Robert A. Cepeda professionally known as 3RD DEGREE, is an American Hip-Hop artist, songwriter, producer, and graphic designer with thought-provoking lyrics, smooth vocals, and a throwback delivery often compared to greats such as Nas, Jadakiss, Jay-Z, and Scarface. He writes music from an honest and personal perspective, crafting engaging stories and developed melodies, all while bringing the excitement of his music to life.
Honing in on a new wave flair the propels the old school Hip-hop essence of 3RD DEGREE, his latest single “Christmas,” has us immersed in a thought-provoking song fixated on his lyrical dexterity. Coming from the album ‘My Time In Rap,’ we hear the structure of the verses trickle into personal experiences that revolve around his career in the rap entertainment industry.
Lyrical motifs such as ‘From B-side singles, this rap shit was Plan A, Plan B was the pistols,’ etch themselves into your mind as the wordplay exudes the flair from a seasoned artist in the industry. As we find ourselves swaying to the instrumentation rich in opulent guitar riffs, golden horns, and a reminiscent drum pattern that drives home the Boom Bap essence in “Christmas.”
The second verse has to be our favorite as 3RD DEGREE shouts out various vets to the Hip-hop and R&B genre as he works their names into intricately crafted bars that punch with passion. 3RD DEGREE is a heavy hitter when it comes to how he flexes his rhyme schemes through slick cadences and a hunger in his tonal distinction.
Inviting his listeners into a deeper expression of witty metaphors speaking the truth, the confident nature of him implants a sense of self-assured swagger in the way that we’ll carry ourselves from here on out.
Listen to "Christmas" here.
Welcome to BuzzMusic, 3RD DEGREE. To say that we love “Christmas,” would be an understatement. Your wordplay is next level! Could you please take us into the overall concept behind the song’s narrative?
Thank you, so much writing for me is a labor of love on so many levels. The overall concept of the Song “Christmas” is taking it back to an era when you actually had to go to a physical store to purchase music. In the second verse, I use the titles of albums and artists that I have actually purchased to describe the state of the music industry.
What’s this song’s significance to you as it comes off of the album ‘My Time In Rap?' Do you find it reflects you as both an artist and individual in an authentic way?
The song “Christmas” takes me back to being a teenager in the late 90s early 2000s using the money from my part-time Job to buy music that I felt was special, unlike today where $10 gives you access to unlimited music from any artist and any other genre of music. Before you really had to decide what you wanted and cracking open those CDs felt like Christmas Morning. It was some personal then.
We would love it if you could shine a light on the creative process you endured when structuring this track. Did you work with anyone else in order to achieve the desired sound you had envisioned?
My creative process comes from anywhere, watching TV, surfing the Web, reading blogs. This song “Christmas” came from a “Throwback Thursday” post on Instagram of me posting Some CDs that I had purchased knowing the kids nowadays didn’t really know what that felt like….it felt like Christmas!
What has been the best piece of advice that you have received throughout your career?
The best advice I’ve heard is: You're always one hit away from everything changing. Just put in the work no excuses just do it.
What's next for you?
Well, I’m working on releasing a few music videos for the MY TIME IN RAP project the response. For me, it's really has been amazing. Putting together a limited edition vinyl version of the project just to tie into the classic feel of the project!