C.L. Smooth, permanent fixture in the history of hip-hop, once blessed us all with many classics including They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y), The Creator, Straighten it Out, and of course his dope verse with Run D.M.C.’s Down With The King, amongst many others. C.L. is still as smooth as ever and ready to make more history with his latest album coming off Shamen Works Records. Make sure to read this interview and look out for his latest release!
Interview by Rob Schwartz

WHO?MAG: So you recently just signed with Shamon Works Records. How did this deal come about?
C.L. Smooth: I wanted to get myself out and have the chance to prove myself and Shamon works gave me the creativity and opportunity to do what I wanted to do.

WHO?MAG: What advice could you give a discouraged upcoming artist who has been in the rap game for a while but is still having a hard time breaking down that door?
C.L. Smooth: I feel that if you feel you have enough talent to break into the business, and your style isn’t outdated, you should do what you feel and pursue it and definitely never give up confidence in yourself. Dreams do come true. I know it may sound very cliquish and corny, but it does.

WHO?MAG: What are your thoughts on downloading and bootlegging?
C.L. Smooth: I hate it. I HATE IT! I hate the whole action. The only positive spin I could possibly put on it is that from the poor taste of it, it allows people to hear your music.

WHO?MAG: Do you feel that the quality of music in 2005 has improved or taken a back seat to music from 10 to 20 years ago?
C.L. Smooth: I feel that music sometimes is taking a back seat opposed to the lyrical content from a few years ago, which was much more richer during that era. There are some aspects that have improved, but there are a lot of negative and disgusting music out there lyrically wise, but just making in quality wise. They aren’t as good artistically wise or witty enough or thought of enough to be considered a legitimate hit record. Before it was more lyrical and more dangerous. But It’s all about how the music and how it affects you.

WHO?MAG: What’s next in store for CL Smooth?
C.L. Smooth: I’m about to come out with my single for the summer called “Warm Outside” backed with the single called “I Can’t Help It”. Two very big strong records for the summer. They are coming out on my forth coming EP from CL Smooth being followed by a nice mixtape. Look out for those projects. That should determine what I would do as far as my album.