Curly Castro is a charismatic Brooklyn native who has called Philadelphia home for over a decade. He recently released his solo debut album, FIDEL on February 19th, 2013. The album pays respects to Bobby Seale and W.E.B. DuBois in some places, before lambasting Al Jolson and Ronald Reagan, all the while influenced by musicians ranging from Boot Camp Clik to Johnny Cash. “Some people name-drop cars, others name-drop books; I name-drop Black icons – everyday people that you should know,” admits Curly of his cause. FIDEL contains songs that provide actual facts missing in a lot of today’s verses, without losing a sense of escapism and entertainment.
[wpex click for full bio]
“I am your friendly neighborhood rebel. I may have planted the Molotov and I’m by any means necessary, but you can still come over and watch the game,” says Curly Castro. The charismatic Brooklyn native who has called Philadelphia home for over a decade is easily perceived both militant and friendly. He dons Malcolm X tattoos and army fatigues, but he ’s quick to beam laughter or break into song during a performance. “On stage I’m part Red Foxx, part Che Guevara. That’s why it’s ‘Curly Castro,’” explains the rhyme vet. “’Curly’ is my playful side – that’s what the ladies call me. ‘Castro’ is the rebel out there with the guerillas in the forest.”
On the verge of releasing his solo debut Fidel with Man Bites Dog Records, Castro stresses that “intelligence is not a handicap” in his art and writing. The album pays respects to Bobby Seale and W.E.B. DuBois in some places, before lambasting Al Jolson and Ronald Reagan in others, all the while influenced by musicians ranging from Boot Camp Clik to Johnny Cash. “Some people name-drop cars, others name-drop books; I name-drop Black icons – everyday people that you should know,” admits Curly of his cause. Fidel contains songs that provide actual facts missing in a lot of today’s verses, without losing a sense of escapism and entertainment.
A product of the 1980s Bucktown, Castro also wants to recreate the grit that’s made him unique. “I’m the smell of the bridge, the crack viles floating by the drain, the pay-phone heist, I like to bring that stuff back in my music, as an homage to Flatbush.” In passing, Curly recalls childhood encounters with Busta Rhymes and Ol’ Dirty Bastard, ordinary minutia in a backdrop of a borough before its drastic changes since. With a strong Caribbean heritage, Curly Castro’s delivery and beats frequently veer towards a Reggae influence, and careful revelations from his life. “My mom doesn’t like us to share things in an effort to protect our history,” he begins, speaking about the anecdotes he brings into song. “I’m a big science fiction fan, and a big Aesop Rock and El-P listener, so I like a lot of stories, a lot of parables.” Encouraged by his friends to put bits from conversation on record, “I’d tell my stories, I realized that they were my own.” Fidel is very much Castro’s story in full, and its told in the vain of The Autobiography Of Malcolm X. Curly’s Wrecking Crew comrades Has-Lo, Zilla Rocca and Small Professor helped the artist to realize this parallel quality. “If you can decipher it, it’s my timeline – my issues with race, adolescence and adulthood. It’s a mood piece, and it’s the mood I was in, when I was creating. I’m giving a part of myself.”
The quiet-natured Brooklyn boy is now a man who tells his life with an unwavering sincerity, stories ranging from falling victim to Christmas Eve robberies to first-person accounts of prejudice to an imagined third-person recreation of old-time stars doing the town. Impossible, possible.”
PassionWeiss Premieres New Track From Forthcoming FIDEL Album
Free Album, FIDEL, To Be Released February 19 Via Man Bites Dog Records
Video Premieres Anticipating Upcoming FIDEL Album
DjBooth.net & Man Bites Dog Records Present Debut From Flatbush, Brooklyn Rapper
Rapper Creates Live Concert Video From Johnny Cash Remake