You described your new album as »Hip House, except it’s not shitty«. Are you afraid that your Hip Hop-oriented fans might be unable to relate to it?
Cadence Weapon: I wouldn’t be surprised if I weirded out some of my core fans, but that’s something that people will have to deal with when it comes to me. I’m always going to make music that is completely different than the previous record. I never want to get pigeonholed as the video game rapper or the hip-house rapper or whatever. I want to escape definition like someone like Bob Dylan or David Bowie.
Would you say that »Afterparty Babies« combines all the ingredients of current dance and electronic music you like (e.g. Wonky shit, abrasive synths, Niche-stuff, Grime, Bmore, etc.) or are there particular subgenres or artists you would consider especially important for how the album turned out to sound?
Cadence Weapon: The approach for much of the album was to try and make something like a Basement Jaxx record with rap on it. I’d say 75% of the album fills that promise, the rest is more traditional rap with a completely folk oriented song opening the album. I’d say the common thread with the record is that it’s instilled with the culture of storytelling as an oral tradition.
I know artists just LOVE those questions but anyway: what’s up with the album title?
Cadence Weapon: When I say my dad at some grown up parties when I was a kid, he’d say »Rollie over there? He’s definitely an afterparty baby!«. I took this as meaning I was a mistake, but my mother has recently let me know that I was planned, my conception just happened to be after a party.
Have you decided what you’re gonna do with the Jammer beat yet?
Cadence Weapon: Not quite yet. I think it’s gonna be about people getting killed around here in the Winter time. I have a feeling he can relate.
Are there any other guest producers or featured artists on this album?
Cadence Weapon: There is one beat by DJ Nato, a Hip Hop producer from Edmonton, but the rest is by me.
You used to do quite a lot of remixes but aside from those Sally Shapiro and Busdriver remixes I don’t remember hearing a remix from you in the last year or so. Is this a consequence of you being busy with your new album and extensive touring or have you got tired of remixing?
Cadence Weapon: I’ve been really busy with touring and I haven’t had a chance to get a setup where I can produce on the road. It’s been frustrating because it’s hard to keep up with demand while also making music that I’m proud of.
I read a while ago that you were working on a Billy Joel cover. I think I got a rather vivid imagination but I have no clue what a Cadence Weapon cover of »Movin out« would sound like. Where can I hear this?
Cadence Weapon: I actually did this cover at the going away party of my friend Juliann Wilding with a band from Edmonton called Illfit Outfit and her husband Henri Faberge. It’s one of my favorite songs though, perhaps I’ll adapt it for my show. There is a song on the album in Juliann’s name as well.
You’ve also been DJing a lot lately. Is that something you could see yourself doing even more in the future?
Cadence Weapon: DJing is probably my favorite thing to do. My dad was a DJ and it’s really manifesting itself in me these days. I feel like dancing is one of the oldest, purest social traditions there is and I love being a part of it. It’s also helped the way I view music. Knowing that you can mix together two seemingly separate genres of music and make them come together naturally, it’s a really spiritual feeling. I want to DJ as much as possible. My fantasy these days is to play Fabric and do a FabricLive mix.
I don’t want to dwell on your history as a Pitchfork writer too much but were there other reasons apart from focusing on your career as a musician why you quit writing for them?
Cadence Weapon: Well, I got fired, but I got fired because I was obviously losing interest in the writing cycle they had going. I was getting sloppy and missing deadlines. But largely, this is because I wanted to really get serious about my own music instead of criticizing other people.
»The approach for much of the album was to try and make something like a Basement Jaxx record with rap on it. I’d say 75% of the album fills that promise, the rest is more traditional rap« With a steady decline of interest in »Indie« Hip Hop, what do you think are the main reasons that your career has flourished so fast in spite of the current musical climate?
Cadence Weapon: I feel like it’s because I make music that is original. The underground rap that I love was always about pushing boundaries or approaching music from a different view. Nowadays it seems like rappers are in a rut or they are constantly making the same thing over and over. It’s replicating the problems of the commercial rap world and losing sight of the advantages of being in the underground. You can do whatever you want, so why don’t they?
What has been the most impressing encounter you’ve had on tour?
Cadence Weapon: Well, this past year, I managed to meet both Dan Bejar aka Destroyer (who is probably my favorite current song writer) and Prince Paul. I managed to creep out Prince Paul with my »Stakes Is High« tattoo, but when I met Dave, he was completely unfazed. They must get a lot of that.
Would you rather get a beat from Timbo or have Daniel Bejar sing on your album?
Cadence Weapon: Dan Bejar singing on my album. I have a feeling that if I got Timbo to make me a beat, it wouldn’t be very thoughtful. He saves his best shit for his pals, I assume. But if Timbo is listening, I would love to get a beat from you, buddy.
Best live-act you’ve ever shared a stage with?
CW: De La Soul. I played with them in Vancouver and the way they’d present songs was just so smart. They got everyone to go “AHH” when they went AHH and then they mixed in »Ego Trippin’« and the crowd went fucking insane. Total pros.
Best DJ set you attended in 2007?
Cadence Weapon: DJ Assault. He was doing doubles and mixing super fast. He used Serato only for flipping doubles and just did it super old school and relentless. It was probably the most fun I’ve had at a DJ night. Diplo also tore shit up in London at the Big Dada party I played.
You got 30 seconds to tell our readers why Turf Talk made the best Hip Hop album of 2007.
Cadence Weapon: Because it fucking rules. Incredible beats, really varied flows throughout and a consistency I rarely see in rap albums these days. It has a foot in 80s rap too, Turf basically covers a Mantronix song on it. Rick Rock is an underrated producer.
Are you still obsessed with »Guitar Hero«?
Cadence Weapon: Not so much. My family is really into it now though. At our Christmas celebration, my cousin destroyed me at the game which is a real role reversal. I used to be the only person into video games as a kid and now it’s suddenly super accessible.
»Real Talk« or »I’m a Flirt«?
Cadence Weapon: Real Talk. WERE THERE OTHER GUYS THERE?!?!? WELL TELL ME THIS, HOW THE FUCK SHE KNOW I’M WITH THOSE OTHER GIRLS THEN??
Mr. Oizo or Switch?
Cadence Weapon: Mr. Oizo. Tough choice, but I prefer Mr. Oizo’s approach to sampling better. He is good for subtlety and really cool edits. Switch is probably the best out right now, but I prefer Oizo.
Crookers or Herve?
Cadence Weapon: The dude Herve! Crookers has a big record on Man Recordings that I play occasionally, but I probably play three to four Herve-related tracks every time I DJ. He’s a king.
J Dilla or Pimp C?
Cadence Weapon: J Dilla. I’m not fanatical about either but I’ve played »Donuts« probably a thousand times by now.
Jneiro Jarel or Flying Lotus?
Cadence Weapon: Jneiro Jarel. I’m late on the Flying Lotus tip, I need to hear that. But JJ is one of the best producers out there, extremely underrated.
Santogold or Kid Sister?
Cadence Weapon: Tough question, but I’m going with Kid Sister. I wasn’t impressed with Santogold live. I’ve seen Kid Sister tear shit up live multiple times.
Wiley or Skepta?
Cadence Weapon: Skepta. His lyrics are really good and original and Wiley is disappointing me with these albums. I wish he got back to doing stuff that was really extremely dark. »Wot Do U Call It?« is a classic and still bangs in the club.
: »Person Pitch« or »The Unseen«?
Cadence Weapon: This is a hard one as they are both made with the same sampler, but I’m gonna go with The Unseen as it’s a complete, total classic that changed the way I thought a rap album had to be structured. It’s original and way ahead of its time.
Bell Biv Devoe – »Poison« or New Order – »Blue Monday«?
Cadence Weapon: »Poison«, for sure. This is the song I learned to dance with!
Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton?
Cadence Weapon: Obama. Hillary gives me this weird evil politician vibe while the homeboy Obama has the Cool Kids play his parties in Chicago and generally shirks the childish insults that usually follow the antiquated political competitive structure.