Classified - conducted by Phayde  

Classified Interview

November 2003

These are the transcripts of an interview with Classified. The interview was conducted by Phayde on November 20th, 2003.

MVRemix: You’ve been emceeing for over 10 years, in which you put out nine albums. What was your motivation to keep going forth with this, and have you ever thought about giving up?

Classified: My motivation to keep doing it was because it was a hobby anyway. I’ve never really thought about giving it up. I always wanted to do it. Shit’s going forward right now, so it’s good. Not working [another job] and stuff, so I get to focus on music 100 per cent.

MVRemix: What inspires you?

Classified: Other music. Just hearing other people’s beats, other people’s tracks.

MVRemix: You were quoted as saying, “In Canada, the major labels don’t want to have anything to do with me, but I’ve got these huge meetings set up in the States,” referring to Atlantic, BMG and EMI Publishing. Is there possible talk of relocating down there?

Classified: I said that?

MVRemix: Yeah, you did.

Classified: We do have meetings set up but I didn’t think I said that to anyone. I have a manager from L.A. that works with Immortal Entertainment, which provides management for people like Dilated Peoples and stuff, and we’ve had meetings with people. We have – supposedly – something locked in with Virgin for the next album for distribution, but I’m still working on the new record. I’m going to shop it more to the labels. Things are in the works, but it takes longer than I thought it would.

MVRemix: Who are a few emcees and producers that you’re feeling right now?

Classified: That I’m feeling right now? Kanye West for production. Emcees… hmmm. I don’t know. No new emcees have really done anything for me, I guess. Pharoahe Monch, Redman, Guru from GangStarr… Depends on the mood too. I like listening to a Snoop record. I enjoy that. It just depends on the mood I’m in, I guess. And Dre’s stuff too. He’s been my biggest inspiration, I think, music-wise.

MVRemix: If hip-hop was a woman, what would she look like?

Classified: Right now, it’d be a really classy- well… no, not classy, but a really dressed up girl that’s out for the shine. She just wants to shine for the night. Yeah, that’s my description.

MVRemix: Tell me something I don’t know about Classified.

Classified: I’m a godfather. [Laughs] My sister just had a baby. [Laughs] I haven’t put it in a track yet, so that’s the only thing you don’t know about me yet.

MVRemix: Aside from hip-hop, what else do you listen to?

Classified: A lot of old stuff, because I do a lot of production, so I usually listen to records for samples and stuff like that. A lot of older stuff, ‘70s stuff, punk, Beatles. My parents always listened to the Beatles so I grew up on the Beatles. Just anything, really. If it’s a good track, I can listen to it. It’s either bad music or good music, I guess. I can listen to a lot of stuff, but hip-hop is the main thing I listen to.

MVRemix: What makes you different from every other emcee out there?

Classified: I make my own beats. And… what else… [Laughs] I guess I’m different ‘cause I’m just me. Just doing hip-hop from Luke’s point of view, I guess.

MVRemix: Like I’ve never heard that before. Okay Christina.

Classified: [In girly voice] I’m just being me! [Laughs] There might be other people that do the same type of music as me, but that’s just how they feel about the same types of topics.

MVRemix: What’s your ultimate goal?

Classified: Just to get my music out to a larger audience, I guess. Get it out there and be able to support myself doing music, and just being able to wake up every day, turn on the beat machine and make music, and just worry about that and nothing else. To be able to do it and live comfortably, I guess.

MVRemix: How many millions of times have you been compared to Eminem?

Classified: Twice.

MVRemix: Are you serious? I figured every older person would be like, “So, you’re white.”

Classified: Yeah I’ve had a couple old people say stuff like that. If someone compares me to Eminem, they probably don’t know nothing about hip-hop, because if you listen to Eminem and me, it’s completely different stuff. So if they compare me to him, I’ll be like, “Yo, whatever…” If people want to say that then they obviously don’t know nothing about the music, or they don’t listen to me, because it’s two different types of hip-hop. I had four albums out before Eminem came out.

MVRemix: What are some of the biggest obstacles you’ve had to face so far?

Classified: J-Bru [a few feet away]: You can say it; I’ll plug my ears.
J-Bru! [Laughs] The biggest obstacle is just trying to get business, I guess. It’s hard to make things happen. You hear a lot of stuff that might happen, that is supposedly going to happen, but 99 per cent of the time it doesn’t go through. Completing deals and getting business done 100 per cent and just making sure everything’s in place so you can get your music out.

MVRemix: You use a Korg Triton and an MPC. What are your thoughts on strictly computer-generated beats?

Classified: Fuck that! [Laughs] No, it depends on how you make them. Like you can usually tell if it’s a computer-made beat if it’s all just stock sounds. I guess what you use, if you can use it and make it sound good then do it.

MVRemix: What’s the difference between Luke Boyd and Classified?

Classified: Now, there is no difference. It’s just me every day.

MVRemix: Fuck you and your boring answers. I was proud of that question.

Classified: [Laughs] Three years ago, if you asked me that, then I’d be like, ‘Luke Boyd’s the guy that goes to work every day and does computer shit,’ but now I wake up and do music, and go to bed doing music. Luke Boyd irons and does dishes. [Laughs]

MVRemix: You’ve been in Vancouver before, right? When was that and what did you do?

Classified: That was two years ago. We came out with Brougham Camp. We played at Club 7, I think it was called. We also played at… what’s it called… is there a club called Alexandras on Alexandras or something?

MVRemix: Richards on Richards?

Classified: [Laughs] Yeah, that’s it. We played there. Just did a couple songs there. Yeah that was cool, the last time we came out to the West Coast. We also recorded a couple tracks with Brougham Camp. I’ve been out to Vancouver many times. That was my first time performing here, but my grandmother used to live out here so when we were younger, we used to come out here all the time. Usually when we’re in town we don’t have much time to go see things. Like tonight, we came here right before sound check and had to get ready for the show, and we’re out at like 10 in the morning.

MVRemix: What makes you happy?

Classified: Weed. Making tracks. Laying tracks down. Getting work done and being happy with it.

MVRemix: What pisses you off?

Classified: Wack emcees that are on TV every day.

MVRemix: Like who?

Classified: Okay this is my point of view, but Chingy. [Laughs] Just stuff like that. Just senseless music that’s saying nothing. They got a couple good beats and stuff, and they’re doing good tracks, but they can say something at the same time if they want to.

MVRemix: So what’s next?

Classified: Working on the new album. I just produced a track for Maestro. His video’s dropping next week. It’s the first single from his new album. It’s called “God Bless the Child.” Be on the lookout for that; it’s going to turn some heads. Maestro’s doing some totally different stuff. What else am I going to be doing… touring and stuff. Working on promoting the album and maybe doing some production for some people in New York. Kind of talking to Midi Mafia, who did production on [50 Cent’s] “21 Questions.” Just kind of shopping the beats around.

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