Jared: So, where are you from?

Sir CRKS: I'm from Houston

Jared: What do you do?

Sir CRKS: I'm just a kid tryna make music, that's all it is really... I go to school majoring in audio production and engineering. I should be done next year. You know...I'm just tryna do music on the side while going to school and going to work, thats pretty much it.

Jared: You said you're just doing music on the side but do you want to make this a full time career or just leave it a hobby?

Sir CRKS: Maybe like two years ago it was just a hobby but right now I really want this to be like a full time career, not just making music and producing songs though I'm really interested in engineering and going more in depth with the music 

Jared: You're from Houston; is that a big influence in your music or--because you're more from the internet era of making music do you feel like you have no borders?

Sir CRKS: As far as me Dj'ing and Chopping & Screwing stuff, thats definitely because of Houston.


Jared: What about the music scene in Houston?

Sir CRKS: It's cool, I got love for everyone out here doing their thing but like...the whole networking process isn't the same cause I mean in New York I got a whole bunch of homies in New York that do music and DJ at parties and they work together and network. It's totally different down here--niggas do not fuck with each other. So I kind of stay to myself.

Jared: How do you feel about people using pieces of Houston culture in their music when they obviously aren't from Houston?

Sir CRKS: I used to feel some type of way but I guess I just got over that and realized you just gotta show some respect like know where you got it from. Like A$AP rocky and stuff; he's cool, he shows respect, he's got a pass.

Jared: In recent history you've had trouble with SoundCloud deleting your accounts with thousands of followers over copyright issues, did that ever make you want to give up?

Sir CRKS: The first time I got deleted I had over 6 thousand followers I was hurt, yo. I was like "this is some fucked up shit" and I tried doing everything to get my account back up and I had to ask myself if this is something I really wanna do and keep trying to build a following. But, I mean, here I am still making music.

Jared: And now so you don't get deleted you usually don't post your Chopped & Screwed tapes on SC you just post a link on your tumblr.

Sir CRKS: Yeah and most of the people that follow me on SoundCloud don't even know I have a tumblr so it's kind of like the people on SoundCloud could be missing out. I do have followers that repost my tracks and I'll share them too but that's really it.

Jared: Do you wish you could post the full tapes on SoundCloud?

Sir CRKS: Hell yeah man! Hell yeah.

Jared: [Laughs] okay. I wanted to talk about more of your original work and the samples you use, they seem to be a little bit more obscure and I wanted to know how you find the samples and get inspiration for these songs?


Sir CRKS (Justin Smith) is an artist from Houston, Texas. You can find him on SoundCloud and Tumblr.

Sir CRKS: Probably about a year ago I started wanting to do more than just DJ'ing and making mixes. I didn't wanna be stuck on one path, I wanted to make my own music. As far as me finding samples... it just depends on what im listening to or what mood im in. I look for stuff that sounds really good looped I go for it and see what I can come up with. Everything right now is just practice.

Jared: It sounds good so far, you must be doing something right.

Sir CRKS: I appreciate it for real, for real. I appreciate everyone fucking with me...but yeah I just feel like I'm constantly developing my sound and finding myself.

Jared: Can you give me some music you like that people wouldn't expect you to like? 

Sir CRKS: I been on an old school r&b wave right now, I listen to alot of old jazz too when im trying to find samples. I listen to a lot of grime lately mostly for the producers more so than the rappers grime producers are crazy I be like "Damn you fucking it up like..you fucking it up for real you raw"

Jared: How about some artists you'd like to work with.

Sir CRKS: I really fuck with Atu and DPAT...it's a bunch of soundcloud people I'd want to work with really.

Jared: Who are some other SoundCloud artists you like?

Sir CRKS: Waldo is nice. Waldo can rap his ass off, him and Sango make a good team. Esta is cool too; he puts in alot of work. 

Jared: Would you ever wanna rap on your own songs or use your vocals for something at least?


Sir CRKS: I mean not really not now at least, I don't really have a mic at my place but maybe in the future. Everyone always tells me I got the voice for some shit like the radio cause it's so deep...Using my own vocals I might do that but I don't think rapping is in me. I'll freestyle sometimes cause i like saying stupid shit

Jared: If you weren't making music and going to school for it what would you be doing?

Sir CRKS: I probably would have graduated already with a degree in computer engineering. I was going to Howard for that-

Jared: Do you miss Howard? How was that experience going to school in DC when you're from Houston?

Sir CRKS: My first two years at Howard were probably like the best two years of my life, there was just so much partying...what people don't know about me is when I was growing up I was an only child and my mom was super protective, so I didn't do shit besides go to school cause she worked at a school too. 

Sir CRKS: I didn't get a cell-phone til i was like a junior in highschool and im 23 now so that was like what, 7 years ago.

Jared: Damn, that's like when the OG iPhone came out.

Sir CRKS: But yeah, Howard was the best... I was just free, I met people from all over the country I never thought id meet. I made some lifelong friends over there 

Jared: What made you realize you wanted to start making music, were you still in DC?

Sir CRKS: My sophomore year I was doing alot of math and I fucking hate math so I was kind of falling off and I used to hang out with alot of Howard DJ's and help them set up for parties and shit so I was just around the whole scene and all the music and it just clicked in my head that this is what I actually wanted to do and I knew there were schools out there for this kind of shit so I just did it...The worst thing I could do to myself is hate what I'm doing in life.

Jared: Are you still DJ'ing at parties?

Sir CRKS: Yup, whenever people ask me when I'm free im always willing to DJ someone's event. I got some homies in New York that I know want me to come up and when I get there ima be DJ'ing parties. I love being a DJ; I love being the one in the car with the aux cord and everyone thinks it's fire.

Jared: Are you into other kinds of art, what else inspires you?

Sir CRKS: I really like photography and painting. I've been posting alot of pictures of flowers and stuff lately on my tumblr because it puts me in a good mood. There was alot going on in my life at one point dealing with my grandmother dying and a break up...so I like sharing pictures that can put anyone in a better mood and I like tagging them as "EP material" for cover art and song inspiration.


Jared: Who gave you the best life advice so far, who has told you something that really stuck with you?

Sir CRKS: I gotta say, probably my grandmother... one day I walked into her apartment while i was back from Howard and told her I wanted to come back home. I didnt wanna do computer engineering anymore and she was okay with it. She told me to do whatever I wanted to do, to just go for it.

Jared: You grew up around music alot, can you tell me a couple of artists your mom or anyone else you were around listening to?

Sir CRKS: Oh man, alright my mom is like 45 years old and she's from LA so growing up in Houston all we would listen to was west coast music like Ice Cube and Warren G and Dr. Dre so music wise growing up I was more like a west coast kid and sometimes I would listen to Houston rap.

Jared: Did growing up in Houston listening to more west coast music alienate you from the other kids?

Sir CRKS: not really I usually kept that stuff to myself and listened to whatever everyone else was listening to when I was around my friends but I remember as I got older I started listening to different shit...like in middle school and high school when the whole snap era was hot and Lil John was cool I was listening to like Wiz Khalifa and Kid Cudi in 2007.

Jared: Yo I remember when people would look at me crazy for listening to Kid Cudi.

Sir CRKS: I'm saying! That is exactly what niggas would do to me.

Jared: So looking back on that do you ever feel salty towards those people like alot of those same people are huge fans of those artists now.

Sir CRKS: Nah, I like putting people onto good music and I'll always be there to remind them that they're late to the wave and I been rocking with them since like '08 Haha. We were young anyways I cant be mad at people for being the way they were back then.

Jared: Alright, we're almost done here so i'ma just ask some random questions and you can say whatever.

Jared: What would you do on your last day on earth?

Sir CRKS: My last day on earth... I'd probably just sit back and chill, hang out with my mom not do shit really.

Jared: What kind of future do you want your kids to live through?

Sir CRKS: Well, this is kind of hard to answer but I just hope they dont have to go through any of the shit I have to go through. I don't want them to get profiled like I could get profiled I dont wanna be a parent on the news cause my kid got shot. I know its hard but I just hope everyone can be cool with each other and live peaceful lives.

Jared: Anything else you want to say to anybody?

Sir CRKS: I just wanna let everyone know I appreciate them, everyone that listens to my music and shows me love and support. I know I kind of like just say dumb shit all time but I really appreciate everyone and that's why i be so positive all the time just telling everyone I hope they have a beautiful day cause I mean it I know niggas dont be having the best day.

Sir CRKS: Oh yeah shoutout, All my fade boys, coachcrewneck, jono, uncleflex, shopwitme, shoutout to my nigga Jared on the phone, Jeremy, Rashida, Dani umm there's so many damn people man.

For further inquiry about this article, tweet Jared Zapata @dntdodrugss.