Cadence Weapon on Drake: 'You Can't Front' -- Rapper Approves of Fellow Polaris Nominee's 'Take Care' Album
You might not be a fan of Cadence Weapon, but it's hard not to like the real life side of Rollie Pemberton. The Edmonton-born rapper -- once that city's poet laureate -- who recently relocated to Montreal knows all about his hate-it-or-love-it reputation.
"I made my bed for myself, you know? I can't be surprised," he tells Spinner, noting that rappers are already at a disadvantage within the general music landscape. "I make music that is inherently divisive."
His newest record, the newly Polaris Prize short-listed Hope in Dirt City, feels like a response to those detractors. It's Cadence at his most lyrically accessible and relaxed. Production credits are split between himself and some of Canada's fast-rising weirdos, like Doldrums and the LOL Boys. Considering the breadth of references, there's a nice cohesion between early '90s sample-heavy rap aesthetics and organic-sounding arrangements. And it was all intentional, he says, in an effort to be more accessible but without losing himself.
"With this record I feel like there's not a lot to complain about if you've felt like I've been a little too out there in the past."
Spinner talked with Cadence about all of these things, as well as how it feels to be a Canadian rapper in a world where Drake is king ahead of his show opening for Liars in Toronto.
I've gotta ask, is it harder or easier being a Canadian rapper post-Drake?
(Laughs) It's 2012 A.D. – After Drake. Yeah, I don't know if that totally relates to me because I was just doing my own thing already. I don't think there was a spike in Cadence Weapon listenership. But now there are more