When you think of the top 40 rappers in Seattle, Choice might not be the first name to pop in your head. But that may soon change. Choice made headlines in 2015 when he was signed to DJ Mustard’s label 10 Summers. If DJ Mustard’s name isn’t ringing a bell, some of the hits he’s produced certainly will. DJ Mustard has produced mega-hits like Tyga’s “Rack City,” Big Sean’s “I Don’t F#%* With You,” and 2Chainz “I’m Different.” And the super producer has taken Seattle’s very own Choice under his wing.
Formerly known as “Royce the Choice,” Choice has been on the Seattle rap scene for a long time. Choice began releasing high-quality, potent hip-hop in 2010, he’s as prolific and driven as he is talented. After the announcement that he was signed to 10 Summers last year, Choice released a mixtape titled By Choice Not Force. Tracks like “Move Around” featuring RJ, help round out this highly danceable and polished hip-hop record. This release made a huge impact on the local rap community, with Choice named on several years’ best, and rappers to watch lists. Look out for new work and shows for Choice in 2017. In the meantime, get your Choice fix by reading this CULTURE’s conversation with the Seattle MC.
How did you get started in music?
Choice: My family is musically inclined, and when I was younger, like elementary school, I used to be part of a group. We had a manager and all kinds of s$%*. It was nothing serious, nothing real, but I’ve always had that passion for music. From that time I’ve always stayed close to music. Whether it be managing people at one point, making beats, writing for other people, anything I could think of to do. I just had to turn it into a career. I would say I started taking it seriously 10 years ago.
Where are you from?
Seattle, Washington born and raised.
Who were your musical influences?
Early influences were a lot of hip-hop artists, from Tupac to Dr Dre, you know the main names, especially on the West Coast. A couple underground artists as well, with the Bay Area being so close to Washington, I gravitated towards their sound in my earlier years. From Mac Dre to Too Short. It was mostly West Coast hip-hop for me.
Has the cannabis-friendly culture of the PNW impacted you as an artist?
Absolutely man! Delivery, and being able to smoke weed just freely, has been a blessing in disguise. Cause man, I’ve been to the East Coast. I’ve been to Vegas. They treat it like it’s a real drug there. You’re damn near scared to pull your weed out there. So you know, coming from Washington where even before it was legalized nobody ever really tripped on it, we just sort of have that understanding. And ya, smoking weed has definitely helped my creative process. It opens me up a lot, so if I wasn’t able to do that I don’t know. It’s the only drug for me, that’s for sure.
What are your favorite songs to listen to when you’re enjoying cannabis?
There’s two: X Rated, “Do you Wanna Get High?” and Kid Cudi featuring Chip tha Ripper “Hyyer.”