In between Part 2 and Part 3 of this interview I had a really hard time reading my messy scribbles otherwise known as interview notes. We had just played a song called “Never Had a Choice” but with my writing it looked like is said “Chance” instead of “Choice.” It led to some funny moments that I might put together in a blooper real for you.
For now though, I bring you the conclusion of the interview I did with rapper, Cale Sampson. If you missed Part 1 or Part 2, please go back and check them out. You can also download the podcast for free so you can hear all our talk and his songs.
Without further ado, here is the conclusion of the interview.
Chase: “I like the lyrics in ‘Never Had a Choice.’ You point out that you are your toughest critic. ‘I expect nothing but the best.’”
Cale Sampson; “Like I said before, I’ve always held myself to a higher category (within myself.) I am my own toughest critic because I expect so much out of myself. I want my songs to be the best that I am capable of. And when I was writing that song, there was a little time period where I felt that I was losing touch a little. Nothing special was coming to me like how I was used to it.
So it was this song, that when I started writing it, that kind of got me out of that slump. I guess some of us go through that. That was just a weird little time period. I don’t know, I think I was paying to much attention to flow. People were telling me, ya know, try to ride the beat, do this and that. It kind of got to my head and I sort of went away from my normal style, which is telling stories and just trying to raise the bar lyrically. Ya know, I started listening to some that material and was like, Nah. And then I started writing ‘Never Had a Choice’ and talked my way out of that and kind of got myself back on track. So that is what that line was about.
Chase: “Very nice. And the other line I like in there that’s really cool is that you almost swear. You say, ‘I almost say the F-word but I don’t need to cuss.’”
Cale Sampson: “I’ve just made it a point ever since day one, I juts decided that I’m never gonna bother swearing in any of my tracks. That was for a couple of reasons – number 1, I don’t really swear in real life so why would I get on a track and start cussing all over the place. It doesn’t really make sense. Number 2 is like I said before, I want as many people to be able to hear this music as possible. Unfortunately, the reality is that you can be talking the best stuff in the world, you can be making a lot of sense, making great points, killing it on the mic but the second some people hear a swear word they just dismiss you and all that other content is no longer relevant. That’s just been my approach and I feel it’s more challenging when you feel that you are gonna swear to just stop and try to think of another way to say the exact same thing without actually swearing.”
Chase: Yeah, that’s pretty nice because so many people that I run into on an everyday basis just think rap is ignorant right. ‘Oh, they’re swearing. They’re just talking about garbage.’ And you hear that so much. And then you can say, ‘Yeah but there is rap that doesn’t swear,’ and then you end up pointing to Christian rap or something and people don’t necessarily want to hear that either. So it’s nice that you can kind of rock that fence and still have dope hip-hop without the curse words.”
Cale Sampson: “Exactly man. And I don’t even think that most people even realize that I don’t swear because I’m just expressing the exact same thing except I’m just not really saying it. That’s just my style. It seems to work for me. I think that the music that I’m making appeals to people anywhere from 15 to 45 or whatever. I think part of that is the fact that I don’t swear. I don’t feel the need to do it.
Chase: “Nice. It kind of reminds me of the old Tribe Called Quest records ‘cause the later stuff has a couple swear words that leak in there. Phife Dawg’s solo surprised me cause he swore so much.”
Cale Sampson: “He was waiting to get it all out, He was like, ‘Now that Q-tip’s not around man, I can go nuts on my own record.”
Chase: “Yeah, but I like how you had the rhyme in there that Tribe should’ve stayed together. Ya know, ‘cause A Tribe Called Quest are amazing. Definitely.”
Cale Sampson; “I was fortunate enough to see them live together last year at Rock the Bells, which was not a very good show but at least we got to see Tribe, we got to see De La and everybody. So that was dope to see them together one last time, for sure.
Chase: “Yeah, I got to see them years ago at Canada’s Wonderland. Busta Rhymes was on the bill, and Cypress Hill, and TLC, and Bass is Base.”
Cale Sampson; “I heard about that show. I heard Busta Rhymes was climbing up to the top of the podium or whatever in a yellow suit.”
Chase: “He was crazy. Because he did his set and he came out on everyone else’s set for the entire night.”
Cale Sampson: “Busta Rhymes collaborates with everybody. I think he’s done more collaborations with a wider-range of emcees that possibly any other emcee I can think of. Think of any other rapper, chances are Busta has done a collaboration with them. It doesn’t surprise me that he was out on everybody’s set.”
Chase: “One thing I like to talk about in interview is influences but if you listen to your album, I think you hear them. You have a song on your album called 1994 to 96 and you just run through tons and tons of album titles and references to albums and things like that. So I’m assuming that those are big parts of your record collection and influences on your style.”
Cale Sampson: “Yeah, definitely that period – 1994 to 1996, the whole song is a three minute song with no chorus. I basically tell a story using references from all my favourite records and artists and songs from those three years. All in sequential order too. The first verse in ’94, the second verse is ’95 – ’96. If you listen to that song, you’ll realize, ‘Wow, were all those songs and all those artists really within that time period?’ And definitely that was a time period where I was really focused on hip-hop. It made me step up as an emcee and made me really want to go forward because I was just feeling it so much. It was a really great period of hip-hop. Definitely a massive influence on me as a person and definitely as an emcee, for sure.”
Chase: “Yeah, I think 1994 holds a special place in a lot of hip-hoppers’ heads. I’ve seen an album, ‘I wish it was 1994,’ or something like that.”
Cale Sampson; “Nas. Illmatic. Biggie’s album. Smif and Wessun. Jeru the Damaja dropped. Gangstarr had their album code of the streets that year. It goes on and on and on. Check out the song 94 to 1996. And ’94, all those songs I just mentioned are from that period and there’s another 20 of them too that came out that year as well.”
Chase: “Maybe we should drop that one just because it’s kind of interesting to see if you can catch all the references.”
Cale Sampson: “Let’s do it. It would be fitting right now considering we’re talking about that. Pay attention to the references here. We’re going to get into the next track called 1994 to 96.”
Chase: “Okay we’re back. That was 1994 to 96 by Cale Sampson. This is Chase March on the interview tip and Daddy J is manning the boards as usual. How ya doing Cale?”
Cale Sampson; “Hey man, I’m doing great. Like I said, just happy right now, getting psyched, about ready to go on stage very soon. I’m ready to kill it and just thankful for the opportunity to on the show and speak to you guys.”
Chase: “Yeah, I’m looking forward to the show. You’re going to premiere a video, aren’t you?”
Cale Sampson: “Tonight is the video premiere of the latest – well the first video I’ve done off of this album called ‘Never Had A Choice’ that you guys heard earlier. So we’re going to be displaying that tonight. It’s gonna be good. I’m really proud of this one man, It’s done in black and white. It’s very different but it’s cool. It looks great. It’s just very me. It’s nice to be able to do a video that is a visual representation of who you are as an artist. So I’m very proud of this one. We’re going to premiere it tonight and I think people are going to enjoy it. I’m gonna pitch it to Much Music and hopefully it gets picked up. We’ll see what happens but I’m definitely excited.”
Chase: “I hope they spin it ‘cause I first saw your video, Rhytmicru ‘We Have Come For Your Children’ and that was my first exposure to you as an artist until Daddy J told me, ‘You gotta check out this disc and we gotta interview this guy, man.”
Cale Sampson; “Yeah, that’s the thing. Once you can get on Much Music and once you can get your video played. I mean I’ve been around for ten years, and as soon as that happens your audience becomes national, ya know. You can get fans that never head of you. The video is a huge thing. That’s why I’m hoping that this video goes through too.”
(A fan came up to us at this point and didn’t realize Cale was being interviewed)
Chase: “No problem. We’re at the venue. Of course Cale’s getting love here. It isn’t the only time we’ve been interrupted tonight so it’s starting to get packed here. It looks like you’ve got a lot of fans.”
Cale: “They’re ready. People are getting restless man.”
Chase: “Ready for the Cale show. They’re getting restless. Definitely. I’m feeling the album. Let’s talk about ‘Till I Met You.’ Interesting track there. Is any of that autobiographical? Is that relationship drama stuff you’ve gone through? Or is it just a typical kind of story rhyme?”
Cale Sampson: “Truth be told. That song was produced by my man Merciless, a great producer, a great man to work with, and a great dude in general. But ‘Till I Met You’ the lyrics in that song are kind of a hybrid off all the different experiences I’ve had over the years or whatever, all meshed up into one song to make it sound like a real-life story. I think it’s a good song because people can relate to it – male and female. Females love that track and dude’s can relate to it too. It’s our number one song on iTunes right now and I’m actually gonna perform that for the first time tonight just because people are feeling it.”
Chase: “Oh wow. I like that track because we’re passionate about hip-hop at DOPEfm, obviously, but one of my past girls didn’t share that passion at all and that was always a bone of contention. Every time I tried to do something hip-hop related, she’s was on me about it.”
Cale Sampson: “It’s pretty impossible when you’re this deep into hip-hop to have a girlfriend who’s not into it. That’s the big test. If she’s not feeling my lyrics or is like, ‘yeah, yeah, that’s good,’ or whatever when I play her a song, she’s not gonna be my girlfriend. My girlfriend has to be into it, man. For real. You’re not still with her are you?”
Chase: “Nah man, not at all. I totally get you there. Some people say that hip-hop is their first love too.”
Cale Sampson: “That’s just the way I feel man.”
Chase: “I think De La Soul had a lyric like that one on of their songs too. I can’t remember what the song is right now. I guess it’s a common theme.”
Cale Sampson: “Look man. If you are living hip-hop, which we are, I mean if a girl isn’t feeling that, then she’s not feeling you. So I’m not feeling her either, ya know what I mean. You’ve got to find a girl who can respect that passion, respect that drive, and understand it and be by your side, and find inspiration through her man that’s doing that. And when that happens the culmination of working together with this lady is special. Ya know, sometimes you’ve got to filter through a lot, especially in hip-hop because some girls are attracted to you and they’re not necessarily attracted to you for the right reasons because you’re on stage and you look cool. But any other day, it’s not that. It’s about what you’re doing behind the scenes, all the hard work that you’re putting into that. It’s about that passion. They got to be there for you feeling that, ya know what I mean, there by your side and rising to the occasion.”
Chase: “Yeah definitely. Hip-hop is a way of life. A lot of people don’t understand that. Hip-hop is a culture it’s not just the music.”
Cale Sampson: “Absolutely”
Chase: “So thanks for stopping by. Thanks for the opportunity letting us interview you. I think we’ll play one more track and call it a night. Really looking forward to seeing your show tonight.”
Cale Sampson: “Thanks a lot, I really appreciate it. Big up DOPEfm. Big up McMaster. All you guys in Hamilton. Really appreciate your support. And yeah, much love.”
Chase: “Alright thanks. Stay tuned for more DOPEfm all night long.”
Thanks for checking out this interview. Make sure you download the podcast to hear some great songs that I couldn’t embed in the blog posts. Consider subscribing for free as well. We always bring you the best in underground hip-hop with great mix sets and dope artist interviews.