RapCity host T-RexXx discusses the 2013 MMVAs [Interview]
Toronto, ON – With the 2013 MuchMusic Video Awards right around the corner (Sunday, June 16) and with a such great selection of hip-hop nominees, HipHopCanada had to sit down with MuchMusic VJ/RapCity host T-RexXx (aka Mr. 1LoveTO) to discuss his opinion on some of the nominees. He also shared some insight on what artists need to consider to be successful in the music business. Check out the interview after the jump.
Written by Logik (Stolen From Africa) for HipHopCanada
HipHopCanada: The MuchMusic Video Awards are right around the corner. What makes this MMVAs different from previous years?
T-RexXx: I think this year, just like every other year, we get bigger and better. So, we have a really good line up of artists that are coming as presenters and performers and then we got some really cool, elaborate arrivals on the red carpet. Since the red carpet is my area of focus, I’m really excited about that and I think everybody else should be too.
HipHopCanada: Let’s talk about the nominated hip-hop artists. By now you’ve probably interviewed them – what are come interesting things you can say about them?
T-RexXx: For Madchild, he’s someone who has been doing his thing for years and definitely went through a pretty rough path, but was able to persevere and bounce back. I think when a lot of people that live in the public eye go through hard times they make everything private again and try to put it behind them and never talk about it, whereas, he was very open. I got to sit down with him for about 45 minutes and he just kept it 100. His story alone was therapeutic so, Madchild’s pretty dope.
Then you have Classified, who I’ve developed a friendship with over the last couple years. He’s very talented and when someone like him who has been getting recognition, and winning awards, and pursuing the accolades and what not, he still pushes to become better and put out better music. The song that he’s nominated for this year is probably one of the biggest to date and that’s just a testament to his hard work.
Then there’s Rich Kidd and SonReal, like, holy shit! Basically, these guys are just killing it! They are young boys who aren’t necessarily waiting around for anyone to make things happen for them, they grabbed the bull by the horns themselves and created a path and now there’s not really that many rap duos any more and even though they’re both really talented independently, they’ve created something supper ill as a duo and continued to do things together; touring and making these really great videos as a duo but also working individually. Rich Kidd is doing his thing with Young Guru, and SonReal always is killing it in his own way too. The thing I want to mention is that for two guys that aren’t super star rappers or any thing like that, they really raised the bar for Canadian hip-hop videos, the quality in Canadian hip-hop videos and coming up to the MuchMusic Video Awards. I just want to give a tip of the hat to them for really killing it with their videos which are just fun, artistic and have a cool energy.
k-os is nominated for “Nice to Know Ya,” and I mean shit, k-os is almost like the Snoop Dogg of Canadian hip-hop in a sense and the reason I say this is because he’s the one person that’s been doing his thing for years: He’s always been cool, never really fell off and he definitely carved out his own lane and brought his own style to hip-hop in general, and not just Canadian hip-hop. He’s pushed the boundaries and helped build the infrastructure of Canadian hip-hop and because of him Canadian hip-hop is allowed to go to all kinds of different sounds and angles and areas, so it’s cool to see after years and years in the game k-os keeps coming back and is nominated for a video in 2013. The video is dope, it’s fun, it has fresh energy and he doesn’t want to look like an old rapper and that’s why I said Snoop Dogg. He’s also one rapper that over the years has just been cool regardless of the year or time or what’s in style.
Finally, with Drake, well, you already know. In terms of setting records, setting precedent, winning a Grammy and just continuously doing more, he’s the person with all the bells and the whistles. But he continues to build new studios in his mansion and on the tour bus. Drake puts in a lot of work overall, that’s really all he does, is work.
HipHopCanada: You’ve been involved in the hip-hop scene for many years even long before you were a VJ. What is some advice you could offer artists that they need to consider in order to take their craft to the next level?
T-RexXx: I think with a lot of artists, be Canadian or American, when they’re on the come up their focus is just trying to rap as best as they can and then hopefully someone will hear them and then they will get put on. In this day in age, my advice would be to rap as best as can and record as much as you can so that you learn how to record. Also, perform as often as you can so you learn how to perform, be 100% savvy online, and learn how to market, promote and manage yourself, because at the end of the day if you look at a lot of these artists who have gotten their big break they can do it all and this is kind of becoming the standard – a lot of record companies don’t even have artist development for rappers anymore.
At the end of the day, not to say we want to create a whole bunch of people who are jack of all trades but you want to find people that are ready to go, you want to find people that can maybe produce some beats even if they’re not the greatest producer. For example, look at J. Cole right? J. Cole is a producer and a rapper and for the first album it wasn’t really focused much on his production. He was getting all the beats, blah blah blah, and now with Born Sinner coming out this summer, there’s a lot more focus on that side of his talent. You want to have as much in your arsenal and try to be a triple threat as much as possible. A lot of guys are rappers but they don’t know how to make songs. You can look at a guy like Chief Keef, who, even though gets made fun of… Chief Keef …at least he understands that the hook comes 40 seconds after the start of the song so that it can play on radio. Overall, it’s just understanding the business that you think you want get into and studying and figuring out the steps you need to take to get to where you need to go.
HipHopCanada: Perfect! Do you have any last comments or shout-outs?
T-RexXx: Big up HipHopCanada, big up Stolen From Africa. The Red Carpet show will be taking place this Sunday, June 16 at 8 p.m. EST. Red Carpet Rexxx.
Written by Logik (@Logik416) (Stolen From Africa) for HipHopCanada.
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For a full list of nominees visit MuchMusic.com.
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