[INTERVIEW] THE POSTERZ
We all laughed at the inspirational posters in the classroom. They’ve become the butt of the Internet’s joke by spawning memes. But there’s a group coming out of Montreal, Canada that’s giving us all an excuse to wish we were the proverbial poster boy. The Posterz, formally the Posterboiiz, is a group composed of Nate Husser, Joey Sherrett and Kris the $pirit. Each of them hold their own on the mic but Joey handles most of the production.
The Posterz’ music is what hip hop should sound like in 2016 when you open up Spotify. It’s Gravediggaz meets Rage Against The Machine. Their lyrics combine a rebellious attitude, real street imagery and a lack of concern for accepted norms. Viper recently caught up with them in New York City before closing out a special birthday show for Latasha Alcindor in Brooklyn. They spoke on their newest project, ‘Junga’, life growing up, and 21 Savage, all while facetiously trying to help Husser solve his bed wetting problem.
If you could, state your name and your favourite rapper into the mic.
Husser: My name is Nate. My favourite rapper is Nate Husser. And Kris Gordon. Kris the $pirit.
Joey: My name is Joey. My favourite rapper is David Bowie.
Kris: My name is Christian Gordon. My favourite rapper is Robert.
Great. Let’s start from the beginning. Could you guys tell me a little bit about your childhoods?
Husser: Good kid in school. Passing with flying colours ’n’ shit. I just wanted to finish at least high school, fast. I didn’t want to waste time and fail a grade. I just did it. Outside of school, I was an asshole, maybe. Played drums ’n’ shit. Started rapping when I was 16.
Why did you start rapping then?
Husser: One of my boys was the co-founder of the original version of the Posterboiiz. He convinced me to start rapping with him. We first hit up this Gucci beat called ‘Black Tea’, I think. That was the first beat I rapped on. Since then it was all fun and fuckin’ around. It became a hobby and worked on the craft.
Joey: Basically I was a good kid, talked a lot. I was a hooligan in class but did well because I was smart. Started beatboxing when I was 5. Was into music and started producing when I was 13. I was using a small, shitty Netbook and Ableton Live. I kept making music and here we are. I started rapping because rap was really cool, as a kid. I was like, “These guys are dope. DMX is sick.” I liked DMX a lot and Tupac.
Kris: I was a smart kid, highly intelligent. Never really into people, always anti-social. I’d rap at my cousin’s. Started when I was like 15 just for fun. That’s what we did.
What did you first start rapping about?
Kris: Violence. I listened to Gangster Rap. A lot of G-Unit, Biggie, Tupac. My cousins were violent, gangster people so I would get into that shit. Negative into a positive. That’s what I’m trying to do.
Okay. So what’s the meaning behind the title of this last project, ‘Junga’?
Kris: It’s just the word jungle but we said junga because Drake did the Jungle tour so we’re like, “Fuck. We look like dumb biters.”
Husser: But really, we had the idea for a while.
Kris: It transformed into ‘Junga’ at the spur of the moment.
Why did you originally name it ‘Jungle’?
Joey: Because the whole album is about basically their stories in the concrete jungle. Junga sounds cooler than Jungle.
Husser: So thank you Drake, for that.
Kris: Drake, you’re the best.
There are a ton of American hip hop artists that I’m sure get play and fame in Canada but I feel like it’s an uneven ratio when you look at our consumption of Canadian artists.
Joey: hip hop is an American culture man. All the best shit in hip hop is American. It may change. The fact that we’re coming out of Montreal might be a signal of some sort of change. I think we’re pretty good.
Husser: You hear about what’s really good.
Since you guys are The Posterz, originally the Posterboiiz, to Canadian hip hop who are some poster boys that you guys looked up to?
Husser: The one that sparked it for me, I would say it’s Eminem. I’m 10 years old and downloading Eminem on Limewire. My mom is like, “You listening to that Eminem shit again?!”
Kris: For me, when I first started rapping, like Biggie. Literally Biggie. The track, “Come on mother fucker, come on mother fucker, come on…” That blew me away.
Joey: For me, it was Tupac. I was trying to download the ‘Hit Em Up’ video. It’d be 2% and I’d watch it and it’d be like, “I hit em up! …” And it would freeze and I’d be like, “Nooo!”
Husser: Or you’d get some porno shit…
As with most new artists, you guys have received a lot of comparisons to other artists since some people don’t know better. Do you feel like that perception from people will box you in?
Husser: Yeah, we’ve gotten UnderAchievers… They say Flatbush [Zombies], too.
Joey: Who cares man? They can say whatever they want. The music is going to speak for itself.
Kris: We look different. We sound different. We talk about different things.
You’ve put out 2 projects so far…
Kris: Yeah. We’re still building. We haven’t even started yet, technically.
Joey: We just broke the barrier right now. We just had our first sexual encounter and we’re prowling for new vagina. That’s the moment. I don’t know if that has anything to do with anything [Laughs].
So then what’s the moment that elevates you from the new guys to something else?
Kris: 20 stacks.
Joey: Once we have a sold out tour. There’s a build up to that.
I hope this isn’t corny but could you guys describe what the other members bring to the group?
Joey: For Kris, he brings the lyrical miracle sauce. He’s like a really poetic dude, like raw poetry. Ethereal poet vibe.
Kris: I was born with that gift. I don’t even try.
Joey: Husser brings the cool factor. He brings clever, witty bars with flows. And then me, I’m like painting a landscape for them to act in.
Do they get input on the beat?
All: For sure.
The production is very unique in the music. What other music inspires you, Joey?
Joey: As a kid, hip hop-wise it was Kanye, Pharrell, Timbaland, Dr. Dre. Of course, all music too. Rock, Jazz. I should jump back onto record hunting. The Internet is dope, too.
Alright, I’m going to give you guys some scenarios. Pick a song that fits that vibe for you or you’d play in that scenario. The first one is you just brought a girl home.
Kris: Tears for Fears, ‘Head Over Heels’.
Husser: ‘Spottieottiedopalicious’ Outkast.
Joey: I actually don’t play music when girls are at home. It’s weird because I’m a musician. They usually ask to put on a song.
How about getting ready to go out?
Husser: 21 Savage. Bitch Nigga’.
Kris: ‘Skrt’ Kodak Black.
Joey: I never go out [Laughs].
You’re at a house party and everyone just showed up.
Husser: 21 Savage. ‘Bitch Nigga’.
Kris: I might play ‘Hotline Bling’.
Joey: All the girls are there? It has to be a funny track.
Husser: You gotta know what makes the asses pop without them even wanting to pop the ass. They just start popping it. You gotta know those songs.
Kris: My silence makes them twerk. I don’t want to get too deep into it.
A girl just dumped you.
Husser: 21 Savage. ‘Bitch Nigga’.
Kris: Any Wiz track.
Joey: Tame Impala’s ‘Eventually’.
In 50 years, what do you want people to remember you guys for?
Joey: The dudes with no limits. Make Michael Jackson do the tippy toe dance in his grave.
Kris: That’s perfect. Trying to make me proud of me.
Is there anything else that you’d like to mention?
Husser: I want to talk about why it’s important to listen to you shit and 21 Savage. For me, I’m listening to Trap shit like an energy drink. It’s breakfast for me. It gives my nutrients for the day. Listening to your own shit, is like homework–going deeper and deeper. You’re meditating within your own song.