Published Jan 01, 2006With his ninth album, Trial & Error, Enfield, Nova Scotia's eight-year rap veteran Classified is finally satisfied. "Maybe I shouldn't have said this is the album I'm trying to make in the intro," says the hardworking rapper-producer, "but when I made that statement I think I meant it more towards the production side of things. Rhyme-wise, I'm always happy with what I'm saying or I wouldn't say it, but beat-wise I was never happy with the sounds I had to work with and the overall production of the albums. This one, I'm really feeling the production side of things, and the vocals I couldn't be more happy with." The resulting album is a listener-friendly collection of minimal club productions married to a diverse range of lyrical stylings.
But it should come as no surprise that Trial & Error is an improvement over his last, since Classified consistently improves with each release. The reason is simple and deliberate. "When I work on a new album, I always try to make sure the track that I'm working on is better than the stuff on my other records," he admits. "If they're not, I trash them and move onto something else." Other artists would do well to embrace this musical method that has attracted attention to Classified from the majors and Nettwerk, as well as high-profile artist acknowledgment. "Just the Way It Is," a Mexican fight song in battle rap disguise, features Canadian hip-hop pioneer Maestro Fresh Wes, who flips his flow and lends plenty of cred. "[Maestro] said he really liked my music," says Class of the legend. "We talked a couple times, then I asked him if he wanted to get on this record. He was real cool about it, didn't ask for money, just out of love and cause he was feeling the shit." It's only a matter of time before Classified's trial and error technique has everyone feeling his shit.