The Rooster spoke with Vancouver rapper Evil Ebenezer over the phone from Swift Current, Saskatchewan yesterday before he arrived in Saskatoon for his July 13 show at the Cosmos Senior’s Centre as part of his Stomp Down Tour.
If you haven’t heard about Evil and you dig quality Canadian hip-hop you should probably listen up.
Evil is easily one of the most intriguing voices coming out of west coast Canadian hip-hop at the moment. The Vancouver-based emcee, who Exclaim Magazine dubbed “the best new voice in Canadian rap,” has dropped roughly 10 solo and collaborative albums, is coming off a fresh collaborative effort with Moka Only called ZZBRA and has also shared the stage with legends like Souls of Mischief, Devin the Dude and Tech N9ne.
Not only can Evil flow with the best in the country, he was a former child actor who appeared in such films as Stephen King’s “It” and auditioned alongside actors like Ryan Reynolds.
Contrary to his name, rapper Evil Ebenezer is actually a pretty nice dude. The 30-year-old rapper had only nice things to say about Saskatoon and the city’s hip-hop scene. Simply put, he’s psyched to return to the Paris of the Prairies to crush some brews and a blunt or two along the way.
“I’ve played out here a few times and it’s really good. It’s quite a good scene. They seem to embrace their own a bit more than most cities in Canada. It’s a pretty cool town,” described Evil.
Evil also has ties to the prairies and has worked with Factor, Saskatoon’s hip-hop producer extraordinaire. The duo released Widow Creek in 2011 — an album that unfortunately had release issues — and they also have a song together on Factor’s latest digital EP Club Soda Series 2.
“He’s awesome. He’s become a really good friend and he’s super talented and I hope to work with him more in the future,” said Evil.
Def3, whose real name is Danny Fernandez, is a Regina hip-hop artist who now lives in Vancouver and has also collaborated with Evil.
“I think Evil’s dope. He’s really talented and an all-around good emcee from the stage to his writing to his recording. He’s a very well rounded emcee. He’s a homie of mine,” said Fernandez
It’s not always easy being a musician, something Evil knows all too well. As a youngster, his parents split due to his father’s demanding musical career and life on the road. His dad, also a university academic, chose one last shot at musical stardom and spent $25,000 on a music video. Shortly later his wife left him.
Two decades later Evil is pursuing music — the same entity that tore his family apart — with a fervent passion.
“I’m still in a lucky situation because I don’t have a wife and two kids at home so I’m in a different situation than he was. If I fuck up — that’s it. I don’t have anyone depending on me. I think about it a lot, though. I draw a lot of my songs from the way that I felt back then and those memories,” he added.
Evil plays alongside Snak the Ripper tonight (July 13) at the Cosmos Senior’s Centre in Saskatoon. I’ll be there. Will you? Shirts optional.