Interlude: 📍 elsewhere

There’s something to be achieved by leaving your comfort zone. For some people, this means departing a certain mental destination, but if you’re like me it’s often something a little more tangible that you seek.

Over the 7 or so months that have passed since graduating university I’ve had the pleasure of more than doubling the number of cities that I’ve got to explore during my entire lifespan thus far. What started as a change of scenery in the ol’ outback of Australia (read as: a big share-house 10 minutes away from Bondi Beach), seemingly seamlessly transitioned into a cross-map expedition of the United States – but now even back home in Canada, I’ve found myself making as many mini excursions as possible.

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Schedules are great and all, and finding that ideal routine is nice – but nothing quite enhances the creative experience as much a night in the back of a car in the mountains with your friends, or maybe just a solo expedition in hopes of stumbling on a place that you’ve never been before. (Sometimes I wish I was a real photographer, just for the excuse to be constantly venturing to new, cool places at all times).

Y’see, being a creative is as much about the what you produce, as it is about what you consume. A creative’s “diet” consists of everything we take in throughout the day – from the vlogger you watch in the AM, to the accounts you monitor daily on the ‘gram, and including but not limited to the events you partake in – which is why specific scenery can be so important. Not only can a little day trip act as the perfect excuse to pry your retinas off your iBlackHole for a few minutes, the sheer energy that will radiate off whatever sunset you end up watching, or lake you end up treading in will be enough to shift even the most deadset minds and spirits.


This time around, the Interlude playlist will be focused on showcasing the best upcoming talent from around the globe; some of which I had the pleasure of meeting during my travels like Jake Crocker from Seattle, WA, to some who are popping off in places I hope to venture to soon like Two Another out of London, UK, all the way to, of course, sensational artists that I found out about on the internet (like UK’s Jacob Banks who I discovered on the COLORS Berlin Facebook page singing his heart out). Oh, and you know I had to throw a Canadian in there, so Toronto’s Daniel Caeser is rightfully holding it down for those of us North of the 49th parallel.

follow me on Soundcloud for more playlists!

Check out the playlist below, and leave a comment if you know anyone from your region that I’ve gotta check out – who knows, they might even score my next Interlude.

follow my adventures on the gram @hxspey, or on twitter @hospey

How To Work For Your Favourite Rapper

Is it really possible to land your DREAM job, only a handful of months out of college? Apparently so. But I bet you’ve never had a first day like this before…

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Here is how to work for your favourite rapper:

The first day of work is never easy. You hope that your new peers will like you; you hope your new boss will be impressed. Well, today is your first day at your new job… except your job is a cross-country rap-tour, your peers are world-class musicians and your boss, who invited you on said tour, has won a triplet of Grammy awards. He’s 24, and he’s your favorite rapper.

As a 22-year-old yourself, freshly graduated, you harbor the powers of the internet and somehow secure the dream job from your thrifty confines in Sydney, Australia – a temporary shelter from the true responsibilities of the motherland – Canada. Life can happen as swiftly as a resume goes viral, and since your application happened to do so, about three weeks will pass before your first day on the job.

“Welcome to the tour! What do you do here?” You’re not really sure, yet. But you’re excited anyway. “I’m the intern!”

Fortunately, your meager sense of professionalism will protect you from coming across as too much of a fan during your first encounter with your new colleagues, and boss. A littered table, a MacBook Pro (acting as a rolling tray), and several extended hands are the first things you encounter. Don’t say much; being known as that quiet new kid is better than being known as the ‘OMG do you remember the first thing that kid said to us??!?’-guy. Your new boss and his friends will take in the Bulls game before show time, so just chill. You’ll spend most of your first day quietly strolling about, meandering as if a regular – notebook out, diligently note-taking as if this will give the impression of a sort of established journalist rather than the internet-kid-turned-shitty-blogger that you are/were/may well become.

The first few weeks will be blurry, abstract, and smoked out. Every experience eye opening; some burdening, most reddening. The hotel rooms are bigger than your future. Every time someone asks you “So… I know you’re the intern, but what do you actually do here?” you become less sure of yourself. What nobody will warn you about touring with 90 others is the loneliness. Individual loneliness, but collectively as well – impersonal, half-day rendezvous the crew will make at each venue or hotel will leave much to be desired. As a family though, the growth is rich. Around those deeply eased by each other’s presence, quickly, you will find comfort as well. You’re thankful for this family, even if you are never truly able to externalize these feelings besides rolling out of your bus-bunk each day and greeting everyone with whatever designated handshake you’ve become privy to.

As your tenure continues, the daily happenings (consisting of: movie-club, games 21, chain-smoking Backwoods, and digesting barely-palatable catering) feel like second nature. As routine as the schedule may feel, the lifestyle will be anything but. Unforeseen circumstances constantly arrive and must be dutifully accounted for. Appointments will have to be re-arranged to accommodate story time with Dave Chappelle. You will have to fit in dinner time drinks with Fonzworth Bentley. Physical activity is a must – try hoops with the Migos ft. Myles Turner, or perhaps a private volleyball game at Bonnaroo. Downtime will consist of a quiet New York eve; a casual 5-star meal, family style, followed by GQ’s NBA Playoff viewing party should suffice.

Of these experiences, you’ll want to tell your friends everything, yet you physically won’t be able to tell them about the moments of which words won’t muster meaning, nor the aspects that encapsulated the experience because you still can’t describe them. It’ll take a while.

By the last few weeks, you will be exhausted. You will be fucking exhausted. You will be energized by the amazing creatives and beautiful people in your constant presence. Like Tyler, you will be a walking paradox. While watching your boss –your boss– take the stage in his ‘worlds best dad’ tee, tweaking each sound-check to perfection, the concept of a ‘finish line’ will disappear from mind. Watching the gang roll five, ten, sometimes fifteen deep on whatever miniature motorized vehicle they can get their hands on, like a biker gang beckoning the kingdom, you will understand the importance of your closest circles. Reminders of displacement and trajectory are constant; Skype calls to friends and family remind you exactly how far away from home you are, yet how far you still have to go.

After adjustments, by tours end, you will come to a realization: there’s no right way to work for your favorite rapper. In fact, there may not even be a way to work for your favorite rapper. Compensation won’t come to mind, nor per diems – you would’ve done it for free. After all, a story’s worth a thousand resumes.

Prior to your journey, you will have been bred with cautionary reminders to be wary of your wishes. Post, your outlook will relax. There’s less to worry about than you think. Seamlessly, 32 shows will pass and your admiration will never waver. Hell, you might just come out of the other end with 1 or 2 timeless stories and a new group of people to call ‘family’.


My time as intern for Chance the Rapper is something that could never be justifiably summed up in words (trust me: I wrote thousands of words on tour, scrapped multiple ideas post-tour, and over a month later I’ve finally come up with something I can be proud of). It was a time of transition in my life that marked a shift from slightly hesitant sometimes-blogger putting off getting a real job, into a confident multi-faceted creative with a taste of how great it all could be – and the newfound realization of the person that I’m meant to be.

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In the past I’ve noted my feelings of sorrow for those in life who never truly realize what they are meant to be, but until the Be Encouraged Tour I never truly had an opportunity to interact with so many people who had seemingly reached the level of content in their contributions to the culture that I too hope to reach one day (and yes, I hate the phrase “the culture” just as much as you do). There were many times that I questioned myself and wondered why exactly I was where I was, but I really do feel that I was graced with this opportunity for a reason.

I can talk all I want about my run-ins with various celebrities including the ones I lived with for 2 months, or how a taste of the VIP lifestyle changed me, but the first moment that really left shivers down my spine was a slightly more natural one:

Night 2 at the Red Rocks Amphitheater in Denver, CO.

 The band intros happen nearly halfway thru the show, and after the ovation for ‘Mr. Nico Segal’, ”Sunday Candy” begins. Suddenly, it was if the heavens literally opened up for a second; right as the vocalists harmonized the lines “Come on in this house, cause it’s gonna rain, Rain down Zion, it’s gonna rain”, the most peaceful light mist fell from the sky until the end of the song and as suddenly as they started, ceased. Something about that moment made me realize that I, or rather we, were doing something right, enough so to please our God & Mother Nature & the sky themselves.

(Corny right? Oh well.)

Chance is exactly like the man you’d picture him to be, as a family man, business man, and friend, so instead of another biography, the last thing I’ll note is possibly my favourite quote from my entire trip with him. He once forgot to put on his signature ‘3’ cap before a show in the second half of tour, and as his assistant Colleen reminded him of it he turned and said with an insightful smirk, “you know what’s funny? If I didn’t put this hat on tonight, there would’ve been a Complex article by tomorrow rationalizing exactly why I didn’t wear this hat”.

What more can I say? What makes him such a great person is his understanding that while many of us care to sensationalize the few shreds that we get may get from him, he can better use his influence to spread the type of community-boosting positivity & joy that he is now so well known for.

All that is really left to say, once more, is thank you, Chance.

-A how-to, by hospey.

follow my adventures on the gram @hxspey, or on twitter @hospey

Throwaways: Be Encouraged Tour

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By now you probably have heard a little bit about what I’ve been up to lately.

Thanks in part to my efforts with chancehirehospey.com (my try-hard job resume), and in full thanks to my favourite rapper, I spent the majority of May & June 2017 travelling across the United States with the Be Encouraged Tour. Having to cut my staycation in Australia short might not sound like it would’ve been an easy decision, but trust me when I say this was an opportunity that didn’t even have me contemplating any other options.

As soon as I got the confirmation, my life for about 5 days consisted of: quitting my job and working my last 2 days, packing up my room and effectively getting kicked out of my house the night before I was set to leave Australia (note: my landlord and 9 roommates had no idea that I had been going viral for about a month, or texting a famous rapper… my bad?), flying for 17 hours back to Canada, spending 16 hours getting everything in place, flying to San Francisco at 8am, visiting that big red bridge that I had longed to see for so long, and finally, joining the tour and meeting my new boss for the first time. A semi-eventful week you could say.

I didn’t tell many people where I was going, or where I was – and to this day, about 3 weeks post-tour, I really haven’t written much about it. But I will. Sometimes, even for a story-teller, you have to sit back and put the pencil down and just take it all in. When you’re welcomed into a family it’s an obligation to put just as much into it as you get out of it; They invited me into their family.

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As many Canadians are, I was a little unsure of how I would be treated in America – especially as a young black male – but I honestly can’t say anything but thank-you to the majority of people I interacted with during my 2 months. Sure, it’s not a perfect place, but I’ve yet to visit a country that is.

And I know I’ve said it too many times before, but just wait on it. I’ll share all my stories about that one time I went on a rap tour, as the time comes – some very soon, some not as soon.

Overall, I just want to say thank you Chance the Rapper (I can finally ‘say it out loud, my favourite rapper is a Christian rapper’), and the entire CTR & SoX team family.

more stories incoming,
-Hosp.

follow my adventures on the gram @hxspey, or on twitter @hospey

Interlude: I’m A Hypocrite

I’m a hypocrite. I’m an internet kid who hates determinism. I HATE being in public spaces enjoying myself, only to see everyone else missing out because they are glued to their devices. I get mad at myself for being on my phone at sundown, yet feel the need to document the sunset anyways.

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A few weeks ago I got locked out of my Apple ID and thought the world would crumble around me (Update: I survived thanks to the miracles of science and medicine, and eventually got back in after 2 weeks #fuck2factorauthentication). Well, one good thing came out of it at least – I had no music on music on my phone for a while. I know that sounds like a bad thing, but bare with me.

I hadn’t been back on my Soundcloud account for quite a while, and having no music on my phone gave me a reason go back in and indulge in some old ‘likes’ that I’d woefully forgotten about, while also giving me the chance to explore some new stuff. [“Tran-“]

[“-SITION” *Anthony Fantano voice*] The theme of the playlist this time around is Soundcloud gems, old and new. So, blast back and enjoy. (Since it’s been a little while, I’ll give y’all a few extra sounds this week.)

HHT Interlude: Vol. 3

How To Be A Good Storyteller

Your grandparents (or maybe even your own parents or older siblings) always told the best stories. It seemed as if their seemingly billions of years on the planet so far had all been encapsulated into an endless number of amazing and awing stories that made you second guess that you really knew anything about them at all.

There’s something to say about a person who has good stories to tell. Follow these steps and you too will be able to leave a lasting impression with any sub-urban legend that you decide to recite.

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Here is how to become a good storyteller: 

You’re a creative. But you’re a special type of creative. You’re not special in the way that what you make is any more important than any other medium – perhaps even less special in that regards in the eyes of some – but special in the way that your medium is a little less obvious. And a lot less tangible.

You see, musicians make music, singers make songs, photographers take photos, writers write, but storytellers… well, storytellers simply just live.  They live to do things. Sometimes with purpose, and sometimes with luck, storytellers live to share their experiences; professional glorified dreamers you could say. (Disclaimer: these things are not mutually exclusive! Many photographers, writers, poets, etc ARE storytellers.)

Now that’s fine and all, but at the end when you’re old and you’re gray and you’ve been through it all, will you just automatically have these stories? Well, some people will. Some people naturally live more ‘exciting’ lives, simply by figuring out what their purpose was at an early enough age and having the resources to make the most of that execution. You? You will be the special case that has only one resource to coincide with your purpose: gumption.

You’ll be in a position where people question your intentions. You don’t seem to take anything seriously, and you’ll “waste” your time on acts of spontaneity. You’ll be able to see past the foreseeable “risks” on the top row of the eye chart called ‘life’ to focus on the fuzzy yet existent rewards on the very bottom row (‘1, or 2’). You’re not content with living vicariously. This is the mentality that will land you in some VIP section in some club in some city that you’ve only seen on TV, and the same mentality that will leave you wondering how so many people can be content celebrating with bottles that aren’t theirs. If it’s not your bottles, then you haven’t worked hard enough yet – but, you’ll have a story to tell about that night anyways.

Furthermore, you’ll be able to accept that it won’t always work out; sometimes the story won’t have a happy ending. You’ll accept that sometimes the hot air balloon ride doesn’t happen, and sometimes you don’t hit that game winner. But you accept that as many times as it doesn’t work out, it will work out. You enjoy the gamble. You not only trust yourself, but you trust the process – you understand that you can win the lottery more than the Philadelphia 76ers if you put yourself out there.

You understand that you can’t tell the story if you can’t be there to document it. If you weren’t there, did it really happen like that? You understand that if it didn’t happen like that, that you will from here on out have a responsibility to tell it how it did happen – with a few evolving add-ons that are a byproduct of time and excitement.

One day, you know that you too will be a grandparent and that you’ll hold the civic duty of capturing the young minds of kin and taint them with your minimally exaggerated stories that will be maximally exaggerated by their scale-less minds. For the time being though, you simply live and practice your medium with everyone who mistakenly asks to hear you tell the far-too-long-form version of what happened “that one time…”


Like the fresh prince that I think I am in my own mind, my life has recently been flip turned upside down. I keep having to remind myself that yes, this is real, and no, it’s not an accident. Whatever is happening to be as a product of my medium; I’m a storyteller.

In the past 30 days I have been to 20+ cities, in 3 countries, spanning 2 continents. I’ve logged and endless amount of kilometers, and squeezed into far too many uncomfortable plane seats. I’ve enjoyed a plethora of oversized hotel beds, and snapped enough pictures to fill up a handful of memory cards. I’ve witnessed rappers ride miniature motorcycles, and seen comedians roast their own children. I’ve been to playoff games, and stood front row at every concert I’ve been at.

(Above: Only a few of the multiple shots I’ve taken over the last month or so. Trust when I tell you that the next edition of ‘Throwaways‘ will be crazy.)

None of these are embellishments, and none of these statements are meant to gloat. To me, they’re simply stories for me to tell you about, later (and I do plan to tell y’all about them, soon), in hopes that in return you’ll go and chase something crazy that you can tell me about the next time. Thinking about people who never have the realization of the person that they are meant to be is something that is enough to keep me up at night. If the fact that I have been able to materialize all of these dreams by age 22 is enough to do that for you, then I guess I’ll keep telling stories.

Or maybe I’m just wasting my time, and my grandkids will be too busy on their iPhone 42+’s to listen to my stupid stories anyways.

-A how-to, by Hospey.

follow my adventures on the gram @hxspey, or on twitter @hospey

Throwaways: Sydney

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I know that y’all thought that I forgot about this set of photos. That’s probably because I did forget about these photos. But I swear I have semi-good reasons. Semi-good reasons that I can’t tell you about. Yet. (If you know, you know).

Long story long, I’ve been out of Sydney for about 1 month now. Certain blessings caused me to truncate my stay in Aussi-land, though I do plan to be back – sooner, rather than later. Sydney was one of the best times of my life, after being one of my hardest times.

The first weekend in Bondi with friends was promising (this initial stay is what is pictured mostly in this photo set). The sun shined bright, the drinks flowed cold. Finally, after we all went our separate ways, I set up a red pin near Bondi Junction and officially called Sydney “Home”. My first job seemed like a surefire money grab but turned out to be nothing short of another wasted opportunity. My new home was large and seemingly clean, though the living situation was far from perfect. I never questioned why I was out there, though admittedly I struggled at times.

I also can now confirm that everything that did transpire happened for a reason. If I hadn’t hated my first job, I would’ve never got my job at Ravesis and made my first real set of Sydney friends, met my first set of good Sydney people. If I spent a larger part of my first month around a larger abundance of people, I would’ve never taken the time to work on myself – this proved to be the most crucial. If I didn’t have to leave so soon, I wouldn’t have nearly the same desire to go back one day.

I know that I’ll look back on my first solo travels, long after all is said and done, and know that my strange times is my Sydney have defined me in some way. Thanks, Australia.

P.S. Thanks to Maria for reminding me about these photos.

P.P.S. More about those ‘semi-good’ reasons, later.

-Hospey.

follow my adventures on the gram @hxspey, or on twitter @hospey

How To Write A Music Review:

As I’m sure is pretty apparent to most of you already, music is probably the most important thing in my life. No, I can’t actually make music – but I sure can consume it.

Over on my original website, Redleafgoldteeth, we’ve been covering everything you need know about music for a little over 2 years now (with over 220,000 views as a co-sign), so fittingly the news of a new Kendrick Lamar album had us rolling with excitement. Now, even though I’ve never been a huge fan of Kendrick personally, something about the singles stood out to me and I got really excited for the release date to arrive – thankfully the wait was relatively short. And when it finally got here, I was not let down one bit.

I won’t say too much about it here, but check out some excerpts from my comprehensive first-listen (oxymoron?) review of DAMN. below, where I tell you exactly what I liked, my favourite songs, the missteps, and even attempt to unpack a few references.


Here is how to write a music review:

You can see it in his eyes.

Kendrick Lamar is tired. He’s tired of being “humble” – he’s tired of being the good guy. The 29-year-old Compton wordsmith is tired of America – and all of the bullsh*t that comes with it. Being that dude is exhausting, whether that means being that dude that raps good, or that dude from the hood. On DAMN., Kendrick Lamar let’s this be known.

The intro story, “BLOOD.”, is great. A strong duality is exampled, and I’m not sure if triality is a real word, but if it is, this is definitely an example of it even more so. Lamar, in the same weary tone, weaves together a tale of wickedness v. weakness, and the hypocritical, withered, pointing finger of the USA.

“DNA” is possibly the hardest track on the project, with a heavy Mike Will instrumental. To be Kendrick, or Drake, or Kanye, sifting through filing cabinets of the coldest beats ever created must be an amazing feeling. The production quality of the project alone is enough to start it off at a 6/10 without having to vocalize a single lyric. “Imma make it look sexy” Lamar then exclaims on “ELEMENT.”, another standout cut/ Instagrammable caption generator…

CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL REVIEW!