Thursday, December 7, 2006

Interviews::Classified

If you've read my review of Classified's latest album, Hitch Hikin' Music, or even my review of his previous album, Boy-Cott-In The Industry, you know I enjoy what he does. Now the leader of Halifax's (and Enfield's) MC pack has taken the time to do an interview with the hill, and we can all enjoy that. Seriously, Class answered our questions thoughtfully and honestly, so check it out:

You're from Enfield, Buck 65's from Mount Uniacke, do you think there's any particular aspect of small town life that helps create (Canadian) rap stars? Less people saying you're wack? That clean fresh air? Or is just a coincidence?
LOL… not sure, I guess with me, I felt like I had more to prove, coming from where I was living at and then moving to Halifax and finding out about the scene, I felt I was so far behind, so I guess maybe it made me work a lot harder at it, oh and having a big backyard to play in didn't hurt either.

I've read that you bought a house and moved back to Enfield, which I think is very cool as this year I just moved back to Halifax after 6 years in Toronto. Did you ever consider moving to Toronto or Montreal full time like so many Maritime artists have? What's the hardest part about being located here, do you think more artists should try and carve out a career from here?
Nah not really. I never felt the need to move to Toronto. I just find that the Canadian hip hop industry is so small, everything I'm dealing with here, are the same problems artists from Toronto or Vancouver are having, plus with the internet I can work with artists from those places or deal with the business aspect from Enfield, in my basement, so much stuff is done online now, it doesn't make that big of a difference.

What's the spot in Enfield now, Curley's or Shooters?
Hmm... Curly's, cause I just played there a few weeks ago and sold it out in about two hours. So I gotta like that, but, Shooter's is in the process of turning into a dance club, so who knows, competition should make them both better.

Seems there's been some Classified bashers coming out of the woodwork in the last year or so, does that negativity have an effect on you? Does it motivate you to work harder or do you just ignore it?
I've had classified basher's my whole life. See when I first started, I wasn’t that good, so I always had people saying I'm wack or whatever, but that's what made me work hard, so when I hear people saying shit, I could care less. It really makes me laugh, I find my music is on par if not better then pretty much everything else I'm hearing, so if their dissing me, it's probably cause I'm on their TV or radio. No hard feelings, I use to be that guy hating on the next man, so I see where they’re coming from.

I have to say congrats on working with Maestro on the latest album, he's one of the few Canadian rap legends and should probably get more respect than he does. What was it like working with him? Have you done any other production work for him?
Who Wes… Yea that's my boy, he was on my album Trial and Error a few years ago. Since then, I produced “God Bless Da Child” and “Ciminal Mind” for him, his last 2 video's, plus I did a few other tracks for him on his greatest hit's album. We get along really good in the studio, plus he just loves music, he's excited about it, which makes me excited about it, we get along really well. He came out to a few of the shows on my last tour, just for the love, big up Maestro Fresh Wes!

I believe this is your fifth album, so you've obviously put in some work to reach the level you're at now. If you could go back and somehow reach your current level of success from your first single, would you do it? Or would you still want to put in the same amount of work and pay the dues you have?
If you asked me this 5 years ago, I'd say give me the success now. I'm an impatient dude, but now that I look back, nah I wouldn't change anything, taking me that long really made me learn the business etc, now I'm focusing my energy and things that I learned on my own record label. Rleasing my first signed artist, Jordan Croucher in early 2007. R&B;, all produced by me, so it's good. Something new and exciting. Oh and just to clarify, this is actually my 10th album, I had a lot of demo albums in the 90's

Certainly seems like you prefer the production side of things at this point, do you find production to be more of a challenge than MCing? What Canadian MC would you like to do production work for that you haven't already? What American MC?
Nah. It’s really a mood, sometimes I like making the beats, sometimes writing the rhymes, just depends what type of mood I'm in. But yeah at the end of the day, I’m not trying to be 40 years old rollin’ in a mini van with my crew. I wanna be the studio, producer/record label cat. An MC I'd like to work with from Canada, honestly, too many too name, Theo 3, I think he is really dope, Saukrates, Buck 65 on some grimmy hip hop shit, like he used to do back in the day. American, Redman, Snoop, Pharoah, hell G-Unit, I'm sure they'd pay good!

Halifax seems to have a solid, if somewhat underground, hip hop scene at the moment. How have you found the scene to be across the rest of country, especially in some of the smaller cities that don't get the national coverage?
Exact same, that's the thing bout Canada, I find all the scenes are basically the same, some might be a little bigger or smaller, but it's basically the same. Everyone trying to do something, but we got no real direction. It's hard to be successful at something, when no one else really is, know what I mean. Like there's not a Canadian hip hop superstar, there's no plan in place to make hip hop star's. Everyone's kind of doing their own thing and just trying to be successful with it.

How are the crowds for your shows in the prarie provinces and out west, do people even know you're from Halifax? Did you set them straight with "The Maritimes" or do they still expect you to play a fiddle on stage or some other stereotype?
Nah. I've been across Canada about 4 times touring and the crowds are really good out west. I've had some of my biggest shows out there, the prairies have been pretty good too, I can't front, Winnipeg hasn't been as good as say Saskatoon, but they all seen to know who I am and where I'm representing etc.

I've been looking for more Halifax hip hop to review, any albums you can recommend?
Jordan Croucher, coming out in February or March. Jay Bizzy - The Ghost of Jacob Marley, Spesh K - Media Coverage, Trobiz - The beginning and Ghettosox - Get Some Friends.

To end all our interviews, we always ask people to recommend 3 things our readers might want to check out (music, books, movies, food, anything really)? What does Class recommend?
Donairs, Blood Sport 1 and the Michael Jackson biography.

Donairs and Bloodsport, you can't beat that with a bat. Thanks to Classified for doing the interview, go get his album.

Posted at 9:51 PM by naedoo :: 1 comments

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At 3:14 PM, Anonymous Yominus did sayeth:

Much respect for staying put Class.

Yo-

 

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