August 23, 2007

Low Budget Affiliates

All Photos by Jon B: (From left to right) Chaz, Add-Vice, Max Prime and Chris Plus
The Low Budget Affiliates are Edmonton’s beloved “rappa-holics” who have been holding it down since 2001– although the exact dates are a little hazy for its members to recall. Their starting line-up consists of Chris Plus, DJ Nato, Add-Vice, Chaz and Max Prime. Their entire roster has appeared on a number of Canadian rap albums not including their domestic classics: 6 Bucks a Sixpack, Lawyer Fees and Write Ripped. The crew’s latest endeavor is a collection of songs spanning from 2004 to 2007 and has been dubbed The Damage is Done alluding either to the damage they have inflicted on their livers from years of heavy drinking or on your psyche after you’re finished listening to this album. I caught up with the boys of Low Budget on a prototypical summer night in Edmonton and conducted a progressively rowdier interview over some beers.

How do you guys know each other?

Chris Plus (To Add-Vice): I met you at the Blackdog freestyling on the stairway…

Nato: Yeah, but it goes back further than that…[Chris Plus and Chaz] were friends in Devon…

Add-Vice: I met Chaz at Lush, the fucking 50 cent highball nights, with Benny and shit…we just all hanged, got drunk and rapped a lot.

DJ Nato


DJ Nato

Chaz: Nato, Chris Plus and I all knew each other back in ’92…

Nato: Chaz was always rapping. I remember I used to claim to rap when I was in grade 7. I went over to Chaz’s house because he had the beats back then, he would play his shit live all the way through. You could tell it wasn’t looped because every loop was different—he’d fuck up a little bit and keep going; but I was scared of both of them [Chris Plus and Chaz], the only reason why I talked to Chaz was because we were in mime class together. The best moment in the class was when we had to perform to some music and Chaz was like ‘Yo, check this out– Mrs. Anderson, I have to go to the bathroom.’ He steals someone’s bike and he takes off and he’s gone for like a half an hour; he comes back drenched in sweat–’cause he smoked back in gr. 7–and he’s like ‘I got this fuckin’ tape man.’ We did our mime performance to one of his beats.

How did everyone else get involved?

Max Prime: I was the last one to know all these people…I just found them and represented them.

Chris Plus: Yeah man, ‘cause you’re one of the illest rappers in Edmonton…

Add-Vice: Guaranteed man! I’ll tell you about Max Prime: he sent me this shit, where [he] was rapping all over other people’s beats and it was fucking crazy insane.

Was that The Rookie Years?

Add-Vice: Yeah basically…it was on Rookie Years. I told Collin, I told Ben.e.Elim, I was like ‘Yo, you got to check this guy– because he fucking kicks better raps than anyone in Edmonton right now.’ Max was killing it, [people] loved it and that was that.

Chaz (seated), Max Prime (in tree)


Chaz (seated), Max Prime (in tree)

Nato: The first time I met Max Prime was when Chaz brought him over to my house and he was real quiet, just writing to this beat that we never recorded. But I was like ‘who the fuck is this kid?’– because he didn’t rap or anything. Then I was working on my mix-tape and I was like ‘Chaz, I got this beat, who should I put on it?’ and he’s like ‘GET MAX ON IT!’ Max came over and fucking killed it! That was that “MF Prime” shit. That was the first time I heard him rap.

When did you guys decide to solidify and become a rap group?

Add-Vice: It was Jody and Jimmy’s house. We used to always party there; drink mad 40s…do whatever the fuck we wanted. I remember one day I was like: ‘we gotta be the Low Budget Associates’ Chaz said that was wack and said it was the “Low Budget Affiliates.” It all came from that first eliminator battle in Edmonton in 2001.

Chris Plus: It was just a common love of hip hop.

Max Prime: We’d rap outside every show…

Add-Vice: With Crazy 3 hour-long freestyle sessions.

You guys want to elaborate on Conspiracy’s role in the crew and his recent departure from the group?

Add-Vice: He’s one of my favorite rappers…

Max Prime: Yeah, he’s one of the dopest!

Chris Plus: He’s the only guy I’ve given an album’s worth of beats to. I have no problem with Conspiracy at all.

Add-Vice: It was fucking bizarre finding out [who] Conspiracy was because all my friends had Spiritual Reverse Mental Rebirth in their collections.

Chris Plus: We almost didn’t even drop the album [when he quit]; how can we have these songs without Khari?

Add-Vice: He should be sitting in that chair right now.

Low Budget Affiliates - The Damage is DoneIs there any particular reason why he left?

Max Prime: NO! One day he dropped a message that said ‘yo! I don’t want to do anymore shows, I don’t want to do anymore songs…it’s too much pressure…’

What are your goals now that The Damage is Done is out?

Chris Plus: Rap day everyday.

Add-Vice: Like Chaps says: ‘rap is the best!’

Chaz: We’re working on a top-secret project…

Add-Vice: I got two albums recorded, but I can’t press them up because I have no money, but they’re really good.

Nato: I’ve got my second mix-tape coming out. It’s got some songs that fell through the cracks: a couple of Reason songs, a couple of Punch Brothers (Chaz and Chris Plus) songs and some Cadence Weapon songs I did when I first met him too.

“Classified is saying that in two years he might be working at Sobeys and if he’s the biggest rapper in Canada right now…”

What are your thoughts on Canadian rap?

Max Prime: Canadian rap doesn’t sound like anything else…




Add-Vice: I’ll answer this one. You might not realize it listening to The Damage is Done, but guys like Buck 65 and Swollen Members are huge influences on us…Mathematics…Kardinal Offishall.

Do you guys want a career in rap?

Add-Vice: You can’t plan for a career in music. I mean, we don’t plan anything, we don’t plan our songs and we barely plan our sets.

Chris Plus: If you have dope shit, people will recognize it. If you’re wack as fuck, have the illest promotional team, it doesn’t matter…you can get away with that shit in the U.S., but not here.

Nato: The fact of it is that Classified is saying that in two years he might be working at Sobeys and if he’s the biggest rapper in Canada right now…then what the fuck?

Chris Plus: I love rap music. I buy rap music once a week. A lot of people are on this tip now where they say that ‘rap is boring’– those guys are just fucking suckers, rap isn’t boring. Rap is what I wake up to every single day and devote everything to. Every job I get it’s like: ‘will I have enough time to make raps, will I have time to do a tour or am I going to have devote myself to this job [or] be a clone?’

For more info on The Damage is Done or the Low Budget Affiliates go to or

34 Responses

  1. LOL…werdup to Chris Plus. I do that same shit when I get a job.

    This is a cool interview, I’ll never forget the day I met each one of these dudes separately. Can’t wait to hear the new shit.

  2. I don’t get why everybody laughs at that, our jr. high had dope options. Chaz and I had a killer robot skit, hahaaa

  3. you guys drink waaaaaaaaay too much…. but i still love ya
    the shit is megga dope

    stay E


  4. these dudes really pushed my party stamina to the limit. I thought I was in that elite category of booze consumers till we hung out at Summer Fling… its great to see that things are coming together for the LBA crew!

  5. you guys are the best guys. if i was in Edmonton, I’d be rapping with you all the time. thanks for being the bigger men, and breaking down what’s up with Conspiracy. you know what he struggles with, and I’m trying to tell him that he’ll never become the rap superstar he was born to be if he doesn’t conquer the demons he is dealing with.

    your acceptance of him, regardless of his issues, shows you are TRUE friends in this world of hating ass hip hoppers, and I, Adhimu “Mindbender” Stewart, as the twin of Conspiracy, will never ever forget your kindness.

    we all deserve to be relatively rich and famous rappers/producers/DJs cause we are the fucking next level of hip hop. too bad America is scared of getting off the Dirty South’s dick, even though most of those MCs would get smoked in a new york minute by a Max Prime freestyle or an Add-vice verse, LOL!

    oh well… as y’all said: every day is rap day.

    I want you guys on “All Mindz On Me”, the Mindbender Supreme double album coming out in 2008. It’s gonna be the fucking best shit ever made 🙂

    stay tuned to LBA/SBU/Nextra and all things Canadian… we really are the next up to bat in this hip hop shit. Let’s get on our a-game and make this history!

    one love from Mindbender

    p.s. DJ Nato is one of Canada’s best producers. People sleep though. Their loss!

  6. … uhh one lost love just sort of hangin around and wanna listen to the new shizt, I haven’t been around for eva, and thought that 6 bucks a 6 pack would live for ever!! Love to see more of you guys up and coming, think all of you are talented. Keep doin the doin







  8. I will maybe go to E-town on the 21st it is close to my b-day and would love to hi, I miss the e-town mini scene. I miss you all!!!! —-a little tip-sy

  9. great interview. Max .p drives me nutty….. Where does he come up with that shit?
    where the fucks the blurb?

  10. Blurb lives in Victoria.

    I got a copy of that song too, Chaz accidentally deleted mine and Opus’s verse and another song which was real dope, his Dad played guitar on it, I thought it was pretty cool.

  11. Yeah…
    Im chaz’s brother, Al. He stole my xbox, my brothers PS2, the controllers, the games, and thousands of dollars worth of my parents stuff, pawned it, and used the money to buy drugs all while i was on vacation in Ontairio.

    If any of those other jackasses helped out with that, im gonna be so pissed. I used to trust these guys and look up to them but now they crossed the fucking line.

    Im saying this cause you guys seem to think that they’re so cool. ‘Whoop-dee fuck rappers in canada!’ Yeah, fucking criminals. Im not mad at Chaz anymore. He’s slowly paying me back but recent criminal charges and fines are making that hard for him. I can forgive, but i cant forget and i cant trust him anymore. Just thought you should know something about the people you look up to and think about the shit they do to other people.

  12. I don’t care what shit chaz has been through, i will have his back forever. i talked to him on saturday night and he seemed to be the same homie as always. if this is someone online impersonating quit being a fag and save your gossip shit.

  13. A big lol @ epic talking about bullshit rumours, since YOU are the biggest old lady gossiper in canadian hip hop history.
    People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones old man.

  14. Hey if he did that then that’s weak but it has nothing to do with anyone other than you and him. I can guarantee you the rest of us have better things to do than steal from somebody.

  15. I’ve beeen out of edmonton for four months and will be back in a few weeks, im hoping you guys are putting on a show in the near future. individually, you guys are brilliant, combined you could go anywhere you want. keep it up,
    madd respect

    remember…..truesoldiers….. MOV * FWD

  16. I just read the blab on chaz by his brother… i guess, if that was him… and… if what he is saying is true i can guarantee you one thing. Chaz himself… wouldn’t do such a thing. unfortunately, any person under a certain number of influences and circumstances would. its sad that when some people get too involved with experimenting or what ever you might call it, their priorities and choices fall from a lack of reasoning ability and logic. charles is a mastermind and if you have ever read any of his work he is in my oppinion, definately undermined. when a person of his capacity, and dont mock… this tries to just get along in a world that is knowingly so tired, and backwards, it makes it incredibly difficult to push yourself onward. he stands for the opposite of all of these things that he may have done and thats my point. if my brother lost himself for a while made some foolish choices, my first priority as a loving and caring brother, which i am for 3 guys and 2 girls, would be to figure out how i get my brother back not my fucking playstation controller. im sorry, i have had a great number of things stollen from me and im not saying its right but when anyone gets that desparate they need support and encouragement not exile and ridicule. i am writing to 8 chaz beats currently while living out in lamont alberta working as a carpenter, i know charles quite well and look to him as a brother, lba has done nothing but inspired him and i know that!!! beat jesus, addvice, chris plus, conspiracy, mindbender, nato, touch, jimmy, advocate, ben E, ira lee, c section, dice, max prime, blurb, soso, jsoul, balzac, politic live, weez-ill, epic, thanks for being there for chuckrock,
    charles if you read this give a shout out 1 780 938 7537 leave a message
    ps.. im almost ready to drop another track.

    TS * MOV * FWD

    ps… Al, i hope things look up from here.

  17. Hey, its Al again.
    I know what I said about Chaz was a bit extreme and at the time its probably something I wouldnt have said now. I wasnt trying to ruin his his rap carreer or anything like that, and maybe I over exaggerated a little bit with the crime and all that other stuff and I know that most rappers here dont use crime to sell their cds and duplicate them and whatnot. As it turns out nobody in the LBA was involved in the “robbery” but char, and it was true he was going through some really tough times that I’m not going into detail about but he probably wasnt thinking straight cause he had hit a rough spot. Right now, me and my bro have worked it all out and its cool between us, so I dont want anyone to judge Char for what he did or didn’t do because normally he’s a good person its just everyone has rough times and does things they regret.

  18. Mime class Nato? Your doing mime, your moms doing Clogging…….jesus christ

  19. Whaddafuck? Somebody got problems w/ an old man? I’ll knock you out, fuck …fuck.
    I’m 48 and you fuckin puppies don worry me fuck. Don piss on Chaz’s plate, fuck.

    I’ve lived longer than you’ve pissed, and you can all line up if ya got problems w/ my bro. I will fuck y’all up. One by one or two by two, you will be walked over. Like kickin leaves off the fuckin sidewalk, fuck.

    Dont think the way you all walk hasnt bin walked before, fuck. You just put a new name on an old thing. Dancing is good for the soul. Come fucking dance, fuck.

  20. Without a doubt, one of the sickest YEG Rap groups ever, only Wu has more members with solo deals!