Thursday, April 9, 2015 at 10:31AM
We've been die hard fans of powerhouse MC Chokeules since high school. When we ventured to the wrong side of the tracks (so to speak) in London, Ontario to the legendary (and now long gone) Embassy Hotel to see the trio known only as Toolshed. This was probably back in 2000, and even then we were taken aback by the sheer force of Choke's delivery, and the perfect balance these three MCs were able to strike with one another.
Cut to 2015, dozens of projects later and Chokeules has been in Toronto for a while, keeping extra busy as a card carrying member of the extra prolific Backburner crew alongside Toolshed partner Timbuktu and a bunch of other Toronto allstars such as More Or Les, Wordburglar, Ghettosocks and D Sisive. He's also an active performer and contributor to The 5 Dollar Rap Show, a Toronto institution for 5 years now, bi-monthly at Rancho Relaxo. We had a chance to chat with Choke leading up to the 5 year anniversary party, this Friday, April 10., 2015.
Fingers On Blast: First of all thank you so much for taking the time to chat with us.
Chokeules: It's my pleasure, thanks.
Fingers On Blast: What's your first memory of hip hop?
Chokeules: Probably just hearing songs in the schoolyard, listening to tapes that friends had stolen from their older brothers or sisters. My dad got me my first albums, Beastie Boys Licensed To Ill and Fat Boys Crushin’, because that’s what the guy at the record store recommended for a 9-year-old. He wasn’t wrong.
Fingers On Blast: You're always involved in projects that involve so many collaborations with crews like Backburner, Swamp Thing, Toolshed or even on solo albums that have tracks with huge rosters on them. What's the creative process for those projects involving so many creative minds?
Chokeules: Yeah, I definitely enjoy the group dynamic, making music with your friends is fun as hell, and pushes you to be better. The creative process is basically just speak up if you have a dope idea. I’m in the studio every week with Swamp Thing, so even when we’re working on solo stuff we’re still bouncing ideas off each other and brainstorming for future projects.
Fingers On Blast: On Friday April 10th you'll be performing with Swamp Thing at Toronto's Rancho Relaxo for the 5th anniversary of the $5 Rap Show. Can we expect any shows or tours outside of Toronto anytime soon?
Chokeules: Yeah, that’s the $5 Rap Shows 5th Anniversary, which Swamp Thing has been down with since the jump, so we’re excited to celebrate. It’s a dope lineup too, so it’s gonna be a crazy show. There’s also an Urbnet Showcase for CMW next month. We'll be at Hard Luck Bar, Thursday May 7th, playing with some heavyweights.
Fingers On Blast: Outside of your immediate circle of artists, who are some of your favourite artists out there today?
Chokeules: I’m out of touch with a lot of the new artists, but it’s cool to see boom bap and rap skills in the limelight again with acts like Joey Badass, Kendrick Lamar, Action Bronson, etc…even if I don’t have all the albums in heavy rotation, I’m always glad to see dope rappers doing well. And Run The Jewels is killing it right now, so it’s great to see dope shit actually get the credit it deserves.
Fingers On Blast: There's certainly been no shortage of projects coming from you lately, but what's in the works that we can get excited about?
Chokeules: Yeah, we like to stay busy. There’s actually two new albums coming- the Peter Project produced Peter Swamp Project, and another crazy Swamp Thing album called Pray To Science. We’ve been working on both for a minute and they’re gonna melt some faces.
Fingers On Blast: Which one of your past projects have the result that you're most happy with?
Chokeules: Swamp Thing’s last album, Outer Limits. Go listen to my entire discography and tell me I’m wrong. Or just listen to that one, depending on your time constraints.
Thanks so much to Chokeules for taking the time to chat. If you're in Toronto this weekend and love that real rap music, head to Rancho Relaxo on College Street for the 5th Anniversary of The 5 Dollar Rap Show. If you can't make it, head over here for lots of music and news from Chokeules and support this man!