It's a Sunday evening in May. The city is quiet and the streets are immersed in rain as cars 'swoosh' by, drenching pedestrians on the sidewalk. "April showers bring May flowers", I think to myself (Not really though). I scribble down a couple extra questions that I have for Hydeff. Mainly the basics, such as "Who is your inspiration" or "How did music change your life?"
I'm not about to get into any of that though. Hydeff wasn't brought up in the rich neighborhoods of Thornhill. He built many of his childhood memories in and out of the rougher communities of Toronto. Is this a good thing for his rapping career? It might be. Having started writing rhymes in grade seven and plunging himself into the Hip Hop scene, Hydeff knows a thing or two about this grand city's music vibe. So I asked:
What do you think comes first now a days—the melody or the lyrics? "I deal with a couple of cats who are in the producing game that are up and coming as well, and we work together on beats and mixing. To the masses, the beat seems to be much more important. No one gives a f*** about what you're saying anymore as long as there is something you can bob your head to. I personally love lyrics, but don't get me wrong, sometimes you find me vibing out to some ratchet a** s*** haha."
Is selling out to mainstream really all that bad? "There is nothing wrong with saying that I want to sell out. If that is your plan from the get-go than that's fine. There are mad cats that are trying to do that and make money to feed their family. If you don't want to sell out, then you got the heart, man. It's cool either way, but I would rather a cult following. I don't want to be wishy washy. I'd rather have a small group of people that love my s*** than the mass population just liking my s***. Cats like Mf Doom, I'd rather be like that. Not so much underground, but not for the masses either. Just something in between.
What do you think of the Toronto Hip Hop scene? "There is a lot of wack s*** in the city. There are amazing beat makers, but the rappers do not have authenticity in their content. Basic rhymes about sex and drugs, pretending that they are living that Hollywood life, it's not relevant. I mean there are some spitters in this city, but they gotta come out more. Today there is a strong assumption that in order to make it in the game, you have to rap about sex, rap about drugs, rap about the hood. Like if you do that, then you're good. A lot of cats just rap about what everyone else is rapping about. A lot of musicians seem to be closed minded, making it seem like this is Brooklyn or Compton. But [Toronto] is no where near that bad. We do have our issues here and there but we are all in all a good city. That's where they fail to rep the city.Don't lose touch of your reality."
So there you go. An opinion piece for a real Hip Hop head in Toronto. Check out Hydeff's Music here.
Figure It Out, Del