City In Gold: The rise of Toronto recording artist Luu Breeze [Interview]
This interview with Luu Breeze was originally published on June 11, 2013 in support of his new project, City In Gold. The EP will be out on August 20 but the official Burd & Keyz-produced lead single, “Say Word,” will hit iTunes on July 29. This will be followed by a Zac Facts-directed video dropping on Wednesday, July 31. Stay tuned for more updates on City In Gold.
Toronto, ON – After examining a local magazine cover that he wasn’t featured on, Luu Breeze scoffs at it before nonchalantly tossing the material into a garbage bin sitting across from him. It’s from old footage (years ago) that I haven’t been able to retrieve but distinctly remember it as one of my first introductions to Luuie. I admired his apparent confidence, questioned if he’d be able to “walk the walk” and made a point of remembering his name. A lot of rappers can talk up a good game but producing a successful career is obviously no walk in the park.
But sure enough, it wasn’t long before Luuie was establishing himself as one of Toronto’s most promising talents. From seasoned verses to catchy hooks, a top notch work ethic and a strong drive to succeed, it really wasn’t hard to see his potential for stardom. After hearing “Charge It To The Game” it was official. I was checking for anything I could get my hands on and knew it was only a matter of time before his stock would see a significant rise.
And it did. Fast forward several years and the Scarborough artist with Scotian roots has maintained his position as one of the top artists coming out of Toronto. He’s consistently releasing dope new material and is doing more behind the scenes writing for artists now than ever before. He’s released independent singles like “Money Made Me Do It” that have topped local charts and has released several acclaimed mixtapes including The Pre-Topic, Silence of the Lambs Volume 1, #HollaLaLuuie and This Time Tomorrow. Late last year he was featured on Game’s The R.E.D. Album and it was revealed that he had signed on with Boi-1da Productions as an artist and writer.
City In Gold is the latest project Luuie is working on and so far it’s looking like it will be his biggest yet. No question the impact will be significant and it’s already started with the release of the project’s first single, “The Rewind.” With the Big Chase-directed visuals making the rounds, superstar recording artist Drake took to Twitter to send out a tweet showing his respect and calling the new track “crazy shit.” With upwards of 12 million users following Drizzy, the response to “The Rewind” has gotten even crazier. Canadian hip-hop fans have long been aware of what Luu Breeze brings to the table but the international heads are starting to take notice. As Luuie will tell you himself, the right co-sign at the right time can go a long way.
In this exclusive interview with HipHopCanada, Luu Breeze talks about City In Gold, the co-sign from Drake, his departure from Boi-1da Productions and much more. Check it out after the jump.
Luu Breeze: Q&A
Written by Jesse “Dutch” Plunkett for HipHopCanada
HipHopCanada: Welcome back to HipHopCanada. Thanks for once again taking the time to speak with us about your new project, City In Gold. Let’s jump right into it: What’s the biggest difference between City In Gold and your previous release, This Time Tomorrow?
Luu Breeze: Difference between the two is with City In Gold I’m trying to tell a story of a man in a city filled with lust, lies and betrayal. Basically City In Gold represents a city that looks like it glitters in gold from the outside but inside it ain’t so nice. Money and evil lies behind fake smiles.
HipHopCanada: Was there anything you didn’t get to accomplish for This Time Tomorrow that you wanted to achieve on City In Gold?
Luu Breeze: Nah, This Time Tomorrow, did what I had to do. I just wish I could have got it to the masses, that’s all. That’s what we’re trying to accomplish with this EP.
HipHopCanada: What kind of producers did you reach out to for the project?
Luu Breeze: Producer wise, I’m working with my homie Burd & Keyz who wasn’t on This Time Tomorrow, but definitely covers majority of this project. And Chinky P, who is a producer out of the US who was on T.I.’s last album (“G Season” featuring Meek Mill). He’s currently working with Lil Wayne and many others… and Xsdtrk, who’s based out of MTL and people should definitely look out for cause he’s a genius. But yeah, kept it short and sweet. The project is still open so a few more can and might be added. But those guys are on for sure.
HipHopCanada: Was there anyone you were hoping to get on board that didn’t end up working out (artists or producers)?
Luu Breeze: Ummmm… well as of right now the project is still open so we’ll see if I can get some last minute squeezes on the project [Laughing].
HipHopCanada: If someone had to decide if they wanted to cop the entire City In Gold project based on just one of its songs alone, which would you want them to hear? Why?
Luu Breeze: I would want them to hear “La Rendezvous” featuring Andreena. Just cause I feel like that record showcases both singing and rapping and just really is such a dope record. I feel like people will definitely love that one!
HipHopCanada: This past weekend Drake went on Twitter and told over 11 million of his followers that your “The Rewind” record was ‘crazy shit’. Did that catch you off guard? Have you spoken to him since then?
Luu Breeze: It caught me way off guard but definitely was an amazing look and opened a lot of doors and what not. I respect that he took the time to let me know he was feeling it was a big look. I haven’t spoken with him though.
@luubreeze – The Rewind. Crazy shit.
— Drizzy (@Drake) June 1, 2013
HipHopCanada: What’s the response been like? Have you noticed a significant difference in the buzz the record is receiving before and after the tweet? (A spike in Twitter followers, downloads, web traffic etc.)
Luu Breeze: A huuuuge spike [Laughing] Like 10K+ followers, 10K+ views on the vid and a lot of people on the street seeing me calling me, “OVO Breeze.” [Laughing] It’s all love. Shouts to OVO though, but this shit is funny how people reacting. I love it though.
HipHopCanada: When it comes to an artist getting to the level of success that Drake has reached, do you feel like they owe anyone anything? Does Drake owe it to Toronto (or Canada) to look out for other talent? Can he maintain a positive relationship with his own city’s hip-hop community if he doesn’t make efforts to put other people from Toronto on in the process?
Luu Breeze: He don’t owe nobody shit but the people who came up with him. I was here and around him when people were saying, “he’s too this to make it!” Or, “he’s too that to make it.” And funny, the same people are on his jock! If he finds talent, he finds talent. Like he found Partynextdoor (aka Jahron B.) who I knew was talented, so it’s only right. But as much talent as there is, there is also a lot of trash. So he don’t owe nobody nothing except the people who believed in him from the jump and his fam!
HipHopCanada: “The Rewind” is a very personal song in that it discusses failed relationships and falling outs you’ve had over the years. Has there been any backlash for speaking your mind like you did?
Luu Breeze: Nope, no backlash because its all facts! If anybody would have hard feelings towards it, it would only be because I was disclosing info that they wanted to hide because it showcases truth… so they know better. [Laughing]
HipHopCanada: Other than the bars you spit on “The Rewind,” can you give us some more insight on what happened between you and Boi-1da Productions?
Luu Breeze: Oh nothing happened, I’m still cool with 1da. I was just showing that I wanted to showcase myself as more of a solo artist but he wanted me as more of a writer. It’s all love though.
HipHopCanada: The song also references the beef with JD Era from years back. Can you touch on that and confirm that things are now water under the bridge?
Luu Breeze: Oh yeah, everybody knows about that problem from years back but it’s definitely nothing today. I mean, we both do our own thing so it’s whatever now. I can’t say I’m a fan of his music but he might not be a fan of mine neither [Laughing]. So we straight!
HipHopCanada: You mention something regarding a previous relationship, going back 10 years, which is a touchy subject. Is it too touchy to tell us a bit more about it now?
Luu Breeze: Not at all. I was in a relationship with a young lady for 10 years, off-and-on, but more on then off [Laughing] …and it just didn’t work. It’s funny because you get passed like 5 years and you’re like, “Damn, I might marry this girl.” Then [after] 8 you’re like, “Ok, I gotta propose ” then if by 10 it ain’t happened you’ve gotta ask yourself, “Why haven’t I made effort to do so? What’s holding me back?” And we had gone through so much that it came to a point where I had to really think and ask myself, “Is this the person I want to be with “forever ever? Forever-ever??” And I didn’t feel that, so I had to be honest with myself and with her and broke it off. Still got love for her and wish her nothing but the best!
HipHopCanada: With “The Rewind” having such a personal tone to it, what was the main message you and director Big Chase wanted to get across with the video?
Luu Breeze: Well for years my brother Joe Gunner, who is a videographer, captured footage of me and performances and what not… So I just wanted to show people the come up so all that footage was shot by Gunner. Then I brought Chase back to where I was born and raised in Orton Park [Scarborough] just to show people where I came from — to trips to Miami and LA to show the come up of a dude from government housing who was rapping in hallways in school and on Yonge Street — to a young man about to make his dreams come true. So we just wanted to show that within in the video. I told Chase what I wanted to do and he brought it to life.
HipHopCanada: What is City In Gold‘s next single?
Luu Breeze: The next single will be a record titled, “Say Word,” produced by Burd & Keyz. Definitely for the clubs!
HipHopCanada: Any plans to tour?
Luu Breeze: Tour Life — we working on some things now so stay tuned!
HipHopCanada: Thanks again for taking the time to speak with us, Luuie. Any last words for our viewers?
Luu Breeze: Nah, thank y’all! HHC has shown me love for many years now so the pleasure is all mine! And just look out for new music coming, and new news coming soon as well! Love y’all! 1PM!
Written by Jesse “Dutch” Plunkett for HipHopCanada