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Tuesday, March 5, 2002

Choclair chat transcript

Choclair: What's up to everybody out there on the net, Choclair in the house!

Hugo: Do you have any advice for Mc's or producers that are coming up?

Choclair: Yeah, it's like, the main thing is the dedication, there's a lot of work out there that you have to do and a lot of times people don't fully understand the work that needs to get done. Go into the studio as often as you can, working on as many demos as you can and making the right people hear your music. It's getting a little bit easier (in Canada), I think we're kind of on the verge of a Canadian boom type thing, there's now a lot more people being looked at by labels. I think we'll be able to pull it off still. It gets to a point where you can't ignore it anymore. It's just there, in your face.

Anonymous: what does the "memoirs of blake savage" mean?

Choclair: What happened with the first record, people get confused on the fact that somebody that's a professional, this is a job and a career, people get confused and caught up in the fact that Choclair is the guy people know and see on TV, because of that gap, I wanted to bridge that gap with a part of my name, Savage is made up, the real [me, Kareem]...the type of guy that likes to chill, kick it, I'll talk to you, Choclair is the humble Kareem expressing himself, Blake Savage bridges the gap between those two.

Anonymous: I heard that you use to go to my old high school - Pope John Paul II in Scarborough. Can you confirm or deny this? And if it is true - which teachers stood out?

Choclair: Yeah, I used to go to Pope, I went from grade 9 to 11, that's the first time I did a show as Choclair in my highschool talent show in a group called Critical Step and Critical Nation. Mr. Turner, Mr. Whitebread, Mr. Jenson, my gym teacher, we're still real cool, and then there's some others, my vice principal, people who are going there now...some of those teachers are still there.

Kyle M: Hey Choclair has being from Canada made a difference on getting or not getting recognition for the work you put out and whoz your favorite hip hop artist?

Choclair: Being in Canada, it almost works both and against, I'm sure if I came out in the states right now, I'd probably be a lot further just because of the resources but also I think I've gotten an extra boost because when people hear the album, find out it's from Toronto and people will be like 'From Canada?' and then pass it on. One of the thing is, when you get to the point where you're there then all of a sudden you know how to maintain things because you went through the struggle. Everybody needs to have a struggle going up or else you'll never know how to prevent yourself from going down. Don't have a favourite rapper. Into the music too much...just a fan of hip hop, just a fan of music period.

David: Looking back, how do you feel about the way Priority handled the last album in the States? Did they do a good job, or were you disappointed? Thanks.

Choclair: The way the record came out last time, I was a little disappointed, they ended up hitting the wrong market for me. I'm the type of guy between mainstream hip hop and straight hip hop and I think people just threw me just right into the underground hip hop although I'm not underground, I'm just the type of guy who makes hip hop period and I think they went to one specific market and they threw all their efforts into that. It was a little disappointing but whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger. The first record was a learning experience. Yeah, we are going to come out in the States, today in Canada, in Europe May 22, and then in the U.S., later in the summer like June/July. We're just going to make sure that we're set up in the right situation this time around and have more say.

VANILLACLAIR: Who's voice is that on the Intro to the new album -- the one that says: "Yes, Ladies, he was born for this mission ..." Is that sampled from somewhere?

Choclair: No it's not (sampled) it's the same girl that started off the last record with the interlude is the same girl from Australia. We just did it like that...the magic of pro tools.

P.Mistry: How long did it take you to put this album together?

Choclair: This record took pretty much...we started recording in June, finished it at the first week of December, good solid 6 or so months. It needed to take that long, it's more polished and more mature musically and lyrically.

BIG CLEM: Light It Up is a wicked jam! what's the word that got censored in the chorus "set this (blank) on fire"? Is it uncensored on the album?

Choclair: You know what, we actually did it censored, it's actually b****, we felt it gave the song a little bit more...make it sound like that, a little bit of funk. When we were saying it we actually blanked it out, just a little vibe thing we wanted in there. Kind of like a fill in the blank type thing.

EEZEE: I see there's a song on the new album called Funk Yard Dawg. Is that a nod to Jerome Williams? And is it true you hang out with Vince Carter?

Choclair: You know what, yeah, there is that song, it's more like what direction we were going on the record, just funky, that was one of the last songs we recorded. We had the title before the music or the lyrics. If he wants to use it, he's more than welcome. I'm actually promoting his new shoe in ads. I've got my own shoe right now -- Choc Classic (Reebock). It's a nod to him still. We're just going to do JYD's shoe, Kubo, and so, I'm working with them, they hook me up with stuff. JYD plays for Toronto and for me to represent his shoe...it's cool. Vince Carter, we've met a couple of times, he's doing his thing and he's a busy guy. Whenever we see each other we're cool but we haven't talked on the phone.

Sean : Hey Choc! I think you have great taste in your selection of eye ware. I was just wondering what style or brand of specs you were wearing in your "Rubbin" video?

Choclair: I was actually wearing Armani, that's the one I usually wear everyday, the ones I wear in the new video are mine, they're prescription. I'm not into the super fancy but there's always better ones that go with better outfits.

Mike: Hey Choc, I just wanted to know if you were going to the Dome to watch Wrestlemania....I know you go to the live events like "Monday Night Raw"....but with your busy schedule, is it possible for you to reach THIS huge event??

Choclair: Man, I had tickets when it first was announced but then my tour got announced and my tour starts March 12 and I won't be in Toronto. I'm disappointed but I'll have to watch it in a bar or a Famous Players theatre. If I was here I'd be there. I'm a wrestling fan for real, I just don't get a chance to catch it as often as I want.

WHIPLASH: Hey Chox, congrats on the new album. I was wondering, when you work with producers like Saukrates and Kardinal Offishall, do they come in with the jams already put together, and you add the rhyme? Or is it more collaborative from the start?

Choclair: They usually do most of the music, I do my rhymes, sometimes we just come with the idea of the song then all of the sudden we come up with the song, Skunk, we had the music already, we called the music Skunk, we went to L.A. and I did my verse and then we just did the hook the way we did the hook but then we kept the song called Skunk. Just depends on the vibe. Sometimes you just need to be with creative people, once the wheels are in motion, we always collaborate, that's my musical family. They're always going to make their best efforts to make sure whatever comes out is tight.

murray: really what i was tryin to ask is if u could hit up the east coast of canada when u do ur tour n thet every one down her in cape breton would go if u came to cape breton

Choclair: You know what? We were supposed to go out to the East coast at the beginning of March (on the 6th) but the tour ended up starting later. We've been out to Halifax, N.B., St. John's, Sackville, we try to go everywhere we can out there, even P.E.I., we know that the support is great out there and we want to show the love back. One thing is for the people in the community to go to the clubs and let them know they really want to see it, name acts, if you wanna see Choclair come out there say it if they have enough people out there saying it it's going to happen. Yeah man, help me get out there and I'll be there.

HARRIER: What's on the bonus disc that comes with Blake Savage?

Choclair: The bonuses are just tracks that I wanted people to hear that didn't make the record in terms of myself because it was older or just through time restrictions. Also it was to showcase some of the cats who worked with me on the record like Solitaire, Ro Dollar, Bishop, making sure people have the chance to hear these guys I know people will like them if they get a chance to hear it. Making some big things happen. Also it's innovative, doing different things, we gave you different kind of packaging, also we gave you 5 extra songs on there. Just trying to reach out to the listeners.

SHOK-LAYER: How do you respond to haters? Is there anyone who's really tried to get something going with you?

Choclair: You know what, I don't respond to haters, that's all they want, to throw you off track. Then you start talking and doin' things that normally you wouldn't be doing. I just don't focus on that. I make music, you don't have to respect it, just respect my movements. I don't expect everybody to love my stuff. I don't even look at them, I look past them. I've got my mind and my eye on a bigger picture -- international. I'm not focused on being the best in Canada, U.S., the world, I'm just trying to put the music out for people who appreciate it. Being real is being who you are and that's what it's all about and real cats will know that.

eVeRt: Why did you choose the name Choclair or did someone else suggest it?

Choclair: The name Choclair pretty much, it was just another name for dark skin, just kind of went around in school (when explaining it), it was a highschool name and it just kind of stuck.

CONCUSSION SYNDROME: Is there ever going to be a full album by The Circle? Also, who is officially in The Circle now?

Choclair: There will be, right now, you know, it's just at the point where cats are just doing their thing, you know Solitaire is working on projects..everybody is growing, getting to a point where it will be proper and it will be done right. The pieces aren't set up yet. We want to make sure it doesn't end up being Choclair and the Circle because the Circle is the Circle. Who is in it? - Saukrates, Kardinal, Marvel, Anthem, K.C. Thomas, Jully Black, Why Look, Solitaire, Ro Dulla

waitin'_4_newalbum: Hey, excited to pick up the new album! Anyway, just wondering if you heard about Mike Bullard's comments at the Juno noms. If so, how do you feel about them? Will you go on the show again?

Choclair: You know what, I guess, right now, it is a touchy subject, I heard about his comments. I would like to hear if he's said anything about it to apologize. I think it gets to a point where people still think its a joke and don't try to take it seriously. It goes to the people who just don't understand the music so they throw those comments at it and it just shows their ignorance to the music. That's what the cats of Canada in urban music have been fighting for...the respect...its not a correct thing to say, you can't say stuff like that. I was upset because I've met him a couple times before and he wasn't like that. What he needs to understand is jokes like that aren't funny anymore. People in Canada are trying to make the industry even bigger and comments like that just make it harder, makes people second-guess the industry. I think I would..I would like to hear him say something about it. They need to address that. It's not really like a huge conversation piece because people up hear are so used to hearing...people are talking about it. We're just trying to move forward it would be great on his part if he did do it. (Apologize). I think he'll get the respect from not just the hip hop community and the other people in other industries. It's pretty much like saying anybody who listens to hip hop is a thief and anybody who listens to rock music worships the devil.

Milez: Why is pop music so blatantly anti-progressive and uncreative?

Choclair: well, anytime anything gets real commercial, not just music, anything, it becomes quick packaging. With pop music, its the quick sell, get in and get out. Take a risk on a Lou Bega, one song and its gone and then it's filled with fluff. That happens when anything gets like that. Just look at Black History month, why does Mcdonald's have to do a Black History month, because its become a commercial type thing. It's big business, music industry is big business, anyway they know they can sell records, they're going to jump on it. But there's also a lot of good stuff out there and its up to the listeners to go out and look for the stuff that they like. You can't really get mad at all different types of music and stuff you've just got to find what you want. You could criticize it but people are going to do what they're going to do. Let people do what they want.

ASBESTOS: You've got a lot of collaborators guesting on the new album. Are you gonna be doing any cameos on other people's albums? Any people you want to work with? Also, when are you gonna hit the road?

Choclair: We have a lot of collaboration, the cats I've always been working with. Yeah I'd like to be on other people's records, I was Beanie Man's record, the Baby Blue album, I'm making moves to try and get on other people's records. For me it's establishing myself and then try. We'll see, we're not afraid of collaborations.

P.Mistry.P: What is the next single to be released off of The Memoirs Of Blake Savage?

Choclair: Skunk featuring Kurupt.

Choclair: I want to say much love to everybody that tuned it, thanks for all the questions, if people have anymore...hit me at choclair.net. I answer questions often, every second week. You can also find out where we're going to be and what we're going to be doing. Much love, you'll catch me on tour, I'm going straight across Canada, if you want to see us come through, this is the One Night Stand tour, Baby Blue, Harpoon Missile, myself, if you want us to come through, talk to the promoters in your city. We're trying to make this the biggest Canadian hip hop tour! Help us make history!

(More on Choclair)






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