Greezy Deckz talks No More Gimmicks, Gucci Mane, The Greezy Era & more
Toronto, ON – While constantly looking to build and push his budding career forward, Toronto rapper Greezy Deckz has been working hard to promote his latest release, No More Gimmicks (available to stream below via Spotify).
Today the young talent dropped a new video for the project’s outro, “Love & Hate,” (available below) as his focus shifts to the mixtape he’s planning to put out this summer called SG3: The Greezy Era. Several videos have come out in support of No More Gimmicks – including the MjNichols-produced “I Just Lost My Job,” the Penacho-powered “Ambitions,” or “Story Up,” which was also produced by Penacho. All of which were directed by Rebel Media.
“The response has been very genuine and people are starting to relate to who I am as an artist and as a person.” – Greezy Deckz
And Greezy has already kicked off promotions for The Greezy Era. The latest being the Boogz Boogetz-assisted “Slangin'” which is expected to appear on the mixtape and received visual support on 4/20 (directed by, you guessed it, Rebel Media). The next single will be the Pusha T-assisted “#BARS,” although it’s unclear if that one is going to get a video push. He also already has plans to get the No More Gimmicks 2 EP out in September so look forward to a ton of new material.
We recently caught up with Greezy to discuss No More Gimmicks, his thoughts on the Canadian scene, his big summer release and more. Check out the Q&A now – as well as the new Love & Hate video – below.
Video: Greezy Deckz – Love & Hate
Q&A: Greezy Deckz
HipHopCanada: No More Gimmicks (NMG) is your latest project. What does it represent for you and what message were you aiming to send with its release? Why the title “No More Gimmicks?”
Greezy Deckz: The NMG Project represents my first solo project that was entirely written, recorded, mixed and mastered by me. It was a way to prove to myself and my current fanbase that I could apply what I learned in college and create a great project independently. The message I was aiming for waws to show people the progression I’ve made over the years with my lyrical content as well as to display my work ethic to anybody who may have been taking my artistry for a gimmick in the past.
HipHopCanada: Out of a total of 10 songs on the project, 4 have already received video support. What process do you take to determine which song will be ‘visualized’ and which video are you the proudest of?
Greezy Deckz: It depends on the importance of the message in the song at that current point. After I make the the music, I always envision what the video would be like in my head. Then I reach out to my directors to brainstorm ideas and figure out the best way to bring it to life. The video I’d say I’m the most proud of is “Ambitions” because I really wanted to represent for the skateboarding culture and show people where I really came from before I started pursuing music. People that know me personally and grew up with me know that skating was my first passion, but I wanted to show the people on the outside looking in where I grab my influence to keep pushing, no matter how many times I may fall.
HipHopCanada: Will there be anymore videos released in support of No More Gimmicks?
Greezy Deckz: Yeah, for sure. Right now, I’m working behind the scenes on at least 1-3 more videos to release for NMG to really show the fans my consistency before I move on to the next videos for my upcoming release. I feel like the more videos I drop, the more people are going to pay attention to me, which is perfect. Especially since the music I have out currently is nothing compared to the catalogue of unreleased music I have.
HipHopCanada: Can you talk about the people you worked with to create those videos? How did those relationships come to be?
Greezy Deckz: The two main people that I worked with to create these videos were Rebel Media, and JB aka ScrewFace Films. I met Rebel about six or seven months ago at a release party that I was performing at one night… he really enjoyed my set and was able to capture footage of the whole night. I’ll never forget this, I walked past him and we talked for a brief second. He said to me, “Yo homie, your performance was sick. If you want a copy of the footage I can send it to you and if you need music videos I can really make them look sick, here’s my card.” I got a chance to see his work a couple weeks later and was really impressed with his quality and style of directing. I hit him up immediately to setup my first shoot and was also able to refer him to a few other local artists. JB has been one of my best friends since the 4th Grade, he’s the one I have cloth talks with about what my next moves should be. He’s also the one that directed and edited the No More Gimmicks documentary, and takes care of capturing my live performance footage. If it wasn’t for JB, there wouldn’t of been a No More Gimmicks EP. He made sure he gave me an unbiased opinion on the content I was releasing before and helped me get mentally prepared to create new music that people could really relate to and respect me for.
HipHopCanada: One thing I really like about the project is the consistent theme of honesty and keeping things real. The song “I Just Lost My Job” really drives him that point. Not many artists would be that blunt about having another job, let alone losing it. What kind of response have you received from these sorts of songs that lots of people can obviously relate to?
Greezy Deckz: The response has been very genuine and people are starting to relate to who I am as an artist and as a person. People hit me all the time and tell me that “I Just Lost My Job” is the most relatable song, that they were really entertained with the idea of me rapping about being fired because it showed them my creativity and originality as a songwriter. Everyone who watched the “Keep It Real” video rated me for writing about the things in my life I was struggling with such as having to sleep on my aunts couch infested with bed bugs… to having to save up for my own place even though I was shaking it the first couple of months and had to sleep on the floor because my air mattress broke.
HipHopCanada: It’s well known that Drake’s success has lead to a huge increase of attention and interest in the Canadian (more so Toronto) scene. But as an artist in the trenches, can you tell us what kind of impact you feel that’s had on your own career? Are you just as likely to succeed or not succeed if there never was a Drake?
Greezy Deckz: To be honest, I have respect for Drake paving the way for a lot of up-and-coming talent in the city, but I feel like he didn’t impact my career as much as he may have for other local acts. I look to the people that made it before and after him because now that let’s me know that it’s our time to shine as a whole. There’s so much Canadian talent that is dominating the music industry that I can’t just give him all the credit anymore. I feel like artists can succeed without a Drake, before him I grew up listening to k-os, Kardinal, Keshia Chanté, people who really repped hard for the city before he did his thing.
HipHopCanada: You dropped a big collaboration with Gucci Mane a couple of months ago that I was surprised not to see on this project. How come it didn’t make the cut and is there a other project in the works we can expect to see it on?
Greezy Deckz: originally The NMG project was supposed to be a pre-tape to the upcoming release of my summer project called The Greezy Era which will contain the Gucci Mane feature as well as my collaboration with August Alsina and Pusha T. The only reason “Vanilla Coke” didn’t make the cut is because NMG is a project I wanted to do with no features still.
HipHopCanada: How did you link up with Boogz Boogetz?
Greezy Deckz: Me and Boogz linked up back in 2015 on social media. I hit him up for a feature because I’ve been a fan of his music since high school and he visits Toronto quite often. One day, he posted that he was in town so I hit him up on some spontaneous shit and he told me to pull up to the studio. That’s how we made “Slangin’.” About a year later, he fave me the heads up that he was coming back to the city so he invited me to his penthouse to shoot the video. I pulled up with some weed and brought him a bottle of Henny. Since then he’s always been someone in the industry that I learn from and get advice from. He’s one of the realist independent artists I’ve come across. That’s big bro right there!
HipHopCanada: Jazz Cartier won the Juno Award for Rap Recording of the Year, beating out 2 artists favoured to win in Drake and Tory Lanez. Some people have taken issue with Jazz winning, despite the judges being instructed to focus on the art itself and not the sales or publicity a nomination received. More judges thought Jazz had the strongest project. Some people say this hurts the Juno’s credibility. As a fellow rap artist, what do you think? Who would you have given the award to?
Greezy Deckz: When I first heard Jazz won, I was excited for him because I have an idea of how hard he’s been working over the last few years. I knew about Jazz Cartier from time, before he even blew up, I knew his name before anybody took to his music when he was in the process of rebranding himself. I think he deserved the award because he’s an artist that actually came from the core part of Toronto and was able to build his own unique cult following that I can say I’m impressed with. As a Canadian artist, a Juno is more important than a Grammy to me.
HipHopCanada: Speaking of Canadian hip-hop in general, who are you checking for? Who are we going to be talking about by the end of the year that isn’t on our radar?
Greezy Deckz: The people who I’m checking for are a few people so far such as Stacccs, Blacka Da Don, Roy Woods, Tory Lanez, just to name a few. The people I think you guys will be taling about soon enough are some of the artists I work with such as Dat Boy, Lachelle, Zeenni Guntana, Yung Boss of OTS (Only Tha Squad), and a few other artists I’m currently helping to get established.
HipHopCanada: Any concerts on the way? When and where can people see you live?
Greezy Deckz: Currently, I don’t have any shows coming up but if a promoter would like to book me to perform they can contact me at GreezyDeckzBookings@gmail.Com. Right now, I’m focused on giving the streets more new music and videos in order to continue building my fanbase. Now that social media has such a live approach to how we make updates, I like to perform live on Facebook and Instagram for people all the the time, so they get to hear current and new music I’m working on live and direct.
HipHopCanada: Thanks for taking the time to answer some questions. Any final comments or shout-outs?
Thanks a lot to HHC for the opportunity. I appreciate the support. I just wanna say that this is the year of The Greezy Era. Nobody that raps or sings is safe because I have a bunch of #water I’m finna flood the streets with. I no longer spit fire. Shout-out B-Town and Vaughan City! Shout-out ATCMG and free the mandem. Fair Oaks Mchardy, stand up. That’s my block. Last but not least, shout-out all the skaters out there grindin’, I do this for them.
Stream No More Gimmicks on Spotify: