Earlier this month LSC artists Nēgu$ and Toxic teamed up for a brand new collaboration titled “IIIusions” (spelled with three I’s at the beginning, instead of with an “I” and two L’s… because optical illusions).
The track was produced by Nobru and is pretty much exactly what you’d expect a collaboration to sound like between Nēgu$ and Toxic. “IIIusions” combines Toxic’s dark brand of horror rap with Nēgu$’ esoteric, Indigo Child style sound.
“IIIusions” actually came about after Toxic watched Harry Potter on repeat. Then he linked with Nēgu$ and two decided to cook up a track. The end result is a song about everyday life illusions, as well as the relationship between substances and reality, and how drugs can either save you from illusion or blind you by illusion.
Listen to “IIIusions,” and check out our in-depth interview with Nēgu$ and Toxic below.
Q&A: Nēgu$ & Toxic
HipHopCanada: Start off by telling me the story behind how this collaboration came about, and what inspired the two of you to work together and cook this up.
Nēgu$: Toxic and I have plenty of upcoming work together. We just decided to link, and make music like usual, this song was the outcome of that day.
Toxic: Nēgu$ and I were just chilling and we were like “Yo! Let’s make a song! Haha!” So then we just start looking through beats that we had and this one really that stood out to use so we decided to use it. Like Nēgu$ said, we have a lot of unreleased songs together to come out in the near future. And I watched Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets like four times in a row before I made this song. So in a funny way it really inspired me in this song to make it sound the way it does.
HipHopCanada: This is very interesting because it’s like…exactly what I would expect a collaboration between the two of you to sound like. It’s a much grungier, darker side of Nēgu$… and a much more mystical, esoteric side of Toxic.
Toxic: I always love to collaborate with Nēgu$. We always come up with something really dope and different. Yes, I do agree; I wanted my voice to just flow along with the beat and give off a really bumping vibe, but still make it dark and weird. When we work together we literally straight out grind for hours; writing and recording, giving each other positive criticism and we just keep moving foward with our creativity.
Nēgu$: I like working with Toxic and understand what you mean by this meeting your expectations, and I do agree, that naturally a darker part of me comes out when we collaborate. It’s easy to work with him and I believe we find a good compromise in order to create something we both enjoy
HipHopCanada: Explain the title “IIIusions” and what it means to each of you, personally.
Nēgu$: The title “IIIusions” is an illusion on its own. We spelt it with three I’s (shout out to all my conscious folk out there). To me the title represents how drugs have the power to save you from illusion or blind you by illusion depending on how the person uses them.
Toxic: Nēgu$ came up with the title, and I instantly thought it was the perfect name for this song. To me it really means the illusions in everyday life you have to deal with. For instance… finding trust in people, being lost up in your thoughts or anything that can make you lose grip of reality itself. I also find it means that to deal with these illusions you have to do drugs which only take you to a different type of illusion. More positive ones though.
HipHopCanada: What’s the audio sample that was used on here and what is its significance?
Nēgu$: The voice clips are from a Ronald Reagan speech about how he is for drugs. The significance in this is that Reagan was a heroine addict during his presidency. Regardless of the drugs he was influenced by, he was still able to achieve something most people would never be able to achieve. He used drugs to free himself from the illusion.
Toxic: Nēgu$ picked out the audio recording in this one, and I really think it fits the song. Like he was saying earlier it’s Ronald Reagan talking about the positive of drugs and how it was an illusion whether or not he was doing them himself. These samples also add a grungy dark vintage undertone to the song that I really like.
HipopCanada: You’ve both been on a bit of a hiatus this year. Talk to me about that… what’s the status on that? Where did you go?
Toxic: I was taking time really view how things actually work and planning out how I’m going to do things, as well as spending a lot of time to grow as an artist by writing and learning tons of stuff.
Nēgu$: I’ve been learning, and making music.
HipHopCanada: Talk to me about the cover art you used and what that signifies.
Nēgu$: The cover art was Toxic’s idea, I like it though.
Toxic: We were gunna use a different one, but we decided we wanted one more fitting to the LSC profile, so we went with the skeletons. I just found this picture and thought it was super dope cause it almost looks like the skeletons are in pain, which gives off a nice horror vibe.
Written by Sarah Jay for HipHopCanada
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