Scope G on blurring the lines and stimulating the 5 senses [Interview]
Vancouver, BC – Scope G is a Vancouver-based artist with a diverse skill-set ranging from rapping and producing, to photo and video editing. With hip-hop as his musical foundation, he has expanded to electronic-based soundtrack production. Being a Chinese-born Canadian artist from this emerging generation, he is driven to blur the lines of what an artist is in today’s cyber-world. Whether his work is behind the scenes or in the spotlight, he is determined to trail-blaze a path for others who share similar interests and capabilities.
As of 2012, he picked up a camera and began to channel his vision through photo and video. His debut project titled New Realm is as much visual as it is audio. It is not only an album consisting of original production and written songs, but also a series of instrumentals, photo-sets, and different videos (not just performance videos) released throughout the year. HipHopCanada’s Max Dishaw caught up with him to talk all about the new multidimensional project.
“So just have faith in the process and do not speed it up. Absorb other peoples advice and opinions but don’t be completely influenced by them.” – Scope G
Scope G: Q&A
Interview conducted by Max Dishaw for HipHopCanada
HipHopCanada: How do you define hip-hop, and where do you feel you fit into that definition?
Scope G: Hip-hop to me means not giving a fuck. I think that’s the most basic form of music too. It’s very primitive, in the production, and the whole culture – it comes from oppression, urban oppression. I think that whole sense of not giving a fuck has always been the main theme for hip-hop all around the world. So I feel like since it’s 2015 and hip-hop is international, it’s not only an urban culture. It fits with me as an Asian, because I never fit in as an Asian person or even as a human being sometimes. I just always felt like I never fit in in society, because of that I’ve always felt like hip-hop was my thing. It was my therapy. So because I don’t really “fit in”, I fit into hip-hop. You know what I mean?
HipHopCanada: What drives you to stay in a business that is rarely profitable and highly competitive?
Scope G: It drives me because I don’t really have anything else or another purpose or meaning in life. Other people tell me to have job security, to have a family in the futures and shit. I mean I’m not cancelling any of those out but I don’t feel like I need to handle those things at this time. So the reason that I’m pursuing this hip-hop shit is because I just feel like I have to. I need to for my own sanity. I feel like talking is my worst form of expression, so I feel like I really need to use these other outlets to express myself.
HipHopCanada: Like beat-making.
Scope G: Photography, graphics design. All that shit. I went to school for graphic design.
HipHopCanada: And you edit your own videos.
Scope G: Yeah, yeah exactly so I feel like I just have that vision, but talking is my worst form of expression. So I’m just taking it day by day. I want my music to spread out to the globe hopefully, and I know the internet is the best source for that. The internet and hip-hop are the main reasons why I’m pursuing this.
HipHopCanada: Where are you based specifically?
Scope G: Coquitlam (British Columbia). But I move almost every year, so I’m from North Van originally but I bounce around to West Van, downtown, Coquitlam, Burnaby, Port Moody.
HipHopCanada: What’s it like trying to find shows in Coquitlam? Are you coming down to vancouver to perform and attract fans?
Scope G: I don’t actually chill in Coquitlam. I just live there. I don’t even have friends in Coquitlam, you know what I mean?
HipHopCanada: How has living there influenced your sound? Maybe you can speak on being a bit of a gypsy rather than living in Coquitlam.
Scope G: I feel like my sound is pretty unconventional. It’s unique. So I feel like because I don’t sound like anyone else thats a reflection of where I’m from. Because I’m like isolated in Coquitlam.
HipHopCanada: Because you haven’t had time to absorb one areas influences enough as a result of you always being on the move.
Scope G: And I just hate being stagnant and shit. Like I just always have to be floating around. And I feel like because I use all these outlets and mediums, it’s a reflection of me floating around. Photo, video, audio production. all that shit.
HipHopCanada: Who is your primary fan base?
Scope G: Since I’m a brand new artist – well I’ve re branded myself as a new artist, my fan base.. I’m still searching for that right now. But I feel like it’s more underground than that mainstream trap shit – I still have a trap influence but I feel like it’s primarily underground. I don’t actually cater to an asian audience at all. Asians hear my shit and they tell me I don’t sound asian. I’m not actually catering to them but I am asian.
HipHopCanada: When you’re composing, when you’re writing do you have a certain demographic in mind? “This is for this crowd.” Do you have an age group in mind befoer the song’s printed to wax?
Scope G: From like sixteen to twenty three. So like post secondary.
HipHopCanada: What tips would you give young artists coming up, or what do you wish someone would have told you when you first started out in the hip-hop industry?
Scope G: To be patient and not speed up the process. I think the hardest thing for me was being hellbent on walking before I could crawl. So just have faith in the process and do not speed it up. Absorb other peoples advice and opinions but don’t be completely influenced by them.
HipHopCanada: You see that a lot where guys – their goal is to get famous over night and they talk about it every time you see them. Just give it some time, you know?
Scope G: And you know what the thing with me is I’m not trying to find superstardom-kind-of-fame. I’m just trying to find an outlet where like other people will feel my shit and I can help them, you know what I mean? I’m just trying to help people not feel so alone, so isolated the way I felt all my life.
HipHopCanada: In which ways do you interact with your community?
Scope G: Primarily through social media. And that said I’m pretty focused on audio and I feel my visual shit is as equal. So instagram is probably my best tool to extend out to people.
HipHopCanada: Which artists have you worked with that left an impression on you, and why?
Scope G: Oh Brevee [Matt Brevner] man. He was actually the first cat who shot my first video back four or five years ago. Back in that era I was still in the phase of understanding how to be an emcee and just practicing. He’s probably the only artist in B.C who left a big influencial imprint on the shit I’m doing. I’m also good friends with the homie, Kenny Gourmet.
HipHopCanada: No way, we interviewed Kenny a few months ago. Small world.
Scope G: He’s actually my engineer. So I do all the production and put everything together then send him all my stems. It’s a small scene! Its a tiny scene. I’m like the only Chinese rapper in the city. No other Chinese rappers are fucking with me. [Laughing]
HipHopCanada: Which Canadian artist would you most like to collaborate with?
Scope G: Fuck. Who is Canadian by the way? I don’t know. I can’t really see myself collaborating with any big name artists at this time.
HipHopCanada: Tell us about past and present successes, as well as future projects?
Scope G: December was the beginning of my campaign. I’m still progressing as an artists so I just care about exposure right now. Politicking and being with other people in the scene right now. I’ve performed at a bunch of shows around the city since 2008. Boulevard 22, Tunnel, a bunch of other places. I feel like I actually have practiced my showmanship craft and right now I’m just trying to focus on that, get more exposure and do more shows.
HipHopCanada: The content you’ve been releasing over the past couple months is that all part of one project that’s going to be released? Is this you’re first full album. Are we calling it a mixtape?
Scope G: So the project is called New Realm and it’s like a campaign almost. It’s a six month project where I will drop small bits of content inside. It’s like a series. So I’ll be dropping a hip-hop project, then I’ll be dropping an instrumental / soundtrack project which will be music inspired by the premise of the whole thing. The plot line is that there’s a creature from an alternate universe who is linked to me as the human on this earth. So over the course of this six month period I will be showing people how this creature and the creator come to form this new space called New Realm. It’s the synchronicity.
HipHopCanada: Very nice. Now can we expect non-musical projects to be part of this series as well?
Scope G: Of course. Absolutely. So I’ll be having series of artworks and in terms of the video it isn’t only going to be performance tracks. It’ll be like scenes from a movie even though the movie isn’t actually real. I intend to just make it very cinematic and just help the audience really invision what I’m seeing. Honestly man I’m shooting for the fuckin moon. I don’t care about anything else. I just feel like I have to put 100% into this. I actually have a speech impediment so I feel like I have to express myself through all these other outlets.
HipHopCanada: Any last words for the HipHopCanada online community?
Scope G: Coming soon man. And hopefully people will be open minded about this. Actually take in the shit that I’m trying to present them as opposed to having these automatic standards and qualifications of what an emcee or a hip-hop artist should be. I’m trying to blur that line of who a hip-hop artist is.
Interview and photography by Max Dishaw for HipHopCanada