Via Rail Sends Jeff Spec, Muneshine, Timbuktu & Ghettosocks On Cross Canada Tour [Article/Interview]
Vancouver, B.C. – Ladies and gentlemen of the Canadian hip-hop nation, pulling into a VIA Rail station near you is a rare treat – Jeff Spec, Muneshine, Timbuktu and Ghettosocks present the Train of Thought Canadian hip-hop tour! Yes, of course Canadian hip-hop artists tour in their country, but certainly not with the kind of regularity that occurs in some of Canada’s other music scenes like Indie or punk rock. In the hip-hop world it just doesn’t often happen that four underground titans – hailing from all parts of the True North Strong and Free, from Hali to Van – unite to create a super bill of elite artists, and all with the backing of a major company in the travel and tourism industry. But here we are. Things done changed.
HipHopCanada: Why is it that we don’t often see a cross-country, all-Canadian bill like the Train of Thought Tour?
Jeff Spec: It can be hard to get around in Canada because the country is so spaced apart. If we were touring in someplace like the States? It’s two hours of driving and you’re in the next major city. Next day, an hour and a half and your in the next major city. Whereas in Canada, you have to drive a really long time sometimes just to get to that next market. By getting VIA Rail involved, we solved a lot of those problems. We are very thankful to have the support of VIA Rail in pulling off this tour.
Muneshine: There seems to be a trend of people not putting in the work, of folks really looking to do stuff in their own scenes and regions, but not branching out and moving around. It can be hard to get from city to city, long nights driving long distances, but it basically boils down to work ethic. You just gotta do it. On top of that, people can be just straight up selfish. They don’t want to share their hookups, they don’t want to share their resources.
Ghettosocks: There are basically two kinds of mentalities: scarcity mentality and an abundance mentality. A scarcity mentality believes that there is only so much to go around, while an abundance mentality believes that there is enough for everyone. We definitely think there is abundance. We came together to pool our resources and to pool our audiences. I bring my audience so they can check out you and get into your music, and the next guy does the same and so on. We want to open doors for each other. We want to see each other succeed.
HipHopCanada: Do you find that the audiences respond differently to you, or that it’s harder to sell your product because you are Canadian? What’s the best way to promote home-grown talent?
Ghettosocks: We’ve got to stop paying attention to some U.S/ Canada comparison. Fans, media, artists have got to stop feeding into this. We’ve basically gotten to a point where we find comparisons to the American scene to be unproductive.
Jeff Spec: We can’t compare ourselves to the scene in the U.S. because it’s different now. If we want to know why it’s not like the U.S. scene we really have to take a time machine and go back to the early days of Hip Hop in New York.
Ghettosocks: We just need to focus on building locally. Recording locally. As far as building audiences in our communities, people just need to be better at promoting their shows and keep putting out good product. Also, people just need to get in the habit of going out more and supporting their scenes to help build them up. On our tour people are coming out, and their getting real interaction and real content.
HipHopCanada: What kind of productivity can we expect to see coming off this tour?
Jeff Spec: We’re definitely writing.
Ghettosocks: We get inspired to write by the shows, always thinking about how it’s going to work with the crowd.
HipHopCanada: Thanks a lot guys, and let this serve as a recommendation to the reader to get up, get out and get on the train when it rolls into your city.
Interview conducted by Natch Crumbly for HipHopCanada
Don’t forget to check out the Train of Thought Tour Facebook Page!