[Tray pictured with his son and his dad]
Contributor for BUZZ, Justine Basha Randle[@JustineHouTX), had the chance to talk with actor and star of HBO’s ‘The Wire’ Tray Chaney, to discuss his new video “Fatherhood” which has been receiving great praise in the media, and is being debuted on 106 & Park today during their ‘Young, Single and Parenting’ special.
The subject of “fatherhood” is not the typical subject matter that you would associate with a Hip-Hop song – with the exception of a few songs such as Ed O.G. & the Bulldog’s “Be a Father to Your Child” and Xzibit’s “Foundation”. This being the case, what made you write “Fatherhood”?
“I know I have a voice and I figured if people know me from HBO’s The Wire (a show that showcased raw reality) why not create music that has a message. If I’m going to make a transition into Hip-Hop, I want to give a positive outlook. I want to give a positive outlook on fatherhood. People tend to get caught up in the negative images and I wanted to do this “Fatherhood” song to show that there are fathers out there who are truly there for their kids. And for the ones that may not be, I want to encourage them to be around for their kids because our kids need us.”
“Fatherhood” is the first single off of your upcoming album “Jack of All Trays”, when can we expect your album to drop and what’s the meaning behind its title?
“There isn’t a release date yet for ‘Jack of All Trays’. To me, ‘Jack of All Trays’ means an individual who loves music and showcases it through different genres – like I got straight Hip-Hop, a touch of rock, and R&B type Hip-Hop records. A person that is considered a jack of all trades means that they can multitask in different fields and that’s my approach with the sound of this album.”
Will it offer more songs with strong, relevant messages, like ‘Fatherhood’?
“Expect an album that’s gonna make you feel good with a message. I have a songs called ‘Dear Haiti”, which is my letter to Haiti, and War (World at Risk) that have great messages. The album is gonna be dope, a classic, all across the board through all different types of music.”
I know that you’ve worked with Houston’s D. Rose in the past; can we expect any collaborations on this album and who would you like to collaborate with?
“That’s a secret! (laughs) There is a possible Tray Chaney – D. Rose collab in the process. (D. Rose) That’s my brother but I’m keeping it a secret. You just have to wait and see.”
Are you signed to a label, or are you doing this independently?
“I’m independent. Me and my partner Don Cox have our own production company called “FireDrop Music”. We are the bosses! (laughs out loud) No record label controls when we drop, what we put out. I love being independent.”
Who are your Hip-Hop influences…who do you listen to?
“I love Jay-Z, Kanye West, 50 Cent, Rick Ross, Wale, Meek Mill, and the whole Maybach Music team. I’m just a lover of Hip-Hop and all types of music.”
What’s your take on the state of Hip-Hop?
“Hip-Hop is Hip-Hop. People have different things to express, so it’s totally nothing wrong with that…it’s exciting. I feel that with me making the transition to Hip-Hop, I want to be an artist that stood up for what I believed in. I want my message driven songs to inspire individuals…with funky production. (laughs)
Of course we all were introduced to you from HBO’s ‘The Wire’, any new acting projects we’ll get to see you in?
“I’m in a new film called ‘Streets’ starring Meek Mill. I also have another film coming out called ‘Mastermind’, starring Tila Tequila and Nick Hogan and another film called ‘Dead Money’ starring my brother Clifton Powell, Sole, and Anwan ‘Big G’ Glover.”
What type of roles would you like to play, do you have a dream role?
“I would love to play a college student that has dreams and aspirations. Acting is acting and I love the art of it. Whatever comes my way I feel that I can approach it by keeping in mind that I have to deliver. I have to become the person so my fans can really leave inspired.
Acting or Music?
“Both. I love acting and music. I feel the same way about both forms of art. I’m an entrepreneur that is gonna take this industry by storm.”
Check out Tray’s video “FATHERHOOD”
Make sure you check out Tray Chaney on a special episode of BET’s 106 & Park, today at 6 p.m.
Keep up with Tray on Twitter @TrayChaney.
Justine Basha Randle