Editor’s note: In “Tweets Is Watching,” Phillip Mlynar asks local artists questions based solely on the contents of their Twitter timeline.
CJ Fly is an integral part of the Brooklyn-based Pro Era rap movement. Following in the footsteps of Joey Bada$$ and the sadly departed Capital STEEZ, the self-proclaimed Flyest in the Era has released his own solo project, Thee Way Eye See It. While you cop that, here’s CJ explaining his Twitter timeline references to Bruce Willis movies, getting hit with parking tickets, and revealing exactly how he persuaded Phife to step back into the booth and guest on the song “Seek Well.”
— RESPECT. MAGAZINE (@RESPECTMAG) October 9, 2013
How has the reaction to the mixtape been?
I’ve been getting nothing but positive feedback on it. I haven’t had one bit of negative feedback yet, honestly! People have been praising it and speaking positively about it.
How did you get Phife on a song?
Ha, when I was in California shooting the “Tug-At-War” video I was hanging out with a good friend of mine who works with Q-Tip. I ended up talking to Tip’s manager and mentioned I was making this project and that it would be great to have him on it. Phife followed up on his word and we connected.
Were you surprised that Phife agreed to get on the song?
Not surprised ’cause I believe in manifesting anything you want to do. There’s no limit stopping you. It was just like an example of showing me how that can come true.
So I’m guessing you’re a big fan of A Tribe Called Quest?
Of course, man. I used to think they lived on my block back in the day! I used to be on Linden Boulevard so I was like, “Oh, that’s just right down the street!”
When did you first hear Tribe?
Back in junior high school. I didn’t grow up on hip-hop–I grew up on reggae–so I only started exploring Tribe in like seventh grade. I remember seeing their videos as a kid even though I never really understood who they were. That one video where they’re standing on top of the cleaners?
“Check The Rhime”?
Yeah, I remember seeing that as a kid and thinking these guys were ill! I’m a big fan of the white album [The Love Movement].
Are there likely to be any more collaborations between you and Phife?
Oh yeah, he hit me the other day and told me he was sending me another joint he wants to do together. That’s all I’m going to say for now…
just got a parking ticket, FUCK!
— CJ Fly (@FLYestintheeERA) October 8, 2013
Where did you get the parking ticket?
Ah, man, yeah, I was actually at Joey Bada$$’s house when I got the ticket–isn’t that messed up? I don’t get tickets often but I used to get them all the time in college. This was just one night we were hanging out and it went on too long.
Do you have any tips to get out of paying parking tickets?
Yeah, like I said in the song “Day zZz’s,” I talk about an officer messing up the ticket so I don’t have to pay that shit! Usually what happens is the officer messes up either the car details or the license plate and they can get dismissed easily like that. But this time they got everything right so they screwed me over.
Who’s the dog you post pictures of?
That’s my first child! His name is Gino.
What’s Gino’s personality like?
He’s only a year so he’s still shaping his personality but he’s very intelligent. I had a dog trainer come over the other day and he impressed her. She said she’d never seen a dog untie himself from the leashes and walk away. He’s a very conscious dog. I feel like he feeds off my energy a lot. He does a lot of stuff that surprises me at times like this is really my child!
Does Gino ever react when you play music around him?
Actually, just two days ago I seen him started barking when I was playing something. He’s growing up, he’s developing his taste. I was playing some new T’nah Apex–she’s got some new stuff coming–and I was playing it on my phone and he started going crazy. He must be a big fan!
Does anyone else in Pro Era have a dog?
Nah, no one right now. Well, Nyck [Caution] has a little pussy dog…
Bruce Willis my favorite actor but if he not doing some type of action other than talking, I can’t enjoy the film.
— CJ Fly (@FLYestintheeERA) October 10, 2013
You’re a Bruce Willis fan, right?
Yeah, I love Bruce Willis movies. The other day I was talking to someone and they told me about Moonrise Kingdom and said he did well in that without having any guns, but I don’t know. I’ll have to watch that shit for myself.
If there was a Pro Era movie, who would you want to play you?
Myself! I mean, it would have to be someone who knows me. I don’t think there are any actors who look like me so it might be awkward.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 16, 2013