Little Rock hip-hop artist Big Piph released his fifth and what he says is his final studio album, “Celebrate,” on Thursday, July 20.
Piph, the acclaimed central Arkansas emcee, ambassador, and prolific hip-hop standout, said in an interview with ShindigMusic! this week that he’d had no desire to release new material, but ideas for “Celebrate,” which features two excellent singles “Celebrate” and “Anarchy,” kept coming to him, so he decided to follow through with one final record.
“I wasn’t planning on making this,” he said. “I wasn’t in that mindset, and I had no goal to do it. I was thinking (his fourth album ‘I Am Not Them: The Legacy Project’) might be it, that might be my last one and just not say anything (laughs). But I started writing, started making some new stuff and decided to do it.”
About Big Piph’s new album and his positive messages
From a musical standpoint, “Celebrate” is a more straightforward hip-hop record – with layered sounds and lyrical themes – which is a departure from the live-in-studio music that accompanied 2016’s “I Am Not Them.” Lyrically, Piph maintains the positive vibe he’s become known for. He spoke with ShindigMusic.net about his lyrics and the importance of staying positive, even when the world around us tempts – even begs – us to do the opposite.
“I would say I consider myself a realist, and it’s the sense that as long as you still have the means to progress, then let’s get it,” he said. “There are different levels of problems in this world. For the majority of the people in my demographic, we deal with a number of things, but mainly we want to be taken seriously. We should be taken seriously. But there’s an opportunity to look at this like ‘this is a problem, and this is how we’ll get out of it.’ I mean, whatever is bothering me now, it won’t be bothering me in two years. You know? You can either be the victor or the victim.”
He added that his tendency to remain positive derives from his desire to make a difference in the lives of others.
“I put that stamp on it, because it’s on us to help people with more serious problems than us,” Piph emphasized.
He will celebrate the album’s release with an official release show, alongside his band Tomorrow Maybe on Saturday, July 29, at 10 p.m. at the Rev Room in Little Rock’s River Market. Faron Rashelle & the Kosher Sound, DJ Code Red and Virg Host will also perform. The release show will be hosted by Sean Fresh. For ticket information, visit revroom.com, or call (469) 222-4760.
Much more than music in Big Piph’s plans
Piph, born Chane Morrow, while well-respected within the hip-hop community, is also revered for his work outside of music, namely for his philanthrophic efforts. He’s logged many hours around the state, the nation, and even the globe, through speaking engagements and his work with Global Kids-Arkansas, a nonprofit agency that works to develop youth leaders for the global stage through education and leadership development programs.
He was recently selected to be one of 20 musicians to take part in the “Next Level” program. According to the program’s website, Next Level is an international exchange program that engages underserved communities in six countries around the world and uses artistic collaboration and social engagement to enhance people-to-people diplomacy, especially among young audiences.
Piph said he will travel to Myanmar sometime in the coming year to take part in the program. He said he’s excited to meet with the youth there, hear their ideas and learn how he can help them make a difference in their communities.
As for his post-music career, he said he’s not retiring from performing or composing music, but for now, he wants to explore other artistic mediums. In terms of his next project, he said he’s got something hatching, but can’t say what’s up just yet. Stay tuned.