I suffered great loss in a short amount of time and it felt like I was drowning in a sea of emotions. I turned to music as an escape.

Beloved Pawtucket lyricist Chachi Carvalho lost his dad to pancreatic cancer just over a year ago, an unexpected and devastating event for his family. A bedside journal Charles “Chachi” Carvalho kept during the final three days of Carlos “Pops” Carvalho comes to life in stunning fashion on his latest disc, In Dust Real Evolution (available at iTunes and The nine cuts are often followed by somber yet ultimately uplifting spoken-word excerpts from the journal, depicting a whirlwind of emotions. Musically, longtime friends/collaborators J. DePina and DJ Therion bring the heat with some of the most impressive Carvalho cuts to date (the three will team up at the Met as the Beard Brothers).

During a recent conversation, Chachi discussed the lessons and inspiration his dad (nicknamed “Diamantino”) instilled in him.

“Pops taught me to be forgiving to others,” Chachi said. “My father did not want to leave anyone wondering, so apologized to those he felt he needed to and he expressed love to all.

“He was laying in his bed watching a natural disaster sweep through Haiti, and he looks over at me and says, ‘I’m dying and I have the chance to say whatever I want to whoever I want before I go, but they never got that chance.’

“It was very inspiring.”

His dad’s presence during Chachi’s formative years left an indelible impression on how he approaches raising his own kids.

“My dad was highly supportive while I was growing up, he was one of the only parents during my whole high school football career to attend every game,” he recalled. “My team won four straight Super Bowls at Shea when I played. We made history, and I’ll always remember how proud he was when he saw my face in the paper for the All-State team. He showed it to everyone with tears in his eyes.”

A touching tribute and escape valve on wax, In Dust Real Evolution also displays some of the finest moments in the Carvalho catalog (his Red, Green and Blue mixtapes are available for free at his site), a lyricist we’ve watched mature since his early days slaying the competition on BET’s 106 & Park “Wild-Out Wednesdays.” I asked how difficult it was getting in the booth to record these highly personal songs.

“I never really have a hard time writing because I write reality, but recording what I wrote after he passed away was one of the hardest moments of my life,” he told me.

“I still can’t listen to the journal entries, but it was important for me to share my experience.”

1  |  2  |   next >
Related: Photos: Jenny Dee and the Deelinquents at TT's, Interview: The Wippets, From solid to standout, More more >
  Topics: Music Features , 50 Cent, Music, Pharoahe Monch,  More more >
| More

Most Popular
Share this entry with Delicious

 See all articles by: CHRIS CONTI