Classified Discusses Songwriting Process for ‘Inner Ninja’ + Working With Raekwon [Video]
Ever heard of the rapper Classified? Well, you will... very soon.
The Canadian emcee, hailing from Enfield, Nova Scotia, has 15(!!!) albums under his belt, has worked with the likes of Royce da 5'9" and Raekwon, and has toured with household names like Snoop, Luda, and the Black Eyed Peas. Even though he's quite established in his home country, he's making the transition over to the States, releasing his most recent effort and self-titled album with Atlantic Records.
We sat down with the rapper (real name Luke Boyd) to discuss his re-release, which includes his soon-to-be U.S. radio hit 'Inner Ninja' with singer-songwriter David Myles. "We were actually set on another song that we were going to start working on," Boyd explained of the songwriting process. "And right before he left [the studio] he was like 'Oh, I got this other thing.'"
Boyd added, "It was just 'dun, dun, dun.' [He] started the guitar thing and just said the first line, 'I read the rules before I broke them.' As soon as I heard that, I was like 'What is that?!'" Boyd then added in drums, some more beats and lyrics, and the end result is 'Inner Ninja,' a seriously catchy hip-pop song driven by a looping guitar riff and melodic hook. The single (about finding your "inner strength") has since gone triple platinum in his home country, earned Boyd and Myles a Juno, and is currently holding the record for the best-selling hip-hop single in Canada.
The Classified rapper also talked about another collaborator on his album, Wu-Tang Clan's Raekwon, whom he first met at King of the Dot, a Canadian rap battle. After realizing that Raekwon was familiar with his work, Boyd sent over a beat. "I kind of built ['I Only Say It Cause It's True'] all around his vocals," Boyd told us. "It was definitely a different way of doing music, which a lot of artists do now because a lot of schedules [don't match up]. But it worked out great. Hopefully we get to do it again, and actually get in the studio, bounce more ideas off each other, too."
But our burning question for him was, does he love salmon and other fish of the sea as much as the rest of Nova Scotia? Watch his reaction in the video above to find out!