What got you into music and rapping? When me and my little brother (Aaron were) young, we used to try to sing. It was really bad. (Laughs) My younger brother (is) 26 now, I'm 28. He was good at writing poems. He always got me into writing the poems. We started listening to a lot more hip-hop . . . and realized it was nothing but poems. We started writing our own raps and putting them together. My little brother inspired me in a way.
What were some of the poets you read? (Maya Angelou), Langston Hughes
Who were your influences? Fab 5 Freddy, Grandmaster Flash and a lot of the old-school rappers like Kool and the Gang, Kool G Rap, Tupac (and The Notorious) B.I.G.
How did you get your nickname? That was a nickname from where I used to live in the Bronx, New York. All my friends, you know, we went to see the movie "Face/Off," and they gave me the name that Nicolas Cage had in the movie, Castor Troy. That became . . . a stage name. It fits perfectly because there's always two sides of a person. There's the side that you see and the inside that you don't see.
When did you decide to pursue rap? I've been doing it for about 13 years. About two, two-and-a-half years ago is when I really started pressing it (and when I moved to State College) a lot of people started really telling me, "You've got talent. You can take it somewhere." About a year ago, I moved out here to York. I came to visit (my family in York) one day. That's when, you know, I met Kamillion. I've done collaborations with him. Then, I met up with Kamaflaj. He inspired me. He took me to studios. That's my right-hand man. That's my partner.
Like any current rappers? Top, first and foremost, I love Eminem (and) Eclipse. (I) like young artists and the underdogs because I feel like I'm in that place myself.
What sets you apart? Just my style period. I story-tell, but at the same time most of my raps tell a lot of the stuff I've been through in my life, like the hardships and me hustling when I was young. Right now, I'm still going through the grind. I'm trying to raise my two kids, and it's hard. I love music, but (the rap) will take care of my kids. That's what I'm hoping will put them through college.
Have you performed in the area yet? I've performed at several talent shows in the Bronx. Out here, I opened a show with Kamaflaj for Peedi Crakk of State Property. He's a cool person, down to earth. (I'm) hoping to do more shows. I met a lot of people out here. All it is about right now is just me getting on my feet with this music thing.
Have you been in the studio yet? Yeah, several times thanks to Star the super-producer of York City. His beats are phenomenal. He's an excellent producer. I went to several studios in the area (including) Skollaz (and) Mellow D's.
It seemed like for a while there hip-hop was on the downslide. What are your thoughts on that? Hip-hop is never dead. Honestly, it's my life. If I can't pick up and pen and pad and write a song, I feel depressed. If I can't get into the studio, I feel depressed. If no one hears my music, I feel depressed.
What is the hardest thing about what you do? One of the hardest things and challenging things about what I do is to balance my children with my career and then the money. Right now, I'm in a struggle like so bad. I need some kind of exposure that's going to get me out there. I keep a positive mind because I can see myself in the game, and I can see my kids not having to want the way I wanted. (The hardships) have inspired me. I'm on the verge of doing an album now. It should be coming out at the end of this year or the beginning of next year.
-- ERIN McCRACKEN, FLIPSIDE STAFF
Check him out
For details, visit www.myspace.com/castortroyakathetragedy.
To listen to the entire interview, visit www.flipsidepa.-