Crew Profile: The Come Up Gang – Shaw Langley [Interview]
Edmonton, AB – The guys in the Come Up Gang are getting ready to launch themselves across the nation. The Edmonton-based crew of Lion (aka: L. Luciano), Raw Malone, Akay Audemar, Ben E Brix, and Shaw Langley, are gearing up for the launch of several forthcoming projects and albums.
HipHopCanada recently caught up with the gang’s producer, Shaw Langley. He told us about his childhood freestyle rap battle parties, his crew love, and the moment he started creating beats. Check it out after the jump
“Hip-hop was a way for me and my friends to come together and do what kids do.” – Shaw Langley
Shaw Langley: Q&A
HipHopCanada: How do you define yourself as an artist, and what specifically is your craft?
Shaw Langley: I would define myself as a fan of the music creation process. For as long as I can remember I have always been impressed on how a song is created. Even though I contribute in all aspects to our projects (producing, engineering, composing, arranging, vocalist, writer, etc), my special craft is my production. I have been told that I have a unique sound.
HipHopCanada: How did you get involved in hip-hop?
Shaw Langley: Hip-hop was a way for me and my friends to come together and do what kids do. In Brampton, ON, I used to live in my grandmother’s basement and I used to have parties there. When it was just a few of the homies, I used to hang a mic from the ceiling and we would freestyle, battle, and/or just talk concepts. After I moved to Edmonton I took rap more serious because it was my way of keeping my memories from Ontario with me while adjusting to this new city. I met a guy named Shaun Bosch and he let me use his basement studio to record my songs. While chopping things up [during] one session, I decided to play his keyboard. I guess he was shocked but then asked me if I can make beats. That was the first day I ever made a beat and that was in 2004.
HipHopCanada: What are some of your early memories about music, performing and writing? How did you start becoming who you now are?
Shaw Langley: I have always been around music. My father and sister are gospel singers and piano players. I played in a classical band from 13 years of age to 17, and in a jazz band from 16 to 17. I was a first percussionist in the classical band and just a regular drummer in the jazz band. Did my first rap show in 2005 and the venue was empty. But I was cool with that ’cause I [was] nervous.
HipHopCanada: What do you feel most inspired by?
Shaw Langley: I’m usually inspired to create music when I’m full of emotion (good or bad) or by a good conversation. I’m driven by good information.
HipHopCanada: Tell me about your crew, and what your role in it is.
Shaw Langley: I haven’t seen such a diverse team from Edmonton, AB, for as long as I’ve lived here. There are some great artists here in this city but none that is as creative or diverse as the CUG. We all have traveled and had some amazing life experiences and it is my job to help them materialize those experiences through music. I produce, I rap, I engineer, I design, and I strategize.
HipHopCanada: How do you represent for your city and how has your city/region shaped who you are?
Shaw Langley: Anybody that knows Edmonton, AB, knows that this city has a lot of growing to do. At the same time this city has not rejected me. I speak about Edmonton being my home and there is where I’m at. But I’m originally from Brampton, ON.
HipHopCanada: What is your greatest success so far as an artist?
Shaw Langley: The respect from the industry is an achievement I hold dear. There are not that many Canadian rappers that are not high profile and not tied to crime that are respected across the country. I might not know everybody and everybody might not know me but I know somebody in the industry in each major city. My production was nominated for the best hip-hop recording through the Western Canadian Music Award in 2009. The album was called Election Year. It was a compilation album under Music For Mavericks. I have done studio and/or video work with Sean Price, Tek (Boot Camp Click), Mad Child (Swollen Members), Moka Only, Politic Live, and Gee Wunder.
HipHopCanada: If you had some sum up your musical/lyrical style in one sentence, what would you say?
Shaw Langley: I live for the funk.
HipHopCanada: What are your goals for your life as an artist, and what are the steps you plan to take to achieve those goals?
Shaw Langley: I can’t give all the secrets away now. I just want to make a mark in Canadian hip-hop history as a talented guy with talented friends.
HipHopCanada: What are you most excited about right now, and how can others get involved in it?
Shaw Langley: We are just about ready to launch our campaign and I’m looking forward to that day because it’s a domino effect after that. Luchi, his record is the first to drop then it’s mine and so on. There is a lot to do and lots that has been done. We would like to encourage people to watch the videos and listen to the music. When the website is launched, go to the site, buy merchandise, join the gang.
HipHopCanada: Anything else we should know about you? Please give us any final thoughts.
Shaw Langley: If you see me some place, come say what’s up. Peace.