Carlos Ferragamo is an emcee, producer and songwriter from the Parkchester section of Bronx, New York. Initially Carlos began his music career as a part of local rap crew called the “Knights of Just-Us”, but due to creative differences he decided to go solo. It was then that Carlos made the decision to attend the historically black university, Florida A&M University after hearing stories about aspiring artist falling victim to music industry pitfalls due to a lack of business acumen. While focusing on his studies at, Mr. Ferragamo continued to hone his skills as an MC as well as a producer.
In 2005 hard work began to pay off when Core DJ member, DJ Speed Racer (a founding member of School Boyz Entertainment) asked the young MC to craft a promo track describing his daily radio mix-show. Speed Racer learned of the Bronx native off the strength of the buzz that Carlos generated rhyming for veteran rapper (and former Firm member) AZ during AZ’s visit to Tallahassee during the same year.
In 2006 Carlos Ferragamo participated in the Source magazine’s Unsigned Hype Online Freestyle competition in a similar fashion as underground rapper Donnie Goines and won. As a result of his victory he was featured in the magazine’s October 2006 issue. He later became featured on various Hip Hop sites such as HipHopMusicDotCom.com, Hip Hop Ruckus, HipHopHavoc.com, allHipHop.com and Ourstage.com.
Since that time Carlos has continued to put out quality music alongside his friend and business partner Archie “Siah” Morgan under their own imprint, Futuristic Music Group. He’s released mixtapes; such as Carlos is currently working with producers Focus, Ty Fyffe and J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League on new material.
Is it safe to say Carlos Ferragamo is your government name?
ANSWER: Nah (laughs) . Carlos Ferragamo is not my government name. People around me gave me that name. When I was attending FAMU (aka Florida A&M University) I had long straight hair that I kept braided. The girls on campus used to think I was part Spanish so they called me Carlos. Ferragamo came from when I used to rock the Salvatore Ferragamo shades. Due to how much I wore them people started calling me Ferragamo. Thus, I put the two together and Carlos Ferragamo was born. Before that my alias was CHRYS Stylez. That’s why in certain songs you hear me refer to myself as CHRYS on the records.
Alot of new NY rappers are making music that sounds like it's not from the region. You rap on mainly gritty east coast foundations. What makes you want to stick to the big apple sound rather than doing something like Mims did?
ANSWER: It’s not that I stick to it. To me it’s the foundation that rap started on. It’s classic. I rap on those beats because I want to keep that sound and legacy alive. These days kids don’t even know who Nas, AZ, Notorious BIG, Kool G Rap, KRS One, BIG L, BIG Punisher and the Wu-Tang Clan are. It’s a way of giving back and paying homage to the MCs who helped pave the way for me. I pride myself on versatility. I believe I can rap to any beat effectively. That’s why I made the mixtape “Hip Hop Music” to showcase just that.
Back when you were in your group did you feel like your artistry was being held back?
ANSWER: I can never say that. Being in a group you get more than one perspective on how to flip a beat. Also, when you hear one of your friends rhyming harder on a track it makes you want to step up your craft. The thing that I disliked in a group setting was that it was often hard to get everyone on the same page. During that time I was the one who put together many of the concepts and I produced the majority of the beats. The rhymes and everything was there but when it was time to hit the studio everyone did not have their money or they came late, etc. At times there was a lack of professionalism on everyone’s part.
On "I'm Livin" you spit .. "My story is so deep I don't know where to begin".... how close does your music parallel your real life?
ANSWER: I like this question, (laughs). My life mirrors what is in my songs at least 90%, I leave room for 10% embellishment and entertainment. I use rap the same way a person may use a diary; to reflect on past experiences. What people have to realize is that MCs draw their material from different points in their life. Just because a person may have a line or two about robbing and hustling does not mean that is what they are doing to this day. Due to the fact that I look young in the face I catch a lot of heat about the bars but that’s from people who don’t know me or better yet don’t know my story. I feel it is extremely important to depict your real life in your music. Look what happens to those who don’t.
What is the deepest song you made to date?
ANSWER: It’s a tie between two records I made. The first is called “Life Lessons”. It is produced by Ty Fyffe. The second is called “I Wonder” which is produced by my friend Nefarious!
You are not shy in saying you went to college. How do you feel when rappers act like you aren't "real" for that ?
ANSWER: (loud laughter) , this is a good one. People need to understand what college is. College is a venue that provides additional knowledge/ education. One can never have enough knowledge. Under the seven it is told that knowledge + wisdom = understanding. That is the equation. To me real is classified by one’s integrity. It refers to how a person conducts themselves. It is being who you say you are. It is doing what you say you will. I don’t stress it because I know who I am. To quote Eminem: “If I’m not, then why would I say I am”.
What can we expect from your making music with Focus?
ANSWER: With Focus it’s more of collaboration on the music. I am featured on the new project that he has coming out entitled “A Walk Through Myspace”. It is due out very soon. We actually connected after I cut the record “Life Lessons” for Ty Fyffe. We have a couple more things we are putting together but I don’t want to show my hand too much, (laughs). Ultimately, what you can expect from the collaboration is similar to Kanye’s label, good music.
The majority of music from New York takes place in Brooklyn or Queens as of late, do you feel living in the BX isolates you?
ANSWER: Nah, never that. We started it baby! The Bronx will forever be the foundation of Hip Hop/ rap music. FOREVER!
Who were your influences to get into music?
ANSWER: My childhood friend from my block Mike aka Infinite Da Quotable One. If you ever played Street fighter this should make since to you; we were like Ryu and Ken. He was my rival but my friend at the same time.
After debuting some of your music to the masses on D.D.14 Hosted by 40 Glocc, Its clear to see you spit real gems. Is it harder to be respected in hiphop as a real rapper?
ANSWER: I feel that it is hard to be respected if you don’t. That’s what the music of the past did and that is what I aspire to do in the present. I believe as we get older that it is our duty to give back to the youth and instruct them regarding the pitfalls of life that often keeps people from obtaining goals and aspirations.
Speaking of Digital Dynasty, Ballerstatus notified us that that mixtape received over 50 thousand downloads! Are you happy with your response from being on the project?
ANSWER: I was unaware that it received that many downloads. I had no way to track or analyze the data, but if it did, then that is good. I am happy with the response. It allows me to build my stats up so it’s a good thing. I like the fact that I tend to start off the tapes. I tend to find that many people listen more to the start of a mixtape rather than the later part of it.
Any new projects coming out for you? Any features?
ANSWER: Yeah! Of Course! I plan to drop “Back 2 Square One: The 4 Seasons EP”. It predates the “Hip Hop Music” mixtape due to the fact it was recorded in 2008. You could compare it more so to a Nas “Lost Tapes”. In 2011 the new CD entitled “Jabs” will be completed. I am in the process of shooting videos and getting press for that as we speak. Both will be heat. As far as the feature you will have to wait and see (*slight grin on the face).
Other then music what Carlos Ferragamo do to make that paper?
ANSWER: A little of everything that is deemed to be a respectable hustle. I ghostwrite. I make beats. I trade and invest in stocks and bonds. I help analyze strategic marketing data. I fund parties. At the start of this year I did sports management, served as an executive consultant and sold disability insurance to players who are as well as those who will be going to the NFL. Hell, to get to the money I even worked for the 2010 Census. If you want to get my attention throw up a dollar sign, (laughs).
Here at HipHop.Org we like to ask our features some questions that really are out of the norm. We do this because it gives the fans a broader outlook on you. So lets get it cracking ....
When Kanye ran on stage and took the award from Taylor how did you feel about that?
ANSWER: I felt that he had balls. If he would do something like that on live television I feel like he would have the Gaul to spit in Jesus face during the second coming.
Being from the BX ...do you think Big Pun was better then Biggie?
ANSWER: I would go with Biggie on this one. Pun was a better spitter, but Biggie made songs that I could connect to more and relate to. In terms of music I could vibe to and chill I would say Biggie but in a cipher if the two had to battle I believe Pun would rap Biggie’s head off.
Tell us about a hidden talent you have?
ANSWER: I can sing, play the drums and I can also draw. I went to and graduated from the same High School as Nicki Minaj which was Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music, Art and Performing Arts.
Back To The Norm.......
Name 1 song you've done that will have the HipHop.org viewers hooked!?
ANSWER: “Darkness” which is produced by Futuristic Music Group. They do most of my production. We are scheduled to shoot the video later this month. Bars on that = CRAZY!!! Beat = CRAZY!!!! I don’t think some of the dudes in your top 5 or 10 could mess with the bars on that one. Seriously!
Thanks for hollering at us and in closing give any shoutouts....links to your sites....F.U.'S or whatever's clever.
Shout out to QB Da Problem (he produces for 50 Cent/ G-Unit), @siah Dio, Nefarious!, RSJ, DJ Speed Racer (Blazin’ 102.3), my block (Parkchester aka One Seven), FAMU, Danesha Bullard, Doe Boy Kellz, The Bronx, Ivan Rivera (the manager of J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League), Studio 360 (where I record the most at), Doll House Radio, and all the people who showed me love and got me where I am today. You know who are and who you aren’t. Parkchester/ One Seven, FAMU we here now!
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