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September 6, 2004

The Gumshoe Strut

The Gumshoe Strut

Introduce yourself your crew afiliations etc.

the gumshoe Strut (emcee/producer/label runner for Your Brothers Records). I started out with a crew called Your Brother In My BackPack, it was me, Yy, Satchel Paige, John Smith and Dj General Gyst.

Your Brother has since taken a hiatus to support our individual eneavors, but we’ll be back. Believe that!

What have you done in the past? (Discography)

2000 – Pip Skid – Friends 4 ever (1 track emcee)
2000 – Epic – 8:30 in Newfoundland (2 tracks emcee, 1 track producer)
2000 – John Smith – Blunderbus…or, in transit (1 tack emcee/producer)
2000 – milch & allegra e.p. – the gumshoe Stut, Yy and General Gyst.
2001 – Peanuts & Corn – Factory Seconds (3 tracks emcee/producer)
2002 – the gumshoe Strut – Clock/Works (All tracks emceee/producer)
2003 – Frek Sho – Papercuts ep (1 track producer)
2003 – Hip Hop Wieners – All beef, No chicken (1 track emcee)
2003 – Satchel Paige – Guy, I,m from here! (9 tracks producer)
2003 – Yy – Hold the Fort Down (1 track emcee, 4 tracks producer)
2003 – the gumshoe Strut – Lets get dangerous (All tracks emcee/producer)

How do you think you have progressed production and mc wise from Clock/Works to Let’s Get Dangerous?

I think I have progressed naturally. On “Clock/Works”, my rhymes were pretty vague, so I made a concious effort on “Lets get dangerous” to be more clear and descriptive. As far as production, well….the album “Lets get dangerous” wasn’t as complete as “Clock/Works”, but the quality of the individual beats were indeed a step forward for me.

Do you like mcing or producing better?

I’ll call it in the air!

Which did you start with and why?

I started with emceeing, because it was accesible. In 95, Odario (Mood Ruff), Roddy Rod and Dj Hunnicut (Farm Fresh) all use to work at Sam the Record Man in the Park to the Polo. Me and my friends would go there, because they always had the dope hip hop tapes/cd’s. After a while I started giving demo tapes of my shitty ass raps to Odario and Hunnicut, just to see what they thought. Hunnicut was the first person to break down some science for me. He was the one that explained bars and lines to me.

How would you describe your style as an mc and as a producer?

Directly indirect. I’m all in your grill, when your not looking!

Honestly, I am an artist who will never claim to be without fault. I am confident in my abilities, but I know where I’m at and where I can get to. This is a part of my personality that has played a signifigant role in shaping me as a artist, period.

How has Winnipeg shaped or influenced your sound?

In every way I can allow. We (Winnipeg), are spoiled rotten. Since 1994, there has been a steady output of quality product. There were things happening before, but in 1994, Mood Ruff, Frek Sho, Farm Fresh were all putting out these tapes. These tapes are considered classic to me. I want to be able to help carry the torch in any way i can.

Who has been you greatest influence?

Personally, my Mom. Musically, everyone that makes quality music by my standards.

How long have you been rapping and producing?

Rapping 8 years, producing 6.

What inspires you to write or produce?

I get inspired after: watching a dope movie, listening to a dope album, spending time with someone important in my life, playing a good game of ball, going to a good rap show, going to a good Hunnicutt/Co-op dance party and countless other things.

the gumshoe Strut

If you could do things over would you change anything?

Not really.

How did you get the name the gumshoe Srut and what does it mean?

I have always enjoyed the art of name making upping. If you break it down, the gum-shoe strut is a action.

gum + shoe + strut = walking funny

Who have you worked with in the past and who would you like to work with in the future?

I have actually worked with most of the people I have wanted to work with. Pipi Skid and Gruf the Druid were both on top of my list, and I have worked with both individually. What i am really excited for is the Turn the Gun/Fermented collabo on the up-coming Turn the Gun album. Fermented 4 life! That’s one of my favorite rap groups.

What is one of your earliest hip hop memories growing up?

Getting my first rap records. I was at some rock festival when I was about 11 or 12 and this dude was giving people free shit out of the back of his van. I went over and he said take what you want, so I grabbed a Ice T 12″, a King T 12″, and a West Coast rap All Stars “We’re all in the same gang” 12″.

What would you change about the Western Canadian, Canadian and Winnipeg hip hop scenes if you could?

Try and squish the city’s closer together so a drive form Winnipeg to Calgary doesn’t take 14 hours. It would be dope to tour and only have to drive in a small shitty car for 5 hours at a time, tops.

Has being in Winnipeg helped or hindered you as an artist?

I wouldn’t know otherwise. Most of the people making moves in Winnipeg have had to do it on their own, and build from the ground up. So, I guess you can say being in a smaller hip hop community presents less bigger opportunities.

How would you describe the Winnipeg scene to the rest of Canada?

Hot and cold. It’s weird, Winnipeg is very picky about what they support. You could have Aceyalone hit Winnipeg and draw 75-100 people and the next week have Antipop Consortium play and draw 400-500.

What inspired the video “Stairaway” on your newest cd? What is the meaning of it? Am I trying to read more into it or is it really just Gumeshoe rappin without a shirt driving the ladies crazy?

The only real inspiration for doing that video was having fun. Mainly, I just wanted to try my hand at editing. My girlfriend did all the camera work, and the part with my shirt off makes her sick. I guess you could say it drives her crazy, but it ain’t doing me any favours.

It was shot and edited in about 5 hours total.

If you could move somewhere were would it be and why?

Saskatoon, because thems my people’s. Since this is a hip hop interview, and I have had all my best hip hop experiences in Saskatoon (aside from Winnipeg). That would make the Stoon the next best place to make music and have fun.

the gumshoe Strut

What’s next for the gumshoe?

Me and Yy are gonna Turn the Gun. Since Your Brother has been inactive as a crew for a little while, Yy and myself decided it was time to go full circle and follow up the milch & allegra ep.

What are you listening to these days?

In no particular order: Breeze Evaflowin, Cee lo Green, dead prez, Kanye West, Mikah Nine, Pipi Skid, John Smith and anything else dope I can get my hands on.

Who is your favourite hip hop artist and what is your favourite hip hop album?

I can’t answer that question. it’s too hard.

What is Turn The Gun all about?

Turn The Gun is the gumshoe Strut, Yy and Kutdown. We have a 12″ split with Grubbs coming in mid summer and a full length CD to follow in late summer.

What do you enjoy most about hip hop?

I enjoy everything. I guess, on a personal level, I enjoy having the opportunity to be involved in hip hop. But, in terms of the music itself, I enjoy the feeling you get when you discover your new favourite album. I still got that initial hunger.

What do you hate the most about hip hop?

Ego’s! Everybody says that being a rapper is all about ego and confidence, and in order to be a rapper you’ve got to rep yourself to the fullest at all times. I call bullshit!

Why do you hate bosses so much and have you ever been a boss yourself?

I hate people telling me what to do, and they tend to do it the best. I have never been a boss, but I am starting a new job where I will be right away. Although, I work in community development, so its not about turning a profit.

Why did the police steal your bmx?

Because they were mad at me for not agreeing with them. Actually, they charged me with Assualt with a weapon on a police officer, and my bike’s handle bar was the weapon. They said it was evidence.

What is your favourite thing about playing shows in other cities?

When you play a jam in anoher city, you know damn well that those people have no obligation to you or your hip hop scene. They are their because they want to support you or somebody else on the bill and they are willing to pay money and attention.

After playing shows in Winnipeg at least once a month for the past four years, people get pretty used to you and so easier to pass on a jam like that.

What is a typical day in the life of the GS like?

I either/or work, make beats, write raps, hang out with my favorite gal, ride my bike, listen to music, play basketball, watch basketball (season permitting), read something, watch wrestling, smoke weed, drink beer, get crunk! Sometimes all of the above.

What is the best book you have read and how has it influenced/inspired you?

Its hard to nail down one book, I am a sucker for stories dealing with racial tension. The most recent book I read that had me actually on the edge of my seat was “Black Boy” by Richard Wright. I read that about 2 years ago and I haven’t read anything that has touched that book since.

Do you have any regrets about anything?

Tons, but fuck em. Musically, my biggest regret has been not getting in battles and open mics when I was younger. I feel like I missed out on an important time, time that I could have used to help me develop as an emcee.

If I was a hip hop genie and could grant you three hip hop wishes what would you wish for?

1. I would wish that all my freinds that have been working at this for so long, started making some real money for that hard work.
2. I had enough $$$ too build a fucking mega studio.
3. Peace on Earth! Isn’t that always the third wish?

Do you have an interesting hip hop related story you would like to share or anything else you want to say?

As I look into my crystal ball, I would like to warn everybody that Turn the Gun is cocked and loaded and gonna blow you away.