Crhymes lets the government pay for their next record
Photograph by Melissa Gene
Legitimate loot: Cesar “Crhymes” Tellez is not afraid of going to jail for his financial schemes.
“I was able to secure a PPP loan with the SBA to support my music career,” says southeast San Diego rapper Cesar “Crhymes” Tellez. Despite the 15-month career loss to Covid, “the blessing was an opportunity to receive assistance from the Small Business Administration in the form of grants and forgivable loans. I’m just a tenth grade dropout, and I was able to figure this shit out on my own.
“It turns out that 2019, for the first time, I actually made more money in music-related revenue than with Uber or Airbnb combined. I’ve started accepting payments for my merchandise and music services through PayPal, Cash App, and Venmo, and these companies track your sales and send you a 1099 form to report your taxes. With this 1099 completed and filed, I was able to prove that I am a legitimate small business paying taxes. This is how I was able to get the EIDL grant of $ 10,000 from the SBA. Later in 2021, they established a new rule that states that if your small business has suffered a loss of revenue greater than 50%, you can receive an additional grant of $ 5,000. I went ahead and did my taxes for 2020 and it showed that I had suffered a loss of over 50%. I then handed that over to the SBA and got this extra 5K. ”
It was not the end of the green government. “So I saw that the state of California also gives grants to small business owners. I have read and completed all the requirements for this program and, bam, got another grant to use for my small businesses. Thanks, California Relief Grant and SBA program. After seeing that I was able to get approval for these other grants based on my taxes, I thought to myself why not try P3 as well? They recently changed the rules for independent contractors like me to use 2019 gross annual income, as opposed to net income, to calculate the forgivable loan amount. Seeing that I am a legitimate small business with taxes and financial records to back it up, I had no fear of going to jail.
Tellez first made his mark with Sicko Records and DagoSD.com, as well as hosting a Friday night event on Imperial Beach called Club DagoSD and working with Bone Thugs-N-Harmony. His first solo effort, A closer breath, was followed by Evolution of rhymes. His label Crhyme Mate Entertainment has signed artists from San Diego (Big Ev & Thee Husstle) and UK (Shakezpeare).
Thanks to government programs, “I have money to invest in advertising, to promote, support tours, create more merch and all around me keep me in business. It’s money that I can use for my freelance career and don’t have to pay back, as long as I only use it for payroll and business expenses. And that’s exactly what I’m doing with this extra cash flow.
He sees the bonus as an improvement over being signed by a major label. “A recording contract is basically just an advance for a loan. The record company is the bank, and your recording contract is the loan. If you don’t earn the money they advanced you or the money they spend on your album launch, guess what? You have to pay back every penny with interest. And, more than likely, you’ll be sidelined and ostracized if you can’t pay it back. “
Crhymes to use part of the money to remaster a deluxe edition of their album Brutality, which included contributions from Snoop Dog, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, and a divorcing superstar whose credibility has plunged. “At that time, Kanye West made this remark that slavery was a choice, just as I was rolling out the project in 2018. It didn’t help matters at all. At that point nobody wanted to hear new Yeezy songs, the audience was crazy. “