Goth Mobbin’ with Gorgeous Geordie [Interview]
Vancouver, BC - The one thing Gorgeous Geordie is best at is just being Gorgeous Geordie. He’s a white rapper being a white rapper. There’s nothing fake or recycled about him. The self proclaimed obnoxious sacrilegious prophet embraces his uniqueness in a way that so many other emcees today fail to do. On his latest album, CoffinLife, Gorgeous Geordie sounds like he crawled out of his grave, immediately went to the studio and rapped the album in one take while centipedes were crawling out of his pockets. Raw, grimy and totally uninhibited. You can hear his “p’s” pop through the mic. His imagery and imagination truly put him in a class of his own and as a result CoffinLife is an absolute thrill to listen to.
Gorgeous isn’t about the bragging raps, rather he’s an artist who is introducing his cool weirdness to the world with ultra inventiveness and creativity. The sheer amount of metaphors and similes are staggering and even after half a dozen listens or so you’ll still be picking up details you didn’t catch before. While he may not be the most skilled of emcees – he’s frequently off beat almost with complete disregard to the drums, he makes up for tenfold in originality and lyricism. Exhibit A from the track “Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things”
“Born inside a manger, serve a chosen birth, servin’ potent words so perverse/ Venom like a cobra squirt but no serpent on the overture, Im just doin’ me but the Devil got the doper shirts”
After the first listen of CoffinLife – you just get it. The man himself said it: “Gorgeous Geordie got his own sub genre”. You easily forgive him for slips and trips here and there or timing issues because he’s constantly coming up with something new and inventive to shock your brain. CoffinLife is wildly entertaining and downright hilarious at times and Dark Lord Geord makes a statement in saying that this is who I am, I don’t have to be like the rest. I am different, this is my flavour so welcome to my thoughts. He recently sat down with HipHopCanada’s Max Dishaw to discuss the state of hip-hop, his unique writing style and more. Check it out below.
“I don’t ask people for shit. I’m just giving you music, trying to give you digital gifts.“
Gorgeous Geordie: Q&A
Interview conducted by Max Dishaw for HipHopCanada
HipHopCanada: How do you define hip-hop and where do you fit into that definition?
Gorgeous Geordie: It’s an evolving art style that’s open for melodic structure and lyrical advancements. Not to be cliche, you know but it’s an art form where the product is a representation of the person making it and in it’s true essence it an authentic art form that is beautiful sounding to me. I definitely take elements from past and present. Like I think it’s really wack when rappers say “I don’t listen to rap music anymore, I’m at a point where I don’t listen to rap music anymore” I’m heavily influenced by the shit I was listening to when I was 9 years old and Im still an avid listener of whats going on in HipHop today and I try and take elements from the roots of my listening experience and where I think HipHop is at today and my own unique twist of my personal self and I try and take HopHop a step forward.
HipHopCanada: What drives you to stay in a business that is rarely profitable and highly competitive?
Gorgeous Geordie: Well, I mean obviously at the end of the day, like fuck man I want to eat boneless chicken breast every night of the week but thats obviously not affordable. 99% or rappers whether they’re making shit thats really radio friendly or really really trendy about thrift shops or whatever like the current trend is, politically or in society, you know I can make music like that and theres still a 99% chance that I’ll never be profitable with that music. But I want to make money. I want to have a family, I want to live in a house one day I want to have little Gorgeous Geordies or Little Gorgeous Geordettes, you know and raise them. What keeps me doing HipHop is just that I love it I love being creative. I love having a way to channel all the negativity that I’ve been a part of in my life and that I’m trying to leave behind me so I just sort of release it all into this digital space and thats something that’s just really good for me mentally.
HipHopCanada: Where are you based specifically right now and how has living there influenced you sound?
Gorgeous Geordie: Right now I’m based in East Vancouver, which is a really really cool place cause it’s really, really trendy in a sense that it’s got a lot of really unique people that are very artistic, and I like that. I find that to be cool so I meet people of all different backgrounds in this area, and I really find that the food there is fucking delicious and I’m really inspired by food – because I’m broke and broke people splurge on food because it’s one thing in life that they can enjoy if they don’t have a lot of money, and yea man living in east van, I love it.
HipHopCanada: Who is your primary fan base right now?
Gorgeous Geordie: Man honestly, I don’t really know, man. People who fuck with me on the internet are all weird and all over the fucking place. They’re weird just like me though, like not the bad weird, the cool weird, so I would say my fan base is “cool weird people”
HipHopCanada: Do you feel like when you’re making music you have a certain demographic in mind, like when you’re writing a certain song and you imagine “Oh I want this to be for stoners who are partying, or this is going to be for teenage girls”. Do you ever think about those things when you’re writing?
Gorgeous Geordie: No not at all. When I write shit I just think “This is something that I’d like to illustrate and I hope that people that are able to be critical thinkers will fuck with it. I don’t care if you’re a twelve year old – cause I know when I was twelve years old I was listening to shit that was way over my head and I don’t care if maybe you’re a forty year old man that just has a history with listening to new underground music.
HipHopCanada: What tips would you give to young artist coming up or what do you wish someone would have told you when you first started?
Gorgeous Geordie: I would tell anyone coming up to try and not follow any trends. I find like that when you do shit that becomes any sort of trend it dies really, really hard and then you really have to rebound off of that. So, one thing that I think I enjoy about trying to be unique is that I don’t ever have that problem. But I watch all these other artist that struggle, having to reinvent themselves and reinvent themselves because they following trends that die hard. Like we’ve been saying the whole Goth thing for like three and a half years. And like street Goth blew in in fashion in like 2013 and thats annoying to me because I’m not wearing Pyrex 23 short overtop of spandex. We just did it because we wanted to have a different word than “swag” to represent our dark sinister sound. So we started saying “goth” and were trying to redefine the word goth the way blingy rappers tried to redefine the word “swag”. When things become trendy it just kind of ruins it for everyone else who’s just trying to do their thing.
HipHopCanada: Now that we’re on the topic of the Goth image, throughout CoffinLife and some of your previous work you mention the Devil and worshipping Satan – can you elaborate a bit on that?
Gorgeous Geordie: Yea, like the Satanic references are really just more like not actually worshipping the Devil, like there’s no actual lyrics on the project saying that I’m out here worshipping the Devil but theres some reference to the occult and the Devil. CoffinLife is really basically about the really dark places I’ve been through and the decision that I’ve made and I just know that for me to really get comfortable with living and life I had to get comfortable with the fact that I’m going to die one day. In order to get comfortable with death I needed to just overcome the fact that what’s the worst thing we’ve been told all our lives that could happen – that we’ll go to hell and we’ll burn and suffer eternally and I just don’t think that the worst thing that could happen. So I just get comfortable with it and embrace it. So that’s what that is. And the other thing is that as a young child I always loved pissing off idiots, so If you’re a really closed minded extremist than I don’t mind. I don’t mind if you get upset with me rapping about worshiping the Devil because that’s 50% of my intention as well.
HipHopCanada: So tell us more about you’re present success. Obviously the new album CoffinLife is out right now. Why don’t you tell us a bit more about how that came to be and the production of the album.
Gorgeous Geordie: Well CoffinLife was a concept. The idea for CoffinLife was to be more focused on my story and to introduce myself cause I hadn’t done that yet. So what I wanted to do with CoffinLife was explain what my past is – cause I actually have a pretty fucked up past. It’s not a pissing contest for me, I don’t try and be like all about this and all about that but yea as a teenage I got into a lot of trouble and then after I tried to clean my act up I actually stumbled into a different really negative place in my life and then music became again like my channel. It was a place I returned to after five years of not making any music. I decided to return and then CoffinLife was a concept where I wanted to explain my shitty past that I came from, maybe not give it to you on a plate but like give you something to digest and just explain where I came from, where I’m at now, where I’m at mentally and how I’m trying to move forward and take music in a new direction even if it’s just a little bit at a time.
HipHopCanada: Tell us a bit about your creative process. Do you ever write before you hear a beat or do you hear the beat and then bring out the pen?
Gorgeous Geordie: I do both. What I do a lot of times is like I’ll think of an idea that I really, really like, like here’s a concept that I’d like to go on and sometimes in my notepad what I’ll do is just have a section where there’s no actual rhymes – I write down the concepts or like one line, but there’s no rhyme for it yet. When I hear a beat I’ll be like “fuck, that’s the one”. So I’ll have all these notes stockpiled, then I’ll write the rhyme and structure my flow. The other times I hear a beat and just like, boom write a song in 20 minutes cause I was feelin’ it that much.
HipHopCanada: Do you freestyle at all? Because listening to CoffinLife your train of thoughts remind me of rap cyphers where ideas would just jump around from this to that and things are bouncing all over the place. It’s incredibly inventive and witty every time I listen to the album it reminds me of those cats at the cyphers I used to attend.
Gorgeous Geordie: I used to freestyle all the time and I did a few battles when I was like 16 and I was really into the freestyling and cyphering a lot so I do get a lot of inspiration from that point in my life that had helped create the style I have today. Now, I don’t freestyle that much. Maybe on my own a bit if I have chores to do, something that’s task oriented but I’m not going to like find out where the next cypher is on Thursday night and like go and sign up you know. I’m more into songwriting, but definitely my style in the beginning came from freestyling. I’m happy that you said that too.
HipHopCanada: In which ways are you interacting with your community right now whether it be going to open mics or interacting with your fans online, social media etc.
Gorgeous Geordie: You really never know with me, man. I could be at Commercial and Broadway station buying books by Stephen Hawking, from the guy setting up the little book stand on the street, next thing you know man I’m at Nat Bailey playing third bass for the Vancouver Canadians. You know, Im just trying to show love the everyone who shows me love, just reciprocate that, pay respect where it’s due to people that are here in East Van – all over Vancouver - doing it before me and I love going to live music, I really, really do. I try to go to a live show at least once a month, not necessarily rap but 90% of the time it is. And then online I’m just constantly trying to put out music for free, man. I don’t ask people for shit, I’m just giving you music, trying to give you digital gifts. If you holler at me, I will holler back. If you’ve got anything you want to say to me – even if it’s negative, say it to me and I will try to give you my best possible answer I can fucking give you. I also recently found out that people would rather wear me than listen to me. I put out my first limited edition T-shirt, like 50 prints is all I made. I got an artist to make them and I’ve already sold half of them in two days. There’s more interest in buying my T-shirt than probably downloading my music. My T-shirt has got a really good response. I’m probably going to keep doing that.
HipHopCanada: How do you feel about the hip-hop community in regards to how people are working together and helping each other – or maybe the opposite. Obviously there’s the ego – you’re on your own out there but how do you feel about the competition in this industry?
Gorgeous Geordie: I’ll be 100% honest: I’m at a low level right now as far as my tier goes – I find that the tier that I’m at is really wack and I think it’s really, really fake and I think at the low tier is a lot of crabs in the bucket. People are only as good as their next Facebook ‘Like’. As soon as you start to get ahead of them, in any way, they don’t want to support you and in fact they might even talk worse about you now. But when you were down here and you were in their pocket, you were asking them to reach out a hand or whatever, like they were great they were supporting you and then it’s like “oh fuck, so and so is hollering at Gorgeous Geordie or Gorgeous Geordie is doing this – not sharing this shit anymore.
HipHopCanada: As soon as you’re one level ahead of them they expect you to throw out the life raft.
Gorgeous Geordie: Yea and I just find that like, in Vancouver sadly, like the scene is really white, which is different from the east coast – and not that I have a problem with that, obviously I’m white. I’m not hating on it but like it’s a lot of rich white kids out here that are embracing a lifestyle that’s not their’s, which sucks – but that’s everywhere honestly so that’s not the worst thing about it. But I find that it’s very cliquey here a little bit and I’m not from here – I’m from space. So I’m a hard guy to ask about the scene here because I’m an outside observer who’s only been living here for a couple of years. And for the record I don’t care if anyone’s a rich white kid or a poor white kid, or you’re a poor brown kid or you’re from Asia and you wanna rap, I will support you I think you’re rap is good as long as you’re just being real. I don’t really give a fuck what you’re background is, I just care that you’re keepin’ it 100.
HipHopCanada: Do you have any last words for the online HipHopCanada community?
Gorgeous Geordie: If you hate me, message me and I’ll give you my address so you can come talk to me to my face about it. I want people to listen to my music. If you like it, holler at me and let’s be friends.
Interview conducted by Max Dishaw for HipHopCanada
Photography by Max Dishaw for HipHopCanada
Tweets by @HipHopCanada
Tags: Gorgeous Geordie