Vancouver Hip Hop : A Chat with Sam
If you have walked through Vancouver and have not seen this man, you aren’t a true Vancouverite. Moreover, if you have seen him but walked past him, you aren’t a real hip hop stan. From producing to rapping, this man is making massive gains in the hip-hop community and I had the opportunity to have a quick chat with him. Sam Chimes is a Vancouver based hip hop artist who represents the genre in its rawest sense. He is a rapper/producer who operates with the ethos of an entrepreneur. He owns the Sam Chimes Production Team that aspires to bring a new wave of positive consciousness into the genre.
Positive Consciousness in Rap From N.W.A, in the late 80s and the 90s, to Griselda today, hip hop hasn’t had a dearth of ‘gangsta’ lyrics. In an era where the imagery of ‘being strapped’, ‘cockin’ gats’, and ‘taking shots’ are prominent tropes, Sam chips in with pure positivity. “The message I am trying to put forward is ‘live your dreams, don’t back down’”, says Sam. He says that the journey in achieving success is never easy and it can get difficult sometimes but that he would never back down. It is that energy, that he wishes to translate into his music and to his audience. He says, “As artists, we can be giving out energy but it is another thing to know how to harness that energy and recycle it.”
Rapping, Producing, and Current Projects Sam explains how rapping and making beats are both conducive to his growth as an artist. He says, “One of the things I want to do, which I am gradually going to get more into is making a full song. You know like, writing, making a beat …. and then working on my execution.” He has recently undertaken a new project, Beat a Week, where he produces a new beat and releases it every week. The beats are inspired by the best and the worst times he had experienced while on World Tour and he is eager to share those feelings with his fans. “So I have gone through two world tours”, says Sam, “I had many experiences through them. The best and the worst of times …….. I want to get these concepts and put them into the music that I make.” He also adds that street performing and reaching out, face to face with his audience, is a huge part of his marketing but due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the restrictions that followed, he found more time to hone the craft of producing. He says that nothing deters him from moving forward. “I feel like there is my ‘physical’ point of view, where there are these things that I can’t control like COVID but then there is also my ‘God’ point of view. At any given time I feel like I’m always in the right place at the right time”, he adds. Apart from the Beat a Week, he is also currently working on a project titled, Livestream of Consciousness. He says, “Think of it as a channel. And within channels we have programs. The first program is the pilot and my pilot was the one-year celebration of my music video. At another time we would have the promotion of something else.”
Black Lives Matter and the recent incidents of police brutality With the recent events surrounding racism and police brutality, Sam addresses how the Black Lives Matter movement has impacted him. He says, “I think that it is a good thing this [the BLM movement] is happening …. I am very grateful for the awareness going out.” He goes on to say that it makes him nervous when ‘everyone’ is participating in the movement as he feels that not everyone has a ‘good heart’ at one time and that there is always a ‘yin’ to a ‘yang’. But overall, he is appreciative of the traction the movement is getting. He goes on to narrate an instance where he himself was a victim of racism. “I was busking one time and there was this older guy coming out and screaming racist stuff over at Burrard station when there were not a lot of people there. I had to look him in the eye and when he came over, [there was this] almost sort of primal instinct.”, says Sam Regardless of such experiences, he feels that everyone still does have ‘good’ in them, including ‘racists’. He says, “I want to listen to them. I want to know what is their rationale. If there is no rationale, I am just going to cut you off.” On Jun. 29th, he had hosted the one-year anniversary of his music video, Great Full, on the Livestream of Consciousness where the proceeds from the ticket sales were donated to families affected by police brutality. Apart from the COVID-19 pandemic and the events of police brutality, the artist is still hopeful for the future. “I just want to see how the world turns out over the next year. It is going to be different. Somethings will be worse and somethings will be better. That’s just the way it goes.”, says Sam.
Originally posted on the Urban Pandit Magazine at www.urbanpandit.com