did that do for your career?
Chinoo : “I feel like that was really like the start of my production career. So basically, we were doing a lot of work out of Mean Street Studios. I was actually an engineer over there for Atlantic (Records), and DJ Drama’s Generation Now in print. That’s kind of how it came up to be. Shoutout my guy AJ, he was going out of town, and he hit me up so I was like I’m down. I replaced him and I locked in with A Boogie for a week. I just remember one time we were in the studio, and he was going through beats, but none of them were sticking. I just loaded up some, and he hopped on them immediately. It didn’t happen how like other people would do it, like emailing beats. I was just there and I got it off like that.”
NS: You’ve worked with everyone from G Perico to Rico Nasty to countless records with TJ Porter, how do you think you’re able to touch all regions of music?
Chinoo: “ When it comes to me & Tay, our niche is basically being versatile. We don’t focus on one style of beats, we just see how versatile was can be. We always experiment, and try to push ourselves sonically. By doing that we were able to tap in with different sounds, so whenever we go in the studio with a certain artist, whatever they’re looking for, we probably have it. We always experiment and try different tempos, different sounds, different drum patterns, all of that. Being able to work with all of these artists gives us more ammo to just keep trying new stuff.”
NS: What’s next for you?
Chinoo: “As a producer we are planning on, basically signing artists. We already have a couple artists. We want to bring in new producers, just to continue building a team. As an artist, I’m definitely going to be dropping some more music. My whole thing is just staying creative. As long as we continue being students of the game, learning the business, learning how to push ourselves.”
Stream “Diamond in the Rough” on all streaming platforms, and be on the lookout for more music coming soon.