Following a pair of impressive solo albums, Tobique First Nation-based rap duo Old Self & Kam Speech are back in the studio working on the follow-up to 2015’s ‘Realizations’.
Tobique First Nation rap duo Old Self & Kam Speech have been contributing to New Brunswick’s hip hop scene for the better part of a decade now. They first appeared together in 2013 as members of the impressive yet short-lived group, TheBrokenReckords. While the group broke up shortly after the release of their debut self-titled full-length, cousins Old Self (Morgan Nicholas-McDougall) and Kam Speech (Cameron Nicholas) have continued to explore the world of beats and rhymes, releasing a steady stream of music as both solo artists and as a duo.
“We both started very young,” said Old Self. “I was 13 and Kam was 11. Freestyling into cassette players was a huge thing for us until we started to write and take things more seriously. When Kam got his first microphone, that’s when things started to escalate. Kam Speech recorded his first official song with another artist in our community named Beaatz (City Natives). It was called Retaliation and once I heard it, I couldn’t get enough.”
As rap artists, growing up in a part of the province known largely for its fiddles and guitars could be seen as a major disadvantage. Thankfully, Old Self and Kam Speech have both benefitted from a strong support base within a community that believes in what they’re trying to accomplish.
“Our community backs us up a lot, funding us when we attend music awards and conferences such as the ECMA’s, the Prix MNB Awards and Festival (506),” said Kam. “Every year during Labour Day weekend they also throw a festival to showcase the amazing talent here in our community and we are always invited to perform.”
Since releasing their debut full-length, Realizations, in 2014, Kam Speech has devoted a lot of time working with other artists handling media relations and helping them secure award submissions and festival showcases through his company ViiiZUALEYES Media Group. Both artists have also released solo albums over the past couple of years: The Old Self LP (Old Self 2016) and Project IV (Kam Speech 2017).
The pair are currently working to complete their second full-length album, Cognition. Not With It is the second single from the forthcoming album.
“Before coming back to work on Cognition we both worked on and finished our own solo projects and dropped three music videos that were professionally filmed and edited in 4K,” said Old Self. “We released them on Youtube in the span in about a month.”
“Finally after almost three years and two solo albums we decided it was long enough, so we started our second collaboration project, Cognition, which we’re still in the process of making,” said Old Self.
“The best way to differentiate this new project from our last would be that it’s the total opposite of the definition of Realizations,” he said. “We now know what we want to do, what we want to sound like, and how we want to look. And most importantly, we know what we need to do to expand our fanbase. We we’re kids when we recorded Realizations. You’ll notice the toned maturity on Cognition from what we speak about, to how we sound, our cadence, flows, and our perceptions on life.”
Watch for Cognition dropping later this year.