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Indie king inks deal with Sony

Submitted by on April 3, 2010 – 9:44 amNo Comment

classifiedLuke Boyd, the humble Canadian rap star this country has come to know as Classified, is finally getting his. Fifteen years after the fact.  Over the past decade and half, Class has independently released 11 full length records. Self Explanatory, which dropped last month, marked his thirteenth studio album.

Since first forming Halflife Records in 2003, the hard working family man, who welcomed his first child this year, has independently moved 40,000 units. “To the average Joe it doesn’t look like a lot,” Class said over the over the phone, on tour from London, Ontario. “But to the cats in the industry who know what it takes to make that, it’s crazy.”

Class met recently with EMI, Universal and Sony in the same day. All parties showed interest. After years of knocking on the door and being shut out by the majors, Class said, he was surprised by the response he received in 2009. He opted to roll with Sony, saying AR Dave Harris played the role of deal broker and breaker.

“It takes so much off my plate that I don’t fuckin’ have to deal with no more,” Class says of the newly penned deal. “The reason I got into music was to make music. I didn’t want to deal with the business and do the whole label thing. That was something that I had to do because I didn’t have anyone else trying to put my music out.”

Enfield, Nova Scotia-born and based, Class will continue to craft beats and write rhymes in the basement of his country home. He maintains full autonomy and owns all his publishing. The Sony deal really just means “I don’t have to pay for anything anymore,” Class says candidly. “They said, ‘you go and make the record you want, bring us the finished product, and we’ll take it from there.’”

Before, “it was just me and a couple other guys, no budget and no money.” But now, he admits, “it can hurt because I have these teams on me and I have a budget behind me. I’m expected to do something, where before I didn’t have shit, so no one gave a shit.”

With a newborn child, major-label deal and what he admits is something of a retrospective record now on shelves, Class feels that in many ways he has come full circle this year. “A lot of the album looks back on the past and what has happened so far. It almost feels like this is the end of something old and the start of something new.”

Through it all though, if the day comes when he does he does Fall from Paradise (and out of the collective consciousness of Canadians), at least, he says: “I got the same friends I had since I was in Grade 3; I still live in the same town; I’m close to my family. And we could always put it out independently on Halflife, and go back to the way we did it.”

Remi L. Roy

also appeared in XPress-05/21/09

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