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.
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.
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.
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?’