Okay, here is the deal. One of my students years ago introduced me to Classified and I have been slowly catching up on his music ever since. While I do not know the man personally, I feel that I know a lot about him as much of his music is autobiographical. In addition, I am a musician and a perfectionist (hard to please) and Luke is constantly impressing me with his art and his integrity. He is a stand-up MC that speaks his mind. Family, friends, Canada and hip hop mean everything to him and he doesn't need any secret lingo to "spit it," he just keeps writing beautiful, potent lines. So, I have been presenting Class to my classes for years. I just finished marking some final exams for a class called Canadian Popular Music at Seneca College in King City, Ontario. The essay question was:
Select one or two of the Canadian artists/band we have discussed in Weeks 11-13 and discuss it in reference to one or more of the following topics: 1) authenticity, 2) being Canadian, 3) indie sound, and/or 4) popular music.
WITH PERMISSION, SOME OF THE STUDENT'S COMMENTS:
"Throughout his music and his life, Classified displays how Canadian rap artists can show their authenticity in their music . . . through making original beats for his songs and commenting on real life struggles experienced by all. . . . Classified also showcases how proud be is to be Canadian by setting up his label in Nova Scotia, filming his music videos around Canada, and dedicating certain songs to Canada. Classified is an artist who I knew very little information about previous to this class. After hearing his music, he is now an artist who I will listen to on a regular basis."
"One of the reasons Classified has music that attracts a large audience is because he has remained authentic and true to himself (not to mention he makes sick beats) and represents where he came from very well."
"Classified took the Canadian national anthem and produced a song to fit in today's more modern society. In the song called "Oh-Canada" [sic], he represents Canada by the Canadian flag, the slang that is used and the scenery of Canada today. Enjoy the fact that he seems to me to be children centred."
"In the beginning of Luke's career he would rap about the ideal "man" and how they should be. Honestly, that's what rap use to be about. However, Classified said he didn't always want to write about "men," instead he started to incorporate his music with the problems he is going through and his feelings. He demonstrates great authenticity by maintaining when he comes from. In his videos, you can see how real and passionate his emotions are. . . . Luke Boyd comes from the heart and is so passionate in what he brings to the music industry. It's great to have real Canadian rappers that are so original and raw."
Dr. Michael Kearns
Musician, educator, husband, father, web designer ... my life is like a mosaic with each piece vying for my attention.