Cadence Weapon comes to London Music Hall

Header image for Interrobang article CREDIT: MARK SOMMERFELD
Canadian rapper Cadence Weapon is back on the music scene with a new self-titled album, which he shared with London on March 27 at the London Music Hall.

Canadian rapper, Roland Pemberton a.k.a. Cadence Weapon is leading the way when it comes to rap music and with a newly released self-titled album, he's surely making an impact in the music industry.

Interrobang had the opportunity to speak with the Edmonton native, who currently resides in Toronto after a stint in Montreal, to find out about his new album and the meaning behind Cadence Weapon.

“Cadence Weapon is a mantra that I had when I was first [starting out]. I used to freestyle all the time [and] I used to come back to this phrase, ‘my cadence is my weapon,' and I shortened that idea to Cadence Weapon. My words are my weapon,” Pemberton said.

His newest self-titled album was released early this year and although traditionally musicians may self-title their first album, it can also represent a milestone.

“I always thought it was dope to put out a self-titled album when it's not your first album. It's a new beginning for me. I see it like a new starting point, a reinvention of my music. I feel like I've really refined what I wanted to do with my music with this album. I feel like it's the best reflection of who I am, of anything I've put out; that's why I decided to name it this. There's [an] autobiographical element to it but it's [also] in the stuff I talk about. I always see my music as being very socio-politically conscious; I think that's the stuff that people resonate with most. Once you tap into that deep human experience; that's what I think people come to rap music for ultimately,” said Pemberton.

Cadence Weapon's unique flow and lyrical prowess not only make him an innovative rapper but he has also earned the distinction of being the Poet Laurette for his hometown of Edmonton in 2009, as well as the city's literary ambassador. He was also invited to read poetry at the 2010 Winter Olympics.

“It was a real honour. I got to represent the city where I'm from around the world in an official capacity. It's something I will always cherish.”

“I've always been an inquisitive and creative person. I always wanted to make things whether it was writing poetry, or writing articles or making music, I've always been drawn to be creative,” said Pemberton.

Listening through the new Cadence Weapon album you can expect to hear innovative sounding music, and a variety of creative flows. Pemberton described some of his personal favorites from the 12 track album. “

‘Highrise' is one of my favourites [off the new album]; I like rapping over club music. I also really like the song “Infinity Pool”, I feel like it's one of the most unique songs I have. “Don't Talk to Me” is about my experience in the music industry. [And] “My Crew” is just a fun track I made for my friends in Montreal,” Pemberton said.

He goes on to explain his views on society and the current state of hip-hop music in a verse on the song “Large”.

“When I say, ‘these rappers are frauds,' I see so many artists who are just trying to do whatever is cool right now and they want to talk about whatever is selling, whether or not they live that lifestyle. You see so many clones of rappers nowadays; people who want to be the next Lil' Yachty.”

“[] I talk about gentrification, technology and capitalism. []Also about the prison industrial complex; talking about what it's like to be a black person in North America [and] the way we choose to rehabilitate people. The prison system doesn't work. [] I just think as a society we have to look at why our first impulse is to put somebody in a cage when we're not happy with what they're doing,” Pemberton said.

To hear more about what Cadence Weapon has to say listen to his music and follow him on social media. Find him on Spotify and Apple Music or at the London Music Hall on March 27 at 8 p.m., along with New York-based musical trio Too Many Zooz.

“I've performed in London many times [and] I really like it there. I'm looking forward to it, [I] can't wait to share all my new songs with everybody. It's going to be a dope show,” Pemberton said.