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There aren’t many hip-hop acts that have aged the way Classified has. Over his 25-year career, the hardworking rapper from Nova Scotia, Canada has dropped sixteen studio albums, a mixtape, a compilation album, and two EPs. On September 25th, 2020, he added to the collection and gifted us with his third EP entitled, Time. This uplifting project is a low-key masterpiece that showcases his evolution as an artist. From the soft dreamy production, and rapid-fire crystal-clear raps, to meaningful/creative music videos, Classified proves that he’s only aged like fine wine. Let’s cover few of my favorite moments and themes from Time EP.  

The first standout track is, “I Love It “(feat. Just Chase). It’s here where I was reminded of Classified’s effortless and fully audible flow. In a scene dominated by the likes of Future, Young Thug, and Chief Keef, enunciation has almost become a second-rate skill in modern music. Classified reels it back with clarity and storytelling abilities – “I Love it” is a great example of it. Sandwiched between Just Chase’s soulful melodies,  Classified‘s verses open up about the reasons he got into the rap game, tells us he’s achieved the initial goals he set out to accomplish, and gives us insight to how his priorities have shifted from music to family.

The video for this song (see below) is an evolving scene that compresses an eventful day in the life of Classified into only 3:14. In it, Classified manages to get out of bed, see his mom, eat an apple, hit the studio, skateboard with the kids and adults, take a family picture, check out the basketball game on the court outside, play a card game, steal a hotdog from a little girl, eat that too, jump in the pool, and hop on the dirt bike and ride away.

It’s also not the only song that was paired with meaningful visuals. At the time I’m writing this review, 4 of the 8 tracks; “Good News”, “Rap Shit”, “Pick Your Poison”, and “I Love It” (feat. Just Chase) all have corresponding music videos, and they all far exceed the painfully low hip hop music video standard of cash, ass, and cars. In contrast, Classified brands his music videos with storied cinematic cuts cured with an eastern Canadian hip hop flavor.

If conscious hip hop isn’t your style, Classified has a sleeper track tucked away in the third slot for you. Affectionately named after Bob “Super Dave Osbourne” Einstein, Classified uses the track, “Super Dave”, to bar out for the boys. On this jam, Classified leans into a more aggressive rhyme pattern over a higher tempo drum kit. Additionally, in his signature style, “Good News” (featuring Breagh Isabel) and “Pick Your Poison” are great jams that both offer self-reflective perspectives on dealing with anxiety and addiction, respectively.

Lastly, I’d be doing a disservice to Classified if I didn’t use a segment to opine on the production quality across all tracks. Similar to the likes of Kanye West, El-P, and J-Cole; a lot of Classified’s allure is that he’s just as involved with the production as he is with the lyricism. Placing his personal touch on every beat, he lays down breakbeat samples, and adds in hi-hat’s and snare kits with an MPC to build drum loops. Sometimes, you can even catch a singular light note throughout an entire background just to add a unique tone to a sound piece.

Clocking in at only 28:16, Time EP provides the hip-hop scene with a moment of clarity. It allows us to step away from smoke-filled room of commercial hip hop and catch a deep breath of sobriety. It offers maturity, growth, and even closure. Since his debut in 1995, Classified has been honing his skills and it almost feels like his career has come full circle with this one. Give it a spin on your favorite streaming service. I don’t know how many more Classified will have for us in the future.


As always, be well and rock on!     Hunnypot Approved!     Overall Rating:  9.5 out of 10

Artist:  Classified  LPTime  Release Date: September 25th, 2020,   Label: Half Life Records


Kris Kuganathan

Photojournalist - Orange County

Website: Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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