Chris Simpson AKA “Tha Bat,” is a Hip Hop Lyricist from Honolulu Hawaii. He Began rapping at the age of 15. While growing up he was inspired by artist such as Notorious B.I.G, Big L, Big Pun as well as the Wu-Tang Clan. Chris Simpson graduated from Expression College for Digital Arts in Emeryville, California majoring in Sound. Soon after he got deeply involved in the disease of alcoholism and drugs. He also picked up a felony as well as various other criminal charges which led him in and out of jail. After being locked up multiple times and completing two years in a drug treatment facility, here is Chris Simpson AKA “Tha Bat” at his finest doing what he loves to do…
1. For starts how did you come up with your alias “The Bat”?
The name “Bat” was given to me from friends throughout my childhood. It all started with Vampire Bat back in the day because my hairline with holds a widows peak. I just shortened it to Bat to make it easy for people. I’m also known as “Vamp” by some people and “Black” by others.
2. We know your troubled past helped make the artist you are today. When would you say was your lowest point in your addiction?
My lowest part of my addiction was being seperated from my baby mama and son and losing everything from my house, to my cars. Which lead up to me becoming homeless and living on the beach.
3. If you don’t mind us asking what were you addicted to and how did you kick it?
I was mainly addicted to Alcohol, Weed and Cocaine. I kicked it with Drug Dealers and seen some crazy stuff throughout my lifetime. The song I wrote called, “Senses”, which is on my soundcloud page, was recently included in “Spitfire”, a mixtape hosted by Killah Priest. It explains what I have seen, felt and heard throughout my life of crime and addiction.
4. It’s not often you hear about a Hip Hop artist from Hawaii. How would you describe the Hip hop culture and sound out there, for those who don’t know?
In Hawaii, Hip Hop is definitely growing. Most of the artist who spit down here are from the mainland trying to rep Hawaii, but aren’t even from here. But there are a handful that are born and raised in Hawaii and spit hella dope too. You’d be surprised!!!
5. Your video for “50th State Of Mind” was powerful. Your lyrics were razor sharp and it was raw. We can tell those East coast influences helped mold you. How would you describe the “50th mind state”?
The 50th state of mind would involve locals indigenous to the lifestyle growing up in Hawaii. Hawaii has changed a lot over time becoming more and more populated with different ethnic values. Many of the locals are angry and sad to see this happen and it is very difficult to live down here and watch our state become more and more like the mainland. We have a really bad problem with “Ice” (meth amphetamine) up here. There are a lot of homeless people. The cost of living is high and there aren’t many opportunities. Great place to visit!!!
6. After listening to you we can tell that substance is a main factor in what you do. With that said how do you feel about the current state of Hip Hop?
I feel the current state of Hip Hop is rubbish. The ones who are getting signed to record labels sound like crap and can’t even flow. The underground is where it’s at. Most of these mainstream rappers is trash. I don’t listen to the radio anymore. I go on soundcloud and reverbnation to search for real Hip Hop. There’s a lot of lost talent out there. Hip Hop be laying low!!!
8. Back to your start. Who were your personal influences to get into emceeing?
My personal influence towards getting into emceeing would be my homie I went to high school with, Daniel Woods AKA Potentshow. Me and this cat would flow and battle rap endlessly which led me to where I’m at today. He’s an extraordinary poet too and if I ever make it in this industry I am definitely bringing him with me. Also along with many of other Hawaii lyricists who go unheard.
9. With 2015 on the horizon what is up next for you?
I would say definitely more tracks, more videos and maybe even a live performance here and there. There’s much more ahead, I’ll tell you that much!!!
10. So we have heard a lot of your stuff on soundcloud, saw that dope raw video you did in Hawaii and seen you making appearances on “Spitfire” and “Digital Dynasty”. With that said, is there a mixtape or album in the works? If so, can you shed some light on that for us?
I have an album in the works which I plan to put on bandcamp and many more mixtapes on there way as well. Stay tuned!!!
11. It was cool chopping it up with you bro, in closing let our readers know where to check you out and whatever else you want to let them know. Also thanks for keeping real hip hop alive with the lyrics!
I would like to thank all my listeners out there who took the time to watch my first music video and listen to my tracks. Big up to MixTapeKings for reaching out to me all the way in Hawaii to conduct this interview. And I would like to give a shout out to Verbal Cartel my fellow emcees on the island of Kauai who are doing there thing. Much love to all the true Hip Hop Heads out there who are keeping Real Hip Hop alive!!! PEACE