Just as General Motors is charting its rebirth from the gloom and desperation of the Great Recession, so too is Detroit native Chel Strong — a mercurial rapper, whose red hot rhymes and stone cold beats have transported the MC from his Motor City-birthplace to his new home in the City of Angels.
The Los Angeles transplant and son of celebrated Motown songwriter Barrett Strong ("Heard It Through The Grapevine," "Papa Was A Rolling Stone"), Chel has music in his genes and a don't-quit-can't-quit attitude fueling the incessant rhythm of his piston heart. Just take a listen to his latest single, Mink Baby, where Chel reflects on the influence his elders or better known as, "OG's", had on him growing up in Detroit Michigan where their mink coats symbolized the upper echelon of respect. Chel pays his respect in this piece as Es-K lays the perfect jazzy, hip-hop fusion that instantly grabs his listeners attention upon start.
The album, set for free release October 22nd, depicts the tribulations of everyday life through the perspective of Chel’s upbringing. Chel touches on the hardships encountered growing up in the 90’s era of Detroit, the monotony of the daily grind, the pressure of following in his fathers footsteps and losing his mother at a very young and also the barriers he overcomes on his quest for success. The record's title, Forever Starts Tomorrow, is a beginning to end concept album where Chel takes you through a journey of redemption - giving himself a second chance at chasing his dreams. The album is a 12 track tale of all tales with production by Es-K (credits: General steele, AG and Showbiz), Dope Dee, and J Crizzy.
In the run up to his latest release, Chel has worked with MCs and producers from Detroit, the San Francisco Bay Area and L.A., cultivating a sound that is both innovative and accessible. He was recently featured on Es-K's "Serenity" LP alongside hip-hop heavy hitters AG of D.I.T.C., General Steele, and Chormadadata. He was also featured on Team Back Packs 2014 MULA cypher as well as released a full length album, “Pitbulls & Black People”.
In a way, it makes perfect sense that Chel would end up in Los Angeles. His stories embrace and simultaneously critique Hollywood's dubious promise that oblivion might be attained through excess and success. Chel balances tales of high living and getting high with cautionary parables about falling down and bottoming out. Behind the designer sunglasses is a pair of weary eyes that have seen more than their fair share of dark days.
For more information on Chel Strong, including upcoming performances, videos, music and booking information, check out Chelstrong.com