Classified Announces New EP, Unveils Two New Music Videos For ‘Changes’.
Now available on all major digital platforms: https://classified.lnk.to/Changes
1995–2004: Early beginnings, Trial & Error and URBNET Records
Classified attended Hants East Rural High School in Milford Station, Nova Scotia. He started his own production label, Half Life Records, and released his first full-length LP called Time’s Up, Kid, in 1995.
After years of working on music, specifically eight studio albums, and sorting through label contracts, Classified produced, recorded and released his ninth album, Trial & Error, and signed a nationwide distribution deal with Toronto-based, URBNET Records in 2003. Containing collaborations with up-and-coming Canadian artists like Eternia and DL Incognito, as well as Canadian rap veteran, Maestro, the album was one of the highest selling independent rap albums in Canada in 2004.
In addition to the release of Trial & Error, 2003 and 2004 were busy years for Classified. With the continuous support of VideoFACT, he was able to release two additional music videos for the singles “Just the Way It Is” and “Unexpected”. Classified also continued to master his production skills and joined forces with some of Canada’s most prominent emcees, including Choclair and Maestro Fresh Wes. He also teamed up with Shady Records recording artist, Royce da 5’9″ and opened for Ludacris, Snoop Dogg, Busta Rhymes, The Game, Nelly, MC Grizzly, Captain Capota, Nas, The Black Eyed Peas and Black Moon.
2005–2007: Boy-Cott-In the Industry and Hitch Hikin’ Music
Classified’s tenth album, Boy-Cott-In the Industry, marked a significant turning point is his career. The 2005 album includes guest appearances by Trent James, Royce Da 5’9″, Jay Bizzy, J-Bru, A-Wall, Spesh K, and Mike Boyd (Classified’s younger brother and fellow MC). He has said he enjoys doing music with other people: “It keeps things exciting and there are tons of talented people in Halifax so you make connections ’cause it’s not a huge scene.” The album reached #46 on SoundScan‘s Canadian R&B/Hip-Hopalbums chart. The singles “The Maritimes”, “5th Element”, “No Mistakes”, and “Find Out”, which is the lead single of his 11th studio album, Hitch Hikin’ Music, were all Top 20 hits on MuchMusic and MTV Canada that year. The music video for “No Mistakes” won him an MMVA for MuchVibe Best Rap Video. Boy-Cott-In the Industry also earned a Juno Award nomination for Rap Recording of the Year in 2006.
Following Boy-Cott-In the Industry, Classified released his eleventh album Hitch Hikin’ Music. Like previous works, the album was self-produced, and it is arguably some of his finest work. On “Fall From Paradise”, Classified reflects on the difficulty of staying fresh and on top. In the hip-hop meets classic rock song “All About U”, featuring singer Chad Hatcher, Classified shows the extent of his growth from his early releases. In “Hip Hop Star”, he eschews the current bling-bling culture of popular hip hop to remind people that life is not about trying to impress others. The rest of the album includes guest appearances by Jay Bizzy, Mic Boyd, Jordan Croucher, Preacher K, White Mic and more. Four singles have been released off the album: “Find Out” (which won the 2007 East Coast Music Award for Best Rap/Hip-Hop Single), “Feelin’ Fine Remix”, “All About U”, and “Hard to Be Hip Hop”. Hitch Hikin’ Music also received a Juno Award nomination for Rap Recording of the Year in 2007.
2008–2014: Self Explanatory, Handshakes and Middle Fingers, and self titled album
In 2008, Classified signed his first major label deal with Sony Music and released his twelfth studio album, Self Explanatory in 2009, which received highly positive reviews from the critics, debuting on the Canadian Albums Chart at #25 making it Classified’s first album on that chart. The hit single “Anybody Listening” brought Classified to mainstream success as it peaked at #52 on the Canadian Hot 100. The accompanying music video also received heavy rotation on MuchMusic. At the 2009 MuchMusic Video Awards on May 21, 2009, Classified won the MuchVibe “Best Hip-Hop Video of the Year” award for “Anybody Listening” directed by Harv Glazer and produced by Robert Wilson of TwoThreeFiveFilms. He would also receive three Juno Award nominations in 2010, for Rap Recording of the Year, Single of the Year, and Video of the Year respectively. Classified would enjoy more mainstream success in with another hit single, “Oh…Canada” peaking at #14 on the Canadian Hot 100 and was certified platinum in digital downloads by the Music Canada. In early 2011, “Oh…Canada” received a Juno nomination for “Single of the Year”.
On March 22, 2011, Classified released his thirteenth album, albeit only his second major studio album, Handshakes and Middle Fingers. The album debuted at #7 on the Canadian Albums Chart. The first single off the album, “That Ain’t Classy” reached #45 on the Canadian Hot 100. “That Ain’t Classy” also featured in the hit EA football game Madden 12. In 2012, Classified signed with Universal Music.
In 2013, Classified would reach the height of his music career with the release of his fourteenth album, eponymously titled Classified, which debuted at #1 on the Canadian Albums Chart, earning him his first chart-topping album and would eventually be certified Platinum by Music Canada. The first single off the album, “Inner Ninja” reached #5 on the Canadian Hot 100, earning Classified his first top ten hit and highest charting song. The song has been certified 5x Platinum in digital downloads by Music Canada.
In March 2013, it was announced that Classified signed a deal with Atlantic Records. In April 2013, Classified won an award at the 2013 Juno Awards for “Rap Recording of the Year” for his song “Inner Ninja”. A remix of the song featuring guest vocals from Olly Murs was released on November 10, 2013.
On January 15, 2016, Classified released his fifteenth album Greatful. Three singles were released: “Filthy” which features DJ Premier, “No Pressure” which features Snoop Dogg (which reached #65 on the Canadian Hot 100) and “Noah’s Arch” which features Saukrates. The album debuted #6 on the Canadian Albums Chart. Classified announced he will be touring across Canada from February to March in support of the album.
Classified co-wrote and produced Ria Mae’s hit song Thoughts On Fire and raps on the Thoughts on Fire (feat. Classified) version which is on heavy rotation in early 2017 on the CBC Radio 2 network.
2018–present: New upcoming music
On February 9, 2018, Classified filmed a music video for “Powerless” in Nova Scotia, featuring native dancers and musicians and bringing to light the issues surrounding missing and murdered indigenous women and girls. On May 8, 2018, Classified released another new single called “Changes” featuring Anjulie.