Feb 10, 2010

Advokit

by
Advokit

Photos by Jon B

Advokit seems cautiously reticent when we meet up – he’s back from an up north trip. Advo is the hub behind the group Non Status, but also has a largely unknown catalogue of solo material. Many of Edmonton’s most dedicated rap fans are aware of Advo and in the past decade, you’ve likely seen the man rock the mic for the big names that roll through the frozen plains.
Advokit

Advo hails from 182 st. deep in Edmonton’s Westside and received his rap education from Stray and Touch of the now dormant rap crew Dangerous Goods Collective. Non Status exists with fellow emcee (and cousin) Nekkbone. Over the years Djs have joined the fold, producers have provided the beats and Advo has remained the constant of the group, working as the manager and actively pursuing the big shows. Consider this: Advo opened for Guru before he was old enough to get into the club he was playing at. Thus far, the group has an impressive resume: Masta Ace, Del the Funkee Homosapien, the Game, as well as the p.b. and j of Canadian rap fare – Kardinal Offishall, Choclair and Classified. But such as the case of underground rap and especially the independent music coming out of Alberta, it straddles the line between total support or complete reckless abandonment – Advo has experienced this first hand. Non-Status have rocked “10-people-in-the-crowd shows” up to sold-out crowds at Commonwealth Stadium. The group’s very name ‘Non Status’ reflects the cultural limbo in Alberta.

Advo’s direct ancestors married out of the reserve system. Advo is a self-proclaimed mutt and as such, does not qualify for the privileges that treaty Natives do. He is by definition, a Non-status Aboriginal. Originally the group was predicated on this political message, but it evolved into a group with a broader appeal, especially for the traditional rap listener. Advo explains that he never wanted to embellish this part of his heritage because “a lot of those guys are overly preachy and to me it’s kinda corny, too many people use it as a crutch. I do hip hop, I consider myself to be a varied emcee.” Advo is versatile, but his heart is in the “pure boom-bap hip hop, that’s where I’m comfy at.”

Nowadays Advo’s motivations are palpable, he is a father. His drive to produce has increased and it he has had to work hard to satisfy their needs. Children bring a whole new dimension of commitment to all of one’s endeavors and for Advo, part of it means stepping up his rap game. He tells me that no matter what, he’s “here for the long haul…because you don’t stop rapping.” Destroy and Rebuild is a new album due to be released later this year and it’s rumored to feature Nekkbone, Julez Lavish, Benny E, and K-Riz, J-Mac with production from DJ Nato, Rellik and Classified. Here’s the rest of our discussion, in his words.

Advokit

You’ve been away from us for a while…

Advokit: From that point up until today, I’ve been through a little situation. Where I was, it wasn’t too inspiring to write, but I got a lot of life experience in the past 18 months. I take that with me. The moment I got home – that’s when I got a lot of inspiration to write. During the time I was gone – regardless of what you hear in movies and television, that place is not inspiring. I cannot see how a man like Tupac Shakur can write an incredible fucking album. That whole thing is false: coming out a superstar with albums written and stuff – it’s stereotypical bullshit…

How do you feel about getting out there again?

When I first got home, I didn’t know what to expect. First time I made it out – me and Rellik opened up for R.A. the Rugged Man, which was like being thrust back into the limelight, that was a shock. After that, it was just like old times, dust off the shoes, dust off the mic…and get ready to do this.

Are ideas coming to you constantly?

It used to be a struggle for me to write – it’d take me a day or two to write to a fucking track. But these days…there’s a lot that I need to get out. I notice it in the style of my writing; my flow’s actually changing as well. I’ve been recording the past 2 months, so it’s a little different and it’s a growth process.

Hip hop is sometimes discussed with pessimism – is hip hop really fucked?

As far as hip hop dying? You just need to look in the right places. The music has changed and the number one reason is the Internet – everything is accessible now, it’s easy to be an artist and that brings a lot of garbage. 10 years ago, you had to have money, the drive to record and make good music – you had to make that effort. These days it’s effortless music; you can get production from anywhere, get yourself a $20 radio shack mic and start rapping. B-boy culture is still holding strong. The DJing thing is kind of dying down, I remember early 2000s, Djing was the thing to do and emcee took a backseat – but that’s all good, it’s hip hop, everything comes in cycles. Hip hop is nowhere near death, but these days, you gotta know what you like and look for it. There’s some really good underground stuff which you just gotta find.

What is the record label situation?

Advokit

On the solo thing, I’m part of Red3 – a production company which is a crew of artists, which almost works as a label. Non Status was working with a label south of the border, but things went sour. We had an indie label that showed interest in the states, but it fell through. If we decide to do a full reunion and get this album out, then I’m sure we’ll find someone to put it out.

Shouts?

I want to thank everybody out there that’s still got love for me and continued to support me, to everyone who has held me down through my troubles, Shouts to the entire Ugs site, Nekkbone, Stray, Touch, Ben.E, K-Riz, DJ Creeazn, Julez, Red3 fam, Arlo Mavrick, Stray, you Jon b and the whole 182 section – thanks for everything. Most importantly my beautiful daughter Eliza, I do this for you baby girl.

For more on Advokit, check myspace.com/advokit

24 Comments

  1. Good read, looking forward to hearing some new tracks man.

  2. busted nut

    not much new said, I mean we all knew he “went up north for a trip” other than that, he’s now recording with Red3 and to expect a new release sometime this year.

  3. busted nut

    jus sayin, you talk about how old school he is, so why not ask how it was during the lush days compared to now.

    • JON BRANDOH

      I write for the broader audience, not just the few people from Edmonton who check ugs frequently. I understand that once upon a time, Lush was dope…but for our readers in France or Belgium or the U.S. — who is going to care about some obscure club in the boonies of Northern Alberta.

    • busted nut

      yeah this site is getting too obscure and underground for my liking lately but if that’s the direction you guys are going for, kudos.

    • Rickroo

      There are plenty of websites talking about J Dilla and Moka Only. If you need any, get IP to send you his bookmarks.

    • busted nut

      or I can create a blog specifically for the edmonton music scene and have a throwback section for those who may be interested “about some obscure club in the boonies of Northern Alberta.”

      it’s in the works already…

    • JON BRANDOH

      Doitdoitdoitdoitdoit. I’d peep it. I’d like to see all of my favorite Edmonton rappers kicking it back in the day.

    • busted nut

      Lol I planted the seed with arlo and kaz before the haiti show and already had a nice chit chat with kaz on tuesday about design. So the wheel is turning. Not tryina shit all over the interview but I saw a missed oppurtunity with an edmonton hip hop historian. Him and arlo, I’d like to help out on the throwback section with roach for old cjsr tapes. Werrrd…

    • Who would of thought an online magazine called undergroundsound would have obscure underground music featured.

  4. J.Soul

    Make room.

    Although not as much room anymore, cuz Advo – you’re skinny as hell! ;D

    I need your number, man. Holler.

    thefreezer@gmail.com

  5. Lord John Marbury

    DOPE!

  6. the-girl-next-door

    Correct me if I’m wrong but I swear there use to be an Edmonton Hip Hop on-line forum….faint recollection?? Looking forward to hearing some new Advo….

  7. Cosm

    Can’t wait to hear some of the new ish.

  8. Punkbastard Plex

    Wait a sec..Edmonton is in Northern Alberta now? Fuck, I’ve been away too long.

  9. Advo

    respect to JonB for reaching out…i forgot to shout out plex,my bad brother….and to nutly the interview was much longer with me answering a question about the scene years ago..dunno where it went but its all good…j soul ill hit up ur fb and drop the digis….respect to all yall for the responses and the album is being recorded as we speak.

  10. busted nut

    Well at least plex gets one lol

  11. Advo

    lol…sheeesh bro your part of the fam so it oes without saying…u been 1 of my greatest homies since we met so my apologies on the mind fart

  12. Hidden Identity

    Who would of thought an online magazine called undergroundsound would have obscure underground music featured.

    HAHAHAHAHA

    Yeah Edmonton is the Northern most major city in Canada.
    Or Most Northern major city. Or northest city?

    • JON BRANDOH

      “In the Canada 2006 Census, the city had a population of 730,372, and its census metropolitan area had a population of 1,034,945, making it the northernmost North American city with a metropolitan population over one million.”

      From Wikipedia.

  13. Tupac actually said the same thing about jail…

  14. Rick Simmons

    Tupac talked about the Canada 2006 Census?

  15. Rek

    YEH YEAH boi, We know whos real
    much lov pimp, halla at me for a collabo

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