CULTURE & HIPHOP: Chaundon - "I knew it was time for a solution."

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Golden Era Music is the popular southern indie record label that backs Hip Hop heavyweight, Chaundon. It's not only his major support in the music game, it's HIS label to begin with.

"When I was doing work in the music industry, things weren't getting done the way they were supposed to." Casually recollecting his reservoir of memories, Chaundon explains bluntly the pitfalls he experienced chasing the dream of succeeding musically. "I walked away from music a few good years back because of a variety of things. Working with different labels, who started acting funny with certain deals.. not keeping commitments and actin' shady... Plus, when I started losing friendships in the industry because of the ills within it, I knew it was time for a solution."

He explains how his label, Golden Era Music - got it's start, to growing into what it is to this day. "I didn't really plan to start a label, it just kinda like, happened. *Laughs* With everything happening the way it was at that time, and with me getting ready to stop music altogether, I had to make a final decision. A final push.. And what better way but to do it myself? I knew what needed to be done. Instead of complaining about what wasn't getting accomplished, I had to be apart of the solution."


Staying far away a "genre-specific" entity , the focus was simply surrounded around bringing a conglomerate of talent together, as one. The results lead to a diverse blend of music which just couldn't be denied.

"I wanted my label to be a blend of things, not just a Hip Hop label. " says Chaundon confidently. "I'm shooting to be the next Barry Gordy, that delivers the new Motown to the current generation." Taking a closer look at his roster of talent (Rome Clientel, C-Minor, Tucson), he's most certainly on his way to accomplishing just that.

But the true conversation of the evening revolved around what fueled his decision into entrepreneurialism: The current state of the mainstream music industry. "Back in our era coming up, we had quality musicians in different genres...Like Big Daddy Kane, Marvin Gaye, De La Soul, and so many others with Major record deals. It was truly a golden era. The generation of today won't probably ever get to witness what we did in ours."


And in a sheer moment of silence, you could feel where the conversation started to take a shift - informatively.

"Hip Hop in the 90's meant a lot to black culture. Mainly because there was plenty to talk about... Specifically the living conditions in those times. The rise in poverty in black communities, drug infested streets, the restoration of the African culture... Even Marvin Gaye said 'whats goin on? *Laughs* Music was used to uplift, and empower... To enlighten our peoples minds... Now, it's just not the same. Hip Hop is being used to make quick money... These young dudes out here hurting the culture. "

Though the few who are mainstream that rebel in their music (J.Cole, Drake, Kendrick Lamar, Macklemore) is unfortunately narrowed down to a small list. It seems as if the growing trend of new recording artists is to become carbon copies of one another, "piggy backing" off the success of trending culture. Which in turn, kills originality.


"We have these unique creative gifts to be different, not the same." Says Chaundon. "The second we steer away from the foundation of music, which our pioneer generations have paved for us, we're walking in the wrong direction." Some could argue this, some could agree. Some would think, "why does Hip Hop have to follow the path of the latter, when we can evolve and grow?" The real question that they should be asking is: "What is Hip Hop evolving into?"

Chaundon chooses to evolve in the direction he believes Hip Hop should be progressing, and that's in delivering music from "the soul". "I try to stay grounded - as an artist - to make music from my heart, you know? I want people to feel where I'm trying to move them, and see my vision as I paint the picture through the mic."

This has undoubtedly been the linchpin of success for him individually as "independent", having worked alongside some of Hip Hop's most adorned and favorited. One example is 9th Wonder, who is a Grammy award winner and Harvard University Professor.

"That's why Golden Era Music is where it is today. Constantly growing, evolving and sticking to the script. We're a group that embraces talent and skill... And that's how we plan on keeping it."

And put forth is the product of greatness. Chaundon not to be excluded, as it's his baby anyways.


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 Twitter: @chaundon