Black: On your song, “Did That,” is that a Josh Martinez sample at the end? I can’t place it.
Boy-ill: It is a local sample…Y-Rush told me once and I can’t remember.
Markit: Y-Rush just does his own things in his attic at 4 am and the next thing…we hear it.
Boy-ill: It is local though.
Black: You have a few local/east coast references throughout your songs, but it seems to be a matter of if you get the reference, that’s cool, but that’s not the entire song…
Markit: On the CD, you’ll hear some more little Y-Rush anecdotes between songs, there’s another J-Bizzy story from the JoRun album, that’s in there as well.
Boy-ill: It’s kind of like an homage to the local scene; we have a lot of local samples in there, like we sample ourselves on other songs, but being from here I think we’re trying to make music that everyone can listen to. We’re obviously influenced because we’re from here, but we’ll make songs like “Grow,” for example, which isn’t about any monuments in Halifax, but it was how we grew up in Halifax. I think it can be translated to anyone’s life…how you grow mentally, grow physically, learn things.
Markit: Our surroundings influence us just like anyone else, but I think with this project our goal definitely is to take it out…Next summer our goal is to get a good string of festivals and regular shows to tie in between those dates and just get to a larger audience.
Black: What excited you about your last tour?
Boy-ill: Having elderly people come up to us and be like, “I hate rap, but I like you guys.”
Markit: It was so weird. Perth is like that because it’s such a small place. We did four shows in the one day and the next day we just chilled in the festival and walked around and watched the other acts. And that whole day so many people are stopping us on the street just in the town, at an antique story, saying, “I saw you did a great set guys!”
Boy-ill: We had people in the crowd with newspapers as soon as they heard we were rapping. You could tell the emotion in the crowd--people were not really excited for this--but we kind of spoon-fed them…it was really cool having people (afterwards) coming up to us and say that they don’t really like that genre, but they like what we do.
Markit: If you can have a fan who likes hip-hop anyway, it’s all cool, it’s all fine, but if you can convert someone who didn’t even enjoy or know about the genre and open their eyes to it, it’s ten times more powerful.
Black: Is there one line of Markit’s that stands out for you, Boy-ill and vice versa?
Boy-ill: I think “Amazement” is the best tune on the record (Just Add Water) and that’s all him, I’m not on it.
Markit: “Let the Music Play” is also my favourite jam on the record, don’t mean to pat your back too much.
Boy-ill: For him? ‘However you want Markis can be turning Knicks to Nuggets like Marcus Camby.’ He was like 15 when he made that line.
Black: What’s the best local hip-hop show or performer you’ve seen over the last 10 years?
Markit: KRS-One was pretty sweet because when I remember it, I think of the talk he gave afterwards, that whole …KRS-One in Halifax, the show and the talk, that was huge, that was big time for me.
Boy-ill: I think Classified’s is a really tight live show, I know he’s put on some of the betters one I’ve seen and Skratch Bastid…every time you see him, you’re dancing.
Black: Most underrated mc in Halifax who should be doing something, but isn’t?
Boy-ill: White Mic
Markit: I haven’t heard Apt rap in a long time…but I hear he’s on the new Ghettosocks record and his verse on the old Get Some Friends record was sick. So I want to hear a new Apt solo album, that’s what I want to hear.
Black: Is there a ‘worst trend’ in hip-hop right now?
Boy-ill: Every trend.
Boy-ill: I think the worst trend is just being an idiot. It’s not educational to the kids…The stuff in the mainstream is just so dumb.
Markit: I don’t know if you saw that Jay-Z’s video, “The Death of Autotune,” but there’s just so many visual things, like a trend or like a thing that mainstream rap is concerned with, just exploding, jewels, all this expensive alcohol…all that stuff. When I saw that video, it was pretty much reading my mind…basically he jacked all my rhymes.