Chris Patrick is the new hottest artist to come out of New Jersey. Born and raised in East Orange, the rising star prides himself in his diverse catalog, with the ability to sing and rap on par with the greats. In fact, Chris hopes fans will take him out of the “rapper box,” and more into genre-bending sounds. His lyrics are inspired by real-life experiences, as he wears his heart on his sleeve with each release.
In describing himself, Chris states, “Everything innovation, literally the highest form of evolution when it comes to music. Just a person looking to make change through the most authentic way with music.”
Having made music since 2010, Chris has come a long way since his debut project, From The Heart Vol. 2, which unveiled his innate talent in formulating catchy melodies paired with creative storytelling. Fast forward to 2022, Patrick is excited as ever to be releasing his sophomore album titled X-Files, centered on the themes of evolution and self-forgiveness.
AllHipHop caught up with Chris Patrick, who was posted up in Nashville visiting friends. Read below as we discuss his love for his hometown of Jersey, the moment he started taking music seriously, the new project and what it means to him, the inspiration behind “Gang Activity,” his sound, goals, and more!
AllHipHop: Being from East Orange, New Jersey, what was that like growing up?
Chris Patrick: New Jersey is a melting pot, as it always has been. Specifically my county, I’m from Essex County. That’s where East Orange resides. It’s really a melting pot for everything, people from different walks of life. The music that we listen to, the sh*t that we got into, it’s a variety of different things. The diversity, the people and the backgrounds we all came from, really impacted the versatility in my music.
AllHipHop: A lot of big people come out of New Jersey, who influenced you coming up?
Chris Patrick: If we talking about New Jersey, first and foremost Lauryn Hill. She’s going to take precedence over everybody. From a standpoint most recent, a person who revitalized the desire and belief that we can be something in Jersey was FettyWap. When Fetty Wap hit the scene, “Trap Queen,” all that, it was revolutionary for us as artists.
AllHipHop: Your new project X-Files just dropped. What are you most excited for?
Chris Patrick: I’m excited to see the way the people who decide to tune into the project interpret it, and watch the way it attaches to their lives. Obviously, there are so many different productions that we can get from listening to one song. Imagine the amount of narrative that one can build from a whole project’s worth. X-Files means one thing to me, but the biggest thing is the whole project is about self-image and moving through life. Understanding you can’t feel guilty for the mistakes you’ve made.
I want people to understand it’s okay to grow and evolve through all of this, but however they reach that through this body of work, I want it to be special and unique to them.
AllHipHop: Why’d you call it X-Files?
Chris Patrick: X-Files isn’t based on the show, but the show itself is very mysterious. In the process of self-forgiveness, one of the things I really had to forgive myself was understanding how to break the old barriers of what masculinity means to me as a person. The idea of what masculinity meant to us, especially as African American men trying to find our place through all this sh*t, it was really skewed a lot of times.
The process in which I grew up and coming to terms with myself, I had to deal with a lot of unlearning. A lot of things I was grown into because I’m with the homies, you’re going to ride or die for your homies. Having to unlearn a lot of that was one of the most important pieces of tackling masculinity. Now when we talk about masculinity, it’s really one of those things that folks don’t like to talk about, so that’s where that whole mystery element comes from.
AllHipHop: Talk about what brotherhood & self-forgiveness means to you? Both are themes on the project.
Chris Patrick: With each experience with me and my brothers, we’re putting together a more comprehensive guide book that we hope we can pass onto the next line of little homies that come up after us. That’s really the whole thing, trying to make sure that there’s a better means of moving through life then we had before us.
AllHipHop: I was watching the video for “Gang Activity,” what inspired this record?
Chris Patrick: One of the biggest things I did with this project was make sure that through all the experiences, especially in the visual for “Gang Activity,” we didn’t miss any pieces of what life was like. I don’t really hold anything over my homies’ heads. Obviously we work to be better, but I understand the situation that a lot of us came from and a lot of things that folks had to do to get through the days.
The biggest thing about that video was making sure we included every side of how things were growing up. Whether it was subtle, blatantly put in there, just a little undertone you look at and be like “oh word, we did that sh*t to! That’s cool.” I wanted to make sure everybody was included with that.
AllHipHop: What do you want fans to take away from the project?
Chris Patrick: With growth comes patience, and love for yourself. It’s one thing to have self-love, but you have to understand that with self-love, you have to be patient. You gotta be willing to watch yourself change as time goes on.
AllHipHop: Any goals for yourself at this point in your career?
Chris Patrick: There’s obviously pressure of being better and reaching that higher level, but one of the coolest things about pressure that comes with it is that it demands me to grow. The more I’m exposed to more things, the more that I have to grow as a person. I’m in love with growth. My goal is to keep growing with the music, keep growing with the fans, and hopefully more people tune in and watch.
AllHipHop: Anything else you want us to know?
Chris Patrick: Make sure everybody outside is being safe, because monkeypox is going crazy! [laughs]