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An Interview with Chevy Woods

by Mitch West

If you're a fan of hip-hop, chances are you've heard of Wiz Khalifa, the Pittsburgh-based rapper known for his hits like "Black and Yellow" and "See You Again." But have you heard of his protégé Chevy Woods? This up-and-coming rapper has been making waves in the rap scene with his smooth flow, catchy beats, and poignant lyrics. With several mixtapes and albums under his belt, including 2015's "Gangland, "2015's "The 48 Hunnid Project," and 2018's "81," The Pittsburgh native is making his mark in the Hip Hop world on stage, in the studio, and even in the Esports arena. We had the chance to sit down and kick it with Chevy before he hit the stage at Pinnacle Bank Arena this past Friday night as a part of the Good Trip Tour featuring: Smoke DZA, Chevy Woods, Berner, Joey Bada$$, and Wiz Khalifa. Boy did we talk about it all from how he got into music, his introduction with Wiz Khalifa, performing, and much more.

Woods was born in Pittsburgh, PA in 1981 and began rapping as a child but wouldn't get into the game full-time until the early 2000s during his college days. Early on music like many of us was all around him. Chevy listened to Snoop Dogg, Nas, Master P, and many more but didn't even entertain the thought that music would be in the cards down the road and wouldn't get into the game until his college days.

"It was sports for me. I didn't care for music. You know what I mean? I listen to it and liked Snoop Dogg, Nas, and Master P you know, stuff like that. Just things I would just listen to. I wasn't focused on being a rapper. Coming out of high school I was an all-American and shit like that. That's where my mind was, it wasn't even music at all. So I didn't dial into music until later."

"I used to rap at cookouts and do battle rap against people around the city. I played sports too, so like, I'll play basketball in the summer at Summer League and stuff. The homies from my neighborhood that knew I could rap knew some people from over here that had. The young homie that could rap so they were like pairing us together. That's kind of what it's where it started."

Just like he said, sports seemed to be his calling and Chevy would eventually land an athletic scholarship to play basketball at Robert Morris University in Pittsburgh, PA. It wasn't until his college days there he would reconnect with his love for music.

"I used to be one of those kids that would run home and watch TRL sit in front of the fucking TV and wait for like fucking Good Charlotte and Green Day and like all of this should come on. And like I didn't even understand what it will play in my life. But I love the music."

"Once I got to college, I jumped back into it because I had a roommate that was into Hip Hop music. He was from Brooklyn, so he was really deep. He started showing me how to put the pen to the pad and you know bars and stuff like that. After I left college, I got into the streets crazy for like 8 years. At that time, I was blind to, like, caring about music anymore. I was just like fuck it, I'm just selling drugs. Just what I'm doing yeah, I was blind."

Chevy Woods at Pinnacle Bank Arena Photo Credit: Kyle Lewis @okaiiora

When music became Chevy's weapon of choice he'd find himself with an up-and-coming artist named Wiz Khalifa and sign with Taylor Gang. Taylor Gang, founded by Wiz Khalifa in 2008, Taylor Gang boasts a heavy-hitting roster featuring artists such as Curren$y, Juicy J, Chevy Woods, Ty Dolla $ign, Berner, Tuki Carter, Sledgren, J.R. Donato, and Courtney Noelle. The same year Taylor Gang was founded, Chevy signed on the dotted line and would release several mixtapes and EPs as time went on including The Corner's Correspondent, The Cookout, and Gangland along with several collaborations with Wiz Khalifa on several tracks including "Taylor Gang", "No Sleep" and "On My Level" to name a few. So just how did Chevy and Wiz link up? Well in short it was the right place at the right time.

"My little cousins went to school with him, but I never met him. You know, I mean, so once we got to the studio, it was like oh, I like what you do. You know, I like what you do. The engineers who introduced us and then one of my homies was down to the studio before me and ran into with before and was like, yeah, yeah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. So from there recorded. Song called me and Ever since then, you know, we just love each other. Each other was working on and I invited him to come to kick it in the neighborhood whenever he feels. Like it? And show him where to get the best weed and shit like that. So like, that was kind of our introduction."

Known for his laid-back style and smooth melodic flow, Chevy has released several mixtapes and EPs through the years, including The Corner's Correspondent, The Cookout, and Gangland. Outside of his work, he has also collaborated with Wiz Khalifa on several songs, including "Taylor Gang," "No Sleep," and "On My Level."

So what's next for Chevy Woods and Taylor Gang? Gaming. Esports has become massive in popularity. By the end of 2019, Esports brought in over 1 billion dollars, and by 2026 is projected to bring in over 34.8 billion. That's right Mom, you CAN get paid to play video games! Chevy Taylor Gang both saw a huge opportunity with Esports and has launched a new branch of Taylor Gang called 'Taylor Gang Gaming'. TGG hosts several events, and tournaments and competes with several popular games such as Call of Duty, Fortnite, and Madden. As a gamer himself, Chevy saw the writing on the wall with ESports and knew it was the right time to go all in.

"If it's something I can do on my end. This was a company that came in and helped me, like set up all my shit and then I had to sit down and get with people that were in the discord that also were on discord, calls, and videos. And they're teaching me like watching the screen and, you know, because they enjoy my music too. But they're excited that I'm into that. So they're all there. Willing to just help me whenever I need it. It's so I'm slightly covering. So it would be huge, like on a college campus too for us to like, promote and do stuff with. Perfect for this. If you go back and that's what you do anyway with your spare time, a lot of people don't matter if it's a PC game or if it's a controller game you're doing something. I don't give a shit if you're playing solitaire or whatever game it is. You know what I mean the best."

The Good Trip Tour just wrapped up the last show of the tour at the famous Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, CO. The next time you can catch Chevy on stage (at the moment of this article) will be at Madison River Bridge in Three Forks, MT on August 18th. Until then make sure to follow Chevy Woods, Taylor Gang, and Taylor Gang Gaming to stay up to date with new music, events, gaming, and more.

Chevy Woods

Taylor Gang

Taylor Gang Gaming

*Updated 4.30.23*


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