Citizen Cope Is Winning the Race

In the classic tortoise versus the hare race, Citizen Cope is clearly the former. A number of recording artists have sold a myriad of discs during a brief period before descending into oblivion.        However, Cope aka Clarence Greenwood is the antithesis of Marcy’s Playground, The Rentals and Republica. Cope released four albums during the last decade that sell steadily without the benefit of airplay.        About 1,000 copies of Citizen Cope product sells each week, according to Billboard. More than 250,000 units of his second album, 2004’s  ‘The Clarence Greenwood Recordings’ have been purchased to date.       The laidback songsmith is out behind his latest album, ‘The RainWater LP,’ which recently dropped.       Greenwood, who will kick off  a three-night stand Thursday at the Theater of Living Arts in support of the project, has quietly graduated from clubs to theaters. “A lot of people who won Grammys and have had a good bit of airplay can’t play the places that I play,” Greenwood said. “I work hard. I tour a lot and just bust my butt. It’s all because of what I put into it. It hasn’t been easy.”         It hasn’t been a cakewalk for the independent recording artist since he crafts eclectic albums full of blues, rock and hip-hop.       “It’s been a little difficult but I make music for the art of it,” Greenwood said. “A lot of people make music for the celebrity of it. I’ll never follow trends or do anything I don’t feel like doing as an artist. That’s why it’s so gratifying to make an album on my terms and it still sells.”             The deep, intense vocalist-guitarist-keyboardist DJ, hopes ‘The Rainwater LP’ connects with fans like his prior releases. ‘Rainwater’ is a varied project, which is comprised of soul, reggae R&B, hip-hop and rock.  Expect Greenwood to tour extensively behind the disc.  ”I have to be out for a long time,” Greenwood said.  “That’s something a guy like me, who doesn’t sell millions of albums has to do. That’s just the way it is and I’m alright with that. I worked too hard not to keep myself out there. I don’t understand bands from the ‘90s like Soul Coughing that had a really good thing going. They had the airplay and played big places and they just gave it up when they broke up. There’s a lot of bands out there like that but I’ve been through so much that I’ll never let that happen. All I want to do is keep on playing and recording for as long as I can. I don’t know if there is a lot of people out there who do it for the same reasons I do.”       Greenwood doesn’t care if he ever makes an album that goes platinum. “That’s nice but I don’t ever think about that,” Greenwood said. “Selling a quarter of a million is good enough for me. So many great Bob Dylan and Randy Newman albums never sold more than 200,000 and they’re great albums. That’s what I would love. I’m just moving slow and steady.”


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