When you read the title of this post, you might think this article is a collection of interviews from all over the web; that would be true if we didn’t publish our own original interviews. To toot our own horn for a second, The Come Up Show gained its popularity as a radio show and website through our insightful interviews. We started first on the radio show, then doing audio interviews at events, and then expanded to video interviews which definitely heightened our visibility in the blogging world. This past year we’ve conducted over 55 original interviews with legends from Just Blaze and Young Guru to Canadian stars such as Shad, Classified, Maestro Fresh Wes and many more. You might have missed a few and that’s why we include this category into our Best of 2013. Without further ado, The Come Up Show presents our favourite interview of 2013.
“I had a great interview with Skratch Bastid earlier this year around the time that The Spring Up EP with Shad came out. It’s always rewarding to hear that the artists enjoyed the interview as much as I did. Later on, we had another great interview when he joined us on The Come Up Show and spun an exclusive DJ set. I’ll remember that performance for a long time.” – M-Bomb
“This was one of the greatest interview experiences I’ve had. I sat with Chali 2na at Hideaway Records and Bar for a solid 45 minutes, talking about his career and hearing some incredible stories. As an emcee, he’s a natural storyteller, and he certainly didn’t disappoint.” – M-Bomb
“This could very well be my favourite interview I’ve ever had the chance to do. I wanted to explore Shad’s London history and also ask some questions about the record that I felt hadn’t been asked before, and his answers were fantastic. He’s such a well-spoken and genuinely gracious person that any interview feels more like a conversation, and I knew that he’d be able to tackle any question I threw his way and give it the depth and consideration I was hoping for. I’ll tell you this, it was definitely the most fun I’ve had doing an interview.” – M-Bomb
“This interview I just recently did with SonReal was by far my favorite interview I had the opportunity to do, being new at the whole interview process only having done 4 in total; it was nerve-wracking at first. With some help from M-Bomb who had interviewed him before and done some extensive research, we got together some great questions and I think it made the whole process a lot easier because it made for a personal interview where SonReal was really down to earth and open to any question. In the brief interview we had talking only 15 minutes or so, he gave some good responses and I genuinely had a lot of fun just speaking with him and getting to know an artist whose music I appreciate.” – Colton
“Being an artist with a following as big as he has, being signed to one of my all time favorite artists label, I never even thought I’d get the chance to interview Joell Ortiz anytime soon. With the hype of his “Control” response still heavily asked, it was a good time to just dig in and get to know Joell as a person and his thoughts on hip-hop. We spoke for twenty minutes and though at times I pushed into the next question making it less of a conversation, I was just there to soak in what he had to say going into questions like if he thought hip hop was in another golden era, what makes an artist and more.
Throughout the interview, Joell gave great answers and also delivered a message to aspiring emcees stating, “don’t give it up. This is a bumpy ride; there’s ups and there’s downs, but it’s a ride. Know what I’m saying? Just enjoy the ride, don’t look left and right and listen to people telling you you’re doing it and people telling you you’re not doing it. Run your own race, look forward, you and your team look forward and keep your head down you’ll get there. With all the hip-hop talk going on, not once was “Control” mentioned with how big the hype was on it as the time. I don’t think I’ll ever forget this interview.” – Colton
“Mac Miller was amongst other rappers to release an album this year as well. It was nice to read about Mac’s thoughts on Watching Movies With The Sound Off, his background in producing music, and the goals he has set for himself in the future.” – Mlav
“Mac had some great answers in our interview. It’s been interesting to see his transition from K.I.D.S to WMWTSO and it was great to get his perspective on how people who used to trash his music are starting to begrudgingly acknowledge its quality and appreciate it — myself included. Here’s what he said to that:
I realize that reactions of other people – they matter to a degree – but they don’t really matter to me at all. It’s awesome to read something that a good journalist writes and that really gets it – that’s a great feeling – but that’s so rare.
And I’m not mad at that. How can I expect someone to really, really get it fully? Especially with my shit, which is so all over the place. As far as people saying they like it now because of those records, cool, then that was their time to come and start listening. The people that were like, “I don’t give a f–k who he works with; I don’t like it,” then it’s not their time to start listening yet. I’m not really worried. I just know that I had a great time working with these people; we made great music, and we continue to work now. I know what I’m doing; I know who I am and what I’m capable of, and I’m just excited to continue putting out music.
I was impressed with his genuineness throughout, and I gained a new level of appreciation for him from that interview.” – M-Bomb
“I remember Chedo telling me that he had to wait over 5 hours in order to interview Young Guru. Well, it was definitely worth the wait. Being Jay Z’s Official DJ and recording engineer, Guru has seen a lot over his career. It was interesting to hear his perspective on many different topics including the benefits of piracy for our culture.” – Mlav
“It was my first interview ever but it went well! When kid ink visited Toronto this year I had the chance to sit down with him as we his progression as an artist, advantages/disadvantages of signing to a major label, and the importance of releasing visuals to his music. Not only was this is accomplishment for myself, but it also ended up being a great interview as well. Egh!” – Mlav
“This interview takes you to the inception of the Legends League mixtape, the creative process with the lyrical monsters known as Tona, Adam Bomb, Rich Kidd and how founder Bryan Espiritu laid out the vision for the tape.
If you know Rich Kidd, then you know he speaks his mind. I really like his honesty about how Adam Bomb doesn’t really give a f–k about rap because of all his history and that he had the jaded mind and that this project might’ve rejuvenated him and really go in on the project.
I also like that Rich Kidd spoke the truth about how it really is in every city, that every city is a screwface capital — not just Toronto — and that it’s hard to blow up everywhere, no matter who you are. It really puts things into perspective for anyone with a dream that you aren’t alone, it’s not your city that has haters and buck up and put in work.” – Colton
“ELITE ELITE ELITE! That’s what you hear J.Cole shouting in his earlier mixtape because he’s been there from jump! Elite co-produced four songs on J.Cole’s critically acclaimed Born Sinner album and M-Bomb talked to him about his latest project Level Up, the importance of humility and much more.
The part of the interview I loved is when M-Bomb brought out the Quincy Jones quote: “always have humility with your creativity and grace with your success or else god walks out of the room.”
Elite answers, “when I come up with an idea for a video or a song or a concept, and a month later, another huge artist like a Pharrell or a Kanye will come out with the same exact thing that I was thinking of […] I used to always be like, “Damn, what’s going on? How is this happening?” I started to realize that we’re all tapped into the same energies. We’re all pulling from the same places, and I believe it’s from the other side. It’s wide open for anybody to tap into, and these ideas are not necessarily all coming from you; it’s a collective thing.
When you start to realize that, you have to have humbleness and realize that you’re just a messenger, and all these ideas and creativity are just flowing through you. We’re getting kinda deep right now [laughs]. But that’s what I believe. I believe you have to accept that you’re just an instrument, and you’re not the man behind everything, you know what I mean? Once you can start to do that, then you can get out of the way and really let things flow, and that’s when stuff starts to get real special.”
Enough said and read this interview in full!” – Chedo
PARKER (formerly known as Dumbfoundead)
“If I had to choose an interview that was the BIGGEST in terms of attention and readership, it would definitely be M-Bomb’s interview with Dumbfounded who changed his name to PARKER. M-Bomb caught up with Dumbfoundead to talk about his latest album, the reason behind the name change, and representing for Asian-Americans in pop culture. My favourite part is when PARKER talks about Asian Rappers in Hip-Hop; here is an excerpt from the interview:
To me, I feel like there aren’t many Asian rappers really doing it. I know tons of Asian rappers around the world, but there’s only a handful that are really making a living off of it – in the States, especially, and that’s kinda where it counts. If you make it in the U.S., you make it everywhere. So, me being one of those key voices, I do feel the pressure sometimes, like, man, I really need to step my s—t up. Or I need to blow, because I’m the closest dude to doing it. I want to really take advantage of the fact that I’m up there: I have a fan base; I have momentum. I don’t want to fail my people and represent wrong, you know?
It’s a huge pressure that to this day you can’t say there are many Asian Rappers representing and I hope PARKER accomplishes this.” – Chedo
“I’ve lost count how many times we’ve interviewed our good friend Luke “Classified” Boyd but every interview is a good one because he has some wisdom to impart on us. My favourite part is when M-Bomb asked him, “what is the best advice you’ve received” and “looking back on your career, what’s one thing you know now that you wish you would have known back then?” Classified answers:
I guess [I wish I knew] more about the record label [process]. When I first came out – and I think most artists that just come out are like “I wanna get a record deal; I wanna get signed so I can blow up,” – no one’s gonna sign you unless you’re already making money on your own and you’re already successful on some kind of terms. [That is,] unless they’re just going to rip you off. If you’re nobody and they sign you, you’re gonna get ripped off. I think you’ve just gotta realize that no one’s gonna help you in this game, and just really put your head down and go at it, like, I’m gonna have to do this on my own. If somebody steps in and helps me out, that’s a bonus.
I believe this is what every Rapper needs to keep in mind — especially the way the music industry is today.” – Chedo
“I will never forget the feelings I felt after our interview with Haviah Mighty. To quote a listener, “I was supposed to be in my car for 5 minutes but I ended staying inside my car for 45 minutes, she blew my mind!” Haviah Mighty has always found an effective way to emit emotion through words and poetry. Performing her brand new records for the first time ever on radio this had such a huge effect on me, the listeners, and anyone who has watched this interview. Check it out and let me know what you think of her!” – Chedo
“I’m choosing this for our list because COME ON it’s Just Blaze! The man responsible for a good part of your Hip-Hop playlist and continues to dominate to this day. Martin caught up with Just Blaze for a brief interview after his set with Baauer to talk about his latest single, praise he’s received from Big Daddy Kane, and meeting Jay-Z, among other things.” – Chedo