Premiere: Cadence Weapon - When It's Real ft. Jarell Perry
A smooth new cut that's sort of like neo-soul, from Canada's rapper/poet extraordinaire Cadence Weapon.
Buy the track on iTunes or directly from the label.
Edmonton's very own Cadence Weapon has occupied many creative roles in Canada, such as the poet laureate of his hometown, and the afterparty DJ laureate of his hometown away from his hometown: Montreal. I caught up with Mr. Weapon over the internet medium of Facebook to chat about gang initiation ceremonies, long walks, and this new song of we're premiering.
Noisey Canada: What's going home to Edmonton like for you?
Cadence Weapon: It's interesting because it changes so quickly. It's developed more every time I've come back. It's good to see the fam.
Do you get recognized a lot?
All the time. Like everywhere I go.
Are there any other celebrities in Edmonton? i can't think of any.
Maybe people who play for the Oilers. The guys from Shout Out Out Out Out. Tommy Chong is from Edmonton! Michael J. Fox...
Fair enough. Have you ever run into Tommy Chong?
Oh, I wish! What does one say to Chong? "Do you still smoke?"
Or, "how was prison?"
I've never been. What kind of story can you tell me that would illustrate a unique experience, that only Edmonton could provide?
Edmonton is geographically unique and that determines how we interact with each other. It's split up by the North Saskatchewan River and when it's winter, you might not really see people on one side for awhile. I have lots of memories of walking for long distances under sketchy circumstances.
One time I was hanging out at West Edmonton Mall after junior high one day. I ended up hanging with this girl from school I liked and I followed her to a party in the North End, which is generally a rough area. She was rolling with some much older dudes who lived in the Mall service hallways.
They literally lived in the mall?
Yeah. People live in the back hallways of the mall if they can avoid getting caught. It's a big place.
Anyway, we went to the party. The host was a woman named Panther. She said we were just in time for the initiation. We go outside and two women start having a fistfight in the middle of a park. One is much larger than the other and wins easily. Everyone is stoked though, and they say "okay, you're in" to the smaller woman. Someone goes inside, gets a hot poker from a fireplace, and brands her bare ass with a capital B.
Turns out I was at an initiation for the Edmonton chapter of the Bloods, or so they said. I bounced after that and walked from the North End to Meadowlark over the next few hours. I've been to many sketchy parties in Edmonton. It's what I remember about growing up there. My song "Oliver Square" is about parties like that. Kids smashing people's heads with rocks. Bear macing the inside of a house full of people. I've seen machete fights. That was normal.
Edmonton is all about overcoming those problems and making the most of your environment.
Seems that way... How does the Montreal afterparty scene compare? You've been tangentially involved with some drama there too.
Yeah, in Montreal, things are generally pretty chill but as you're probably aware, the police are at odds with younger people in the city. I throw afterparties in Montreal and one in particular got raided by the police. They were looking for dealers and rolled in with like a hundred cops after building a case over the summer on the venue: Torn Curtain. Everyone got locked in for hours and they took pictures of everyone individually and processed everyone and gave us fines for being in a place of ill repute. I think of the fines as being party tax for all the great parties we get to have here.
Yeah the tension is becoming more and more palpable when I visit. Also, Montreal is lucky to have so many loft spaces that are available to actually throw crazy, all night parties. We don't have that in Toronto.... But, on to THE SONG. What made you drift towards neo-soul?
Well, I never really thought of it in terms of genre, I just wanted to make some rap that felt good. I met Jarell at one of my shows in LA and loved his vocals and thought he'd fit for this song. I don't think it's all Musiq Soulchild-y or something. I wanted some easy summer rap, maybe like later Tribe stuff.
Yeah it's really smooth. Neo-soul as a descriptor is kind of a red herring...
Kinda like nu disco or nu rave.
Old nu rave. What new rap are you into right now?
I love Young Thug. His energy is amazing. Gucci Mane is probably my favorite artist of the last decade. Trap House 3 is awesome. Chance The Rapper has impressed me, creative guy.
Young Thug is really something. Can you elaborate on your love of Gucci Mane?
Gucci Mane is just a really dynamic vocalist. He can be totally menacing, goofy, romantic. He comes up with these great styles where accentuates different parts of lines. Go through all the mixtapes from the past year and it's obvious no one has more styles than him. He's just a natural.
I mean, people might not like the content but he's a really creative vocalist to me. He's ruthlessly melodic.
Yeah, the beat on that one is insane!
Honorable C-Note is one of the best out right now.
He has such a good name, too. So... what's next for you?
I've been recording a lot. Really excited about what I'm working on. I'm playing the Dawson City Music Festival in July. I'll be playing Dundas Square in Toronto on August 30th, too.
Awesome. What can you tell me about the new recordings?
The beats are electronic with heavy bass. I want these tracks to be loudly playing out of cars. I want people to be able to play them beside a Gucci Mane track in the club except with my style of lyrics and ideas. Some of it sounds like a more refined version of my first album Breaking Kayfabe.
Sweet, looking forward to it. Thanks dude.