Born Chaine St. Aubin Downer Jr., the only child of a Bajan mother and a Jamaican father, the rising Brooklyn-born and based emcee CJ Fly was born and raised in Flatbush until his teens, when he moved to Bedford Stuyvesant. Although he grew up in a music loving home, as a child, the rising Brooklyn-born and-based emcee wasn’t familiar with much hip-hop, as a result of his parents mainly listening to the music of their homelands — reggae, soca and other genres and styles. But he shared their love of music and always wanted to be a musician of some sort.
As a seventh grader, Downer started writing poetry but the moment he discovered A Tribe Called Quest changed his life — from that point on, he fell in love with hip-hop and wanted to rap. In high school, he met the founding members of the Pro Era crew and began pursuing a music career: throughout 2012 and 2013, he was featured on the many of the collective’s projects and by the end of 2013, he released his critically acclaimed debut mixtape Thee Way Eye See It. 2016 saw the release of his sophomore mixtape FLYTRAP.
Since the release of FLYTRAP, CJ Fly has been busy: he contributed prominent verses on hip-hop supergroup Beast Coast‘s Escape From New York and as a result, he made his national TV debut appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon last summer. After touring as a member of Beast Coast, alongside Joey Bada$$, Flatbush Zombies, The Underachievers and various members of the Pro Era crew, he’s been gearing up to release his highly-anticipated Statik Selektah-produced full-length debut RUDEBWOY, which is slated for a March 6, 2020 release through Pro Era Records.
“Show You,” RUDEBWOY‘s third and latest single is a high-energy, golden era hip-hop-like track built around driving boom-bap beats and a Roy Ayers-like sample centered around shimmering Rhodes arpeggios and a soulful horn line. Seemingly indebted to The Low End Theory-era Tribe, the song finds the rising Brooklyn-born and-based emcee spitting personal, autobiographical rhymes discussing his struggles — from poverty to bouncing between his mother’s and father’s homes and different neighborhoods, and moving towards the present day. But the song is also partly love song to his home borough, proudly shouting out the neighborhoods he lived in and loved, the parks he played in, hung out and dreamt in, where family and friends got shot and died, essentially showing listeners where it’s nice and where it ain’t.
“‘Show You’ is a high energy boom bap classic that was created to take listeners on a journey through Brooklyn from my birth to present,” CJ Fly explains in press notes. “It’s a preview into my life and almost biographical. I reel things that some of my closest friends or fans may not have even known about myself and my father.”
Directed by David Janoff, and CJ Fly the recently released video for “Show You” stars CJ Fly and his girlfriend Emilia Ortiz in a cinematically shot tour of his home borough that includes stops to see his father and his mother, the neighborhoods he lived in, hangs out in and loves. It’s a loving look at a diverse and complex borough, revealing the inherent beauty of its rough and tumble neighborhoods, as well as its more famously known neighborhoods — but it’s also an intimate look into the artist’s life.