24: Introduce yourself to everyone that doesn’t already know who you are.
Kama Ez-Mak: My name is Kama Ez-Mak formally known as Kama aka Kamikaze from Toronto, Canada Vaughn Road & Oakwood via Trinidad & Tobago. I am an Entertainer, an artist, a business man, entrepreneur, visionary. CEO / Founder of Ez-Mak Records & Entertainment, and president / D.O.P. of Don Diva Canada. I am also a writer of films & scripts.
24: Before we get into your music, can you describe your history about how you got into and what inspired you?
Kama Ez-Mak: Music in general growing up where I come from inspired me. I started to listen to hip hop in the mid/ late 80’s and was introduced to hip hop at that time.. when I first heard KRS One. It was a familiar tone & sound I could relate to his style. That made me feel like I could do this too. I liked a lot of rappers. The only time I could catch hip hop in the mid 90’s was Saturday afternoon during a hip hop radio show called The Fantastic Voyage. It aired every Saturday 1-4pm. I was a fan of it, and would make tapes and listen to the sounds of Big Daddy Kane, Eric B & Rakim, and Kool G Rap. There’s to name a few I recall, but there was a lot of rappers I listened too. I’d hear everybody and all the rap that was coming out in those days. I was a big fan of KRS One, and The Fantastic Voyage Sets. I got into battling on the underground and at clubs in the 90’s. At the time we use to grab mics and bum rush clubs. I was one of the main MC’S, and I had another rap partner that was ill too. he was one of the top MC’S from Jane & Finch. Junior D- The Black Don Corleone. On the streets he was known as RAGA, but his real name was Godfrey Dunbar R.I.P. He was shot to death on new Years Eve the millenia 1999 going into 2000. He was a real G, He was a real rapper. I made a commitment to him that I would keep at it, and continue to work hard. We loved this shit. We loved Hip Hop. That’s how we became good bredrens and partners. After he passed I ended up going on that same radio station, live on the air, spoke of Junior D, and did a whole show. In those times everybody was saying Hip Hop was a phase and wasn’t going to last. People use to look at me like “why you want to do this?” I knew this was going to be a big thing! I remember telling people Hip Hop was gonna be the biggest thing one day!! I was just young, but I knew that. I believed that and so I stuck with it! Back in 1996 before my partner/ bredren Junior D died. I was put up on some charges and was incarcerated for 2 and 1/2 years, but I really kept up with my rapping. I use to study music and business in there. I’d study vocabulary and write music with my time. I had a little radio in my cell I use to listen to and I would write lyrics. Everybody in there wanted to hear me spit bars. While I was in there- that’s where I got my name Kamikaze. I was Do or Die- Anything. In 1998 when I came out I linked up with RAGA and we continued doing rap until he died (at a concert) the following year.
24: What was the Hip-Hop scene like for you growing up where you’re from?
Kama Ez-Mak: Where I grew up Vaughn Road and Oakwood- It’s Toronto. That’s where everything started musically in Canadian Hip-Hop. Vaughn Road & Oakwood (O&V), Jungle, Regent Park, Jane & Finch, Rexdall, and Flemingdon Park. This is where the first generation of rappers came from and that was my environment. I would see them in my neighbourhood and hear them MC. there was MC Bobby D, Sweet Ebony- out of Jungle, Howy T, Ghetto Concept, dream Warriors Beat Factory was the first Hip Hop label in Canada at this time. Then after came.. Michie Mee, S Blank from Flemingdon Park, Rumble & Strong, Maestro Fresh & others. The first MC I saw rock the Mic was MC Bobby D at a basement party on Vaughn Road. This is going way back. These were the first generation of rappers. They influenced me and inspired me and Hip-Hop grew from there. It grew into other hoods. Then from there it started… Hood to hood. It spread until each hood had it’s own crew and rappers. That is how it is too this day where I’m from- Toronto. That’s how it all started the Canadian Hip-Hop foundation.
24: What makes you Unique as an artist and different from other rappers out now?
Kama Ez-Mak: I’m From Toronto Canada Born and raised via Trinidad and Tobago where I grew up for the first years of my life. I’m also influenced by every era of Hip Hop. As I was introduced to it by my uncle Mikey who gave me my first 120 min tape of the first Rap songs from 1973 up to like 1986. I’ve lived in the UK, and I’m well traveled. I spent 2.5 years in prison for selling cocaine. I’m from Vaughan Road and Oakwood- one of the 13 at risk Hoods, and most notorious in Toronto. V&O is known in the world and to many as the West Indian Canadian original hub or “Lil Jamaica”. My style also reflects this in an authentic way- not a mockery. I stay current and trendsetting. My art reflects my life, and my life from the amount of money I’ve made and spent. Too the females I’ve been with- live ones, and top notch Hoes in the game. The life style, fashion, jewels, whips, there hasn’t been a rapper yet who has done all what I’ve done and touched what I’ve touched before or without commercial success! I’m not the rapper that’s gonna be bragging about what I’ve finally made or got. I live that. I rap about relevant real shit we live, and go through. Also in the past 7 – 8 years I’ve been through 5 raids, a 10 year investigation, murder beef, and allegations, > remain clean! I’m finally totally out of the system- no charges- not even a parking ticket, and A1 credit lol!! If that ain’t a story!! From Toronto Vaughan Road to > Trinidad to > The UK to > Tivoli Garden to > New York City — I’m known! I survived, and Have my respect. I never rolled, never ratted, never snaked, none of my people or anyone- to get where I’m at today…. and that’s just the tip of the ice berg!!!!
24: Tell us about what you are working on.
Kama Ez-Mak: Well right now I’m working on quite a bit. First off its probably out already by the time your reading this check it the remix for “You Ain’t No Killa” by my nigga passport it’s Some new Fire man. I’m also getting ready to release my main solo artist Quanche single and shoot the video for his single: YAP “Young and Poppin”. There’s a huge endorsement deal that’s attached with that project. Then I got a party during TIFF I’m Toronto in September with my new friend and business partner Bokeem Woodbine. Bokeem also signed on as co-executive producer in a new feature film project I wrote called “Balance”. He also will Star as the lead roll along with some other major actors, and a potential major superstar from Toronto. I’m also the co-executive producer and own the rights to the sound track, book, and scoring of the film. In September I’m going on a FROSH week promo tour. 13 city’s Across Canada; it’s called Started From Scratch a.k.a. The Baking Soda Arm and Hammer Tour- Lol ya Get me! Last but definitely not least this is hot- this is now- this is what’s up: The 2nd Edition of Don Diva Canada!! Scheduled for release mid August 2013 check www.DonDivaCanada.com for the edition & more. Plus I might add I’ve already started working on a new Mixtape.
24: What producers have you worked with and who would you like to work with in the future?
Kama Ez-Mak: Producer I’ve mostly worked with are all internal. Guys I’ve been working with for a long time: Track-T, Maki-B, Passport, Fonz, Nayan Williams, Niko Premier Studio, Tall Man. Those are my main guys. Who I would like to work with: Ryan Leslie, Mike Will Made it, Young Chop, Boi 1Da, Arthur McArthur, there’s more but those are most prominent in my brain, and Major Lazer too.
24: Are you happy with the feedback you have been getting from people on material you have released?
Kama Ez-Mak: Yeah this has been the most positive feed back and boost in momentum, in a minute. I knew people would be surprised. I basically reinvented myself, and came with a whole new style & sound musically. I’ve gotten a lot better and the stuff I’ve released isn’t even the best yet. I have 3 Albums worth of material! … and still banging out new stuff everyday!! I have my own studio right in my condo.
24: In today’s free download age, what do you need to do to make your self a household name?
Kama Ez-Mak: Well this is my area: independent web / social media based. I’m a pioneer.. I’m that and have grown and invested in it, so as it’s grown so has my business and now here I am. This is my theory along with professional input. It’s a D.I.Y. industry now which means “Do it yourself” that’s what it’s about! You have to be able to do it yourself; package and present it in an industry standard format. High Quality product. Next is D.T.F. “Direct to fan” also means do it yourself but by interacting directly with your fans. How?? > # 1 word of mouth, # 2 Live performances (do a lot of shows paid and promo) give to your fans and potential fans, # 3 social media- be a social media Beast! Go Ham… saturation is the key word!, # 4 Use technology- Learn technology.. it is your best friend. Your smart phone- Your laptop- Your iPad- all the apps.. all that. And most important: Like my President of my label Darren Johnson says “It starts and ends with play”, and make some hits!
24: How do you feel about the current state of the Hip-Hop scene ?
Kama Ez-Mak: Me I love the current scene it’s my shit- ignorant fuck the world- don’t give a fuck- smoke get high (by the way I don’t do drugs) just smoke weed and drink here and there! You know that trap sound that ratchet club twerk shit I’m feeling all that strippers / Hoes all that. I just love Hip Hop in general almost every era accept when it got a Lil funky before the golden era. And I love the presentation the videos and the creative platforms we have to present it and how you no longer have to wait on people or so called Big people to help you. I like how young people in hip hop with technology can now do there thing. I like the sound of the music now again too for a minute they were loosing me around the time when NAS Was saying Hip-Hop is dead and JAY was dropping death of auto-tune. It’s all good now though a lot of good shit out right now.
24: Outside of the music, what else are you currently working on?
Kama Ez-Mak: I mentioned earlier I’m working on my first feature film “BALANCE”! I am a writer before everything. I have scripts. “BALANCE” got picked-up for four million dollars as a major production, starring Bokeem Woodbine. Also the new edition of Don Diva Magazine Canada is dropping this month. I got a party with my partner Charles Peart from international house of music during the Toronto International Film Festival TIFF. With special guests Bokeem Woodbine, Allan Anderson Toronto Raptors, NBA Marcel Darius Buffalo Bills, & Sophia Body. Those are a few of the things outside of music I’m doing, plus more. Such as my full merchandise line which is dropping this September for back to school. It’s the biggest revenue earner off the label since it’s start.
24: Where do you see yourself going in 2013 and how do you plan to separate yourself from the other artist out today to get the recognition you feel you deserve?
Kama Ez-Mak: Through my feature film Balance I think that will separate me from all artist, because that will be the biggest thing I’ve done in my career, so far. I get to do it all music, write, act, and executive produce- the film & sound track. In addition I’ll make a lot of money that will put me in a whole new bracket on a different level artistically financially with recognition. I will be able to bring my Brand to the next level.
24: How can fans go about contacting you?
Kama Ez-Mak: www.Ez-Mak.com
@KamaG5 – (twitter & Instagram )
24: Thank you for providing 24HourHipHop.com with this exclusive interview, do you have any last words for your present and future fans?
Kama Ez-Mak: Fuck wit me.. I let my work speak for itself. Everything I do is new, fresh, very relate-able, and most of all entertaining. Also any man who’s watching a next man- and talking about a next man- and hating on a man- and always has a mans name in his mouth…. Watch that man- man watch your ass man. We don’t watch man, or chat man. We watch woman. We chat to woman, and we watch money! We make money!! Peace. Ez-Mak we make making money, sport, fashion, film, and TV Look Eazy.