If you called Shawn Chrystopher just a rapper, it wouldn’t be quite fair to the immense talent this Inglewood, California native possesses. Shawn is an emcee, producer, video director, and master of five different musical instruments. With that many gifts it is understandable why two of the most successful individuals in the music business, manager Kevin Liles and superproducer Timbaland, have aligned themselves with the 26-year-old musical savant.
Chrystopher is now set to release his debut album The Lovestory LP through his own media company Honour Role. As a precursor to his upcoming project, Shawn connected with Christian Padron to direct the short film for his single “Blackandwhite”. Chrystopher uses the song and video to tackle the subject of interracial dating and some of the difficulties that came along with that type of relationship.
DZI: The Voice got the opportunity to pick the brain of Shawn Chrystopher about the inspiration for his latest visuals, what his fans can expect from his first album, and what other Hip Hop projects have caught his ear recently.
Yohance Kyles: What was the inspiration for the “Blackandwhite” short film?
Shawn Chrystopher: The film was inspired by a song I wrote which was pretty much based on a quick relationship I had my freshman year of college.
YK: You’ve worked with director Christian Padron on a couple of your projects, but you’ve also directed a few yourself. Why did you decide to tap Padron to direct this video?
SC: Honestly, I just knew I needed help to make the production as big as possible. Christian and I actually went to school together so it was easy for him to share my vision, because we kinda both went through the same things.
YK: You’re getting ready to release your debut album The Lovestory LP. Is the album a collection of only love songs or will you explore other themes as well?
SC: There’s plenty of different themes in The Lovestory LP. When I say “love” I don’t just mean love between a man and woman, but like the love you have for your homies, for your family, for what you do. It’s just a bunch of stories about all of that, in one project.
YK: Are there any featured artists or other producers on The Lovestory LP?
SC: Of course I got Timbaland production on there, features from my hometown people Dom Kennedy and Polyester, but that’s about it. I handle a lot of the production and rapping.
YK: There have been a lot of highly publicized Hip Hop albums released this summer. Which ones have gotten the most play on your music player?
SC: I haven’t really had anything in rotation but my own album. Listening to it over and over making sure everything sounds right. But from what I’ve heard, J. Cole and Hova’s albums have been the best out so far.
YK: What’s next for Shawn Chrystopher?
SC: Dropping my album The Lovestory LP July 23rd, more videos, more films, fall tour. Pretty much everything.
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To connect with Shawn follow him @shawnchrys
The Lovestory LP is scheduled for release on July 23rd
Check out the video for Shawn Chrystopher’s short film “Blackandwhite”: