Chicago’s The Palmer Squares Embark on First Canadian Tour With Stops in Montreal, Kingston, Toronto & London

Chicago’s underground rap scene is like no other, with insanely talented acts like Kanye West and Chance The Rapper who have exploded onto the mainstream, and other polarizing figures like Chief Keef who have definitely changed the way we view violence in America. You’ve really got every polar opposite, from conscious to knocked out unconscious.

The Palmer Squares, which is the rapping duo composed of Acumental and Terminal K, have paved their own way, with wordplay, lyricism, varied rhythm patterns and a style of their own. Using tons of pop culture references and outlandish metaphors in their debut album Finna, over beats that can satisfy the headphone introverts as much as the party animals, they have carved their place in the Windy City’s growing underground. Now, they are looking beyond their comfort zone and bringing their live show to Canada, with a stop in Montréal with a sick lineup including Canadian Producer Fresh Kils, who we interviewed earlier this year, Chicago’s Loud Mouth (not to be confused with Loudmouth from Loud & Lary), Cee & Notion, an Australian-Canadian duo our readers have grown familiar with this past year, and Dan Doesn’t Sleep.

We exchanged a few words with Acumental of The Palmer Squares ahead of their Montreal show on May 15th which kickstarts their tour with stops in Kingston (May 16th), Toronto (May 17th) and London (May 18th).

Gab: Your debut album “Finna” there’s a lot of playful rhyming and multis. How do you describe the writing process?

Acumental: Term and I write all of our lyrics independently, like it’s very rare that we sit down together and try to write something collaboratively…we usually just isolate ourselves in our rooms and work on songs until we feel like we’ve got a solid idea coming together, then we link up and bring each other up to speed on what we’ve written so that we can try to stay on the same page.  I think we both approach our verses in a unique way, in that we respect and appreciate the english language, slang, and syllabic structure in our verses but we also try to keep it goofy and not take our shit too seriously as a whole.  A lot of times we’re just saying some silly shit, but our lyrical strategy surrounding those goofy lines tends to catch people’s ears and balance out our nonsense.

Gab: Your city has fostered some of the biggest names in hip hop, from Kanye to Chance the Rapper and Chief Keef. How would you describe the rap scene in Chicago?

Acumental: The Chicago rap scene is phenomenal.  No contest.  I honestly think there is more talent in this city than we’re even aware of yet; so many youngsters on the come up and other youngsters taking notes from the cats already doing it…I also think some of our lesser-known Stank Face brethren are about to make big waves when they start releasing the shit they’ve been working on too.  XXL Magazine just released their Freshman 2014 list and there were 4 rappers from Chicago on the cover…shit is crazy.  The Chicago scene is definitely diverse but everybody is doing their own thing, like the two biggest names to come out of Chicago recently have been Chance the Rapper & Chief Keef and  in my opinion, they’re polar opposites.  I very much prefer Chance to Chief Keef…like I don’t enjoy that Keef’s music is essentially a commercial ad-campaign for recreational gunplay, but they both found success doing their own thing and representing their scene and there’s something to be said about that.  All I can say is just keep your eye on Chicago because your future favorite rapper is probably from here.
Gab: Which rappers would you say influenced your sound ? Do you count Swollen Members in that list?
Acumental: I’m so out-of-the-loop that I can honestly say I’ve never heard of Swollen Members until right now haha…in fact I feel like we’re both pretty out of touch in terms of other rappers as we’re usually just focusing on our stuff.  Maybe that’s selfish, maybe we’re just uninterested, but we definitely don’t listen to as much rap as we used to…we’re big fans of comedy so we tend to listen to Opie & Anthony, stand-up comedians and podcasts a lot more than music in general these days (though we try to keep tabs on the rap scene).  As far as rappers that influenced me to start rapping, here’s the short list:  MF Doom, Typical Cats, Phonte, Slum Village, Devin the Dude, Hieroglyphics, One Be Lo, Talib Kweli, Black Thought & Wax.

Gab: On “It’s Cold” you guys use a lot of metaphors on your low temperature. Would you say you’re cold like Canada?

Acumental: As of now, we’ve never been to Canada so we’re not sure how it compares to Chicago but we’ve heard it’s witches tit status up there as well.  Hopefully it won’t be too cold when we get up there next week cuz we’ve had just about enough of that bullshit…

Gab: Are you guys excited to bring your live set to Canada?

Acumental: Most definitely!  We’ve seen the Twitter & Facebook posts asking us to reach Canada for a long time so we’re hyped to see what kind of support we’ve got up there.  We’ve also never left the country before so we both had to get passports specifically for this trip…it’s been a long time coming and we can’t wait to get up there and have some fun next week – we’ll be in Montreal, Kingston, Toronto and London so check us out if you’re in the area…heck, if you play your cards right we might even lip-sync R. Kelly for you 😉

We’ll definitely be looking forward to that. Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door.
For more info on the TRH Bar (3699 Boul. St-Laurent, Montreal) stop of the Canadian tour, click on the flyer:
The Palmer Squares
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