Catching up with Cadence Weapon: New album, SSENSE & style advice [Interview]
Edmonton, AB – Known for rocking a signature performance ensemble of camouflage pants and workman boots, Roland Pemberton, better known by Cadence Weapon, has teamed up with luxury online retailer SSENSE for an exclusive mix. “SSENSE asked me to make a mix for them and I love their site so I hooked it up. I love fashion and particularly more innovative, forward-thinking designers. So I’m definitely into SSENSE,” said Pemberton. The mix starts off with Weapon’s own remix of Montreal-based Doldrums’ track “Egypt” and leads into some banging tracks featuring T.I., 2 Chainz, Kelly Rowland, and more. Pemberton is gearing up for his latest album release and fresh off of a new track release for “When It’s Real” (featuring Jarell Perry), but the 25-year-old Edmontonian is also looking to make his mark in the fashion industry. “Fashion will definitely figure into my future work,” said Pemberton. Check out the mix and our exclusive interview after the jump.
Cadence Weapon: Q&A
Written by Sarah Sussman for HipHopCanada
HipHopCanada: How would you describe your style?
Cadence Weapon: I’ve always been inspired by ‘80s New York street fashion. Like graffiti writers and early new wave style. The Clash mutating those looks and mixing it with British teddy-boy fashion. I always wanted to have a foot in the past and a foot in the future. So with that ‘80s stuff as my starting point, I like to add contemporary stuff that stands out. I like to wear expressive clothes, patterned prints and lots of colour.
HipHopCanada: Do you have any tips for the fellows of the HipHopCanada community?
Cadence Weapon: What I would tell someone wondering about style is the same thing I would say if they were asking about making music: be original. Life’s too short to just do the same shit as everybody else.
HipHopCanada: Where do you get all of your camo pants?
Cadence Weapon: I get all my camo from Army Surplus stores. That’s me trying to look like I’m in Black Moon.
HipHopCanada: Really? I’d take you for more of a Boot Camp Clik guy. Buckshot was all about the camouflage representation. So what’s your favourite look on a lady?
Cadence Weapon: I appreciate personality. A woman who really understands how to present herself to the rest of the world has a good sense of herself. That’s what clothes can convey: knowledge of self.
HipHopCanada: Is there any fashion statement that should never be worn, by anyone, ever?
Cadence Weapon: Crocs.
HipHopCanada: The mix features Wiz Khalifa, 2 Chainz, Lil Dirk, Yung Lean and Cassey Veggies (amongst others). Who would win a throw-down between the five of them?
Cadence Weapon: 2 Chainz. Major height and arm-length advantage. Yung Lean is a 16-year-old Swedish kid. He’s not [going to] do well in this fight.
HipHopCanada: Now let’s talk a bit about your latest collaboration track with Jarell Perry and Muneshine. You’ve really been switching up the music lately. What made you want to play it more soulful on “When It’s Real”?
Cadence Weapon: It wasn’t really a conscious decision. I like all kinds of music and different styles of rap so it’s natural that I try my hand at different vibes. I felt like this vibe suited the lyrics best.
HipHopCanada: You hooked up with Jarell after meeting him at a party in L.A. and decided he would be the one to feature on the track. How do L.A. parties differ from those in Edmonton?
Cadence Weapon: L.A. parties reflect the way life over there—same as in Edmonton. Sometimes parties in Edmonton feel survivalist. Especially in the winter. It can feel like you are truly stuck at this house and have to keep partying in this post-apocalyptic way. In LA, it’s nice all the time so it’s relaxed but still hedonistic. After playing a show at the El Rey, I followed some girls who were TV producers back to their crib thinking it was going to be a normal party but when we got there, everyone was rolling on the ground on ecstasy. Literally rolling on E.
HipHopCanada: Speaking of Edmonton, you haven’t really been living there. You’ve been spending most of your time in Montreal and L.A. What do you miss about the prairies?
Cadence Weapon: I miss my family and I miss the prairie spirit mostly. People just shine a certain way over there. I love how much space is available. There’s natural space and space to live that you don’t have in older cities out east. I always enjoy hanging with my prairie dogs when I come through on tour.
HipHopCanada: This track is so smooth. It might be one of the one-night-stand tracks of the summer.
Cadence Weapon: That’s definitely what I had in mind. I want people to be able to ride out to this track and be able to chill with their girl to it.
HipHopCanada: Have you actually ever had “half-passion in the back of the cab” ?
Cadence Weapon: Yeah, I had passion in the back of a cab. I’m talking about a specific instance. It was intense. It really inspired the idea for the whole song. She’s a close friend of mine, I thought about her a lot and then something happened in the back of that cab that made me consider it as something real and tangible for the first time. It’s something that I thought about for months after. It was cinematic.
HipHopCanada: Let’s talk your upcoming album.
Cadence Weapon: I’m not [going to] say when it’s [going to] drop or what I’m calling it but what I will say is that I’m really feeling what I’m making. It’s more upbeat, electronic, heavy bass and it’s me—just having more fun with the rhymes. I want it to be blasting out of cars. It’s that kind of vibe.
HipHopCanada: Any last words of the HipHopCanada community?
Cadence Weapon: Jam the track and look forward to my new shit. It’s banging.
Written by Sarah Sussman for HipHopCanada