Spring is in the air, seasons are a changing, a period of transition is afoot. Few places play out that seasonal switch as seismically as New York when the city emerges from the shadows to stretch and play. Across the boroughs, moments of growth and freshness are observed, and the cultural baton is passed to another eager new crew, ready to take the city. New York’s cultural roots stretch deep deep into the ground, and every year we watch exciting new talent spring forth, one such is Brooklyn rapper Weather Park.
Weather embodies a softer more sensual side of NYC hip-hop, a poet unafraid to speak of love and life. He’s lived a full one. A skate kid, born and raised in Brooklyn, few embody hip-hop’s generational shift more than Weather, the son of New York rap royalty WuTang’s ODB.
It’s fitting that his new single and video, the first of a string of releases, should come on 36 Chambers, the label started by WuTang’s RZA to platform new and emerging talent. RZA’s been a mentor for Weather since childhood, providing musical, but also spiritual guidance; the sharing of knowledge from older to younger. Have a listen to the seeds of that knowledge sprout on Weather’s Vibe.
Spring is starting to arrive in Brooklyn right now. How are you feeling as the seasons change?
I feel great, I look forward to the summertime. It’s always a great feeling when you know everyone’s outside having fun at the same time.
You grew up in Brooklyn - what are your recollections of the city growing up?
It’s a mixture of excitement and tough times. It will teach you loyalty, respect, passion, and aggression. Ultimately there’s always something you can take from the big city. If you can survive in NYC, you can survive anywhere.
What do you think of the current state of NYC hip-hop? Where do you see yourself in the scene?
I feel it’s still growing, and I look forward to seeing where it will be in the next five years. As the leader of the new school, I see myself projecting in my own lane, being that my style is very unique and different from today’s Hip-Hop in NYC.
You were a skate kid - what were some of the hot spots for you? How important has skate culture been for you?
Brooklyn Banks and LES were the top two for us growing up as kids in NYC. Skate culture helped me shape my identity. It’s influence on my life has led me to pursue my dreams of collectively helping the skateboard community.
Your new record sees you return to RZA's 36 Chambers label. What role has RZA played in your life? What are some of the lessons he's taught you?
RZA plays a powerful role in my life, a very pivotal one to be exact. His teachings have shown me that true success comes out of hard work, perseverance, and patience.
How much of a role does NYC have in shaping your music?
A major role, keeping my ear to the streets is my way of being a student of the game. It helps me create distinctive music that propels my listeners into a different direction.
In Vibe you show a softer side of yourself. Why do you think many men shy away from revealing that aspect of themselves?
I don’t think they shy away from it; I believe it to be something they choose to keep private or maybe it’s the term “soft” that they’re afraid of.
What's your lyrical process and where's your favorite place to write?
I feel the production out from every angle before I place my words upon the beat. I usually write anywhere but I mostly enjoy writing at home and in the studio.