Rapper Classified rocks the Turret

During the Sept. 6 on-campus celebration, one of the many musical acts performing was Canadian rap sensation Classified.

Performing to a packed house at the Turret, Classified brought his exciting blend of moody urban rock and aggressive hip-hop beats to Laurier for the second time in several years.

“It’s great to be back,” Classified told The Cord. “I’ve played here before a few years back… this is always a great crowd with lots of energy.”

Classified, born Luke Boyd, gained much notoriety in 2009 with his patriotic rap “Oh… Canada.” However, while many Laurier students may be too young to realize this, the hard-working Boyd has been making his way as a rapper since 1995 and has released a staggering 14 studio albums.

Boyd stated that the climb to the top was gradual, but he feels satisfied with the level of fame he has achieved. “Basically when I was able to start paying bills with this, paying my rent, about five or so years ago, that’s when I felt like I made it,” said Boyd, 33.

He admits that his sampling of the national anthem is what has propelled him from an opening act to a headlining household name, though Boyd doesn’t feel like the decision was strategic or fame-seeking.

“I’m just really proud of being Canadian,” he said. “My attitude in doing that song wasn’t to be a fighter, it wasn’t like, ‘yeah, we’re Canada, fuck the world!’ It’s just a good tune that’s really positive.”

The single proved to be a successful maneuver for Boyd. “It was our first single that went platinum,” he stated.

Boyd hails from the community of Enfield, Nova Scotia, a town of roughly 3,500 people. Despite its size, Boyd insists that the Maritimes are ripe with talent.

“I don’t think of myself as putting Nova Scotia or the Maritimes on the map as a musical capital or anything,” he said, “They already have a really good rep… maybe moreso with the rock and folk music, but there’s an insane amount of talent there… There’s fewer people so obviously it’s less exposed.”

Growing up in an area without a vibrant hip-hop scene allowed Boyd to be influenced by a number of genres and artists.

“I grew up listening to hip-hop,” he said. “Dre, Gangstarr, they’re all huge influences of mine. But I’m not just into that kind of stuff. Huey Lewis and the News, Red Hot Chili Peppers, they all are inspirational to me.”

In past years, Boyd had also delved into the world of music producing. The show was opened by Boyd’s newest project, up-and-coming rapper KO.

“We’re really excited about what we’ve been working on with KO,” Boyd said. “The guy’s talent is just dope and I’m really enjoying working with him … he is one of my inspirations.”

Having recently completed a cross-Canada tour to promote his newest album, Handshakes and Middle Fingers, Classified and KO spent last week partaking in a “frosh tour” and traveling to various Canadian universities including Brock University, McMaster, and Nipissing. He’s set to return to his roots on Oct. 1 when he’ll be taking the stage in Halifax, NS.

“Just seeing all the fans, seeing them sing along, when they come up to me and stuff, that’s the best feeling you can get as an artist,” said Boyd.