The Interview: Cinco The Flex God
Author: Justin Grome
• Where are you from? Have your surroundings shaped you in a creative sense, and in what way?
Originally, I’m from Chicago, but I moved down here to Atlanta when I was like, 4 years old or something. My surroundings definitely shaped me in a “creative sense” though. I’ve always felt like if we would’ve never moved from Illinois, I wouldn’t be who I am today, like at all.
• What’s your background like? Where do you stand on the music scene in your area?
Well, like I said, from Chicago. I just turned 18 almost 2 weeks ago, finally buying my own backwoods. I grew up kinda to myself a lot, I never really spoke or interacted with people, I grew up a true introvert. Grew up skateboarding and playing basketball, then I found myself getting into streetwear fashion in middle school. In my area, people always tell me I’m “clouted up” or that I'm about to be famous, but I can’t let it get it my head before it actually happens.
• What did you start doing first, producing or rapping? How did you get started?
At first, I wanted to produce... but that shit was ridiculously hard, so I started rapping. The story of me starting is so crazy to me. Back in the first semester of 10th grade, so like, October 2016, I randomly had the idea of rapping, but I brushed it off. Literally like 3 days later, my homie Jett3ye hit me up and was like “Bruh I think I wanna’ start rapping” and I told him how I was thinking the same exact thing a few days ago. I then started preparing myself. Finding beats on youtube, writing HELLA songs, taking pictures for my SoundCloud, all that. But it wasn't until February 2017 that I actually recorded for the first time. It was at my homie Tony Xan’s house in his closet (where we still record sometimes) and Me, Lq, Tony, & Jett3ye made a song called “Highway 285” and I dropped it. That really started me off cause a lot of people liked that song. it's not on my SoundCloud but its somewhere on SoundCloud posted.
• Do you have anyone that you consider your mentor? How has their help or advice shaped you?
Man, shout out to Renegade El Rey. He helped me on my senior project for school & my project was on music engineering & he helped me A LOT. Taught me things ill never forget, and I’ll always be grateful for that. If Renegade is reading this for some reason, I appreciate everything. Oh, and shoutout to Tony Xan. He’s literally that nigga I swear. Before I knew what I was even doing with recording, he taught me damn near every I know today, and on top of that, he a cool ass nigga. Shoutout to my boy slimydirtyxan.
• What is one experience in life that, without it, you wouldn’t be the artist you are today?
It’s really not an “experience” but I feel like if I was talkative & outgoing during elementary and middle school, I wouldn't have even started rapping. I kinda started rapping to be heard. Even until this day, a lot of people know me as “CincoTheFlexGod” or “Cinco” or “Lil $torm” and not my government name, which is hilarious to me.
• What do you hope to accomplish this year?
Well NEXT year, 2019... I'm not setting goals. I’m just gonna go hard and go with the flow of things. I know I want it bad enough & since I do, it’ll happen eventually. You can’t rush greatness.
• What does your work aim to say?
My music is fun music. Get away music. Turn up music... Flex Music. I want my music to make people forget about all their problems & hardships in life for a few minutes & just be at peace with the world.
• Who are your biggest influences and what do you like about them the most?
I have been wanting to talk about who influences me for the longest. Wayne, Thugger, Sosa, X (Rest in Peace), Yachty, and Uzi. Everybody likes Weezy, everybody likes Sosa, but still, thrive and succeed. I Especially like Thug though, he’s just so out there & out of the box.. same with Uzi, both of them weird ass niggas, and they both make amazing music in my opinion.
• How would you describe your own style?
I wouldn’t describe my own style. That's for everyone else to do while I continue to make music. But if I had to categorize it, it’d definitely fall under this new age of hip-hop that's going on, or what the senior citizens call us, “SoundCloud rappers”.
• In what ways has your newest music changed from when you first started?
All of 2018 I’ve been working on my sound. Right now, I sound like what I wanted to sound like in 2017 with my autotune & melodies & beat selection. I started off wanting to make music like this, but at first, I didn’t know how, so I Just rapped fast with a lot of punchlines & metaphors, kind of like Ski Mask, but not all the way.
• What are the main inspirations for the lyrics you write?
I don’t even write my lyrics anymore. I just pick a beat & if I like it, I rap about what's on my mind, or how I feel at the moment, or how the vibe of the beat makes me feel. A hit will come when its all of the above.
• What would be your dream venue in which to perform?
I don’t care about venues, but I’ve always wanted to perform at Rolling Loud. Shoutout to Rolling Loud, the experience seems amazing from the artist’s point of view & it just seems like so much fun. Being around a lot of amazing artists, it just seems like a good time. Tell @RollingLoud to hit me up anytime & I’m coming.
• What’s a song you have stuck in your head these days?
Right now, there are 2 songs stuck in my head. No Issue & 7 Am Freestyle, both by Juice WRLD and Future. Those songs go so crazy to me.