What: Sunday Night Bounce
When: Sunday, June 5
This business of making music is more than a bit of a Catch 22, something Halifax-based hip-hop artist Classified (a.k.a. Luke Boyd) knows all too well.
Its apparent in the title of his recent album Boy-Cott-In The Industry.
Trying not to conform, but at the same time acknowledging the conventions that allow an artist to make a living"you got to play the game to play the game, basically," Classified says. "You can tell a lot of frustration in my lyrics about labels and how much bullshit there is in the industry. How its really not about the music, its about who you know, and how good your business is. Ive been frustrated with that for awhile now."
"Awhile" could mean as far back as the early 1990s, when the young MC started to make a name for himself in the eclectic Halifax scene.
"Were in the middle of nowhere so to get noticed at all you really got to do something to open peoples eyes," he explains, accounting for the lack of a cohesive sound and the success of fellow Halifax hip-hop anomalies like Buck 65.
Middle of nowhere or not, Classifieds continued to work out of Halifax, where he maintains a home studio and where Boy-Cott was recorded over the past two years.
The album hit the streets this past March, a follow up to the 2003 buzz-generator Trial and Error.
"With (Boy-Cott-In The Industry) I sat down and tried to make more full songs," Classified explains. "I really wanted to create the whole song. I used a lot more live instruments, live guitars, and violins. More melodies. A different type of feel for each song."
The lush, organic arrangements suit the introspective themes. Industry woes aside, Classified notes he has been able to support himself with the music. The beats are paying the bills. And as long as thats the case, hell keep doing what he loves, making music and touring.
Ah, the life of a Canadian indie hip-hop artist. Its not exactly the booty and bling that MTV portrays hip-hop to be but Classified says he couldnt pull that off no matter how hard he tried.
"I think for a Canadian to do that, no one would believe it," he says, chuckling. "Canadians are smarter than that."
Smart enough to catch the irony in a moniker he says hes grown into over the years.
"Everyone wants to classify a hip-hop style and I find Im hard to classify," he muses, "a little bit underground, a little bit mainstream."
Classified stops by Garfinkels this Sunday night a guest of Frontline Entertainments Sunday Night Bounce hip-hop club night. Tickets are $8 available in advance from the Electric Daisy Internet Café. For more information call 604-761-0110.