Justin 'Makemdef' MacLean came onto my radar as one half of the mighty CHUURCH. Their groovy, weird and driving 'Lean Bass' sank its hooks deep into my eardrums right away. My Shambhala crew came together and re-energized to their music when Chuurch had their Sunday 4am set moved up to Saturday at 8pm in the face of the threatening forest fires nearby. Watching Makemdef on stage pantomiming around like some kind of possessed bass priest, may be the greatest spectacle I've ever seen behind a set of decks. Turns out homie is a hella great hip-hop producer as well, working with some of Canada's finest like Snak the Ripper, Moka Only and Emotionz. Which really, considering the obvious and deep hip-hop influence in Chuurch's ysht, shouldn't come as a surprise. Last week Makemdef unleashed a pretty amazing beat-tape that any head should be putting in their ears. I was lucky enough to grab a few minutes of his valuable time where we definitely talked Chuurch, but managed to squeeze in a quick 5 Questions in which we cover breakfast sandwiches, his greatest fear and the glory that is Nas.
1. Do you remember the first album you bought with your own body?
It was Nas God's Son. It blew my mind, I'd never heard anything like that before. My identity changed after hearing Nas, it was crazy.
2. I think that's the proper human response to really listening to Nas for the first time. <laugh> When is the last time you did something for the first time? (I don't normally comment on how people answer these things, but the enthusiasm in homie's voice for new experiences and new art and the quickness with which he answered this really made me smile and was frankly, just a tad inspiring.)
Oh man, every day. When I'm traveling I see and experience new things all of the time. I think the last time I saw something new, I saw the biggest metal sculpture that emits flame. That's a crazy thing to see. Different scenes everywhere. It's crazy how you can experience something for the first time, but also for the thousandth time. Every day I try to do something like that. There are some pretty significant ones - I wish I knew the very last new thing like that I experienced. Even just new scenes, like when you walk into a carnival or something. Oh! I saw a big bass carnival, this is cool. I was camped next to this giant carnival. There was something like 17 dancers wearing different masks, it felt like a huge circus. I was sitting there while they're getting geared up. It felt like I was going to fight alongside all these dance warriors. It was really neat, they were training around the campsite area. It felt very warrior-style. I'd never sat around a circus while people practiced. That was new and cool.
3. What's the last thing that made you seriously belly-laugh?
Probably some joke my girlfriend told me. She makes me laugh a lot. My girlfriend, final answer.
4. What's your best memory of a teacher growing up?
<laughs> I had a grade 7 art teacher who used to have a little something extra in her thermos of orange juice. Thinking about that always makes me laugh. I went to this prototype high school in Nova Scotia for kids with attention deficit and stuff like that. There was only like 60 kids in the whole school. Kids from the ghetto and rich kids. Kids had ADD, ADHD, Tourette's or sometimes all three. Gym class would get a little crazy. It was cool.
5. You get two guest questions today. The first one comes from the legendary Z-Trip...What is your greatest fear?
Getting comfortable. For sure. That's a silent killer, that one.
6. The other question comes from the homie Flamingosis...If you could only eat one type of breakfast sandwich for every meal the rest of your life, what kind of breakfast sandwich would you eat?
That's deadly, I like that question. I don't eat pork, so I like just a straight-up regular breakfast sandwich. A little cheese and an English muffin and some egg. Totally down with that. I could live off that. In the morning, just basic like that.
You put any butter or mayo or ketchup or anything on that bad boy?
Nah. Just me and grease. Well, I'd go with some monterey jack cheese instead of regular cheese. A nice organic egg just taken out of the chicken coup.