Transcript: Hip Hop's Northern Touch | Jul 04, 2017

Nam sits in the studio. She's in her early forties, with shoulder length curly brown hair. She's wearing glasses, a gray blazer over a blue shirt, and a silver pendant necklace.

An animated caption reads "TVO, Canada 150, Ontario 150."
Then, it changes to "Hip hop's northern touch. Nam Kiwanuka, @namshine, @theagenda."

NAM SAYS DRAKE AND THE WEEKND HAVE MADE
IT A HABIT TO DOMINATE THE MUSIC
CHARTS SOUTH OF THE BORDER, SO
IT'S HARD TO IMAGINE THAT 20
YEARS AGO, CANADA DIDN'T EVEN
HAVE AN R and B OR RAP RADIO
STATION.
TO TALK ABOUT THAT, WE'RE JOINED
BY TWO ARTISTS WHO HAVE ALWAYS
WAVED CANADA'S MUSICAL FLAG ON
THE GLOBAL MARKET.
THEY ARE ALSO THE CO-HOST OF THE
KARDI PARTY ON IHEARTRADIO.
WE'RE PLEASED TO WELCOME THE
INCOMPARABLE KARDINAL OFFISHALL
AND DJ STARTING FROM SCRATCH.

Kardinal is in his twenties, clean-shaven. He's wearing a black cap and a loose black and gray jersey.
Scratch is in his thirties, shaven-headed, with a stubble. He's wearing a printed gray T-shirt and a pendant necklace.

Nam continues WELCOME TO YOU BOTH.
SCRATCH, I FEEL LIKE SAYING MY
SIX-YEAR-OLD RUNS AROUND THE
HOUSE SAYING, "DJ STARTING FROM
SCRATCH, SCRATCH, SCRATCH."

[EVERYONE LAUGHING]

KARDINAL SAYS YES.

Scratch says IT'S WORKING; IT'S WORKING.

NAM SAYS "IT'S WORKING."

Nam says IT'S WORKING.
SO, KARDI, WHEN YOU FIRST
STARTED OUT, THERE WAS NO
HIP HOP RADIO STATION IN CANADA.
WHAT WAS IT LIKE?
HOW DIFFICULT WAS IT TO GET YOUR
MUSIC PLAYED?

Kardinal says PLAYED WHERE?

[EVERYONE LAUGHING]

The caption changes to "Kardinal Offishall. Rapper."
Then, it changes again to "Radio days."

Kardinal says I WAS GONNA SAY, WHEN WE FIRST
STARTED OUT, WE WERE KIDS IN
JUNIOR HIGH--WELL, NO.
WHEN I STARTED OUT ORIGINALLY, I
WAS STILL IN LIKE GRADE SCHOOL.
SO, IT'S HARD TO--LIKE, IT'S
HARD TO EXPRESS LIKE WHAT IT WAS LIKE.
IT'S LIKE TALKING ABOUT THE
WORLD BEFORE THE INTERNET.
NOBODY REALLY REMEMBERS.
BUT AT THAT TIME, I THINK WHAT
IT WAS IS LIKE WE DIDN'T EVEN
HAVE ANY LIKE AMBITIONS TO LIKE
GET ON THE RADIO 'CAUSE IT
WASN'T A POSSIBILITY.
WE JUST WANTED LIKE--ANYWHERE
THAT WE COULD GO AND DO OUR
THING, THAT'S WHERE WE WERE.
SO, THERE'S OLD TAPES OF BEING
ON LIKE
BREAKFAST TV
AT THE AGE
OF 13, OR, YOU KNOW, WINNING
CONTESTS AND GETTING ON THIS
MAGICAL THING CALLED MUCHMUSIC.
I REMEMBER, LIKE I HAVE A VHS
SOMEWHERE OF US WINNING A
CITYWIDE CONTEST AND GETTING ON
MUCH.
SO, I THINK AT THAT TIME, IT'S
LIKE ANY POSSIBLE PLACE THAT YOU
COULD BE SEEN OR HEARD, THAT'S
WHAT WE WERE TRYING TO--THAT'S
WHAT WE WERE TRYING TO DO BACK
IN THEM TIMES.
AND, SCRATCH, I THINK THE FIRST
TIME I SAW YOU WAS ON EC.
A LONG TIME AGO.

[KARDINAL LAUGHING]

SCRATCH SAYS FAIR ENOUGH.

NAM SAYS I THINK I WAS FIVE.

SCRATCH SAYS HAD TO HAPPEN AT SOME
POINT.

[EVERYONE LAUGHING]

Nam says HOW DIFFICULT WAS IT FOR YOU AS
A DJ IN THAT ENVIRONMENT?

The caption changes to "DJ starting from scratch. Host, 'The Kardi party.'"

Scratch says AT THAT TIME, LIKE, WHEN I
FIRST--WE KINDA STARTED IN THE
SAME ROUTE.
AT THAT TIME, I WAS...

KARDINAL SAYS FRESH-WES '91.

Scratch says THERE YOU GO.

NAM SAYS YEAH.

Scratch says I WAS A DJ FOR A GROUP WITH THE
SIMPLY MAJESTIC THING.
AND WE HAD WON A CONTEST WITH I
THINK THEN IT WAS CFTR WHICH GOT
US ON
ELECTRIC CIRCUS
OPENING
FOR HAMMER AND ALL THIS STUFF,
AND...

[KARDINAL LAUGHING]

Scratch says YES, IT HAPPENED PEOPLE.

NAM SAYS HE WAS GOOD THOUGH.
I MEAN, AT THE TIME, EVERYBODY
WANTED TO BE MC HAMMER, RIGHT?

SCRATCH SAYS IT HAPPENED.

NAM SAYS IT WAS A BIG DEAL.

KARDINAL SAYS OPENING FOR HAMMER.
LISTEN, I'VE KNOWN HIM SINCE
'91, AND I HAD NO IDEA THAT'S
WHAT HAPPENED.

[KARDINAL AND NAM LAUGHING]

Scratch says THAT'S HOW IT ALL STARTED.
AND THEN, YEAH, IT WAS JUST...

[KARDINAL SIGHS]

Scratch says THE SAME THING, I WASN'T DOING
IT FOR A PURPOSE AT THAT POINT.
I WAS JUST--IT WAS SOMETHING I
JUST NATURALLY FELL IN LOVE WITH.
I WAS FRIENDS WITH HIM IN HIGH SCHOOL.
WE JUST STARTED.
HE'S LIKE, "HEY, I'M A RAPPER.
DO YOU WANNA DO THIS?"
I WAS LIKE, "SURE, WHY NOT?"
I HAD NEVER DONE IT BEFORE.
AND IT JUST GOT ME ON
ELECTRIC
CIRCUS
AND MUCHMUSIC AND ALL
THAT STUFF.
AND THEN IT JUST KINDA
SNOWBALLED INTO OTHER THINGS
ALONG THE WAY.

Nam says DO YOU FIND IT IRONIC THAT
YOU'RE BOTH ON THE RADIO STATION
NOW?
LIKE, WORKING ON THE RADIO STATION?

[KARDINAL SIGHS]

SCRATCH whispers YES, YES.

The caption changes to "Kardinal Ofishall. Host, 'The Kardi party.'"

Kardinal says I THINK IT'S IRONIC THAT TWO
PEOPLE THAT PRIMARILY HAVE A
REAL AFFINITY AND LOVE AND
ADMIRATION FOR URBAN MUSIC THAT
WE'RE ON IHEARTRADIO AND VIRGIN
RADIO.
I THINK THAT ALSO SHOWS
PROGRESSION.
YOU KNOW WHAT I'M SAYING?
'CAUSE IT'S LIKE IF--LIKE YOU
SAID, 20 YEARS AGO, IT WOULDN'T
HAVE BEEN A THOUGHT AT ALL, YOU
KNOW?
AND I'VE BEEN IN COUNTLESS
DEBATES WITH VARIOUS MUSIC
DIRECTORS, PROGRAM DIRECTORS,
OVER THE YEARS, FIGHTING TO SAY,
"YOU NEED TO GET HIP HOP ON THE RADIO."
AND BEFORE CANADA WAS ABLE
TO--TO SEE THAT VISION, THEY
USED TO FIGHT IT, LIKE, WITH
EVERYTHING THEY HAVE.
BUT I THINK NOW, LIKE, IF YOU
BREAK IT DOWN AND LITERALLY GO
TO THE ANALYTICS, YOU'LL SEE
THAT RIGHT NOW URBAN MUSIC,
MEANING HIP HOP, R and B, AND THEN
EVEN IT'S CROSSING OVER INTO
LIKE WHAT THEY CALL LIKE URBAN POP NOW.
BASICALLY, THE URBAN MUSIC
FORMAT ACCOUNTS FOR ALMOST 50 percent
OF, YOU KNOW, WHAT'S SELLING
WITHIN THE INDUSTRY RIGHT NOW.
SO, IT'S LIKE, NO MATTER WHAT
YOUR PERSONAL OPINION IS, IF YOU
WANNA KEEP YOUR JOB, YOU HAVE TO
INVOLVE URBAN MUSIC.

Nam says BECAUSE THAT'S A LOT OF MONEY
WE'RE TALKING ABOUT?

Kardinal says ABSOLUTELY.

Nam says DO YOU FIND THAT POP RADIO
IS BETTER PLAYING HIP HOP, SCRATCH?

The caption changes to "DJ Starting From Scratch. IHeartradio DJ."

Scratch says THEY DO, BUT I THINK THEY'RE
STILL--THEY'RE STILL KINDA
SCARED ON A LOT OF THINGS.
LIKE, THEY'LL STILL--WHEN THE
R and B OR POP SONGS COME OUT WITH
RAPPERS, SOMETIMES THEY'LL PLAY
THE VERSION WITHOUT THE RAPPERS,
AND STUFF LIKE THAT.
SO, I THINK THERE'S STILL A LONG
WAY TO GO.
BUT OBVIOUSLY WHEN, YOU KNOW--WE
HAVE TO FULFILL CANCON NEEDS
WHICH IS HUGE.
AND IT HELPS.
NEEDS, AND THEY HAVE THE DRAKES
AND STUFF, A LOT OF THOSE GUYS
AREN'T CANCON ANYMORE EITHER.
SO, THEY HAVE TO GO AND DIG AND
SEARCH FOR OTHER THINGS.
SO, I THINK THERE'S STILL A
LOT--A LOT OF OPPORTUNITY, IT'S
JUST THEY'RE STILL VERY
HESITANT.
AND THEY STILL WANT IT TO BE
VERY CANDY-COATED.
AND THEY STILL--YOU KNOW, THEY...

KARDINAL SAYS SAFE.

Scratch says YEAH.

NAM SAYS SO, CANCON--THE CRTC
MANDATES THAT IF YOU'RE...

SCRATCH SAYS YES.

Nam says TO BE CONSIDERED CANCON, YOU
HAVE TO HAVE--LIKE, A CERTAIN
NUMBER OF PEOPLE ON THE PROJECT,
THEY HAVE TO BE FROM CANADA, RIGHT?

SCRATCH SAYS YES, YEAH.

Nam says YOU WERE TALKING ABOUT THE
RESISTANCE BEFORE TO PLAYING OR
HAVING A RADIO STATION THAT
PLAYED RAP MUSIC OR R and B.
WHERE DO YOU THINK THAT
RESISTANCE WAS COMING FROM?

Kardinal says SEARCHING FOR POLITICALLY
CORRECT WAYS OF SAYING IT.

[NAM CHUCKLES]

The caption changes to "Kardinal Offishall, @KardinalO."

Kardinal says I THINK WHAT IT IS IS PEOPLE
ARE--PEOPLE IN POWER AND PEOPLE
THAT CAN GIVE OPPORTUNITY AND
GIVE THE AIRTIME TO THE ARTISTS
THAT DESERVE IT, I THINK THEY'RE
STILL A BIT AFRAID TO SHAKE UP THE SYSTEM.
'CAUSE UNFORTUNATELY IN THIS
COUNTRY WE HAVE, TO SOME PEOPLE,
A SYSTEM THAT WORKS.
AND RIGHT NOW, WHAT'S HAPPENING
IS A LOT OF RADICALIZATION
OF--OF EVERYTHING.
OF TELEVISION, OF RADIO, EVEN OF
THE WAY THAT WE CONSUME
TELEVISION, RADIO, MOVIES, AND
ENTERTAINMENT IN GENERAL.
SO, I THINK WHAT'S HAPPENING IS
YOU'RE--YOU'RE FINDING THAT
THERE'S A PEOPLE OR A GROUP OF
PEOPLE THAT ARE EITHER GONNA BE
LEADING THE CHARGE FOR THE WAY
THAT--YOU KNOW, WHERE WE'VE
EVOLVED INTO.
THERE'S GONNA BE THOSE PEOPLE
THAT ARE LIKE, "HEY, WE'RE ALL
FOR EVOLUTION AND THE FUTURE."
AND YOU HAVE THOSE PEOPLE THAT
ARE HOLDING ON WITH A TIGHT GRIP
TO TRY AND KEEP THINGS THE WAY
THAT IT IS.
BECAUSE FOR THEM, KEEPING IT
NICE AND EASY AND MAKING THOSE
LATERAL MOVEMENTS IS A WAY TO
KEEP THEIR JOB SIMPLE.
AND ALSO TO MAKE IT SIMPLER, TO
KEEP THEIR JOBS.
SO, I THINK IT'S ONE OF THE TWO.

Nam says AND NOW, I THINK SOME PEOPLE
MIGHT CALL THEM THE GATEKEEPERS, RIGHT?

The caption changes to "Connect with us: @theagenda, TVO.org, Facebook, YouTube, Periscope, Instagram."

NAM SAYS AND NOW WITH THE INTERNET,
DO YOU THINK IT'S DEMOCRATIZED
THE SYSTEM?
I KNOW WITH SOME ARTISTS, LIKE,
IT'S HURT THE SYSTEM.
IT'S HURT THE BOTTOM LINE, I GUESS.
BUT DO YOU THINK THAT IT'S
LEVELLED THE PLAYING GROUND FOR
ARTISTS AND PEOPLE TO GET MUSIC
THAT THEY WANT?

Kardinal says IN MY OPINION, IT'S A BIT OF BOTH.
IT ALL DEPENDS ON HOW YOU MAKE
IT WORK FOR YOU BECAUSE THERE'S
SOME PEOPLE THAT ONCE YOU OPEN
THE FLOODGATES, NOW YOU'RE NOT
GONNA BE--IF YOU'RE AN ARTIST,
YOU'RE NOT COMPETING WITH 100
OTHER ARTISTS; YOU'RE COMPETING
WITH 100 MILLION.
SO, WHEN THERE'S ALL THAT
CLUTTER AND THAT WHITE NOISE,
HOW DO YOU CUT THROUGH THAT?
YOU KNOW WHAT I'M SAYING?
YOU HAVE TO BE ABLE TO STEP UP
MORE AND HAVE KINDA YOUR CAREER
INVOLVE MORE BRANDING THAN JUST
THE MUSIC.
WHEREAS BEFORE YOU COULD HAVE A
HIT SONG, AND THAT'S ALL THERE
IS TO IT.
NOWADAYS, YOU LITERALLY HAVE TO
HAVE THE HIT SONG.
YOU HAVE TO HAVE THE LOOK.
YOU HAVE TO HAVE YOUR SOCIAL
MEDIA TEAM.
YOU HAVE TO HAVE ALL THESE
DIFFERENT THINGS THAT ARE GONNA
ALLOW YOU TO STAND OUT FROM THE PACK.
SO, I THINK THE PEOPLE THAT GET
NERVOUS AND ARE NOT NECESSARILY
FOR THE INTERNET AND THE NEW
STREAMING ABILITIES ARE THOSE
PEOPLE THAT HAVEN'T QUITE
FIGURED OUT HOW TO NAVIGATE
WITHIN THIS NEW SYSTEM AND WHERE
IT'S EVOLVED TO.

Nam says I WANNA TALK ABOUT THE '90S.

[KARDINAL LAUGHS]

Nam says SAYS I'M STILL FIVE.
BUT I THINK THIS IS WHEN WE ALL
MET, RIGHT?

[EVERYONE LAUGHS]

Nam says NOW, SOME PEOPLE LOOK
AT HIP HOP--THEY LOOK AT IT AS
HIP HOP'S RENAISSANCE.
WHAT WAS THAT TIME LIKE HERE IN
TORONTO, SCRATCH?

The caption changes to "DJ Starting From Scratch, @djsfs."
Then, it changes again to "Rap's golden age."

Scratch says I THINK IT DEPENDS ON WHERE YOU
WERE.
LIKE, WHAT--WHAT YOU WERE DOING
AT THAT TIME.
I THINK--I MEAN, AGAIN, GOING
BACK TO WHAT HE SAID, I THINK
EVERYBODY'S VISION WASN'T AS
GRAND AS IT--AS IT WAS NOW.
'CAUSE LIKE YOU SAID, THERE
WEREN'T THE OUTLETS BACK THEN.
SO, WE WERE REALLY JUST DOING IT
FOR OURSELVES AND FOR OUR
FRIENDS AT THAT TIME, FOR WHO
WAS IN FRONT OF US.
WE WEREN'T THINKING OF THE OTHER
PEOPLE.
LIKE, IT WASN'T LIKE AN INTERNET
THING WE'RE--WHERE I'M PLAYING
FOR ALL THESE PEOPLE THAT CAN'T
SEE ME ON RADIO.
AT THAT TIME, WE'RE JUST REALLY
FOCUSING ON WHAT WAS IN FRONT OF
US.
THAT WAS OUR ENERGY, THAT WAS
OUR FEED.
SO, AT THAT--AND AT THAT TIME,
THERE WAS TONS OF PEOPLE DOING
STUFF AND TONS OF AMAZING MUSIC
COMING OUT, BUT ONLY WE KNEW IT.
THAT WAS THE BIG PROBLEM.
LIKE, NOW, THANKFULLY, TO
EVERYTHING ELSE GOING ON, LIKE
PEOPLE CAN GET BACK INTO HIS
CATALOGUE AND SAUKRATES'
CATALOGUE AND JULLY'S CATALOGUE.
AND THEY CAN GO BACK AND HEAR
ALL THESE AMAZING--THIS AMAZING
MUSIC.
BUT BACK THEN, IF YOU WEREN'T
THERE, AND YOU WEREN'T IN THAT
CLUB OR IN THAT CONCERT OR--YOU
NEVER GOT TO HEAR IT.

Nam says WHEN DID YOU BOTH REALIZE THAT
YOU COULD ACTUALLY MAKE A LIVING
OUT OF WHAT YOU'RE DOING RIGHT NOW?

KARDINAL SAYS YOU CAN MAKE A LIVING
OF IT?

SCRATCH SAYS YEAH, I'M STILL--I'M
STILLING SCRATCHING.

[EVERYONE LAUGHING]

Kardinal says YOU KNOW WHAT, I THINK TO ADD ON
TO WHAT SCRATCH IS SAYING AND TO
ANSWER YOUR QUESTION...

NAM SAYS YEAH.

Kardinal says IN THE--IN THE EARLY TO
MID-'90S, THERE WAS A BIG
INDEPENDENT MOVEMENT
WITHIN HIP HOP TO WHERE THERE
WERE SO MANY DIFFERENT
INDIE LABELS.
AND DIY WAS SOMETHING THAT
WASN'T TRENDY FOR US, IT'S LIKE
SOMETHING THAT WE HAD TO DO IN
ORDER TO GET OUR MUSIC OUT.
SO, YOU LOOK AT, YOU KNOW,
GHETTO CONCEPT.
THEY WERE ON, WHAT, GROOVE-A-LOT
RECORDS.
YOU KNOW, FRANKENSTEIN HAD HIS
OWN LABEL.
OBVIOUSLY MYSELF.
CHOCLAIR, SOLITAIR...
WE WERE ON KNEE DEEP RECORDS.
SO, YOU HAD ALL THESE
DIFFERENT--OH, SAUKRATES WAS ON
CAPITOL HILL WITH JULLY BLACK.

NAM SAYS AND RASCALZ.

Kardinal says RASCALZ HAD FIGURE FOUR.

NAM SAYS YEAH.

Kardinal says YOU HAD ALL THESE DIFFERENT
INDIE LABELS WITHIN CANADA THAT
WERE LIKE, "YOU KNOW WHAT, WE'RE
GONNA DO THIS OURSELVES."
MAINLY BECAUSE THE LABELS AT THE
TIME WOULDN'T GIVE US A SHOT.
SO, WE WERE ACTUALLY PRESSING
THOSE SINGLES, BUT ONCE THE HIP
HOP COMMUNITY--LIKE, ONCE WE
LITERALLY SHIPPED IT PHYSICALLY,
SHIPPED HUNDREDS AND HUNDREDS,
AND THEN WENT ON AND GRADUATED
TO THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS OF
RECORDS INTERNATIONALLY, THAT'S
WHEN WE REALIZED THAT WE COULD
ACTUALLY START MAKING MONEY OFF
THIS BECAUSE YOU THEN STARTED TO
HAVE LONDON, AND JAPAN, NEW
YORK, ALL THESE PLACES AROUND
THE WORLD THAT WERE LIKE,
"YO, WE LOVE THE SOUND
COMING OUT OF TORONTO."
AND THAT'S WHEN, YOU
KNOW--"FATHER TIME, I REMEMBER,
WAS A MASSIVE ONE BECAUSE
"FATHER TIME BY SAUKRATES
LITERALLY JUST KEPT SELLING BY
THE THOUSANDS AND THE THOUSANDS
AND THE THOUSANDS.
AND HE STARTED TO PENETRATE
MARKETS EVERYWHERE.
AND SAUKRATES WAS ACTUALLY OUT
OF OUR CREW THE FIRST TO GET A
RECORD DEAL BACK IN 1995.
HE WAS ACTUALLY SIGNED TO WARNER
BROTHERS LA.

Nam says "URKLE."

KARDINAL SAYS THAT'S RIGHT.

NAM SAYS I'M SORRY.

[EVERYONE LAUGHING]

Kardinal says YEAH, SO, YOU KNOW, I THINK IT
WAS AT TIME, WE WERE LIKE, "HUH."
LIKE, THIS IS--YOU KNOW, THIS IS
SOMETHING THAT IF WE APPLY THE
PRESSURE, WE NEVER THOUGHT THAT
IT COULD HAPPEN, BUT I THINK IT
WAS AT THAT TIME--I DON'T KNOW
IF IT WAS VISIONS OF GRANDEUR OR
JUST LIKE KINDA PUTTING OUT THE
ENERGY THAT THIS WAS...
LIKE FOR US, THERE WAS NO
OPTION, YOU KNOW WHAT I'M SAYING?
THERE WASN'T A PLAN B.
THERE WAS NO, "WHAT IF THIS
DOESN'T WORK?"
BY THE TIME ALL OF US--'CAUSE WE
ALL WORKED TOGETHER TO HAVE THAT
SAUKRATES THING HAPPEN.
WE ALL WORKED TOGETHER FOR
CHOCLAIR TO HAVE HIS SITUATION,
AND SIMILAR FOR ME.
ONCE WE STARTED GETTING THOSE
RECORD DEALS, YOU KNOW, JULLY
WENT ON TO GET HERS.
THAT'S WHEN WE UNDERSTOOD THAT
THIS COULD REALLY BE OUR--OUR
LIVELIHOOD.

Nam says NOW, YOU ALL WERE WORKING AS A
COLLECTIVE...
BUT FOR YOU, SCRATCH, IT WAS
MORE OF KINDA LIKE SOLITARY...

Scratch says I WAS A LONE WOLF.

NAM SAYS YEAH.

Nam says HOW DID YOU MAKE IT WORK?

Scratch says I'M THE ORIGINAL SOLITAIR.

[KARDINAL AND NAM LAUGHING]

Scratch says I JUST WENT THROUGH MY REGULAR
CHANNELS, TO BE HONEST.

NAM SAYS UH HUH.

Scratch says I NEVER HAD AN END GAME.
AND LIKE I SAID BEFORE, I WAS
JUST LITERALLY SITTING--YOU
KNOW, I WOULD PRACTICE AT HOME,
PRACTICE AT HOME, AND I WOULD
JUST GO OUT AND DO MY CLUBS AND
DO MY PARTIES.
AND THEN, YOU KNOW, THE
OPPORTUNITY FOR FLOW CAME ALONG
IN 2000.
AND I DIDN'T WANNA DO IT AT THAT TIME.
I DIDN'T WANNA DO RADIO.

NAM SAYS WHY?

Scratch says I JUST DIDN'T LIKE THE
RESTRICTIONS.
AND I HAD DONE RADIO SPOTS
BEFORE, AND I DIDN'T WANT PEOPLE
HAVING TO TELL ME WHAT TO PLAY.
AND AT THAT TIME, I'M WORKING
LIKE SIX NIGHTS A WEEK.
I'M MAKING GOOD MONEY.
I WAS LIKE, "I DON'T WANNA WAKE
UP IN THE MORNING AND HAVE TO DO
THIS AND PLAYING ALL NIGHT."
AND THEN ONCE I STARTED DOING
RADIO--AND THE FREEDOM THAT FLOW
GAVE ME AT THE BEGINNING WAS
INCREDIBLE.
SAYS SO, THAT HELPED A LOT.
AND I WAS ABLE TO PLAY LIKE
ANYTHING.
LIKE, THESE GUYS WOULD LITERALLY
MAKE SONGS THAT DAY AND SEND 'EM
TO ME, AND THAT DAY I PUT THEM
ON THE RADIO.
SO, IT WAS LIKE WE HAD AN
AMAZING SYSTEM GOING ON.
THE FREEDOM THEY GAVE ME WAS
AMAZING.
SO, I JUST FELL IN LOVE WITH ME
BEING ABLE TO DO NOT ONLY WHAT I
LOVE BUT TO SHARE MUSIC THAT I
KNOW PEOPLE WEREN'T NECESSARILY
FAMILIAR WITH...
INSTANTLY TO, YOU KNOW,
HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE,
JUST LIKE THAT.
AND IT DID A LOT FOR ME ON JUST
A GROWTH LEVEL AS A DJ AND ON A
BUSINESS LEVEL.
AND FROM THEN ON, I JUST--THAT
TURNED IN--THAT'S KINDA WHEN I
KNEW I COULD MAKE A BUSINESS
LIVING OUT OF THIS WHOLE THING.
'CAUSE NOW I'M IN THE
CORPORATE WORLD.
EVEN THOUGH FLOW AT THE
BEGINNING WAS VERY COLLEGEY, AND
THEIR BUSINESS STRUCTURE WASN'T
THE GREATEST...

NAM SAYS YEAH.

Scratch says IT JUST SHOWED ME THAT THERE'S
ANOTHER SIDE TO THIS WHOLE THING
NOW.
NOW I CAN ACTUALLY GET IN WITH
THE BIG DOGS, AND I CAN BE, YOU
KNOW, IN A COMPANY AND SALARY
AND BENEFITS AND GET ALL THESE
THINGS THAT THE AVERAGE DJ CAN'T
GET JUST BY BEING IN THE CLUBS
AND STUFF.
SO, AT THAT POINT IS WHEN I
PERSONALLY REALIZED THAT,
"OK, NOW HOW DO I FURTHER THIS?"
AND SINCE THEN, IT'S BEEN, YOU
KNOW, 17, 18 YEARS I'M ON RADIO.

Nam says AND HOW MUCH DEMAND IS--LIKE,
YOU'VE BEEN TRAVELLING AROUND
THE WORLD.
YOU'VE BEEN DJING FOR RUSSELL PETERS.

[SCRATCH CHUCKLES]

Kardinal says SAYS THAT GUY.

NAM SAYS THAT GUY.

[LAUGHS]

Nam says HOW MUCH DEMAND HAVE
YOU SEEN FOR CANADIAN HIP HOP?

The caption changes to "Breaking through."

Scratch says OH, IT'S INCREDIBLE.
ESPECIALLY NOW, OBVIOUSLY.
I MEAN, DOORS HAVE BEEN WIDE OPEN.
BUT, I MEAN, FROM THE MAESTRO
DAYS, THE DOORS HAVE BEEN OPEN,
IT'S JUST THERE WASN'T ENOUGH
PEOPLE--IN MY OPINION, LIKE,
THERE WASN'T ENOUGH PEOPLE
PUSHING THROUGH THE DOORS AT THE
TIME.
I THINK IT MAYBE WAS JUST A
KNOWLEDGE THING OR WHATEVER.
I MEAN, MAESTRO DIDN'T EVEN PUSH
THROUGH THE DOORS HARD ENOUGH AT
THE TIME.
BUT NOW, IT'S--IT'S JUST--IT'S
AT AN UNDENIABLE POINT WHERE YOU
CANNOT FIGHT IT ANYMORE.
AND CANADA IS JUST--NOW PEOPLE
HAVE NO CHOICE BUT TO LOOK TO US.
AND THE MUSIC COMING OUT HERE
HAS ALWAYS BEEN FROM PRODUCERS,
TO DANCERS LIKE TANISHA SCOTT.
LIKE, WE HAVE SO MANY PEOPLE
DOMINATING ALL THESE FIELDS NOW,
IT'S--YOU JUST HAVE NO CHOICE.
SO, DRAKE WAS ON SNL.
WE ALL KNOW ABOUT THIS.
HE WAS ON SNL, AND HE DID A
SKETCH CALLED BLACK JEOPARDY.

[SCRATCH CHUCKLES]

NAM SAYS AND IT TALKS ABOUT WHAT
WE'RE TALKING ABOUT.
LET'S TAKE A LOOK.

[NAM CHUCKLES]

A clip plays on screen on which Drake participates in a TV sketch of a game show acting as a common guest.

He says LET'S GO TO "OH SNAP" FOR 8.

A male voice says ALL RIGHT.

A slate pops up that reads "Oh snap! 800 dollars."
It changes to "Oh snap! His new album just dropped, and it's fire!"

[BEEPING]

The male voice SAYS JARED.

Drake SAYS I GOT THIS.
WHO IS KARDINAL OFFISHALL.

[CROWD LAUGHING]

The host, a clean-shaven man in his twenties, says
EXCUSE ME?

Drake says COME ON, FAM, HE'S A RAPPER.
HE WAS NOMINATED FOR A JUNO
AWARD, G.

The host says YOU KNOW, IT'S LIKE YOU LANDED
HERE ON EARTH FROM A SPACESHIP.

[CROWD LAUGHING]

The host says LOOK, NO GOOD RAP COMES FROM
CANADA, OK?

The audience says OH!

Drake says WHAT ABOUT DRAKE, DAWG?

The host says WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE YOU KEEP MENTIONING?

[CROWD LAUGHING]

The clip ends.

[EVERYONE LAUGHING]

NAM SAYS KARDI, HAVE YOU...

[EVERYONE LAUGHING]

Nam says HAVE YOU COME ACROSS THAT
DISMISSIVE ATTITUDE SOUTH OF THE
BORDER?

Kardinal says UM...

NAM SAYS--WHEN IT COMES TO CANADIAN
RAPPERS?

Kardinal says NOT--NOT IN MANY MOONS.

NAM SAYS YEAH.

The caption changes to "Kardinal Offishall. Philanthropist."

Kardinal says NOT IN MANY MOONS.
IT'S INTERESTING BECAUSE LIKE
WHEN WE--WHEN WE FIRST STARTED
GOING TO THE STATES, LIKE WE
DIDN'T KICK OPEN DOORS, LIKE WE
KICKED DOWN THE DOORS, THEN
POURED GASOLINE ON IT, SET IT
AFIRE.
ONCE IT WAS ASHES, TOOK THE
ASHES IN A BAG.
SPRINKLED IT ALL OVER PEOPLE.

[NAM CHUCKLES]

Kardinal says LIKE, WE DID LIKE ALL OF THE
LEGENDARY SHOWS.
IF YOU THINK ABOUT LIKE--YOU
KNOW, WE DID SWAY AND TECH'S
SHOW; WE DID FRIDAY NIGHT
FLAVOURS IN LA; WE DID STRETCH
AND BOB.
LIKE, WE LITERALLY WENT
EVERYWHERE AND THE SOLE PURPOSE
WAS TO DISMANTLE ANY
PRECONCEIVED NOTIONS THAT
PEOPLE HAD ABOUT WHAT CANADIAN
MCS WERE LIKE.
SO, IT'S LIKE--IT'S INTERESTING
BECAUSE BEFORE THE INTERNET,
THERE WAS ALL THIS WORK THAT WAS DONE.
IT'S JUST THAT PEOPLE WERE BACK
HERE IN THE BUBBLE AND UNAWARE
OF ALL THE WORK THAT WAS
BEING--YOU KNOW, THAT WAS BEING
DONE INTERNATIONALLY.
SO, IT'S LIKE--YOU KNOW, I
REMEMBER IN 1998 OR '99...
LIKE I REMEMBER, YOU KNOW,
MYSELF AND THE RASCALZ AND
BARRINGTON LEVY DID THIS MASSIVE
SHOW AT THE JAZZ CAFÉ IN LONDON.
YOU KNOW WHAT I'M SAYING?
CRUSHED IT.
I REMEMBER BOBBITO HAD MYSELF
AND SOLITAIR ON THIS TOUR WITH
THE ROOTS AND DILATED PEOPLES
AND ALL THESE OTHER PEOPLE.
AND WE WENT ON TOUR ACROSS
EUROPE AND LIKE TOTALLY SMASHED IT.
I REMEMBER THE FIRST--THE FIRST
DAY THEY WERE LIKE, "OK, YOU
GUYS GO FIRST"--LIKE, THE FIRST
OF LIKE 15 ACTS.

[NAM LAUGHING]

Kardinal says WE WERE LIKE, "ALL RIGHT, COOL."

NAM says THERE WAS NOBODY
IN THE CLUB, YEAH.

Kardinal says SO, THE FIRST SHOW WE DID
WAS--IT STILL GOES ON TO THIS DAY...

NAM SAYS YEAH.

Kardinal says A LEGENDARY FESTIVAL CALLED
THE ROSKILDE FESTIVAL IN,
I BELIEVE, IT'S DENMARK.
LIKE, 10,000 to 15,000 PEOPLE.
WE WENT, AND BY THE END OF THE
SHOW, WE LITERALLY HAD MAN,
WOMAN, AND CHILD TAKE THEIR
SHIRTS OFF.

[NAM LAUGHS]

Kardinal says THEY WERE THROWING IT.
LIKE, WE KILLED THE SHOW.
LITERALLY SHOW NUMBER TWO...
WE WERE THE THIRD ACT BEFORE
THE ROOTS.
SO, WE WENT FROM BEING LIKE
NUMBER 15 TO BEING LIKE US THAN
DILATED PEOPLE THEN THE ROOTS.
JUST OVERNIGHT, JUST BASED ON ONE SHOW.

Nam says DO YOU LOOK BACK AT THAT TIME
WITH A SENSE OF PRIDE BECAUSE
EVERYTHING THAT YOU DID, YOU
WERE BASICALLY KNOCKING ON DOORS.
IT WASN'T JUST--YOU WEREN'T
WAITING TO BE DISCOVERED 'CAUSE
I THINK IF YOU HAD WAITED,

Kardinal says HMM...
YEAH.

NAM SAYS WHO KNOWS, RIGHT?
SO, DO YOU LOOK BACK ON THAT
TIME WITH A SENSE OF PRIDE?

Kardinal says NO, WE WERE--YOU KNOW WHAT, WE
WERE--WE WERE SUPER CONFIDENT.
I DON'T THINK WE WERE ARROGANT,
BUT WE WERE VERY, VERY CONFIDENT
BECAUSE LYRICALLY AND--YOU KNOW,
TO THIS DAY, IT'S AMAZING
BECAUSE AS MUCH AS IT'S NICE
TO--YOU KNOW, TO WALK AROUND
WITH A HIP HOP BRAVADO, I THINK
GENERALLY SPEAKING I--I STRIVE
TO BE A PERSON OF HUMILITY.
BUT IT'S LIKE I MEET SOME OF MY
IDOLS, AND MY IDOLS MEET ME AND
LOOK AT ME THE WAY THAT I'M
LOOKING AT THEM.

NAM SAYS YEAH.

Kardinal says I'M LIKE, "YO, IT'S BLACK
THOUGHT."
HE'S LIKE, "YO!
IT'S KARDINAL."
I'M LIKE...

NAM SAYS "ME?"

[NAM AND STRETCH LAUGHING]

KARDINAL SAYS "YOU'RE BLACK THOUGHT, BRO."
BUT YOU KNOW WHAT I'M SAYING?

NAM SAYS YEAH.

Kardinal says LIKE, SO IT'S BEEN--SOMETIMES
YOU DON'T REALIZE THE--THE
EFFECT THAT YOU'VE HAD ON SO
MANY DIFFERENT PEOPLE GLOBALLY,
'CAUSE IT'S NOT JUST IN AMERICA.
IT'S THE SAME WAY LIKE WHEN YOU
GO, YOU KNOW, TO THE U.K., WHEN
YOU GO TO FRANCE AND ALL THESE
DIFFERENT PLACES AND YOU MEET TV
PERSONALITIES AND ARTISTS AND
WHATEVER.
AND IT'S--IT'S REALLY HUMBLING
TO KNOW THAT PEOPLE PAID THAT
MUCH ATTENTION AND REALLY LOVED
YOUR MUSIC LIKE THAT.
BUT IT'S ALSO--IT FEELS GOOD
BECAUSE YOU KNOW THAT ALL THE
WORK THAT YOU DID WAS NOT IN
VAIN.
WHETHER IT'S ON YOUR INSTAGRAM OR NOT.
YOU KNOW WHAT I'M SAYING?
IT'S EMBEDDED IN THE CULTURE AND
IN THE FEELING OF THE PEOPLE.
AND I THINK THAT, AT THE END OF
THE DAY, IS LIKE JOB NUMBER ONE.

Nam says WE'RE RUNNING OUT OF TIME, BUT--[LAUGHS]
I WISH WE HAD AN HOUR.
WE HAD DREAM WARRIORS ON THE
PROGRAM SOME MONTHS BACK, AND
HERE'S KING LOU TALKING ABOUT
THE STATE OF HIP HOP THEN AND NOW.

A clip plays on screen with the caption "King Lou. March 27, 2017."
In the clip, King Lou talks in the studio.

He says I THINK THE WAY THE HIP HOP
INDUSTRY WORKS, IT ALWAYS LOOKS
FOR THE NEW THING.
SO, EVEN IF YOU'RE DOING GREAT
HIP HOP, SOMETIMES GREAT HIP HOP
IS NOT WHAT'S GONNA--YOU KNOW,
THE CREAM DOESN'T ALWAYS RISE TO
THE TOP, YOU KNOW?
THE KID'S ALWAYS LOOKING FOR THE
NEW THING.
WHEN THEY GO TO SCHOOL,
THEY--THEY ASK, "WHAT'S THE NEW THING?"
IT'S NOT--IT'S NOT NECESSARILY
WHAT'S THE GOOD THING.
SO, IN 2017, YOU GOT SO MUCH
GROUPS COMING OUT, AND YOU'VE
GOT THE INTERNET; YOU'VE GOT SO
MUCH WAYS...
OF PUTTING THINGS OUT NOW JUST
TO EXPRESS YOURSELF.
AND I THINK THAT THE AWARDS AND
THE ACCOLADES AND THE FACT THAT
WE HAVE A VARIETY OF DIFFERENT
ARTISTS COMING OUT NOW THROUGH
THE INTERNET IS A BLESSING.
AND I THINK ANY BLESSING THAT'S
NOT--THAT IS IGNORED BECOMES A CURSE.

The clip ends.

The caption changes to "Out with the old, in with the new?"

Nam says SCRATCH, WHAT DO YOU THINK OF
THAT IDEA OF KIDS LOOKING FOR
THE NEW THING, NOT NECESSARILY
THE GOOD THING?

Scratch says THE AGE-OLD QUESTION THAT WE GET
IN ARGUMENTS EVERYDAY ABOUT.

[NAM AND KARDINAL CHUCKLE]

Scratch says I MEAN, YOU CAN'T BLAME THEM.
WE DID IT WHEN WE WERE YOUNG.

NAM SAYS MM HMM.

KARDINAL SAYS NO, WE DIDN'T.

Scratch says THEY'RE DOING IT NOW.

[NAM AND SCRATCH LAUGH]

Kardinal says CHUCK LEE WAS 30 WHEN HE CAME OUT.

Scratch says YEAH, BUT THERE WERE
OTHER--THERE WAS TONS OF OTHER
GROUPS THAT--THAT JUST CAME OUT
AT THAT TIME THAT WE WERE
LOOKING FOR.

Kardinal says WHEN WE WERE KIDS, WE WERE ALL
ABOUT THE GOOD, BRO.

Scratch blocks Kardinal off playfully, feigning offense.

[EVERYONE LAUGHING]

Scratch says SAYS SO ANYWAYS...

NAM SAYS YEAH.

[NAM AND KARDINAL LAUGHING]

Scratch says IT'S FUNNY, HE'S SAYING THAT
'CAUSE I'M USUALLY THE ONE
SAYING THAT; HE'S USUALLY GONNA
SAY THIS.
I MEAN, I'M--I'M SO HIT AND MISS
ON A LOT OF THE NEW STUFF.
IT--I'M JUST A MUSIC PERSON, SO
I JUST NATURALLY GRAVITATE
TOWARDS SONICALLY SOUNDS GOOD TO ME.
THAT'S THE WAY I LOOK AT MUSIC,
PERIOD.
IT DOESN'T REALLY MATTER WHEN IT
CAME OUT TO ME.
I'M STILL GETTING EXPOSED TO OLD
MUSIC THAT'S BRAND NEW TO ME.
I MEAN, IT'S ALL IN THEIR
CULTURE.
IT'S WHAT--EVERYTHING THEY HAVE
IS BRAND.
THEY HAVE TO HAVE EVERYTHING
THAT'S BRAND NEW ON THE SPOT.
LASTS FOR 30 SECONDS AND THEN
WANT THE NEXT NEW THING.
SO, OBVIOUSLY, MUSIC'S GONNA
FALL INTO THAT CATEGORY TOO.
AND NOW YOU CAN GET MUSIC ON SO
MANY DIFFERENT PLATFORMS.
SO, THERE'S SO MANY OUTLETS FOR
THEM.
IT'S JUST ENDLESS TO THEM.
JUST--YOU WOULD HOPE AT SOME
POINT THEY'LL FIND THOSE LITTLE
GEMS IF THEY REALLY WANT TO.
AND MAYBE EVENTUALLY THEY'LL
GRAVITATE TO ACTUAL MUSIC.
BUT WHO KNOWS WHAT'S GONNA
HAPPEN.
LIKE, I'M NERVOUS YEAH.

NAM SAYS I KNOW, WE'RE SO OLD.
WE'RE LIKE...

SCRATCH SAYS BUT IN OUR DAY, THERE
HASN'T BEEN ANY...

NAM SAYS IN OUR DAY, THE MUSIC
WAS...

SCRATCH SAYS YEAH, I DON'T THINK
IT'S AN AGE THING.
I JUST THINK IT'S--LIKE, I THINK
WE GREW UP IN A TIME WHERE WE
WERE--YOU KNOW, WE WERE KILLED
WITH SUCH GOOD MUSIC ALL THE
TIME, AND ALL THE MUSIC FROM
BEFORE US...
THAT NOW WE KNOW THE DIFFERENCE.
LIKE LOU SAID, THE CREAM RISES
TO THE TOP, BUT WE CAN--WE KNOW
THE DIFFERENCE.
LIKE, WE KNOW WHAT'S GOOD MUSIC.
WE KNOW WHEN PEOPLE ACTUALLY PUT
WORK INTO THEIR MUSIC AS OPPOSED
TO JUST MAKING INTERNET MUSIC.
YOU KNOW, 50-SECOND MUSIC.
SO, WE KNOW THE DIFFERENCE, AND,
YOU KNOW, I'M A SUPER--I'M A
SUPER MUSIC SNOB...

NAM SAYS YEAH.

D SO, I'M PROBABLY THE WORST ONE...

KARDINAL SAYS BREATHE.

[EVERYONE LAUGHING]

Scratch says I'M PROBABLY THE--YEAH, I'M
PROBABLY THE WORST ONE TO ASK
THIS, BUT YEAH.
I MEAN, ALL WE CAN DO AT THIS
MOMENT IS JUST PRAY AND HOPE
SOMETHING GOOD COMES OUT OF ALL THIS.

[EVERYONE LAUGHING]

NAM SAYS WELL, KARDI, YOU WORK AT
UNIVERSAL MUSIC CANADA AS
CREATIVE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR.

KARDINAL SAYS YEAH.

Nam says DO YOU THINK THAT CANADIAN
LABELS ARE BETTER NOW AT
DEVELOPING TALENT THAN...

Kardinal says HELL YEAH.

[KARDINAL AND NAM LAUGHING]

The caption changes to "The business side."

Kardinal says LISTEN, IT'S A BIG THING RIGHT
NOW THAT I THINK WE HAVE THREE
RAP GROUPS SIGNED.
THAT'S NOT SUPPOSED TO BE THE CASE...
THAT IN 2017 IT'S A BIG DEAL
THAT THERE'S THREE RAP GROUPS
FROM CANADA SIGNED TO A CANADIAN
LABEL.
BUT THAT JUST SHOWS YOU, LIKE,
UNFORTUNATELY, AS AN INDUSTRY,
THE SNAIL'S PACE AT WHICH WE ARE
GROWING.
BUT WHAT I LIKE IS THAT THERE
WERE, OVER THE LAST FEW YEARS,
SIGNIFICANT STEPS PUT IN PLACE.
SIGNIFICANT THINGS THAT WERE PUT
IN PLACE BEHIND THE SCENE.
AND NOW WHAT'S HAPPENING IS
BECAUSE IT IS SO UNDENIABLE MORE
THAN EVER BEFORE.

Nam says I MEAN, HIP HOP IS PART OF POP
CULTURE NOW.
SAYS IT'S A BIG BUSINESS.
BILLIONS OF DOLLARS.

Kardinal says I MEAN, IT ALWAYS HAS BEEN, LIKE
FOR--FOR DECADES.
THE THING IS LIKE, I DON'T--YOU
HAVE TO UNDERSTAND, LIKE, FOR
ME, WHEN MY FIRST LIKE
MAINSTREAM HIT HAPPENED--SO, WE
WERE DOING UNDERGROUND MUSIC
FOREVER, AND, YOU KNOW, WE WERE
BEING RECOGNIZED AROUND THE
WORLD, BUT WHEN MY FIRST
MAINSTREAM HIT HAPPENED, BACK IN
'08-'09 WITH "DANGEROUS," I WAS
ALREADY LIKE TOP 30 ON THE HOT
100 BEFORE CANADA EVEN DID ITS
FIRST ARTICLE.
SO, IT'S LIKE I REMEMBER IT WAS
LIKE AROUND THE WORLD, PEOPLE,
"OH, HE'S KILLING IT; HE'S
SELLING HUNDREDS OF"--HUNDREDS
OF THOUSANDS OF SINGLES A WEEK.
CANADA DIDN'T EVEN--THERE WASN'T
EVEN A NEWSPAPER ARTICLE ABOUT
IT, SO...

Nam says SO, DO WE--SO, OK, QUESTION FOR
YOU THEN:
SO, DO WE AS CANADIANS DON'T
IDENTIFY HIP HOP AS BEING
CANADIAN OR--BECAUSE I FIND THAT
CANADIAN RAPPERS ARE MORE
PATRIOTIC THAN AMERICANS.

Kardinal says I DON'T KNOW, MAYBE I'M...
IT JUST--YOU KNOW WHAT, IT JUST
SEEMS THAT WAY BECAUSE--IT'S A
MUCH LONGER CONVERSATION...

[SCRATCH CHUCKLES]

Kardinal says BUT WHAT IT IS, IS IF YOU LOOK
AT--SOMEBODY BROUGHT IT TO MY
ATTENTION THE OTHER DAY.
IF YOU LOOK AT ANY SUCCESSFUL
RAPPER THAT'S EVER COME OUT AND
HAD--AMASSED A GREAT AMOUNT OF
SUCCESS, EVERY LAST ONE OF THEM
CAN--YOU CAN DRAW A LINE TO
WHERE THEIR NEIGHBOURHOODS TO
WHERE THEY COME FROM.
SO, IF IT'S ICE CUBE, YOU KNOW
WHERE HE'S FROM.
IF IT'S JAY Z, YOU KNOW WHERE
HE'S FROM.
IF IT'S LUDACRIS, YOU KNOW WHERE
HE'S FROM.
NO PUN INTENDED.

[NAM CHUCKLES]

Kardinal says IF IT'S, WHOEVER, MYSTIKAL, BIG
SEAN, OR WHATEVER...

NAM SAYS YEAH.

Kardinal says WE ALL KNOW THE NEIGHBOURHOODS
THEY COME FROM.
SO, I THINK FOR US, IT'S A NEW
THING BECAUSE, YOU KNOW, YOU HAD
MAESTRO AND DREAM WARRIORS AND,
YOU KNOW, MICHIE--THE HOLY
TRINITY--THAT FOREVER ERUPTED,
BUT LIKE IN BETWEEN, THERE WAS
LIKE ALL THIS KIND OF GREY AREA.
AND THEN I THINK WHEN "BAKARDI
SLANG" CAME, IT WAS KIND OF A
RESURGENCE OF A--THIS IS WHO WE
ARE IN TORONTO TYPE OF A THING.
BUT I THINK PEOPLE NORMALLY
ASSOCIATE THAT WITH AMERICA
BECAUSE PEOPLE THINK THAT THOSE
AMERICAN CITIES WERE COOL.
WE NEVER LOOKED AT OURSELVES AS COOL.
BUT I THINK, YOU KNOW, WITH
MYSELF AND A BUNCH OF OTHER
PEOPLE, WHAT I ALWAYS WANTED TO
INSTILL WITHIN THE PEOPLE THAT
PARTICIPATED IN THE HIP HOP
CULTURE, AND ESPECIALLY HIP HOP
CULTURE COMING FROM WHERE WE
ARE, IS I WANTED PEOPLE TO FEEL
THAT PRIDE.
EVEN THOUGH THEY THOUGHT IT
WASN'T COOL, I THOUGHT THAT
TORONTO, ESPECIALLY TRAVELLING
THE WORLD, IS ONE OF THE MOST
DIVERSE, AMAZING, PROGRESSIVE
PLACES IN THE ENTIRE PLANET,
SOMEWHERE WHERE, YOU KNOW, MY
IMMIGRANT PARENTS COULD COME AND
MY FAMILY.
AND WE COULD HAVE THIS JAMAICAN
CULTURE, AND IT'S ACCEPTED AND
CELEBRATED 365 DAYS OF THE YEAR.
I THOUGHT THAT WAS THE MOST
AMAZING THING THAT I HAD EVER
EXPERIENCED, AND I WANTED FOR
THE REST OF THE WORLD TO KNOW THAT.
SO, I THINK CULTURALLY BECAUSE
MOST OF CANADA DOESN'T LOOK LIKE
THE WAY IT DOES IN TORONTO...

The caption changes to "tvo.org/theagenda."

NAM SAYS YEAH.

Kardinal says I THINK AS A COUNTRY, THERE'S
STILL A LOT OF--A LOT OF
BARRIERS THAT WE HAVE TO BREAK
DOWN, A LOT OF OLD WAYS OF
THINKING THAT WE STILL GOTTA
KINDA BRING UP TO DATE, UP TO
SPEED.
AND EVEN THIS WHOLE CANADA 150
THING, IT'S BECOMING MORE AND
MORE COMPLEX FOR ME AS A KIND OF
CONSCIOUS INDIVIDUAL, BECAUSE
WHEN YOU START LOOKING AT THE
HISTORY OF CANADA, IT IS AN
AMAZING PLACE, IT'S A GREAT
PLACE, BUT WE STILL HAVE TO
ACKNOWLEDGE OUR SHORTCOMINGS AND
ACKNOWLEDGE WHAT MAYBE WE DID
WRONG AND LOOK AT WAYS TO
IMPROVE MOVING INTO THE FUTURE.

The caption changes to "Canada 150."

Kardinal says AND THAT GOES NOT JUST FOR
MUSIC, BUT I THINK CULTURALLY WE
HAVE TO DO THAT.
AND, YOU KNOW, WE CAN GET INTO
POLITICS.
THE GOVERNMENT HAS TO DO THAT.
AND, YOU KNOW, THERE'S A LOT OF
RECONCILIATION THAT WE HAVE TO
DO ON VARIOUS LEVELS.

Nam says IN A WAY BECAUSE WE'RE
CELEBRATING 150, BUT AT THE SAME
TIME, THAT'S HURTING THE
ORIGINAL PEOPLES OF CANADA.

Kardinal says PEOPLE THAT WERE HERE FOR 10,000
YEARS.
IT'S--IT CAN BE A LITTLE BIT
DISRESPECTFUL.

NAM SAYS FINAL QUESTION.

Kardinal says UH HUH.

NAM SAYS HARD-HITTING:
THE SIX OR T-DOT?
'CAUSE I KNOW YOU DID THE
"BAKARDI SLANG" AND YOU HAD THE T-DOT.
SIX OR T-DOT?

Kardinal says YOU KNOW WHAT, I ALWAYS TELL
PEOPLE IT'S LIKE NAM, NAMUGENYI.

[NAM LAUGHING]

Kardinal says IT'S THE SAME CITY.
SO, TO ME, IT'S SUPER WEIRD.
LIKE, WHEN PEOPLE ARE LIKE,
"DUDE, IT'LL ALWAYS BE THE
T-DOT, NEVER THE SIX," I'M LIKE,
"IT'S TORONTO."

[NAM LAUGHING]

Kardinal says AS LONG AS YOU'RE SHOWING LOVE
FOR THE CITY, YOU CAN CALL IT
"BEDA BEEPA DA BEEP."
I DON'T CARE.
LIKE, AT THE END OF THE...

SCRATCH SAYS I'M GONNA TRY THAT ONE.

KARDINAL SAYS--AT THE END OF THE DAY...

SCRATCH SAYS TRY THAT ONE.

Kardinal says LIKE, WE NEVER HAD A COOL
NICKNAME FOR THE CITY.
AND K-FORCE INVENTED, YOU KNOW,
T-DOT, AND THEN WE JUST SAID,
"THAT'S AMAZING."
AND OUR CREW KINDA MADE IT POPULAR.

NAM SAYS YEAH.

Kardinal says AND I THINK WITH--YOU KNOW, WITH
NEW GENERATIONS COMING, THERE'S
GONNA BE SOMETHING AFTER THE
SIX.
I DON'T KNOW WHAT IT'LL BE.
THE FOUR OR WHATEVER, BUT...

SCRATCH SAYS THE NINE.

KARDINAL SAYS YOU KNOW?

Nam says THE NINE.
SCRATCH, KARDI, THANK YOU...

KARDINAL SAYS THAT WAS FUN.

SCRATCH SAYS TORONTO.

NAM SAYS--THANK YOU BOTH FOR BEING
HERE.
I WISH WE HAD MORE TIME.

[NAM AND KARDINAL LAUGHING]

Kardinal says WE'LL BE BACK!

The caption changes to "Producer: Colin Ellis, @ColinEllis81; Producer: Nam Kiwanuka, @namshine."

Nam says AND I'LL BE STALKING YOUR PAGE,
SCRATCH, EVERY FRIDAY FOR ALL
THOSE MIXED TAPES THAT YOU DO.

Scratch says YES.

NAM SAYS THANK YOU.

[KARDINAL AND NAM LAUGHING]

Watch: Hip Hop's Northern Touch