INTERVIEW: TORONTO'S CLAIRMONT THE SECOND
[I met up with the young Toronto rapper and brother of the OBGM's drummer Cola to speak about his newest mixtape, his views on trap vs classic hip hop, and the hype he has been receiving since his release]
As a new rapper, why have you decided to stay away from trap and lyrical content that is similar to Migos, Young Thug, etc. Your mixtape has a more classic hip hop feel to it, which you go about willingly.
One of the reasons is to stand out. Everybody is caught up in that trend and it’s getting old. It was cool for a bit to me but now everybody sounds the same. And to be honest in my opinion, a lot of the rappers back in the day were just more talented. So I don’t like the lack of effort that people put in and get famous now. And I understand that it may take longer for me to blow up but hey, as long as the music is good that’s all that matters to me. Guys like Kendrick and J. Cole, those guys don’t make bubble gum hooks, and they rap. And they are the two biggest artists of my time.
How is this mixtape different from your previous work Project II?
People say that a year is not a long time but every year that I drop something I improve by a lot. It's really just practicing my pronunciation and my writing. I really wanted to showcase the things that I like.
How did you like performing at Manifesto, tell me about your experience
Performing at Manifesto was cool mainly because I remember saying that I was going to perform at it a long time ago. And now I have.
In Cant Save Em, You say “Take your eyes off of Drake for a second, he's not the only artist in the city reppin' this section.” In your opinion is his status as a Canadian rapper helping or hurting new artists such as yourself.
Drake only seems to sign singers. He hasn’t signed a rapper. People are focused on the singers of the ovo. Our city right now is in the spacey trap and soft trap feel and now Toronto is labeled as that.
People are not paying attention to the rappers of the city. But we are here, you kno? And I want people to view us as more than just the spacey trap stuff.
Which track on your new mix tape hits you the deepest and is most personal to you?
Stop talking spit some. That song was about everything I wanted to tweet or write on my Facebook status. As I was writing I would erase it and save it so that I can rap about it instead.
I listened to your whole mix tape, there is no cursing in your content. Was that on purpose?
There is many reasons for that . At first, it was for my parents. If they hear that they will get mad. That was reason number one. Then it turned into me not having to censor my music. You know there was some great rappers who did not swear and it was like a whole era. It adds to my substance.
Why did you decide to call the new body of work A Mixtape by Clairmont the Second.
Because that is what it was. It was literally what it was. I wanted to emphasize that it was a mixtape, and that it was by me. I thought it was funny so I went for it. I knew it was going to move a lot slower than if it was a bunch of trap songs. But I wasn’t worried. I was happy to finally make this because I wanted to make it for so long.
Why did you decide to open it up with Cola’s Intro. Cola is your brother and he’s from the band The OBGMs, but I have never seen him not be behind the drums.
He’s my brother , you know. So like why not put him on the intro. He killed that intro by the way. He is one of the reasons I am where I am at today. It was help from him, always telling me how to become a better writer. He encourages me to freestyle a lot, because I am terrible, garbage at freestyle lol. But yea he killed that intro. I wanted to balance out the dynamics of the tape. Cola’s intro was very strong so I had to keep it going.
You reference the West side a bunch of times throughout the tape, why is it important to you to make that reference and representations.
I want people to know that the west side has artists. I have to represent where I am from and where I grew up. I love the west side.