“In groups I did before, sometimes we had pop sensibilities and you don’t want to offend this, that and the third,” says the MC, once a side player in the defunct crew Bohemian Fifth. “Sometimes certain references I used to make weren’t immediately recognizable.
“But I feel like in my solo ventures, that’s what I’m supposed to do,” he continues. “I’m supposed to make these terms recognizable. I’m supposed to make people know who Fred Hampton is, I’m supposed to make people know who Bobby Seale is, who Sonia Sanchez is. Or Amiri Baraka is.”
Castro came to hip-hop 10 years ago while studying poetry at Temple under Sanchez. Some friends began performing as Nemesis, and he came on board as their hype man — a role he later relished in Natural Burners and Bo 5th.
But as those groups dissolved, Castro kept rapping and writing, developing his skills to do more than just bring the party.”
Read the full feature story on Curly Castro (alongside Kurt Vile and others) in today’s City Paper and if you’re in Philly, grab this issue on newstands now.
And you can still pick up his debut LP Winston’s Appealfor free over at Castro’s bandcamp