Choclair talks Ice Cold, collabos & more during Ottawa tour stop
HipHopCanada had the great pleasure of interviewing the SEXUALCHIZNOCHLATECHOCLAIRDAILLFLO’A (as the flyer for the event so swiftly put it). Choclair, Toronto’s number one rap artist was in Capital City Canada to host a party at Atomic Night Club and promote his hit album, Ice Cold. Earlier in the evening he performed at the Gloucester Fair. We met up with him later at the hotel he was staying at.
HipHopCanada: At approximately what age did you get into hip-hop? What kind of family and neighbourhood influences were exposing you?
Choclair: Um, I think i got into hip-hop at about 12. Umm… I got into mostly because of my older brother. He was really into it, he was the one who got me really into it. So ah.. you know, so that was the main thing for me getting into it… my older brother.
HipHopCanada: Was there any message in particular that you tried to send your fans through Ice Cold?
Choclair: I just wanted people to enjoy music agian, hip-hop music and have fun with it. You know back in the days we used to have the songs by Peewee Herman and you know just like Flava Flav would come and stuff like that where people could have fun with hip-hop without it being really either waterdown or real having to be real happy and anything like that. You know, something that Red and Meth are doing with their album right now. Someone can just listen to it and enjoy it and thats what I wanted to bring forth with Ice Cold.
HipHopCanada: What was your favorite track of the album?
Choclair: One of the tracks was “Ice Cold” itself. Just because it had a defiance of who the the Choclair character really is. It defines everything. That alter ego that i have is pretty much put out through “Ice Cold.”
HipHopCanada: While looking back on the album is there anything you wish you could have made better?
Choclair: Well yeah, because I think that as you get older and also you get a chance to sit back and you take in on everything you have done. You know… you always want to improve on everything you have done so… definetly you know there is some things where I know on the second album that it’s going to be a lot different. You know so it’s all growing stages from the first album. So you will see myself maturing come the second album.
HipHopCanada: While making Ice Cold did you think it would be well received? How’s the response from fans?
Choclair: I had a feeling that it would be alright, I didn’t know it would receive the attention that its getting now. You know like, especially like when we do shows its like 60% of women in the crowds and all this other stuff. I didn’t know about all of that, but yo, I had a feeling it would be alright. But how fast the record would grow and the success level that its at right now… I didn’t have a clue.
HipHopCanada: Will the “Rubbin'” video be out soon or is it already out?
Choclair: Ya actually it’s out now. It just came out… actually it came out and the first week it came out it was on the charts which is kind of weird because “Let’s Ride” took about 2-3 weeks and this one the first week its on the chart. So “Rubbin'” is out and it’s doing well here and worldwide.
HipHopCanada: I haven’t had a chance to see the new video yet, so can you tell me who makes appearances in it?
Choclair: Saukrates is in it, Kardinall, Solitair, Mastermind makes an appearance, Baby Blue and the Prodigy Sound Crew. Basically a lot of people who have been making music in Canada.
HipHopCanada: Recently you were on tour out east. Nova Scotia… how was that?
Choclair: Oh it was off the hook! It was my fist time being there since the album came out. Very good response… and hopefully we can get back out there in November. We are supposed to be trying to hook up a tour with the Rascalz in November so hopefully we can get up there.
HipHopCanada: What did you think of the local talent?
Choclair: We were down with Ground Squad, Shylove, one of the members of The Overlords, some other guys and it was cool man. It was cool. Those guys definetly know whats going on.
HipHopCanada: What are your plans for the next six months?
Choclair: Finish touring and then sit down and start working on the next album. We got a few offers for movies, so we’ll see what happens with that.
HipHopCanada: Any chance of opening say…an Ice Cold Cafe?
Choclair: Well…actaully you know what there could be because I have been thinking about doing stuff like that for a little bit so… you know… it’s just getting into a whole bunch of different ventures, so I can’t rap for ever so we’ll figure out what I am going to do. Whether its a cafe or a nice little concert hall or whatever. Your going to see some stuff there.
HipHopCanada: Do you have any 12″ release plans? Anything coming out soon?
Choclair: Well except for “Rubbin’.” I also did a track with Beenie Man, on Beenie’s album. So check for that.
HipHopCanada: You know the scheduled release?
Choclair: July something… I know it’s when his album is released. I think like the 22nd. But I did a track with him so that will be happening. And also there is a new version of the track I did with Rahzel coming out on the American version the Drop the Beat album. And, some where through the grapevine, some how some way there is a track with Ol’ Dirty Bastard out there. A track I did.
HipHopCanada: Oh I heard that…the day it came out on HipHopSite I listened to it.
Choclair: Ya ya… check it out.
HipHopCanada: How do you think then Canadian scene will be comparable to the United States in about 10 years?
Choclair: I think we’ll be there… I think right now this is just are building stages. A lot of the people out there right now are kind of like the guinea pigs in terms of the industry. Because its like “What happens” and “let’s see what they do.” If they mess up on him then we’ll do it better on the next guy. So uhh… I think it will be real well. Everything we are doing with these labels is new to them so its building and I think we will be there… at least I hope we’ll be there.
HipHopCanada: I think we’ll be there.
Choclair: Ya me to so…
HipHopCanada: One thing I like about you, is that you are not afraid of collaborations. I feel that too many Canadian artists are afraid of collaborations, which is a shame.
Choclair: Well its mainly about working with people you like and respect. That was the thing. Whether it was working with Memphis, Guru, ODB or anyone… even Rahzel to working with Sauks, Infinite. Oh I forgot… watch for a Infinite collabo on the DJ Hurricane album. I think collabos bring the best out of the individual artist.
HipHopCanada: How did you come up with the name Choclair?
Choclair: I was trying to explain myself to someone and it was all about dark skin, so instead of saying dark skin or choclate it was like give it a little flair, and you had Choclair. It just came up while trying to explain a dark skin person to someone.
HipHopCanada: Do you get the beat before the lyrics or vice versa or what?
Choclair: Ah, it depends. A lot of times I hear the music, get a visual and then write to that.
HipHopCanada: Do you do anything else other then MC?
Choclair: Well I use to breakdance, but I don’t anymore. A do a bit on the turntables.
HipHopCanada: Any advice for young people trying to become a successful rap artist?
Choclair: Ya, pretty much just know who the players in the game make them your associates. Put your stuff on tape, because a lot of people will come up with me and freestyle or whatever, but I can’t bring those freestyles anywhere. So they gotta put it down on tape so that way if they give it to me its very easy to pass it on to the right person and say, “here check it out.” So put your stuff on tape, find out who the players of the game are and make them your associates and just politic man, Kardi said it best, its all about the hustle. So you know you gotta be able to hustle in this business. Its a big business and the people that get ahead are the people that know how to politic.
HipHopCanada: Who has been your biggest supporter and influence over the course of your career?
Choclair: Probably my older brother and just like the people who have been down since 21 years. Like back in 95′, you know I got my influences from people saying, “You know Chocs your doing your thing for hip-hop.” The awards and stuff are great, but the main thing is getting the respect and love from the peoples around the way. That’s what keeps me going.
Interview conducted by Jesse Plunkett for HipHopCanada