Calgary, AB – The laid back, easy manner of Tactikz is at odds with his double-time rapping style. Originating from Calgary Alberta, growing up in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Tactikz caught up with HipHopCanada at a concert earlier in the year when he was opening for D12.
HipHopCanada: Bless Tactikz! Thanks for joining me here on HipHopCanada! I’m very excited for this interview! So what’s been up in Tactikz’ world?
Tactikz: Well first off I kind of got this new combination going on between me and Nki-Louise. We’re working on a collaboration CD dropping this summer.
HipHopCanada:You’ve done a lot of hip-hop showcases and parties. What got you started on that end of the spectrum?
Tactikz: [Thinking] Umm, well it all kind of started off at the end of 2008. I got my studio; I was getting more into producing and recording on my own. I linked up with Chain Reaction at a hip-hop shop and showed him a couple songs, it blew him away so he let us know about a show for Nov 29th 2008. Chain Reaction couldn’t make it for his set so he let us have it. We blew everyone away at the show that night, even a security guard there said that we were the best set so we just kept doing it from there which really introduced me to the scene.
HipHopCanada: What are some positive and negatives about doing these showcases?
Tactikz: Positives – it got my name out there more. I had tracks and stuff but this definitely got it started and helped my mixtape. Negatives – I was working with a lot of female artists and my girlfriend at the time didn’t like it at all. She thought I was cheating with all of them – I guess that’s just the way it is sometimes. Music was taking over my life and took priority next to everything else. Which I guess, in the long run, turned into a positive thing.
HipHopCanada: You have a track called “It Used To Be” featuring Nki-Louise And Robbie G. What made you write this song?
Tactikz: Honestly, the way the music game’s been it seems like you don’t need to mean anything you say these days and people are getting known for it. So I decided to write a real track or [what] I feel is a real track. I got kind of tired hearing all of these club tunes even though they get a lot of acknowledgement; it feels good to write something meaningful.
HipHopCanada: Double-time rap is a style that has made impact by various artists over the year. What influenced you to choose this style of rap?
Tactikz: I listen to a lot of Bone Thugz and got caught up in that kind of style. I don’t just do double time though. I have a couple tracks that are at normal pace but I like to switch it up and keep it interesting.
HipHopCanada: How big of an accomplishment was it for you to be in the King of the Dot Alberta Edition Volume #2?
Tactikz: It was pretty big, it wasn’t the best show because a lot of battlers didn’t show up but as it progressed it kept getting better. The venue keeps getting better too, so all around it’s getting to be a well known show.
HipHopCanada: You later on became a judge for Volume #3. Obviously you made an impact on your first volume. How does it feel to be an authority figure, not only your hometown, but for the entire Prairies?
Tactikz: I don’t know? I feel kind of good having that kind of impact, we didn’t really know what we were getting into because we thought it was all a freestyle battle but it’s all pre-written. When the first volume came out we figured screw it we’ll get down with it, it’s for fun. Made a lot of contacts that way.
HipHopCanada: You travelled quite a lot in 2009. How was it working with artists in the East?
Tactikz: I had the best time of my life coming out east. Before I left I did a promo booth at a Busta Rhymes show. I met Zaze from 9-0 Nickel and he introduced me to Peter Jackson and the crew. When I went out East I linked with Zaze again to do a tune. All in all it was a great experience working with everyone; I met a lot of great artists and producers out that way.
HipHopCanada: Anyone in particular you enjoyed working with?
Tactikz: I really like working with Solo Key. We didn’t get a chance to get anything down but as we speak we’re working on a long distance track. Going to Robbie G.’s studio was pretty sick too, me and Nki-Louise went there and laid down some stuff. There’s just so much love out East. I heard it was screwface capitol of the world but I got shown nothing but love.
HipHopCanada: What are some of your goals for 2010?
Tactikz: [I plan] on moving to Ontario in June but still rep the West of course. I’m working on a tour with Nki-Louise for all of Canada. Just hit up my connections and meet more people just to keep the music going. I want to drop my album in 2011.
HipHopCanada: Last question, besides your double-time rapping style, what makes you unique to all these other hip-hop artists in the Prairies and Canada?
Tactikz: I have different points of views; some of my rhyme schemes are a lot different. Apparently when I’m writing I’ll do a whole verse where nothing really rhymes but it just flows so nicely. I haven’t seen anybody do that kind of thing. I have a song called “Think About It” that has that kind of flavor. Like I said before I like to switch it up so I try to do a little something different every time I record.
HipHopCanada: Thanks so much for your time Tactikz. It’s been my pleasure! Please keep us updated. Do you have any shout-outs?
Tactikz: Shout-outs to Nki-Louise. We be doin’ it big this summer… “Lethal Combo”, Cash Flo doin’ his thing in Calgary “If it’s not a long weekend it should be” shows, Javis (Deception Clothing Hip-Hop Shop), George who put me on my hip-hop night in Saskatoon at Dino’s, D.J. Heywood sick times, Solo Key for linking me with HipHopCanada. I’ll be getting down with the Critical Crew, Robbie G., nothing but love… we make sick music together. Chain Reaction, in Calgary, nothing would have happened if it wasn’t for him. Emotionz, thanks for coming through and laying a hot 16 on the mixtape… Abstract Artform in Winnipeg. Also to a few producers, Double D, Klev C, and Rayne Drop. If I missed anyone my bad you know how it goes.
Written by Shanna Robinson for HipHopCanada