Who is Pot-C, and why should you spend valuable minutes of your life finding out? Reason number one is that he is a genuine old-school hip-hop head, just like you and me.
With social media stuffing fistfuls of hay into the next hip-hop strawman this morning just to hold a blowtorch to him tonight, how does a Pot-C stand apart? Well, for starters he was making rap songs out of “dogshit and tinfoil” years before the internet was even invented. In an era where stars are born with a “song” recorded to an iPod and a video recorded on a “smart” phone, it is reassuring to witness an artist truly stay grounded in the essence of the artform. I once saw him make beats by playing cassettes on fast forward into a toy casio sk1 with a 1.5 second sample, and then playing the sample on the low keys so it slowed back down and then rapping over that!
As a rural western Canadian in those days, I didn’t know any hip-hop fans, never mind creators! Pot-C is self-taught. Every living, breathing moment was spent on creating hip-hop that represented his environment. While most “just add water” rappers speak loosely about selling drugs to pay for their come-up, I watched Pot-C and his brother Cheese do things like stealing every pop can in the suburbs just to get that new 4-track or 20-pack of cassettes. Scratching on a fisher-price, using earbuds for mics, recording 2-track into a VCR, there was never a yearning for mass appeal, it was truly art for the sake of Garfunkel.
As a mentor, Pot-C was like the Supreme Leader of hip-hop in Port Coquitlam, then Campbell River, then East Vancouver, and now Japan. The number of rappers, producers, DJs, bands, and artists that bounced higher from working with him is uncountable. Yet he has always played it low-key, almost to the point of self-sabotage.
In a day where has-been and wanna-be rappaz would rather get clothing logos tattooed on their face than get a real job, I have personally witnessed Pot-C not only turn down, but fart right in the face of any and all offers and endorsements. Back in 98, a promoter offered Pot-C and his P.U.C.K. crew a slot on Breakfast television and Hollywood jeans for the crew if they would wear the jeans during their performance at Hoodstock 98. He didn't say no, he laughed and left. That is how it has always been. Pot-C once said it best in a song… “I’ll punch you in the face, and say ‘can we be friends’ and if you say ‘ok’, I’ll do it again!”
At first glance you might find it hard to separate the sharp-tounged Pot-C from the next net-bred smart-ass of the minute, but I would like to leave you with a quote from the late 20th century philosopher Dolly Parton, “It takes a fortune to look this cheap!” Pot-C is that hip-hop Dolly Parton.
- Long John