You’ve been touring for the most part of your career. What inspires you to give them a show when you’re on stage?
I came up on that '90s shit. Seeing Busta Rhymes in '96 blew my fucking mind. I was like, 'Ok I knew Busta was hype but I’ve never seen nothing like this. Then I seen Black Moon play some small ass show in Winnipeg some years ago. Going to other shows and seeing artists that I respect then seeing them control a crowd and talk to the crowd. Not just so much about this one guy rapping on stage.
What’s the craziest thing that’s ever happened on tour?
I remember this one time a couple of years ago when I was finally starting to feel like people knew my music, I was playing an all-ages show out in D.C. I had to go to the bathroom and there’s this kid pissing in a urinal beside me and he’s like ‘What the fuck! You're Classified’ and just passes completely out, just fucking laying on the ground with his pants down, out cold with blood pouring out of his head. I had to go get someone. He couldn’t stay for the show.
VIBE: You’re 35 now, is it difficult for you to connect with the youth nowadays?
A little bit. I’m not trying to front like I’m 18, 19 going on tour. It is hard to kinda relate to a lot of the music nowadays and that just comes with age. Every guy who gets older is like ‘it ain't like the old days.’ Don’t get me wrong there’s a lot of artists that are creative and stuff. I heard NWA, I heard Treach Naughty by Nature say this shit back in the 90’s, it’s just a lot of that stuff I heard. At the same time, you gotta realize hip hop is a youthful music. That’s where it comes from. The youth are the ones that are still getting excited about it like it's life or death for them. You gotta pay attention to it but at the same time I’m not going to forget how old I am, what I went through and what I’ve listened to.
What was the inspiration behind the song “Inner Ninja?"
I do a lot of feel-good music. I come from that hip-hop genre of ‘rah rah rah I’m the dopest on the mic, blah, blah, blah.’ At the same time, I want to have that song that speaks to some regular cat, who can turn around and go, ‘Ok, I can relate to this shit.’ The whole song is about finding your inner strength and getting through the bullshit battles of life. Hearing back from fans on older songs, saying ‘Man I was ready to kill myself and I heard this song and it changed my whole outlook on life.’ How can you not feel that and go ok I gotta make some more music like this? This is actually life changing music rather than that’s the hype shit.
How does it feel to have just reached the top of the Canadian album charts with your latest album?
It’s crazy dude and the people who know me up here know I was that guy that sent out the demos to the labels. I’ve been doing that shit for years. They just never saw the vision so I was always kinda that underdog in the industry and now having a no. 1 album and the first single “Inner Ninja” is gonna be double platinum next week. All these people in the industry kinda seen me come up. It’s cool to get that respect from them and going like you proved us all wrong. Now with this whole Atlantic Records thing coming in, It’s kinda mind-blowing man. I’m from like a small ass town, been making rap music for a long time. It seems like now, I’m about to get out in the world and a lot more people are gonna hear it.