Nickelodeon Ethics is your six solo release. What are you trying to get across to your listeners and fans with this release?
I never really try to go into a project with a point to get across or any attention to one particular theme. Actually, maybe that’s a lie. Really, my last three albums (Solitude Savannah, Waist Deep in Concrete and Spinning Blue Planet) were part of a concept but weren’t totally limited to the concept. I guess it was maybe related to all the non-fiction I’ve been reading over the years but those projects were just something that needed to be done, personally. That’s how things just came together when I got into the studio. Will just leave it at that. This album, Nickelodeon Ethics is basically an idea juke box that I pressed into a CD. It represents my plunge back into the fiction world. Really, I just wanted to get across to the listening public what I’ve been up to and scheming on since Spinning Blue Planet.
What is the meaning behind the album title Nickelodeon Ethics?
Nickelodeon Ethics is a blend of a few different idea’s I’ve had over the years. First, it stemmed from Aristotle’s “Nicomachean Ethics” and just thinking that it was a fairly fresh name for a project. Not sure why, really. But, secondly I thought it would be ill to relate an old school nickelodeon music player to my own life. Kind of like a soundtrack for my last few years, months, weeks, etc. of idea’s while recording the project. That’s probably the best way to put it. It means that this is the soundtrack, the music box of my life since I decided to roll with it as an album. Nickelodeon Ethics! And, I still like to eat cereal and watch cartoons on Saturday morning and that’s how I want to be living. Deal with it Harper.
On the track “who needs enemies” you profess tat all your friends seem to hate you. Do all your friends hate you? What is the significance of that song?
No! I hate most of my friends but they seem to still love me. I’m not sure why? It’s a crazy thing this life shit. Actually, the track is more related to hiphop and the business end of it, the internet hustle, touring, recording, self loathing, etc. If you listen you’ll find that the truth is in the lyrics. Let me ask you a question Chaps, do you hate me?
You recently filmed a video, your first, with Stuey Kubrick for “Who Needs Enemies?”. What was tat process like? Will there be more videos for the album and why did it take so long to finally film a video?
The video process was very sick! I had a lot of fun shooting it and understand why someone would want to shoot a video for every track they make. If it is done right it really opens the music up artistically. If it’s done wrong then you realize in a hurry that you shouldn’t be shooting video’s. Some people appreciate things with their eyes more than their ears and that’s why video’s are so important in the youtube era. When you can combine several media mediums it seems to make more of a lasting impression, bottom line. A short attention span needs some visuals every now and then and that’s how things work these days. I blame the plutonium.
As far as more video’s goes, I’m definitely hoping to shoot more in the near future but as for now those hopes are still just that. There has been some talk about shooting a video for “1869” in the spring but hasn’t been any confirmation yet so I’ll leave it at that. But, I was very happy with the result of “Who Needs Enemies?” and can guarantee there will be another.
As far as not shooting videos prior to this one, I guess I never really had any desire to shoot a video previous to this album to be honest, especially if it was going to be lousy. I just kind of figured that there wasn’t any point in shooting a video that you realize sucks a month after you release it. Point being, with no dough or hook ups I wasn’t going to fuck with a low quality video not worth putting resources into. But, things are better…meaning it’s video time. Google Stuey Kubrick!
You recently finished a tour with Sole, Def 3, and Factor. What was that experience like?
The tour was amazing!! Big shouts to everybody who helped put it together. We were treated amazingly everywhere we went and I was left with only one negative thing in my mind. This is country is too fucking big!! Open up the borders so we have more cities to rock and less driving. Not really but really real. With that being said I definitely miss it already. Bring on 2010! P.S. shouts to Factor on the drive home from Victoria!
This is your first release in some time where all the production was not handled by Factor. What was it like to work with some of the other producers on the album?
This is my first release ever where the production came from multiple sources and it worked out very nicely. There wasn’t anything strange about the process besides the fact that I was writing the tracks outside the producers studio for once. All of my last album were produced, written, and recorded in the same studio, but not this time. I don’t think I really prefer either way to be honest but I still made sure that the tracks felt natural while writing and recording. You never feel good about forcing anything so I tried to keep it the same once I got into the studio. The same mentality as was there on earlier projects. Previous to Factor I was working strictly with Devotea, and previous to that I was rapping on 12″ instrumentals so it’s good to finally open the doors up. Calling all producers to feel free to hit me up!! Big shout out to Factor, Joe Dub, Mphasis, and Campbell.
There is a Metropolis Now reunion on this album are there any plans for another Metropolis Now album?
I can’t speak for any of the other three members of the group but I can say that I’d love for it to happen. A few things would definitely have to be hammered out and finalized before talk would even start but i’d be down. I guess there is just a cool dynamic when the four of us are working together, especially if we get the chance where we can all be in the studio at the same time. If we do happen to get it going I think it would be pretty exciting for all of us. From what I’ve heard, rumblings from the boys, it looks like a definite possibility, hah.
The first album was pretty sporadic considering that all of us were living in different cities when it was recorded and it maybe took away from the group dynamic but I think that’s debatable. That isn’t to say that the final product came out sporadic in any way. There may have been a lack of depth or concepts for some people but I think we just wanted to make an album together that was hype to perform, had the opportunity and did it. But, if we do hook up again, I know that we would make it the hottest SideRoad release to date, besides Nickelodeon Ethics of course. Quote that!
On the track “1869” the opening line you profess “oh Canada land of the free for now”, what is threatening Canadian freedom?
This track is a dedication to Immigration and Citizenship Canada and that’s pretty much all I will say on that. I don’t want to influence anybody else on their understanding of the track but I will elaborate on that line for sure. I think that Canada is, or has potential to be the best place in the world to live. That being said, life is good here for me but I can’t say the same for my friend who lives on the other side of the city type of thing. So is the reputation just smoke and mirrors?
There is definitely a reputation that supercedes the reality I feel, especially when we talk about Canada abroad. Really, anywhere you travel abroad there are going to be a few people who will ask you questions that are seemingly ridiculous, but honest inquiries to be sure. For example, “is it true that everyone in Canada is rich?” Or, “when I move to Canada will you come and visit me?” Reality check, If you are living in a hostel in Ukraine, with a Romanian passport and no funds in the bank…you are not getting anywhere fucking close to the border, sorry. But, that is the general belief. I mean, we have a lot of serious societal issue’s and ridiculous policies that are not only ignored but are also accepted by the middle class. Most of which are just brushed under the table to maintain that status quo of our international reputation, so to speak. Long sentence short, we aren’t the all welcoming, peacekeeping, everybody is wealthy, this land is your land, this land is our land society that we like others to think we are. (That wasn’t that short, sorry.) At least not in any way close to the way that we put it out there for others to believe.
We’re almost like the Al Gore of countries, trying to gain a lot of influence and influential people and their money, off of our image, an image that is barely believable by anybody who knows the truth, while covering up the truth with a good sense of humor and a nice smile. Why is Avishek, the rocket scientist from Kashmir, India driving me home from the bar on a Friday night? He likely paid his way in for that position unfortunately. Was his acceptance based on his need or of reputation and financial history?? That is the problem. What about the rice farmer who has been run off his land, has no material goods, or special western “skill set” that wants to the same opportunity? Here is where the problems begin. In 2008, there were nearly seven times the amount “economic immigrants” as compared to “refugee immigrants”, or so a little birdy told me.
The reality is that we have a lot of backward thinking groups that are in positions of power, especially surrounding the economics of immigration. That is something that I would like to see changed before my time runs out. You heard it here first. I’m not saying that the borders should be open to the global public to come and go as they please but if we “talk the talk” lets “walk the walk”. Looking down on someone who looks up to you for help is the work of a bully and not a world leader. Especially not of a leader in area’s such as hospitality, providing available necessities to those in need both inside and soon to be inside the borders (ie. shelter, protection, basic human rights, etc), equality, quality standard of living, and most importantly the nation others aspire to be. All of these which we have been programmed, and programmed others to believe since grade school. Price tags belong on material goods, if anything, and not the extended Canadian border.
It’s true, Canada is near the top for immigration percentages and numbers every year, but we need to be much more conscious of who is coming into the country and why? Providing opportunity to someone who really needs it rather than someone who can be profited off of seems to be most sensible. Unfortunately not the reality. But, those who can afford to make the move do so and those who can’t need not apply. If you can pay the fare then you get to join the ride. Those who can’t and need it most, where should they go? Run away!!?? I’ll leave it at that for now. That’s how I feel about it, hah.
Are we all living for the first and the fifteenth of the month?
I know I am and that’s all I can really speak for. Those are generally both the greatest and worst days of the month for people in a situation similar to mine. It is good to get a paycheck in the hand but sucks to have spent the majority of it before it even registers into your account. “I would be rich if I didn’t have so much debt” type of mentality these days. All I know is that if you’ve dipped your toe into the system, convinced yourself that the water was tolerable enough to fully submerge then you are likely living cheque to cheque. But, I could be wrong. Either way, on the first and fifteenth you’ll know where I’ll be.
Any last words, stories, shout outs etc?
More details about Nickelodeon Ethics and its availability can be checked out at myspace.com/kidastros and SideRoadRecords.com. Shout out to everyone who is checking out ugsmag.com and Kay the Aquanaut! Stay tuned. Cheers to noyz319.
And, shout out to you Chaps, the first member inducted into the Saskatchewan Hip Hop Hall of Fame!! Congrats big homie, you’ll always have a place to call home now!