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Interview: Q&A

Toronto’s Friday aka Ricky Dred discusses his new “Hungry” video featuring T Gramz

Friday aka Ricky Dred

Last week we brought you the new “Hungry” single from Toronto vet Friday (aka Ricky Dred) featuring 1000 Gramz Ent. CEO and MC, T Gramz.

Over the years, Friday has demonstrated a knack for employing strong strategies behind his promotional campaigns, always looking to keep the buzz building and staying on top of current trends. He’s learning to master the social media game, including building multiple YouTube channels which he’s regularly generating original content for. He’s had a ton of new releases in a short period of time and there’s a lot more on the way. His consistency is as undeniable as is his drive to prove his critics wrong.

The new video was directed by Cazhhmere, who also directed Friday’s “After Hours” video which was released back in May. You can find the song on the Shift EP which is available now on Spotify. Check out the new “Hungry” video along with an exclusive interview with Friday.

Q&A: Friday aka Ricky Dred

HipHopCanada: Peace Friday, congrats on the new heat, “Hungry.” What motivates you and keeps you hungry to succeed? And as a part two to the question, can you define the goals you’ve set out for yourself?

Friday: There was a short time where I felt like retiring. I felt like I wasn’t getting anywhere and was starting to believe that I was wack like some critics would tell me. However, I’ve bumped into a few people who have told me that I’ve inspired them with my music. One dude told me that my music helped him while he was homeless going through shit. Then I started getting hit up online from people asking me why I retired. Then parole ended and I felt a change, let’s call it a “Notgiveafickness” and my music got darker, my passion grew and I changed my voice cadence. I got into a lane that I now call #NiteTimeDrivingMusic.

My current goal is growing the biggest YouTube channel out there period. I began creating content in the Spring of 2016 and realized that I have a passion for interviewing people. I have interviews with industry peers like Adam Bomb, Dusty Wallace, Math Hoffa and the latest one was with battle rapper DNA. I created a show called “What’d You Think?” (Formerly Women…What’d You Think?) where I interview men and women about relationship based issues. Plus my blog The Sober Emcee is bigger than ever and it’s been moved from Bloggers to my website. I’m a busy man basically (laughing).

HipHopCanada: T Gramz was a great choice for the feature and appeared to really complimented your vision for the record. How did the relationship with you guys come to be? What triggered the creation of the the song?

Friday: I was working on the Shift EP with Big Tweeze (Phat Tony), who produced the whole EP. I listen to a lot of hip-hop no matter how old the rapper. I can go from Tribe to Tiitie 2 Chainz in one song in my Spotify shuffle, so I like trap. I started bugging Tweeze to get into that trap zone and get out of the boom bap box that he’s used to. Then he presented me with that beat. The track pretty much wrote itself (laughing). First thing I thought of was, “I got bricks in the ceiling/Money in the floor!” That’s real bars inspired by something I saw at 18 years old in one of my (ex)bosses bases (trap house). I remember walking in the spot one day to a human chain passing full bricks, one-by-one and stashing them in the ceiling.

As far as Gramz, I was aware of Gramz and heard a couple tunes here and there and was like, “he nice,” but he wasn’t completely on my radar until Tweeze suggested him for the track. I told Tweeze I need someone who can relate to my subject matter. I find it hard to do collabos that match with my subject matter since most of the guys who really rap that street shit aren’t always the most lyrical. I heard Gramz over a lot of boom bap beats but I felt he listened to some trappy shit when he’s feeling turnt up. So I knew he would kill it and I feel he did.

HipHopCanada: Definitely. Can you touch on the concept behind the video?

Friday: Caz brought the vision with the colorful smoke and lit hip-hop feeling performance shots. We filmed at a warehouse in Parkdale with mad Graffiti around. It was cold as fuck by the way! I felt that we needed some life shots showing us in a more natural way, in life motion. And, as a Torontonian, I feel that I always want the city to be showcased so people outside in other parts of the world can see what we look like.

HipHopCanada: Can you talk about the project the single is featured on?

Friday: This is the third single off my EP, Shift. I dropped it September 9 with the track “In Stereo” then I followed up with “Minutes” and now “Hungry.” I might have more before The Divided EP.

HipHopCanada: We’ve talked in the past about your battles with alcohol and your attitude towards dealing with it was very solid and inspiring. How have things progressed for you and do you have any advice for someone reading this that’s facing the same battles?

Friday: Be honest with yourself. If you feel that you have a problem don’t deny it to yourself, face it. Do it before it’s too late and you lose something or someone you love. Then, after that, take it one day at a time in the battle. On February 18, I will be going on 7 years of sobriety.

HipHopCanada: Congratulations fam, and here’s to another 7! As a testament to your hunger, you’ve got a lot more than music on the go. Can you talk a bit more about your other projects and what people can look out for?

Friday: I have the YouTube channel and a second one called Women from Venus/Men from Mars. That is where I’ll be housing all the non-hip hop content, like my shows What’d You Think?, Food Lovers and much more.

I am 40 entries into my blog, The Sober Emcee. I drop it every 2 months and when I get to entry 50 I will putting all the entries into a novel.

More video interviews with whoever comes to Toronto, I’m not trying to be competition though (laughing). That’s y’all territory to the max! I know I’m forgetting something but we’ll leave that for another interview.

HipHopCanada: (Laughing) No doubt! So what’s next on the release schedule?

Friday: The Divided EP. It’s got production from Big Tweeze, Big Pops and Casper TDG. I’ve got features from T Gramz, Sayzee and Conway from Buffalo. As well as great performances from up-and-coming singer/rapper Eli Skighs and singer Deanna Jade. It’ll be out in the Spring sometime, no release dates no more.

HipHopCanada: I’ve been asking everyone I’ve spoken with recently for their take on the JUNO Award nominees for Rap Recording of the Year. What do you think? Who’s gonna win?

Friday: I don’t know who’s nominated. I applied so if I am, then me. Other than that, kudos to whomever wins. I’m just glad that it’s not dictated by sales and commercial success and more the artistic value.

HipHopCanada: Who else are you checking for lately in the Toronto scene?

Friday: Jazz Cartier, Pirex, Dusty Wallace, T Gramz and Sayzee.

HipHopCanada: Friday, always dope to have you kick it with us. Any last thoughts for our readers?

Friday: Share music and be prepared to let go of all the physical music going forward. Use the internet and make sure you have a streamlined social media plan. Any other advice I’m keeping for myself.

Interview conducted by Jesse Plunkett for HipHopCanada

Jesse founded in 1999 and is currently the organization's Co-President & Editor-in-Chief.

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