Montreal, ON – With artists essentially fighting for scraps in the major label contract market up north, artists like MTL’s Offsides have taken things into their own hands by getting their business on point. Two of the Group members, Bailey and Malicious took a seat with HipHopCanada’s Gladstone What?! crew to discuss some recent events, upcoming projects and the scandal with Nike.
HipHopCanada: I always like to hear from artists how the rap scene is in their area. How do you two feel about the Montreal scene? What’s it all about?
Bailey: I feel the scene in Montreal is hot right now; it actually feels like peps is believing some shits about to pop off, in a good way. Peeps got a chance to break into the game and fans are willing to listen like they believe it too. They want their own to represent.
HipHopCanada: Do they react well to local gigs? Here in Toronto it’s 50/50. Sometimes nobody is at a jam and sometimes things are rammed solid.
Bailey: Well that depends who’s playing you know if peeps suck and the show isn’t well promoted that shit will happen but if the roster is hot, and it’s done well of course. I think the problem is that a lot of shows don’t happen in Montreal so no one really trusts the scene.
HipHopCanada: How about an Offsides show? Are you guys playing big venues?
Bailey: Yeah we did the Brand Nubian show at a big venue on the 24th of August, Club Soda. We were supposed to do the Urban Fest but it got canceled.
HipHopCanada: I noticed that your manager is based out of Toronto. Do you think that is better than having one from your hood?
Malicious: Well, we’ve seen roughly what the groups based out of our city have done and well, the truth is not much.
Bailey: It’s got benefits for sure cause he’s taking care of things out there, we can hold it down here.
Malicious: So we figured get someone closer to the action.
HipHopCanada: And he is Raymond Wallace from Peace Magazine for the record.
HipHopCanada: I saw the video for 2def on Much the other day.
HipHopCanada: Are there more coming in the future?
Malicious: Yeah, we are looking at keep moving for the moment. Ideally, we would like to get banging out to the club DJs. We want to be able to show all sides of Offsides and sometimes its a party other times you got to work before you can party.
Bailey: For real, there is club stuff and thinkers and battle stuff.
HipHopCanada: Speaking of all the sides of Offsides, what are your personalities? Who’s the businessman? Who’s the pimp?
Malicious: Bailey is the Biz.
Bailey: D.R. One is the pimp. Malicious the creator.
Malicious: Lokey is on low and well, for myself I’m (being that I’m the shortest) I’m in the front.
Bailey: But we all work well together. All characters come through.
HipHopCanada: I hear that D.R. One is a big player on the Montreal DJ circuit?
Malicious: For sure!
Bailey: Yeah he’s getting the scene on lock down here.
Malicious: He’s got multiple DJ nights as well as making time for DJ battles.
Bailey: He’s actually taking over another night here when school is back in.
HipHopCanada: What battles and comps has he won?
Bailey: Montreal underground DJ.
Malicious: In Montreal there’s a battle that goes on at least twice a month. Second in Montreal DMC.
Bailey: He’s placed in the last 3 Montreal DMCs.
Malicious: Politics is why he didn’t take it. But that’s another story.
HipHopCanada: Word. One thing that I wanted to say about you guys is that in the business sense you seem to have things on lock. Your press kit looks good and your getting jams everywhere. What the future strategy for Offsides?
Malicious: More tracks!
Bailey: Well we want to move in to other countries.
Bailey: Licensing. New artists, we got our eyes open.
HipHopCanada: Oh and you guys got the label?
Bailey: Yup, OdoubleF Records.
Malicious: This album has been completed for over a year so were dying to do new material. We also want to expand our production get beats put to those that need it.
Bailey: Yeah, we got a lot of hot producers right around us.
HipHopCanada: Are you crate diggers for beats?
Bailey: Mr. Malish being one of them.
Malicious: Well, I’ve started to get my hands dirty and for the most part have tried to come up with my own style.
Bailey: As far as beats go that’s Malishs’ department but whenever we do shows we all sit here and hear new tracks and peep older beats to add into the set.
Malicious: And based on the reception of 2def,there’s more where that came from.
HipHopCanada: I’ve heard legends about the Montreal record shops.
Malicious: Its not what it used to be. There are a lot on St. Denis.
Bailey: I thought one of us did something! [Laughing]
HipHopCanada: Billy Ocean! Are you bilingual?
Bailey: Yup, even DR.
Malicious: For the last bit all of our interviews have been in French.
HipHopCanada: Would you consider doing an all-French album?
MMalicious & Bailey: No.
HipHopCanada: So you’re not really about rapping in French.
Bailey: Not us.
Malicious: That would be catering a little too much I think
Bailey: But we might get a French artist.
Bailey: We are from Quebec.
HipHopCanada: I need to hear more French rap. I’m ignorant to it and I only really know Mc Solarr.
Bailey: IAM is my favorite.
Malicious: The French scene here is thick. A lot of talent.
Bailey: That’s why where considering a French MC on the roster.
HipHopCanada: What about Musique Plus? Is that doing things for you?
Bailey: Not much but will get them in a second.
Malicious: Before the release of the album we had a lot of press cause of the freestyle battle I won but other then that not much.
Bailey: I mean we got interviews there but they’re not playing the video that much.
HipHopCanada: Malicious, who were you up against in that battle?
Malicious: It’s funny but mainly French cats. To actually get on the show though I had to go through some of the nicest freestylers (English) in the city but on the show because it was for the province of Quebec the only English cat was Dialect.
HipHopCanada: Is there a lot of bias?
Bailey: Bias on the battle? I don’t think so, Malish won!
Malicious: Between French and English you mean?
HipHopCanada: I mean in the scene. Towards French/English.
Bailey: Oh, well French MCs pretty much own Musique Plus, but in terms of radio it’s English MCs.
Malicious: In Quebec they figure if you’re English you can make things happen outside the province so they tend to support the French cats a little more.
HipHopCanada: You guys did some gigs in Taiwan? How did that come about?
Bailey: We got some internet fans out there and the club we played at got hold of our stuff early and they were impressed and booked us.
Malicious: Plus, it’s a little cheaper to get Offsides out there rather than Jay-z.
Bailey: TU was celebrating their 15th year anniversary, which is the longest running hip-hop club out there.
HipHopCanada: Any good stories come out of that trip?
Malicious: It was nuts!
Bailey: Amazing experience.
Malicious: Tones of good press.
Bailey: Tell him the Jordan thing. (Laughs)
Malicious: Yeah! Lo-key was mistaken for Michael Jordan cause Jordan was in town at the same time.
Bailey: We got a lot of press.
Malicious: And there was a Nike scandal that almost went down.
HipHopCanada: Nike scandal?
Malicious: We were walking around one day with a basketball and drew a huge crowd in the middle of a down pour
Bailey: Yeah, Jordan was to make an appearance at a stadium for the Taiwan people and he came out for only a minute and they where insulted.
Malicious: Jordan was to visit and say hi to his fans but he barely waved to them so people were about to boycott all Jordan products.
Bailey: But it was good cause we went and played ball with them and we were like “We love your country”.
Malicious: One of Taiwan’s largest news stations came out to get our opinion on the matter.
Bailey: It all went over really well.
HipHopCanada: What did you say to them? Was it like Lady One Question?
Bailey: They asked if we thought Nike should say sorry.
Malicious: We basically said as artist we understand it’s not always easy to please everyone and by the next day Nike had made a formal apology.
HipHopCanada: So what do you want the public to know? What moves are you guys on?
Malicious: As far the album goes this is just step one.
Bailey: Pushing the album, making more new dope tracks and coming to rip it up near you in the near future. We want peeps to know that they can trust us to come through with the dope shit, but we still got to build that rep so we’re hard at work.
HipHopCanada: Tell me a bit about your Island City Monster fam for those that don’t know.
Malicious: Talent, talent, talent.
Bailey: Ok, there is: Offsides Eye2eye, Memo and Meta4ce.
Malicious: From graf artists, to DJs to MCs.
Bailey: Our DJs: D.R. One, Fat Sak, Mana, Twitch. Production, MCs, design.
Malicious: Holiday Fever (The Island City Monsters Mixtape) gives you a little sample of things to come.
HipHopCanada: And the website is:
Written by Gladstone What?! for HipHopCanada