Meet the Real Pimpton: Cannabis, Poetry and his U.S. tour with the Beatnuts [Interview/Article]
Regina, SK – Regina isn’t typically noted for its influence on the music industry. But one dedicated hip-hopper, Kyriel “Pimpton” Roberts is proving to Canada—and everyone else, for that matter—that Saskatchewan’s music scene is thriving.
“A blind person could see that Saskatchewan’s music industry, and very well Saskatchewan as a whole, is growing,” said Roberts.
Pimpton released his first mixtape, The Deal Breaker: Manifest Destiny, or TDBMD, on Feb. 11. The album features 17 tracks with Pimpton’s signature sexual zeal, song sampling, and slew of collaborators. Although A-list collaborations are nothing new, Roberts took it up a notch—most of the collaborators and music producers featured on the album are fellow Saskatchewanians including Kyle Jordan, Malfunction, and Merky Waters Music.
“In Saskatchewan those of us on the scene recognize the importance of expanding our horizons and coming together to make big things happen,” said Roberts. Pimpton also collaborated with one of his idols—Andre Nickatina—for the track ‘Little Darrel.’
“To get to spend a full day in the studio with [Nickatina] was beyond a dream come true,” said Roberts.
“He destroyed the beat and really made it his own—staying exclusively true to his style that I have looked up to and admired for so long.”
Although Roberts was born on the country island of Trinidad and Tobago he moved to Canada at a very young age and started listening to hip-hop at the age of 12. But Roberts has always been aware of societal problems, especially for those of middle and lower-middle class individuals, and immigrants like himself who were of “a visible minority, or simply not a member of the dominant culture.” “Every good story has its flaws, and Regina is no exception,” he said.
Growing up, Roberts saw many of his childhood friends go in-and-out of the youth justice system. He admits that even as adults, most of those friends still struggle as they go in-and-out of the adult correctional system.
“Those who don’t have money wish to obtain it—and unfortunately many youth who endure the hardships of a life without equal opportunity turn to a life of crime,” said Roberts.
Though he admits that he never found himself turning towards that lifestyle, Roberts says that it had a huge impact on him.
“I always found myself wondering why some people had to fight so hard to acquire the bare minimum while others seemed to be effortlessly placed in positions of great affluence,” he said.And there is no doubt that Pimpton has fought to get to where he is today. He dropped his first album The Newer Testament prior to his graduation from high school in 2008, and continues to attend post-secondary while balancing time between studio sessions and his girlfriend—yes ladies, he is taken.
Roberts also commits himself to the role of an outspoken cannabis enthusiast— a passion that serves as a key element in his musical composition. As one of several Canadians with a permit to legally possess and own ganja, Roberts is not one to shy away from promoting his good friend, Mary Jane.
“There are very few things in my life that I do without the company and comradeship of my green friend,” said Roberts.
Roberts smokes before, after, and during each studio session to reach “mental elevation” and “spiritual composure.”He admits that his infatuation with cannabis also influences his choice of clothing, academia, and musical expression.
“Marijuana just makes everything better,” said Roberts.
“It relieves certain stresses that could impose mental or social pressures in regards to expressing my opinion.”
Since TDBMD dropped last month, Roberts has already managed to line up a U.S. tour gig alongside the New York-based hip hop-production duo the Beatnuts.Pimpton hopes to “spread the album across the United States and accomplish some heavy
Written by Sarah Sussman for HipHopCanada
Photography courtesy of Humpherylee Productions