ENFIELD, Nova Scotia — Live and let live is Classified’s; the Canadian award-winning rapper’s approach to life and he encourages others to follow suit. Pro-vax, anti-vax, vegan, carnivore, trans, heterosexual, Classified really doesn’t care. Plowing through your sensitivity, Classified’s new single “People,” sounds like hate, but is actually spreading a message of love. Over his own production, Classified makes you use your ears and brain to take in the message that he’s trying to relate through, “People.” Judgement free zone, “People” spreads the message of difference, acceptance, understanding, and living.
The anti-divisive track leads up to what will be busy times for the HalfLife Records CEO who plans to drop a single every 6-weeks leading up to the 10-track project. The project will be released in conjunction with Big Story Entertainment who works for HalfLife Records for the first time.
Class is in session, as Classified describes the vibes that prompted “People” to Zenger News.
Zenger: Your new single, “People,” couldn’t have come at a more relevant time. What was the thought process behind this record?
Classified: Kind of. I wrote that almost a year and a half ago, so we were kind of in the mix of COVID and all that. The vax, the anti-vax, so it’s kind of what sparked that separation of people. But even now with getting over the pandemic, there’s separation in other areas now more than ever.
Zenger: With this song, you have to accept the delivery while at the same time hear the message. I hope people truly understand the meaning.
Classified: I think there is so much music nowadays with streaming, so for me to write something, it’s gotta stand out and catch people off guard. That was the plan at first with that first line, “I don’t like people, I don’t like white people.” I knew people would be like, “What is this sh*t?” I wanted to bring you in like the news do these days. The headline is clickbait, everybody reads that, and then they move on. No one pays attention to the story and actual details. That was the point of this song, I’m going to give you some clickbait and you’re probably going to think this is a negative song, but if you take the time and listen to the story, it’s a really positive song. That was the whole vibe. Trying to be smart and creative with it.
Zenger: Did you have a personal experience that made you put pen to pad or overall look on how things are going in society?
Classified: Overall view, but with COVID, the vaccine… I’m not an anti-vaxxer. I got all of those shots, but once they started pushing it. Me being someone who is trying to pay attention to the world and decisions and seeing that this wasn’t really affecting kids and my 12-year-old daughter had to get a shot to be able to play on her school basketball team, it made it kind of weird. It made me step back and kind of go, “I didn’t want to do that.” I eventually had to do it. Even between me and my own friends, some were like, “Get the vaccine,” and some were like, “It’s not tested enough, we don’t know enough about it.” Seeing that division from friends like that. I know people that don’t even talk no more who were friends for 20 years. So, it started with that, but seeing what’s going on now with gay, trans, the hate, and the division there. So many people care, and people feel like they gotta tell people these things. My whole thing is, I don’t care about any of that stuff. I don’t judge people on those characteristics. I judge people on their character, and that’s the whole energy of that song.
Zenger: That’s one of the things I love about music, when I look at your sold-out crowds, that time that you’re on stage, none of that matters.
Classified: That’s a great way to put it. You’re on stage… we did a show last weekend, and I know there were people from different religions, different races, different wealth. They didn’t care. They were partying and hanging out together. That’s what this world should be. Not so concerned about things that make people different.
Zenger: One of my favorite lines on the song is, “We got comfortable with our incompetence.” Could you expound on that verse.
Classified: The line before that is, “We resort to leaving on rocket ships.” I was reading the news one day, and one of these super billionaires were like, “We gotta go to Mars, seeing if we can move there and set up areas.” I just feel like we gave up on Earth. We can’t fix this, we’re set up in our ways, we gotta find somewhere else to go. We got comfortable knowing that we’re not doing what we’re supposed to be doing on this planet. It’s like we have messed this one up, so let’s look elsewhere, and to me, that’s a shitty way to look at it.
Zenger: The lyricism is amazing on “People,” but it’s also a great track and it’s self-produced. Do you enjoy the production side just as much as the actual creating the lyrics?
Classified: Hell yeah! Every song I’ve put out, I have always made my beats. That’s half the fun for me. I’ve been doing music for 27 years, getting on the sampler and making a beat… I think that’s why I’ve been able to do it so long. It’s the balance of, I don’t feel like making a beat, let me go write. I don’t want to write, let me make a beat today. They definitely go hand and hand. It’s having that out from one to the other.
Zenger: You ever get overwhelmed?
Classified: I don’t get overwhelmed because I don’t have deadlines for myself. I built myself up to be comfortable. I got a couple of kids I’m raising now, I invested my money right, so it’s almost like a hobby now. I go in my studio whenever I want, mess with something, if I get frustrated, and don’t want to be there, I go back outside and play basketball with the kids. I don’t ever feel like I’m grinding my brain to get things done by a deadline. I let it flow how it flows and when it’s ready to come out, I put it out. I think that’s the bonus of being your own record label. I own all my masters. I don’t have anybody telling me, “Yo, we need this single by this time.” I have that freedom.
Zenger: With that being said, how did your HalfLife Records imprint come together with Big Story Entertainment for this upcoming project?
Classified: Honestly, it was through this song. I was on Universal Music for the last 10 years. I got a great relationship with them too, had some great success with them. I showed them this, “People” video. And they just weren’t feeling it as my first single. It was that energy that made me talk to a couple of independent labels that I know around the country, and it was a match with Big Story. He was like, “Oh my God, what is this?” That was the energy I was looking for. This is my first fully independent album in 13 years because I was on Sony before Universal. I can see their excitement transfer into hard work because that’s what they’re bringing.
Zenger: The energy seems to be very high for “People” consumers. What has it been like to get such positive feedback for the record?
Classified: Bro, I was nervous. I don’t get nervous for singles at all, but with these days and times, and with people being so offended with other people’s opinions when they don’t agree, it came out Friday morning. I remember waking up like, “Here we go.” I started reading a couple of comments and everybody was getting what I was saying. People were feeling it, and it was all positive. After about 3 hours, I jumped on my 4-wheeler with the boys and we went dirt biking, had some drinks, and I stayed off of social media for the day.
The reception has been really great. People are relating to what I’m saying. This whole picking sides is getting really old. We will be dropping a single every 6 weeks leading up to the official project. It’s a 10-album project, so every 6 weeks we will drop a song, and then on the fifth one, I’m going to drop the rest of the project.
Edited by Judy J. Rotich and Newsdesk Manager
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