[Podcast] Classified talks his self-titled album, making sacrifices to succeed, and lessons learned in the music industry

Classified Podcast

Today we’re excited to bring you another instalment of The Come Up Show Podcast. Every two weeks, we’re dropping a new podcast with one of your favourite hip-hop artists. Last time around, we caught up with with Talib Kweli. This time, we sit down with one of Canadian hip-hop’s cornerstones, Classified.

We begin by talking about how Classified’s one of the few remaining emcees from his generation, and he tells us about some of the early groups he was in, including Celtic Rebels. Says Classified, “we were [hugely] influenced by House of Pain back in the day, alright?”

Classified tells us how Maestro Fresh Wes has influenced his career over the years: “Just even being the first Canadian rapper that really made it on that type of level, that’s a big influence. Even back then, it wasn’t even like ‘oh, he’s a Canadian rapper,’ he was just a rapper.”

Later, we talk about the need for artists to make sacrifices in order to succeed. “If you’re gonna just do it for fun, do it for fun, but if you’re really trying to [be] serious and get your stuff out there, you’ve gotta put more [effort] than just, okay, I’m gonna write my raps, go to the studio, and have fun with it,” says Classified. “You’ve gotta really put yourself out there and put your time and energy – and your money – into it.”

Classified also reflects on what he wishes he knew when he first started pursing hip-hop as a career: “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.” He adds, “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.”

We talk about all that and plenty more. Listen below (and read along here).

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