The Canz Jump “In the Mix” [Exclusive Interview]
There’s one thing that the Wayans, Wahlbergs, and maybe even the Baldwin brothers have in common – yes, they’re siblings, but more importantly, they helped each other rise to the tops of their games. Most people would agree that a family bond creates a strength that can’t easily be overtaken, and when we find a bond like this in the hip-hop world, we can look forward to years and perhaps even decades of quality music. That’s exactly what The Canz are hoping to bring to the table, and based on the work they’ve already done, we shouldn’t doubt that it’ll happen.
Comprised of emcees (and, of course, brothers) Prominent and The Foster Child, the Atlanta-based duo is making every effort possible to change the face of rap with their own unique styles. After discovering their talents on the mic in their youth, Prominent and Foster made waves on the streets with their first mixtape Welcome to the Troubleland as well as with their follow-up mixtape The Slow Rise, a collaborative project with DJ Mick Boogie. Whether they’re performing with or opening shows for some of the most respected rappers like Rick Ross and T.I. or hard at work perfecting their skills, The Canz are determined to prove that they have much more to offer than we can imagine.
In this exclusive, five-question interview, The Canz take a minute to step into the Booth and tell us how they’ve helped each other succeed, and what they’re planning to do to stay on top of the game.
What are some of the pros and cons of making music as brothers, as opposed to being unrelated emcees?
Foster: A pro would be the fact that since we grew up together we are pretty much on the same page as far as our musical message and direction we want to go. A con to me would that since we grew up on the same music, it's kinda difficult to branch out to different genres since there are no other influences other than what we had as kids.
Prominent: For me, making music together is definitely a pro. Since we are blood brothers, we grew up listening to the same kind of music. This makes the creative process a lot easier. We have actually written songs separately without each other knowing about it and when we come together for a session, we both wrote about the same thing. The chemistry is amazing. On the other hand, making business decisions is a con for me. Generally, family tends to be a lot different when it comes to business than when they are at home. We have our ups and downs as brothers but at the end of the day, we come to a conclusion (on business decisions) and stick with it. That's the most important thing. Unity no matter what.
How have your roots in Ghana helped to shape who you are as musicians?
Foster: It definitely built our work ethic. Our road has been two times harder than the average rappers. We essentially had to start from scratch when we moved here, we knew very little people in Atlanta and couldn't throw up any hoods to gain a following or credibility since we are not from here. So we always had to work harder to overcome those obstacles and find a way to get people to listen to our shit and i guess it's finally paying off.
Prominent: When we were growing up in Ghana, the music at the time was a blend of Hip Hop (mainly New York Hip hop), UK Garage music and the local music (which was High life, Hip life, Afro beat and Reggae). We listened to all of the above. We always try to incorporate these sounds in our music but Hip Hop always has a higher priority.
Both of you have unique names - Prominent and The Foster Child. Do they have any special meanings?
Foster: Foster Child came from when I first moved to the states and was enrolled in high school. I hated it, I would always get giggles or chuckles when I said I was from Africa like that shit is funny or something. I remember one of my classmates saying in my defense, "We are all black which means we are all brothers, so y'all need to stop treating him like a FOSTER CHILD" ...or something like that. Ever since then I took that name and run with cus it just defines my whole existence.
Prominent: It's funny how I came up with my name. Everyone knows how important it is to have the cool "rap name" when you first start. The name Prominent is self explanatory. I usually go with the definition "Standing Out". This is because, at the time we started rapping, there were no “African rappers” in the game. I mean no Akon, no Wale and no K’naan. Being a rapper from Africa in itself stood out to everyone here in the States hence, the name Prominent. I also wanted a name starting with the letter P because all legendary duos’s had P some was in their names. The Clipse (Pusha T), OutKast (Patton), Mobb Deep (Prodigy) EPMD (Parish) and the only memorable female duo Salt N Pepa (Pepa). Shall I continue? Lol.
Your last project was entitled The Slow Rise. Does that title appropriately describe the path your collective career has taken thus far?
Foster: Absolutely. What we are essentially trying to do is an audio documentation of road to success. Where the audience can witness our progression through each slow rise project. Hopefully we never get to a Slow Rise 10...
Prominent: Yes. That project was loosely based on true events. The skits on the record are all true events. You have to work really hard to chase your dream and at the final lap of that run, you may never even get it. It’s up to you to get over those obstacles which create a slow rise to the top of your goal. I guess that's why a lot of people could relate to our project.
In your exclusive DJBooth.net freestyle “It’s the Canz,” you introduce yourselves to the world. What do you have planned in the future to make sure everyone hears what you have to say?
Foster: Slowrise II of course, and also working on shows in and out the country.
Final Thoughts? Shout Outs? Confessions? Admissions?
Foster: The Canz will be a real problem this year.
Prominent: This is very important to us. I would like to give a shout out to DJBooth.net/RefinedHype.com, 2DopeBoyz, Mick Boogie, Leak Jones, Ill Roots, TSS & SMKA. This is not to down play anyone else (we love all the support), but the names I just mentioned, help put The Canz on the map. They did it by just listening to our music with no cosign which is rare lately. We are grateful and it will NEVER be forgotten.
Written by Matty K on 04/8/10
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