Lee Reed is a riveting and uncompromising hip-hop artist from Hamilton, Ontario. Once a member of the powerful group Warsawpack, Reed has released three politically-charged solo albums, including his latest, The Butcher, The Banker, The Bitumen Tanker, which is available now via leereedrevolt.com. He’s playing the Hillside Festival in Guelph during the weekend of July 24 and here, Lee and I discuss the city of Hamilton and Kathleen Wynne’s one billion dollar promise to bring light rail transit to town, gentrification, people moving to Hamilton while other people are being displaced, the severe classicism within the city, action versus reaction, contributing to discussions more than ushering them along, learning more about and carefully scrutinizing Canada’s disturbing social and political history, this country’s large role in resource extraction, how the Indian Act inspired South African apartheid, writing the new record pretty quickly, punk rock, his relationship to more materialistic or problematic aspects of hip-hop culture, Public Enemy’s Yo! Bum Rush the Show, Kanye West and Mike Myers, old school production, flossing and being a chubby old white dude, trying to breakthrough with ‘fringe’ messages in the Canadian hip-hop community, Hamilton’s supportive music scene, making art for love, catchy political music, accessibility, hopelessness, greed, we just suck, The Butcher, The Banker, The Bitumen Tanker is #1, the Rebel Function, Mother Tareka and Flotilla, working a good day job, the song “Fuck Ya,” and that’s all.
Related links: leereedrevolt.com hillsidefestival.ca vishkhanna.com