Interviewing the Best SoundCloud Rappers From Our High School

Interviewing the Best SoundCloud Rappers From Our High School

We tried to get Roddy Ricch but he wouldn’t answer our DMs.

Going to a small high school, you would be surprised by how many aspiring SoundCloud rappers there were roaming our halls and sending out streams of emails to the entire school advertising their latest singles. While we respected their hustle, these emails clogged up our inboxes and were a nuisance to everyone in the school. However, a select few of them were actually worth listening to- two of them being our dear friends, Kay Kwan and Paul Rosenbaum.

As a third-year Western University student, Kay has been taking the music world by storm for five years. Releasing his first single in 2018, Get To Packing was revolutionary for the tens of SoundCloud users who listened to it. Followed by the release of Drip, Kay has amassed an impressive discography. Thank God Natalie didn’t end up accidentally killing Kay in South Africa or else he wouldn’t be able to grace us with these absolute bangers (stay tuned for this riveting story in a future blog post).

As third-year University of Toronto student, Paul is the craftier half of the Kay and Paul dynamic duo, responsible for making the beats that back Kay’s rapping. Ultimate frisbee master and saxophone God, there is nothing this boy can’t do.

While the duo doesn’t have any songs out together yet, there are a couple of big projects in the works for 2021. So we decided to catch up with the pair before their big break, and see where they are on their journey to stardom.

Us: How would you describe your sound?

Kay: I’m different. You really can’t put my sound into any type of category. Honestly, I’m a different breed. A different dog. I’m not like these other rappers. I’m in my own lane. I’m like a horse at a horse race– I have blinders on. I don’t see anybody except what’s in front of me. I’m just built differently. 

Us: What is your favorite song you’ve released so far?

Kay: My favorite song that I’ve made is probably “Get to Packing.” This was the first song that I made and the process was a lot of fun. You know that feeling you get when you know you have a fire IG pic and you’re about to post it? That’s the feeling I had when I was making that song. I remember the day I dropped that song, I was sitting in Biology class and I was thinking to myself about the absolute fire track I had. I was about to drop the hottest single of 2018.

Us: What inspired you to start rapping?

Kay: Paul and I planned a trip in Grade 11 to see two different rappers in New York City. The first one was YBN Nahmir and, to be honest, he’s kind of fallen off, but at the time he just released “Rubbin Off The Paint,” which was my favorite song. The second rapper was Playboi Carti, whose first self titled album I listened to religiously. His concert was probably one of the best ones I’ve been to and was what inspired me to start my music career. It seemed like the perfect job; performing in front of people and getting paid to do it. This concert launched me into the SoundCloud dream.

Paul: I like listening to music so the next step was to make some music.

Us: How has your music career affected your relationships?

Kay: The music career hasn’t really affected any of my personal relationships. Honestly, it’s something fun to talk about with people. Most of the people who find out about my SoundCloud are generally supportive. And the people that know about it are pretty cool with it, I think. Plus, I don’t really care what you think of it, to be honest. 

Us: Why haven’t you and Paul collaborated on a song together yet?

Kay: At the height of my career, Paul wasn’t really into rapping, but rather helping me record my music. However, we’ve made some heat together for fun and we’ll probably make some more in the future. I’d say we’re like a Drake and Future combo. I’m Drake in that combo. 

Paul: We have collaborated on songs before, but they’re just marinating at the moment.

Us: What’s up with your hiatus from making music?

Kay: I haven’t really been focusing on music that much because I’ve been pretty busy with school and work, so the music career has kind of taken a backseat. It’s the way of the road. 

Paul: No comment.

Us: What is the biggest obstacle that you’ve faced so far in your music career?

Kay: My biggest obstacle is that I’ve been blackballed by all the labels and the big wigs in the music industry. I can’t get a record deal cause they hate me SMH. Tell 88rising to sign me to a deal right now. I’m not even joking. 

Paul: Learning how to steal software.

Us: What’s the most rewarding thing about making music that you’ve experienced?

Kay: The most rewarding thing was when I played my first song in the car with my friends and it was bumping. That single was so fire it had everybody in the car jumping. Another was when I showed it to my ex at the time and she said she liked it. 

Us: What do you see in the future for your music career?

Kay: Mhmm, hopefully I blow up overnight and become a star– kind of like Lil Yachty or Lil Mosey. I don’t really know, I’m more of an in-the-present kind of a guy. But maybe I’ll start plotting soon. 

If you liked this interview and want to see or hear more of Kay and Paul, you can check them out here:

Instagram: @kaykwan.s, @paul_rosenbaum

SoundCloud: @therealkwan

We Spent 24 Hours in Toronto

We Spent 24 Hours in Toronto

Our journey to becoming the ultimate 6ix Gods.

Living in a small town can get very repetitive, so we decided to get out of St. Catharines for the weekend and channel our inner city girls on a trip to Toronto. Being the only Canadian city most Americans have ever heard of, Toronto is a vibrant and diverse epicentre for young, ambitious people. We know what you’re thinking– why on earth would we belong here?

Well, on the hour-and-a-half drive to the city, we passed through many different towns; however, each was indistinguishable from the next- having the same plazas comprised of a Walmart, PetSmart, Swiss Chalet, LCBO, and BestBuy. In short, every suburban city in Southern Ontario is precisely the same. Hence, the desire for us to embark on our twenty-four-hour adventure to a place much different than home.

Because of the pandemic, we avoided the typical rush-hour traffic heading to Toronto and even found an excellent place to park. Truly an accomplishment. However, this was quickly overshadowed. Within the first five minutes of arriving, as we were trying to leave the parking garage, we had to overcome our first obstacle– Mira misplaced the keys somewhere inside of the car. Frantically looking for ten minutes, we finally realized that the keys were hidden inside the cupholder. This really set the tone for our entire trip.

While giving us immense stress, this parking garage also gave us a little taste of what the art scene in Toronto has to offer, with the following masterpiece below:

The minute we stepped outside, we regretted our decision to wear pants and long sleeves and missed the comfort of the refreshing air-conditioning system of our Nissan Rogue, though, we were ready to take on the city– starting on Queen Street West.

Downtown Toronto was surprisingly unpopulated, and all of the people we encountered were wearing masks (pop off public health queens).

Our first stop was at the Tribal Rhythm thrift store, which had clothing ranging from 1940s bathing suits to corsets that looked like they’d be on a discount rack at a sex shop. This store truly had everything. We ended up purchasing a cool pair of 2000s-looking sunglasses and a mask (again, pop off public health queens). We’d recommend checking this store out if you’re ever in the area.

Leaning into our newfound passion for thrifting, we decided to visit another thrift store named Black Market Clothing and found some unique pieces, as well, including this questionable top:

After looking at used clothing for hours, we decided that we wanted to ball out and explore Toronto’s luxury and streetwear options. This prompted us to embark on a thirty-six-minute trek to the Off-White store, hoping to buy matching sweaters.

Only visiting Toronto for a handful of school field trips and a Post Malone concert, we really had no idea where we were going or what our surroundings were. The entire walk we assumed every building that was old-looking and relatively large was part of the University of Toronto campus– including the Ontario Parliament building. If we had a drink for every time one of us said, “Oh, that’s U of T,” we would indeed be on the floor.

Finally, arriving at the Off-White store, we were greeted with an exceptional air-conditioning system, questioning why we even bother to go outside in the first place. Though we were initially excited to explore the store and their great sales going on, unfortunately, all of the hoodies they sold said “Toronto” on them– which didn’t really excite us that much. We actively avoided going to the OVO store for this exact reason. We get it, Drake is from Toronto which is cool and all– but this is taking patriotism to a whole new level.

Turning the corner, we realized that we had made it to Yorkville– one of Toronto’s more affluent areas and a hotspot for luxury shopping. While Yorkville is boujee as hell, we felt out of our element– especially because we were walking around with a dirt-cheap thrifted t-shirt that said “C**t” on it among a sea of people carrying the latest Chanel and Louis Vuitton bags.

Stumbling upon a plant-based restaurant, named Planta, that our parents have been talking about for months now, we decided that it would be best to grab a bite at this Yorkville patio.

The food was absolutely amazing and made us contemplate travelling one-and-a-half hours just to be able to eat there again.

At around 6:00, Mira and her fear of driving in the dark prompted us to start our early return to St. Catharines. Walking back to our car, she got a little emotional passing by people enjoying cocktails on Eataly’s Aperol Spritz Patio, stating that “It’s hard to see people living the life you were meant to live.” This sentiment further emphasized our need to return to Toronto soon.

It’s important to note that the drive to Toronto should only take an hour and a half, however with Nat’s navigation skills, an extra hour should be added onto this total. Accidentally having the “Avoid Highways” setting active on Google Maps for the first half hour of the trip back, Nat lived up to her legacy as the most geographically-challenged person on the planet, often getting distracted by her time on aux. It’s truly a tough call deciding whether to play “Whatever You Like” by T.I. or “Graduation” by JuiceWRLD.

All in all, we now have our bearings in this city– so watch out Toronto baddies and CN Tower enthusiasts. We’ll be back.