After high-anticipation, Chris Patrick released his latest project, From The Heart, Vol. 2.
The New Jersey-based rapper and singer has been steadily rising in popularity over the past couple of years. From getting recognition from prominent artists like JID, WESTSIDE BOOGIE and Deante’ Hitchcock to having his song “SWISH” featured on the NBA 2K21 soundtrack, Patrick is destined to keep rising.
His storytelling and lyrical approach on every track is phenomenal, regardless of if he’s singing or rapping. Patrick kept that energy and raised the bar on this profound, heartfelt new project.
The Post sat down to talk with Patrick and break down his new project.
The Post: What was the recording process like for “Tired”?
Patrick: Honestly, that’s full-on frustration right there. It was crazy because it was actually the day we had finished getting the final mix of “3AM.” I texted one of my producers, Squibs … he sent me two beats. The first beat I played was the beat for “Tired” and I said, “This is it.” Me and Mizz were driving when we heard the beat and the first thing I said was, “I’m tired of running / I’m tired of ducking / I’m tired of hustling,” it literally flew out of me. All I had was the hook and I kept that in my head for maybe four days, and Mizz was like, “You’ve gotta record that.” At first, I thought, “I don’t know,” but I knew there was more I had to get off of my chest. I live with my cousin Nile, he’s my manager. Me, him and Mizz all live together. I remember me, my girlfriend and all of my homies were there. Mizz told me to record “Tired” and I just remember recording it in front of everybody and them being like, “Damn!” I recorded the first part up to the break. It was the second half of that song that I saved for later. … For me, when I recorded that first half, I didn’t want to do it, but I knew at that moment that that was going to be it. Sometimes, I record things in moments where I can feel that energy; I’m big on inspiration and energy. Even in that moment when I was recording (“Tired”), I remember it was a Saturday and work was coming up in two days and I hated BestBuy. I just felt that frustration in my body and I was just tired. I have all these people around me that I love but I just know that I’m stressed out because I’m at a place that I don’t want to be at. I finished (“Tired”) later and we all agreed like, “Yeah, we did a pretty good job.”
TP: “Dreams” fits the theme of the project perfectly despite it being about 10 months prior, did you know it would fit into the project well?
P: When I made “Dreams,” I knew that it was going to be a part of the project. I think that everybody likes “Dreams,” but I think everyone is going to love “Dreams” (more) after hearing “Tired” because it's like you're getting a snapshot of a moment, but you don't really know what it's connected to until you really see the whole thing. “Dreams” has its purpose, but when you come out of “Tired'' and then you hear “Dreams,” it's me literally talking about being trapped to the point where I wanna achieve everything. I feel personally for me when I first dropped it, I think people liked “Dreams” a lot, but I feel like it didn't get the justice it should have deserved because it wasn't in context. Now that it’s in context, I think people are gonna really love it just from the struggles of having to work every day. I got a lot of homies who make music and I remember just watching them do everything while I'm sitting in BestBuy checking my Instagram every day like, “Damn, what's going on?” Mind you, that was all in 2018. I spent a lot of 2018 watching all my homies make moves. I was thinking about quitting BestBuy at the time, that's when I penned that whole thing. The second verse wasn’t always the same way it was, but then I said, “Let's refine this a little bit more, let's actually dig a little bit deeper.” I had to tap into that. For me it was important, especially after “Tired,” because you're getting hit with a track like that then you get some level of relief.
TP: How did the Deante’ Hitchcock feature come about on “Typical Shit”?
P: I was chilling at my girlfriend’s house and one of my homies, Colin, sent me a tweet from Deante’. It was like, “I wanna work with KOTA The Friend and I’ve heard about this Chris Patrick dude. Is he cold?” I already knew I wanted him on the project. Even before he tweeted that, I had reached out to him via DM like, “Are you doing any features right now? Give me a budget, let me know what’s going on.” Two days later, he tweeted that and then, next thing I know, we’re DM’ing. I sent him some tracks but he was busy so we didn’t really get to him, but then he ended up talking about how he wanted to do a verse a day so I did that with him. In the midst of all this stuff going on over the course of some months, I’m literally just dropping stuff. I think I had one official drop, “Dreams,” between all of this, but I’m just dropping regularly like YouTube videos just trying to get my face seen. In the midst of all of that going on, I’m doing the verse a day stuff with Deante’. “Typical Shit” was actually day two or three and he heard it and was like, “Yo, I gotta get on this; let’s keep this pushing.”
TP: In “Peace of Mind” you say, “You're gonna see who’s really there when the drugs fade.” Talk about that track and what it means to you.
P: The craziest thing about that whole song was that I did so many revisions on it. I didn't really know where I was going at first with it, but something just clicked to me. When I was in college, everybody was getting turnt. I remember one time in the midst of getting lit off my ass one day, I was sitting there with the homies and I just remember that everybody was all together having a good time. Then I just felt lonely, I just felt dumb lonely. We always turn up at parties and shit, and people have to turn to weed, alcohol, all that shit for peace of mind, ultimately. So it's like a double-edged sword. I feel like moving through this whole music industry is crazy. It’s really the desire to keep that peace of mind when your peace of mind is shattered. Sometimes when you feel stressed out you do stuff like you smoke or you drink and all that shit and you take your head to a higher level. Sometimes when that bliss is so prominent in you and you feel like you're missing out on some shit, you're gonna keep going to it eventually. Your peace of mind becomes dependent on something else and when that fades, the love fades as well so it's not even like the love of the people around you, it’s the internal love. It's the love from the drugs, it’s the love of the moment and all of that fades at the end of the day. I really explore a lot of that within the first one and a half verses, whereas the second verse where I say, “I jack / I rob / I sin / I take.” I go into that whole thing because, for me, it's the question of, “Why do you pray you don't lose your peace of mind?” Because I do all this shit and I know what it's going to take to get here. If it means becoming a villain to see all my homies doing great – that's the mindset of this. When those drugs fade, you're gonna see who’s really there. It's crazy when you really look at it, but that's really where my mind was when I wrote it because it's like, with this whole journey, it doesn't have to be music but any journey where you try to be the greatest of yourself, the only peace of mind you really find is in being your greatest self to get to that greatest point. When you finally get there, it's like, “I achieved it, what's next?” The peace of mind switches again, it's an inevitable cycle of it. My whole message on (“Peace of Mind”) was, “I pray I don’t lose my peace of mind in all this shit,” and I feel like I am at some points. I was just talking to the homies today and I said, “I need a break; I feel like I'm burning out.” But we're still here. We’ve got a project dropping, we still have more shit to do, I can’t sleep yet.
TP: “3AM” and “Seattle Interlude” seem to be a story about being with a girl and trying to balance the good and the bad, especially when it comes to her insecurities. Talk about the correlation between the two.
P: “Peace of Mind,” for me, is the party. That’s where it’s lit. “3AM” is that slide, we've all been there. I've been at parties before where I've slid on my girlfriend afterward. It's just a decompress moment. That's one way to look at it because a lot of these stories that I do tell are mine, but a lot of them are inspired by a lot of my homies. In that moment of “Peace Of Mind,” I've had homie before slide on girls which led to that brewing issue on “Seattle Interlude.” That slide sometimes can turn into a little bit more than what you expected it to be. It's like, after that moment of sliding to decompress, you really do talk out a lot of your feelings with people, especially when you’re lit. When you look at that second verse it’s like, “Hey, I know you've been done dirty before. I'm gonna rock with you. Make sure you’re good, taken care of, all of that. We’re straight.” I don't even think “3AM” is the real gem in all this, it’s “Seattle Interlude” because that whole moment of “3AM.” I’ve been there before. I've seen people slide on these people thinking that they’re the one and still see them messing with their ex in those moments which leads into “Seattle Interlude.” A lot of the whole “3AM” and “Seattle Interlude” combo comes from insecurities. It's the idea that love is a fleeting moment and we may not be able to hold on to that too long. Breaking that whole thing down, asking him to literally proclaim him as yours knowing he got a shorty and he's gonna act like he doesn't know you when it pops up. Which then leads into the next part of “Seattle Interlude.” The first rapper on (“Seattle Interlude”) is my homie, Noah. He's a part of my group, “CXR,” which stands for crossroads because it's an intersection of talent. We have a bunch of different people here rocking on this whole thing. The intersection itself will literally lead you down a road of glorious paths and blends of all the different varieties of sound that exist within the group. His verse was phenomenal because he breaks it down and talks about it from a perspective of like, “Obviously, there's insecurities brewing with all of this stuff, but from my perspective, you really did me dirty.” In his instance, it’s like, “I tried to be that crutch. You did me dirty and there's no way to save us from that because of everything brewing. I slid on you, I told you I was gonna rock with you. And even though I told you I had you, you still are hesitant because of all of your past issues, which leads to the future and current ones.” Switch to my verse and the idea that sometimes we try to fix people, we try to be their crutch. The biggest issue a lot of times with crutches is that doctors tell you not to put too much weight and don't depend on them much because you tend to adapt your body, you tend to literally become dependent on that. And if you don't heal what's going on, you're going to be walking with a limp. You're going to be walking with that crutch. Essentially what's happening now, “because I always slide on you at 3 a.m., because you always have these insecurities. I always reassure you and you're not always on point with everything. I'm serving as a crutch and I f--- with you. Seeing that I'm your crutch and seeing that I f--- with you, the only thing I can do is wait it out with you through the midst of this madness and watch you transform through all of it.” The voicemail in between, that's actually my friend who did it. My point of the break on “Seattle Interlude” was like, “You clearly are a side woman to another dude, I'm here rocking with you right in front of you. There's no reason why this isn't working.” She says in the voicemail, “I don't know why you have the nerve to talk to me like this.” We all have different things that we go through. In reality, we look at our own relationships. Especially when you're trying to find love, sometimes your past insecurities can brew in and it can stop you from loving a person moving forward. Or, your insecurities don't have you falling in love with people but you end up lusting people, which you find out in the next track, “Gray.”
“Gray” for me kind of is a little bit of a contextual jump, people may not catch it or may catch it. But just the realization of love as a whole from “3AM” to “Seattle Interlude” is kind of depressing. Sometimes when you're depressed, not only do you look at the moment that really just f---s you up, but you look at it all. If we add a more contextual reference to this, searching for that peace of mind, you’re frustrated from work, life sucks because of typical shit that happens, your love life is trash, everything feels gray. It's like really looking at all of these situations as a whole and just trying to ask yourself, “Why are we here?” For me, I've chalked up that first verse to just being an understanding of our masculinity as individuals. I feel like men as a whole, especially how we're raised no matter what background you’re from, we are born into a patriarchy. The idea is that we have to be strong a lot of times turns off our emotions and we turn off who we are as people. Instead of us being brothers, we end up being enemies. It’s okay to cry. It's okay to feel emotion. That's where a lot of my music really comes from, I think that's why it hits a lot. Being able to show people that side is what really brings people in. The second verse dives a little bit deeper into that. It starts in the homes and how we’re raised. Growing up as a guy, you could tell somebody you're depressed and they look at you like a bitch even though I am going through something, maybe we can express this a lot more. I feel like that lack of being able to express oneself does lead into those moments where men do women wrong and that's where that whole lusting idea comes in. My favorite run through this whole project is “Peace Of Mind,” “3AM,” “Seattle Interlude” and “Gray” because it’s an evaluation of the mental through all of this. Where “Gray” rounds out is like, “Maybe the idea of love isn't a thing for me because as men, we were grown up to think that lusting over women and taking down a woman or having sex with whoever and doing them dirty was the way to boost our greatness.” Once we finally come to that realization that we might have actually damaged not only ourselves but these women that we could have had great things with, you revert back to that moment of where you were at with “Peace Of Mind.” It's a cycle. It’s an infinite loop of life. Eventually, you've got to break out of that. With “Gray,” it's really the submission to the idea of like, “We are screwed. We've got to figure this shit out because something's not right.” A lot of people would ask me if I said, “Everything is gray” or “Everything is great.” Honestly, it's both. Accepting the situation ahead, “Everything is great” or “Everything is gray.” Whichever one you want to hear, It contextually fits everything going on. And then Alex (Banin) takes it away at the end. She really added more atmosphere to that whole thing.
TP: Throughout a lot of your music, you bring up the idea that you aren't content with where you’re at. On “Okay” though, you show some acknowledgment toward the progress you've made. Was that your intention with this track?
P: I would say I was struggling with depression for some time. I feel great now, but I remember when I was really going through it. A lot of the times I would talk to my mother and I would tell her how I just feel crazy with all of this shit going on. In all of these conversations, she’d always be like, “You're my son, you're gonna be good. I feel where you’re coming from Chris, and I’m not trying to not acknowledge what you're saying, but you're gonna be good, I promise you, you're gonna be okay.” That was a grand moment every time she said it for me. So with that being said, I wanted to make (“Okay”) sound the way my mother speaks to me, I want it to sound just as grand as hearing those words from the first time that I was ever able to talk to her about the shit I was going through. A lot of the hook on “Okay” is just a flipped version of “Gray.” The reason for why is because that's literally how the conversations went when I was talking about all the negative stuff, and she would literally flip it into positive energy to which you see on the hook. That negative flip to the positive one really hit for me. When that hook comes back around, it’s my mom reminding me, “Even when you lost, you're gonna be straight, you're gonna be okay.” This is the first time on the project where there's a light. It's like that hopefulness in my head is coming back now. Then, that last hook comes in and it's just so grand. It's like, “Wow, we are going to be okay after going through that.” It's like we just went through a rollercoaster the first seven tracks, but you're going into track eight and I want you to know you're going to be good; don't worry. It kind of even prepares you for the next step, “Give It All,” because this whole project is my life, but it's also the stories of me and my friends and what we all went through. A lot of the time, the biggest problem with me in my life was that I struggled with so much shit to the point that it was a continuous cycle. It wasn't until I accepted that I was where I was and that things weren’t going to change that I decided to finally be able to take those big steps to say, “Let's commit.” In 2019, I was going through some craziness. It was that decision to literally say, “Let's give it one more try. Let's give it one more try to make this happen,” and that's where a lot of this project comes from. If we take off “Okay” and we end the project at “Gray,” this project is sad as hell, but “Okay” is where that acceptance of everything going on has literally been taken into account. At that point, I’m like, “I know this shit sucks, but we got to make a play.” That's where “Give It All” comes in.
The first half (of “Give It All”) is just me thinking, “You got to commit, you can't be anything in this life unless you commit to the vision of where you see yourself. Even if nobody else sees it, you got to commit to it.” I remember back in 2018 and 2019, nobody believed in me – nobody knew to believe in me. “Give It All'' was really the summary of it because that was where I really committed to everything just making my dreams come true. “If God made the world in seven days / imagine what a little brother from Jersey could do in 28.” Even that big talk of confidence like, I literally lock myself into the point where it's like I have to keep going because I know if I get to this place, it’s going to be able to allow me to do so much more for myself. That first verse is literally that testament to that. It's like, “I know how hard this is going to be and I know how crazy it’s going to get with all this shit.” You see people every day selling their souls to be on top. I don't plan to kill my integrity. I would literally sacrifice everything in this world to go crazy with my music if it meant I could take care of my girl, my homies, my family and everybody, which I divulge in on the next verse. When I say, “developing negatives,” you develop a negative to get a picture. We develop them from the negatives instilled from us from our ancestors and all the shit that we came through to develop a picture that's gonna be more beautiful. I want to be able to put my parents in a crib. I'm 100% certain that the girl I'm with currently is going to be the girl I spend the rest of my life with. I would definitely say my goal is to be able to take her everywhere that she's ever dreamed of. I want to be able to take her to show all these places and just be able to show her all the stuff that I'm able to do. I want to be able to take her and show her that there's so much more to this world than East Orange and New Jersey. I want to be able to put on all my homies that I've been doing this shit with forever. “Give It All” is glorious for me because it’s me speaking all the shit I want to be able to do into existence. I want to see everybody be good. To land the point on the exact mark, my girlfriend hit me with the closing voicemail. I remember the first time we played (“Give It All”) in an actual studio for everybody and I will never forget it. The whole moment for me was just so incredible. And then the whole follow up on it, “I would give it all if it meant we’d be fine” is the icing on the cake. In the midst of all of this, even though it's crazy as hell, even though there's frustration, even though there's drugs with “Peace Of Mind,” even though our love lives suck, even though we're depressed and even though we keep telling ourselves that it's gonna be okay, I still have to get up every day and put my everything into all of this shit to make sure in the midst of all the craziness going, me and the gang are still gonna be successful so that we can give back to everybody. That's where this whole project comes from; it's literally from the heart. We don't focus on the numbers, we focus on the impact.