Page 39 - Nine5Four November 2016 Digital Issue
P. 39

got two sons and I try to teach them about rappers to whom I pay homage. It’s important to highlight this to the younger generations so they can understand the history and origins of the version they now see on TV. It’s not that every song needs an educational message, but the generic imagery of popping bottles and getting women isn’t something to present as an aspiration to kids. Everyone’s got their own lane, but we’re saying there’s a lot more to it than just this.”
Broadening the context he added
“I do still paint, but only on paper and canvas. Of course I want to draw attention to the traditional elements, it was those elements that drew me in to the culture and got me onto the mic”.
On this particular aspect, Frost reinforced the point
“Supporting the traditions of hip hop in a modern context is vital. Back in the day you had to demonstrate knowledge of the elements or you were out the cypher! Artists like Public Enemy and X-Clan provided knowledge and perspectives I didn’t previously have, they inspired to speak out against injustice. They made you think and basically changed my life. It used to be rappers bragged about their education and vocabulary, but once the Majors moved in they looked to sell to a very young demographic, and the result was inevitable. But as Chop says, it’s about awareness,
particularly for a young generation, that as well as what you’re used to, this also exists.” Perhaps the misunderstood perception of artists like Chop & Frost is that they are looking to shut down evolved branches of the genre. They’re not. They’re looking for greater equilibrium, and it appears marketers may be missing a trick. The traditional sound has enjoyed a rejuvenation appropriately enough through the clubs. Teens saturated by mainstream output have been introduced to a style which is in effect “new” to them. True it’s still very much underground, but as Frost noted
“Here in Canada, I’m amazed by how much passion the kids here have for the old school, I’ve seen them at Wu Tang shows where they seemed to know every word of the classics.” Much of the recent debate has been centered on the level of lyricism found in each genre, but it is the style of music which appears to be the catalyst for this growing appreciation among a younger generation. On the cause for such a divergence in the sound today, Frost added
“Sample clearance definitely played a role, the laws are still antiquated and it has stifled creativity. Artists became afraid to use samples, and a whole generation became accustomed to hearing the same old 808 drums on every song. Samples can be flipped to be unrecognizable from the original, but the potential for a sampled-based record to
have mainstream success has been reduced – especially for indie artists. However perhaps Jay-Z’s recent court victory will begin to see the adaptation of laws for a modern age.” The EP is in part a narration of Chop’s life story while paying its dues to some of the G.O.A.T.’s including a tribute to the late Sean Price, so it could be interpreted as a twenty year friendship finally producing a cathartic epitaph. Frost is quick to clarify
“The EP is just the beginning. We already have some dope new tracks in the vault for a new album we will release in 2017. Being independent gives us the opportunity to respond quickly to opportunities, and well, it’s just part of who we are”.
Of that there is no doubt.
“Veteran EP” releases November 18th 2016 through Seven 13 Music & Entertainment. Available on iTunes OfCXeb
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TWITTER @ToneChop & @FrostGamble INSTAGRAM @ToneChop & @Frost.Gamble WEBSITES & www.

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