Local rapper Cesar "Crhymes" Tellez (left) recently released a collaboration with Ryan Bowers, who took his own life shortly after
Based in southeast San Diego, Cesar “Crhymes” Tellez first made his mark with Sicko Records and DagoSD.com, as well as hosting a Friday night Imperial Beach event called Club DagoSD and collaborating with Bone Thugs-n-Harmony. His first solo effort, One Breath Closer, was followed by Evolution of Crhymes. His record label Crhyme Mate Entertainment has signed artists from San Diego (Big Ev & Thee Husstle) and the United Kingdom (Shakezpeare).
His newest single “Reach Out” is a collaboration with the late Ryan Bowers. “He was signed to Nick Cannon’s label Ncredible before [Bowers’] untimely death. Last year, he was shot by the police in his room after a suicide attempt gone wrong. He survived that ordeal, only to successfully commit suicide a little over two months ago. Him and I were working in the studio on our long-awaited collaboration back in February, that’s where he made the beat to ‘Reach Out.’ But then I took notice that he wasn’t in the best mental shape that day, so I stopped the session in order to see how he was feeling and to let him know that I was here for him. Needless to say, that fell upon deaf ears.
“There was a bad vibe in the studio that night. When we first arrived at his studio in Old Town, it seemed like he was low key ignoring [collaborator] Spooks and myself for about an hour or two. Which is why Spooks had to leave that night. Ryan wasn’t smiling and joking around like he normally does. Mind you, I haven’t seen him since before the police shooting incident last year, so I figured he was just still recovering. The last time I saw him prior to our final studio session was last year in OB at a venue called the Holding Company. He rocked it that night, too. So to now see him with that emptiness in his eyes, and seeing the nerve damage he now had due to the bullet wounds, was very hard to sit through and process.
“His fingers kept twitching. His sweaty head was a little shaky. His lips were moving, but no words were coming out. He was chain-smoking way harder than I ever saw him do before. He also had mad coke residue in his nostrils. Homie looked like he was up for days and didn’t bother to find any time for a shower. Gone was the fun loving little dude I first connected with. At one point, he stood up and walked to where I was sitting and asked me to touch the wire that was holding his ribcage and chest together. Then he told me about the merch line he wanted to drop, which included things like razor blades and scissors printed on it.
“That’s why I had to stop the session, he was obviously going through a hard depression…. Little did I know the pandemic would hit soon after, and I would never get the opportunity to sit back down in the studio with him.”
“We never got to lay vocal to the beat he made for me. I was able to write a new song to the beat… being that we didn’t get to start the writing and recording process that night, the final version was recorded during the pandemic. I recorded myself in my home studio on my Pro Tools setup. I then took the session file to Jay Wat Productions for mixing and mastering purposes. Soon as I got the master back, I filmed, directed, and edited the music video to it.”
Crhymes first met Bowers around 2012 at Winstons in Ocean Beach. “I believe he went on either right before or right after my set. I remember giving the kid props because his style of rapping was rapid fast and harmonic similar to my favorite group Bone Thugs-n-Harmony. Over the coming years, we would run into each other at countless rap showcases throughout San Diego. I became a fan of his stuff as time went on. He even eventually made a song with Krayzie Bone of Bone Thugs called ‘Chasing Grammys’ that’s still one of my favorite songs to this very day. It came to the point where, if I knew the kid was playing at a bar near me, I’d show up and support, because I truly became a fan of his craft. His live shows were very energetic and kind of rock-like, with the body surfing.”
Crhymes hit on some hard times that found him facing depression as well. His tour van was once impounded, forcing him to post an online offer to ghostwrite or record for anyone with a few dollars to contribute. He also faced public derision over claims that, while shooting a video for the song “Everyday,” which features local rappers Black Mikey and Young Gee, he spotted a UFO.
“Reach Out” is a stand-alone single and music video that serves as his personal response to such struggles. “I don’t plan on sticking it on my upcoming bodies of work. I rewrote to the beat Ryan left behind as a way to not only honor his memory, but as a way to raise suicide awareness. I want to open the door to speaking out about this issue and creating some sort of dialogue. I know it’s uncomfortable and very dark, but real people feel this kind of pain every day.”
Ryan Bowers’ mother Victoria is starting a non-profit organization called the Ryan Bowers Foundation. “I’ll be working with the foundation when it gets all set up,” says Crhymes.