First and foremost, who is RationaL and where is he from?
Hi, my name is RationaL. Nice to meet you. I’m from the flatland prairies of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
Describe your first rhyming experience. Did you think that humans have innate rhyming skills or it is based on learned behavior?
My first rhyming experience was after watching that cypher session on Whiteboyz. It kind of blew my mind a little bit. I think a select, chosen few have innate rhyme skills. You hear dudes like Common, Black Thought, Brother Ali and its like “dang, these dudes were BORN to do this”. Then you hear some really terrible emceeing – this is called learned behavior. Learned behavior that should never be repeated.
The Canadian hip-hop scene is full of talented artists. How does RationaL attempt to stand out in a clustered market?
You just have to be yourself. Love it or hate it, what you see is what you get. I think people have to appreciate that honesty and transparency whether or not they appreciate the music.
2010 was a successful year for you as evidenced by the release of the 2010 SOHH Song of the Year “Cocaine Cowboy” and the release of Hard Labor: The BirthWrite Prequel. Describe the inspiration behind “Cocaine Cowboy”?
The inspiration behind “Cocaine Cowboy” was simple. Years back, I worked at an addictions center. One of the addicts there, went through the program, got cleaned up and started dating my sister. Fast-forward 3 years – and multiple relapses – later, he had completely raped her of everything that was good in her life. It was hard to watch. I had to write about it.
How did the masses react to Hard Labor: The BirthWrite Prequel?
Really well, I think. The last thing I wanted to do was come out with a mixtape as my first official project. Don’t get me wrong I love the mixtape vibe, that’s hip-hop. But personally, I felt I would be cheapening myself as an artist to debut with a mixtape. So what did I do? I put out a mixtape! Haha, well, an album-teaser-of-a-mixtape, so I didn’t feel quite as guilty.
What inspired you to complete The BirthWrite LP and what message did you want to send with the completion of the album?
I just had to get it done and get it out there. If I didn’t force myself then I would STILL be writing/rewriting, recording/rerecording the album lol. I am an Obsessive Compulsive Disorder perfectionist. To my own detriment. But I think I am getting better. Maybe.
Who is featured on the project?
Pigeon John, Mr. J. Medeiros, Ohmega Watts, RELIC and Theory Hazit on the rhymes. Factor, Blaise, Vintage and REL on the beats. Shortop on the wheels.
Wow, that is a star studded cast. Describe the feeling associated with rhyming alongside artists that you look up to?
What is your favorite song from the project and why?
Probably “Dream On” – for the feel good vibes and the features. And “Beautiful Mess” for the introspect.
Okay, I’m pretty sure that you are aware that a picture is worth a thousand words. With that being said, do you have plans to shoot any videos for the project?
Yessir. Obviously, the “Cocaine Cowboy” video is out. We are shooting the video for “Beautiful Mess” here on September 2nd and we are planning to shoot at least one more video after that before the year is out.
I am curious to know, what artists or people had the biggest influence on you growing up?
My parents, most definitely. RELIC has had a big influence in my personal/rap life. All the times he’s told me I suck or am wack – really pushed me to not suck or be wack. My dudes Jusachyl, Shortop and Kwest are like brothers to me as well. Then guys like Pigeon, Mr. J, Brother Ali, Royce, eLZhi, Black Milk – its always inspiring listening to those dudes.
What does RationaL like to do outside of putting words together?
I play a lot of basketball. I watch a lot of basketball and a lot of baseball. I waste a lot of energy rooting against the Miami Heat and being pissed off that Steve Nash and Dwight Howard are Lakers! I am a big Blue Jays fan… I am not sure why. I eat a lot of protein.
What does the future hold for young Rash?
Let me see, the future holds… a guest spot on the new RELIC record Miles to Go – he’s got some dope features on there (Shad, Ghettosocks, Mr. J, etc.). A feature on an upcoming Mr. J. Medeiros project. A new music video dropping, hopefully, in October. A Western Canadian tour with my dude Transit from Calgary in September/October. A tour in November with LightningCloud (RedCloud & Crystle Lightning). And a soon coming EP release. And stuff.
How can the masses get in contact with you?
You can get in touch with me at my private, personal cellular telephone number: 306.***.**** (don’t pass that out) or hit me up on ICQ or over at: www.spreadtherash.com.
Any final words?
Shout my dudes Praverb and Plastic. My favorite PP’s… Rash Krispies. Rashus Clay. Mount Rashmore. Minute Rash. Outty.