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Chip: On his American dream

BIG DREAMS: Chip

WITH A string of hits and several awards under his belt, many were left stunned when UK rapper Chip, formerly known as Chipmunk, left it all behind for a fresh start in America.

However, it is clear to see that the 21-year-old’s strong work ethic and ambition make him a force to be reckoned with.

After dedicating his childhood to building up a sizable British fan base, the MOBO award-winner recently signed to US rapper T.I's Atlanta-based label, Grand Hustle.

He explains: “I had a moment in my career when I had hit after hit, but I asked myself, ‘does it feel real?'”

“I said to myself ‘I don’t want to be any bigger unless it feels real and I am doing what I want to do.

"You can have 10 hits and it doesn’t mean a thing – nobody remembers your name and I don’t want to be that guy,” he adds.

Although the move was a “big deal” for him, he claims it was the right one.

“I just felt like nobody in the UK had the same vision for myself as I did, so it [signing to a British label] was pointless, no matter what the figures were going to be.”

He continued: “But a few people in America shared the belief that I have in myself of somehow becoming a global artist and T.I was the one that I clicked with the most.”

Chip, who can now list US stars such as Trey Songz and Chris Brown as fans, says he feels that others could be inspired by his courage.

“I think a lot of rappers and young MCs can see that at 21, I can decide to take control of my life, pack my bags and move country, just to follow my dreams,” he explains.

He says that his new mixtape, entitled London Boy, he explains that it features some of the biggest stars from both sides of the pond, including rap stars, Meek Mill and Wretch 32.

“This is the first project that I feel like I had full freedom making and I am so proud of it,” he says.

In a bid to test his loyalty to the UK (after all, we had him first) I ‘unfairly’ demand that he choose between British and American women.

After a long pause, he finally answers: “If I have to pick, I would say America, but just because of the size.”

I gasp. “Wait! If you say like Atlanta and London that’s different, because size-wise it is more realistic to compare.”

He continues digging himself out of the hole he has made: "I would say that the ratio of women to men in Atlanta is 14 to one, so the quantity to choose quality from bigger,” he laughs, “but I like my British girls too!”

He later confirms that he has a 'love interest,' but will provide no further details.

The young star is keen to prove that he hasn't forgotten where he has come from hand will be taking part in a UK tour with British youth company, Bigga Fish.

“I am headlining the Bigga Fish tour. They are definitely a company that love to see young people succeed. I remember I killed Bigga Fish when I was like 16!”

“I have to say that at a key stage in your career, if you don’t kill a Bigga Fish show, you are not an MC – it is that simple,” he laughs.

Chip will be headlining the Bigga Fish Champions Tour from July 20 - 25. For more information, visit: www.biggafish.com

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