With “The Plague”, Prozak got one of Canada’s finest emcees and a true living legend (who still remains as cutthroat as ever on the mic) with Madchild.
We talked to the former Swollen Members emcee and current leader of the Battleaxe Warrior movement to get his take on the song and how it came about. As it turns out, Prozak got a rare gem of a feature with Madchild’s contribution to Black Ink.
What’s your relationship been like with Prozak?
I think we just have a mutual respect for each other as artists. I always thought he was a dope rapper.
He reached out to me through a guy named Intrinzik. I do cameos, but I don’t put it out there. I just kind of stopped doing cameos, because I did a whole bunch of them at a short period of time and decided to just pump the breaks. I’m actually not going to do cameos for awhile. This is one of the last ones, and it’s an important one, as I am a big fan of and friends with Tech N9ne and Krizz Kaliko and I have a big ton of respect for the whole Strange Music movement. I’m a big fan of Prozak and a big fan of Rittz as well. I really respect the blueprint of what you guys are doing over there, being an independent grinding artist myself. So, it just made sense to do it as one of my last cameos. Actually Prozak got one of my very last cameos and then I kind of closed the books on doing them. I’m not going to do them for awhile.
Did he just reach out to you then?
It was through Intrinzik actually and then we chopped it up on the phone. I was like “Cool.” Originally we thought that Tech was going to be on the song, but there’s another artist on it instead, correct?
Yes. Ubiquitous from CES Cru.
Oh yeah! Those guys are fucking dope too. Give them a shout out for me. I was very impressed when their album came out. I was listening to it. It really reminded me of Swollen Members when we were younger. Those guys are really, really dope.
Ubi said he listened to a lot of Swollen Members when he was coming up as well. I’m sure he’ll be honored to hear that.
Well the honor is mutual! Thank you for that very much!
What was your verse about and what did you touch on in it?
I was on fire at the time and actually wrote two verses for him to choose from. I gave him two different verses and said “Pick whichever one you like the best.” If I’m not given a specific topic, I’m pretty abstract with what I do. It’ll just depend on the day and how I’m feeling at the time. I’m pretty abstract with my art form. Word complexity is very important to me. Word combinations, just like all of the great underground rappers that you have on your label. I think we all really care about wordplay.
I think it’s very exciting. This whole new generation of kids coming up, fans as well, they really care about real hip hop again. They really fucking give a shit about lyrics and they really care about people tearing it up. I’m excited about this new generation of fans coming up. I’m doing 80 shows in a row right now. When I’m doing all ages shows, besides 15 and 16 year old kids, they’re just fully into it. They know the words. I think it’s a really exciting for us. It’s really dope.
It seems like you’re also addressing in your verse some newer cats that don’t emphasize lyricism.
The last thing you ever want to be is the guy that falls out of touch with what’s going on and then becomes sour. I’m fortunate that I’m a veteran, but I’m very relevant. I’m not a sheep though. I don’t follow trends. I stick to what I do best and I just kill it: just the same as Tech N9ne or Rittz or these other great artists that you have – CES Cru, Prozak – we just do what we do, but it stays relevant because it’s timeless music.
There’s a whole generation of music going on now where people rap in a way where they space things out, you know, all this turnt up stuff, but I enjoy that music too. There’s a time and a place for it. I can understand why that kind of music is popular in clubs and stuff because it’s just fucking fun to listen to. As much as I love artists that we just spoke about, from Ill Bill to Vinnie Paz to Evidence to Alchemist and all the underground greats. I’m also a fan of Lil Wayne and Drake and French Montana.
I think it’s important to be well-rounded and appreciate what’s happening now and never turn into that guy that’s like “My generation was the best! This generation sucks!” That’s just not the case. Times just change. However, hip hop is so big now that I look at hip hop as a huge tree and there’s just lots of branches. As long as there’s underground, real, lyrical hip hop, the branch of that tree stays strong, then I’m happy. With movement like Technicians and Battleaxe Warriors and Juggalos and all these different movements, keeping our branch of the hip hop tree very very strong and thick, we’re always going to be in a good place. We’re always going to be able to make great livings doing what we love to do. I’m completely satisfied and happy with that.
How do you remain hip and push the genre forward while staying true to the elements that got you into hip hop in the first place?
I guess without tooting my own horn or whatever, I just can rip most people’s faces off lyrically, and I’m talking about in songs. Yeah, I’ve battled a couple of times, but lyrically, when it comes to songs, when it comes to wordplay, when it comes to placement, I just feel like when you’re really, really fucking great at what you do, it’s going to continue, and that’s the same for Tech N9ne. He’s just really great at what he does and it just continues. He’s, of course, on another level, and that’s a goal that I’m reaching that I believe is one day attainable for me. I’m just being completely honest.
We have an extremely loyal following and movement. Thousands of thousands of warriors are getting our skull tattooed on them. Everyday I’m seeing new kids and new members with tattoos of our skull and our axes. I think it’s just a matter of following that blueprint, doing 150, 180 shows a year, putting out the very best music that I can put out.
When I make albums, that’s when I turn off what’s “happening” on the radio, like Shade 45. I tune out because I just don’t make that kind of music. When I’m making my own music I just completely tune out of what’s going on in the world and I reach from within. I guess the answer to the question is that I make music from the heart. I make it from within, and I guess I’m fortunate enough that what comes from within has no expiration date.
I think it’s also important for, I think guys like myself – and I keep referring to people on Strange, because they probably follow the same lifestyle. A lot of rappers will come out with two great albums and then their music will start getting watered down, or their lyrics will start getting watered down. Then you’re like “This isn’t that same razor sharp lyricist that I love.” The reason is, is because they get married and they have kids, and they have mortgages, and mistresses, and they got 40 people with their hands out asking for money, and there’s drama. There’s a thousand friends you gotta deal with. There’s always problems. I don’t have any of that in my life. I have a Chihuahua. I got a girlfriend.
I keep it real simple. I live like I’m 25-years-old. I live my life like I’m still that kid that lives with his grandma, that watched movies every night, and just went to the gym and wrote rhymes – and that’s all I did. That’s how I have to live my life to stay razor-sharp. There’s so many rappers out there now. The world’s so oversaturated. You really have to stay on top of your game because there’s a 100,000 other kids out there waiting to take my throne. I’ve chosen to live my life in a way to stay as fierce and sharp as possible.
What do you got going on right now and what’s in store for the near future?
I’m doing 80 shows right now, across Canada, across America, across Australia. I come home for Christmas. Everybody in Canada has asked me to tour Canada again, all the promoters, so I’m going to do 40 more shows there after Christmas. So 80 until Christmas, and then another 37 to 40 shows during January and February across Canada. Then I do my first headlining tour in Europe in March. So, probably by the time I’m done, it’ll be around a 100, a 150 shows in a six-month period.
I just want to go super hard for the next three years, build up my stage presence, and build up the actual Madchild experience when you come to the show. I want to add some kind of theatrics to the show. I want to build up my merch game. The music is there. The brand is there. The fans are there. My family is there – I call my friends my family, because they are. Battleaxe Warriors. We’re so lucky to be embraced by Technicians and Juggalos as well. I just really want to build my name in America and Europe, continue to build it in Canada. It’s already cracking in Australia. I just keep circling the globe.
Silver Tongue Devil, that’s the album and it’s out now. It was the number three album in Canada. It’s my third solo album. I’ve only been a solo artist for like three and a half years now. All three albums were number two and number three in the country, out of all genres. I’m happy about that.
There’s so much more to conquer, you know? Now, I think it’s just about me building the right team to stay on the road with me, help me on my day to day work. I also just launched a Madchild e-juice line, which has been exploding. It literally came out three weeks ago, and I’m doing all these vape in-stores during the day, and then interviews and shows at night, and then the meet and greets. I’m so busy, but I’m so happy when I’m this busy. For a guy like me with an addictive personality, sitting at home, doing nothing or waiting to work on music – because my producer’s out in Europe or something – it’s not a good look for me. It’s better for me to just stay super-busy.
With my music I’ve been able to help thousands of people, without even realizing that was what was going to happen. Thousands of people have come up to me daily and sent me letters and direct messages on all the different social network platforms and e-mails, how my music has helped save their life, just through my story and my experience being a drug addict and getting off of drugs. So that’s an amazing and rewarding experience.
Now, I found this new business with vape e-juice that’s been exploding for me. It’s been crazy how fast it’s fucking getting out there, and getting into the stores, and the right kinds of stores. I’m going out and meeting all these people and it’s such a wonderful culture. Once again, it’s another business that’s lucrative, but it’s also saving lives. I’m very, very excited to be adding that to what I’m doing. I’m getting to sort-of be like a traveling salesman almost while I’m doing shows at night, so it’s pretty cool. I’m staying in hotels every night for free for the shows, from doing the shows, but I’m also getting to meet the right shop owners, and the right vape lounges, and getting my e-juice in there, and meeting all these great people, and this culture. It’s saving so many people’s lives. Vaping is so amazing compared to smoking cigarettes. It’s like comparing thousands of poisons to three ingredients, and it works. I’ve been vaping for only seven weeks and I’m down to twenty percent smoking and 80 percent vaping now.
Is there anything you want to say before we get out of here?
Basically I just want to truly, truly, from my heart, thank everybody that supports me. I’m talking about every night when I walk into a club and it’s full of people. I’m just like “Wow.” It’s just fucking incredible. When music is free and I still sold 120,000 albums in like two years, I feel so blessed and so thankful. It’s crazy. Every day I’m just real, real thankful. Without my fans, which is my family, without the people that support me, I would just be making music in my bedroom and to be honest with you, I don’t know if I’d be able to do that any more in life. You can do that when you’re a kid, but I’m a full-grown man. I’m turning 39 this year so it’s like, everybody’s support means everything to me, and that includes doing interviews with you, to all the news interviews that I get to do. I just feel really thankful. I came back from the dead thanks to [Suburban Noize co-founder] Kevin Zinger. He gave me a second chance at life and a second chance at a career. I wasn’t even allowed in America two years ago and now I live in LA. I’ve been real blessed man. I’m very thankful.
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