Artists often embark on journeys of self-discovery and experimentation, exploring different facets of their creativity. And Deftones' Chino Moreno is one clear example. Over the years, Moreno has showcased his versatility, proving himself not just as a talented singer but also as a rapper. However, in a recent revelation, he confessed that he may be losing his rap edge.
Back in the early days of the Sacramento-based band, Moreno occasionally traded his screams for rap verses, demonstrating an impressive ability to blend the worlds of rap and metal seamlessly. Tracks like "Engine No. 9" and "Back to School (Mini Magit)" bear testament to his lyrical dexterity, making fans wonder why he's been silent on the rap front in recent times.
In a recent conversation with Kerrang!, Moreno and his Crosses bandmate Shaun Lopez discussed their collaboration with El-P, one-half of the acclaimed duo Run The Jewels, on a track titled "Big Youth."
Lopez excitedly shared his experience working with El-P and his rap prowess. However, when the interviewer probed Moreno about why he didn't consider contributing rap verses to the song, the response was surprising.
"Man, I just don't think I really can anymore. I have stated plenty of times that writing lyrics, to me, feels like a task at times – and rapping has so many words! By singing, I can stretch the words out, so I don't have to write as many words (laughs). That's sort of my excuse for not doing it anymore. And I'm out of practice."
On the track "Big Youth," Moreno unknowingly delves back into the realm of rap, showcasing a cadence and vocal delivery reminiscent of his earlier rap days.
"Funnily enough, though, on 'Big Youth' I get the closest to rapping as I have in many years, in as far as my vocals and the cadence of them and the way they're loosely formatted in a rap. I didn't even realize that until afterwards – Shaun's wife said, 'Damn, how did you get Chino to rap?' And I said, 'When am I rapping?' I guess it kind of is."
"The whole song was loosely based around a Beastie Boys vibe. We were in the studio and I wanted a track that was just a straight 808 beat. In the end, we’ve sort of balanced it out – it's not out of Crosses’ realm, but it’s definitely a nod to the stuff we grew up with.”
Crosses new album Goodnight, God Bless, I Love U, Delete. is out now.