Vancouver, BC – The Western Canadian finals of the End Of The Weak MC challenge have come and passed. Fortune Sound Club was graced with the display of some of Vancouver’s finest talent on the mic on Sunday, April 29th. Ten MCs competed and one reigned supreme. HHC would like to congratulate Junk on securing a solid victory and wish him the best as the former Canadian champion heads to Montreal to defend his title to earn the honour of representing Canada in the 2012 End Of The Weak World finals. Check out the interview with Junk after the jump.
HipHopCanada: How do you define hip-hop, and where do you feel you fit into that definition?
Junk: Hip-hop is punk in the seventies. I fit in by creating my own rules and doing whatever I want without any superior conformity. If you don’t like what I do then beat it.
HipHopCanada: What drives you to stay in a business that is rarely profitable and highly competitive?
Junk: I just love the culture so much that profiting off of it is merely a perk. Besides I love the competition, it keeps me sharp and always moving forward. Of course I want the money like we all do but in the end not making any will not stop me from doing what I love most.
HipHopCanada: Where are you based specifically?
Junk: I live in East Vancouver in a house with 6 people that are basically my extended family. I love this neighbourhood.
HipHopCanada: How has living there influenced your sound?
Junk: I think East Van has so many different unique cultures and attitudes that it makes one have a deeper understanding of all things. It has definitely opened my eyes to some of the horrors of our world which really is in our back yard, but as well as the beauties of everyday life. So basically it has given me a balanced perspective on human culture which enables me to pen down my lyrics with a versatile mind. It’s also expensive as fuck, one must grind everyday in this city just to eat. So it has given me and everyone in it a hustling ambition.
HipHopCanada: Who is your primary fan base?
Junk: I think the people that appreciate my work the most are the ones that are more interested in the actual art form rather than the typical commercial radio listener. At heart my true fans appreciate me for my lyricism and versatile skill on the mic.
HipHopCanada: What tips would you give young artists coming up, or what do you wish someone would have told you when you first started out in the hip-hop industry?
Junk: I am a young artist I need tips. All jokes aside I started rapping when I was 12. If I could give a 12 year old Ian a tip it’s the quicker you take it seriously the faster you’ll begin climbing this infinite staircase to the top. Surround yourself with the right people and keep good company because in the end you are who you hang with.
HipHopCanada: In which ways do you interact with your community?
Junk: Social media, you know the typical facebook, twitter etc. I hit open mic nights, attend and support others shows and events. Plus I enter almost every competition that is thrown here in Vancouver and go to Hip-hop workshops to network and attend industry seminars as often as I can to meet the right people in the business.
HipHopCanada: Which artists have you worked with that left an impression on you, and why?
Junk: I have worked with a few very talented artists out there. But to name a few that left an impression I must say it’s my own Household Crew members Aspire, Young Hungry, Katch and Engineer. The level of quality lyricism they all put into each track is uncanny. Evil is also one of my favourites with his immensely deep multiple characters he has on every song just blows me away. He is also one of the funniest people on Earth.
HipHopCanada: Which Canadian artist would you most like to collaborate with?
Junk: Shad K. The man is a genius.
HipHopCanada: Tell us about past and present successes, as well as future projects?
Junk: Don’t’ know where to begin but I have had the honour to tour Canada 3 times. Twice with Abstract Rude and DJ Drez and once with Cunninlynguists and Tonedef. I’ve opened for some greats such as Ghostface Killah, Raekwon, 2 Live Crew, Masta Ace and Del to name a few. I have battled and maintained my reputation the Van City division of KOTD and won 4 Rent Moneys which are freestyle battles hosted by legend Emotionz. The highlight of my career though I must say was last summer winning the EOW nationals in Toronto representing Canada and heading to Paris for the world finals only to take 3rd in the world. In the next 3 months I will be dropping a free digital download, a Household album under the name of NorthWestDivision and finally my solo album as well titled A Slice Of Me.
HipHopCanada: Any last words for the HipHopCanada online community?
Junk: Hip-hop aint dead it lives in the north.