For a 24-year-old white kid from the Connecticut suburbs, Chris Webby already has an impressive rap resume: He's worked with heavyweights like Bun B, Mac Miller, Freeway and Joell Ortiz, and his 2011 EP There Goes the Neighborhood debuted atop the iTunes hip hop charts. But Webby thinks his latest mixtape, Bars on Me, is the one to launch him to bona fide stardom: "I've already proven a good bit, but a lot of people refuse to take notice of it."
"I get it. I'm a white kid from the suburbs of Connecticut," he tells Fuse's Esteban Serrano. "But I feel like this is the tape, where it's like, 'Okay, get over it.'"
Since its release just over a month ago, the DJ Drama-hosted mixtape--also featuring guest spots from Method Man, Mobb Deep's Prodigy and more--has garnered a ton of acclaim from the hip hop press, including co-signs from MTV, Hip Hop Wired and others. His increasing success has been a sort of validation for Webby, who has dreamed of becoming a rapper since the 6th grade.
"Music has always been what I wanted to do," he says. "And once I decided to be a rapper, that was it. Of course, people thought I was crazy in the 6th grade with my hat and my fake chain. Not to mention that I was the first white kid people had seen rapping, aside from on TV."
But Webby continued to refine this flow when he enrolled at Long Island's Hofstra University: "I came in battling everybody. Going to all the frat parties, getting wasted and challenging anyone else who said they rapped, and eating their breakfast."
Winning the rap battles paid off with the ladies, too. "That was how I got laid back in the day, by freestyling," he explains. "That was my game."
It's not all romance and parties for Webby, who is also interested in politics and world events. "A lot of people don't know what's going on with the government," he says. "If you watch mainstream news, you're not going to find out. You have to dig deep, and you almost don't even want to. I'll leave it at that before someone drops from the ceiling and breaks my neck!"
But what matters most for Webby is respect. "I started [rapping] for a dap and a head nod," he explains. "When you get to this stage in the game, obviously money is very important because it keeps the gears grinding. But at the same time, the respect is what I started for. A pat on the back, like 'Nice job, Web.'"
Check out the full interview above. And for more about Webby, check out our "Behind the Unsigned" video with the rapper.