Gain more insight into significant hip-hop figures by checking out their revealing answers to our questionnaire.
Cadence Weapon is back. Four years since the acclaimed Afterparty Babies, Edmonton’s former poet laureate is releasing Hope in Dirt City, his third album, on May 29. If recent tracks like “88” and “Loft Party” are any indication of where he’s at these days, it’s gonna be a stellar record from someone uniquely invested in staying ahead of the curve artistically, while championing hip-hop culture’s rich history.
Now based in Montreal, Cadence Weapon made a triumphant appearance at the Great Hall in Toronto during Canadian Music Week and he’s scheduled to play Kazoo! Fest in Guelph, Ont., on Wednesday, April 11, and the Lawnya Vawnya music and arts festival in St. John's, N.L., on Saturday, April 21. He took time to give us some dirt on what makes him tick.
What was the first hip-hop record you ever bought and where'd you get it?
The first hip-hop record I ever bought was the soundtrack for the first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie, the other purple tape. I left the film thinking I was actually Michelangelo. MC Hammer also resonated with me at this time. I bought the cassette at a chain record store at the mall after saving up pennies for a long time. I had everything Turtles related. In hindsight, “Ninja Rap” doesn’t really stand up today.
Where did the name that you perform under come from exactly?
I often have phrases or rhymes that cycle around my head constantly until I write them down or actually record them. One such was a mantra that kept coming up whenever I’d freestyle: “My cadence is my weapon.” I eventually attributed meaning to this chant, making it my mission statement as an artist.
What was the last book you read and how was it?
The last book I read was A Freewheelin' Time: A Memoir of Greenwich Village in the Sixties by Suze Rotolo, who is the woman on the cover of Bob Dylan’s The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan. I’m fascinated by 1960s New York music culture and background and makeup of classic songs so this was a pretty interesting read. I saw a lot of parallels between the folk music community as presented in this book from a bygone decade and the music scene in Montreal today.
Where is your favourite place to eat on planet Earth and what are we having?
White Trash in Berlin and we’re eating burgers. We’re wearing all black and discussing starting a loft venue.
Which artist, living or dead, would you most like to collaborate with and why?
Ronald Isley from the Isley Brothers. The greatest voice ever. I’d love to produce an album for him one day.
CMW day three: The Inbreds, catl, Spoek Mathambo, Cadence Weapon and more
Inside Tracks: "88" by Cadence Weapon
Cadence Weapon recorded live at Halifax Pop Explosion: From the Radio 3 vault
on Apr 10, 2012