Peepsho doesn’t pretend to have it all figured out, and he likes it that way. Speaking with a carefree, yet focused drawl, it’s clear he’s been through the fire enough times to not be shaken by life’s curveballs. Seeing music as an expression of both reality and his perceptions, his creative process is often totally dependent on spur of the moment inspirations. Lacking any reservations about sharing his life’s brutal realities, Peepsho simply lays it on the table with a take it or leave it attitude.
“I’m the wildest in a party,” he says. “But at the end of the day I really don’t like people. You’d never know that because of how I carry myself though. People think I’m a nice guy when they meet me. But that’s why I’d never want no attention like Jay-z gets. I just want people to hear my lines and sit back like ‘aw that’s so on point, but I would’ve never pointed it out that way.’”
He’s of Nova Scotian heritage but has run on Toronto streets since he was nine years old. Raised by his mother, grandmother and grandfather, Peepsho ran wild as a child. Even with a large extended family, his will was his decision. While his father drifted in and out of the neighbourhood, Peepsho was shielded from knowing the man was his father until he got older. Why? Because his father was a crack head. This was confirmed by Peepsho when he turned 15 and was forced to move out to live with him.
“I was sellin the shit from 11 years old,” says Peepsho. “So I knew exactly what the smell was when I walked in the place. I knew he was on it.” Growing up in the church, his family had two sides: the God fearing, singing, warm women and the poverty-focused, street wise, hustling, men. While his aunt lead a travelling church choir, his uncles and cousins hustled to make ends meet for their families. Peepsho grew up knowing nothing but poverty and hustling.
He also grew up knowing nothing but hip hop, due to a clan of uncles that included BBoys and DJs. Being the youngest in the room often meant he was at the will of his uncles’ musical selections, which in turn exposed Peepsho to hip hop on a regular basis. He now cites influences like Nas, Scarface, Bun B and Beanie Sigel when talking hip hop. But these days, he’s more inclined to listen to Nirvana or Billy Talent than he is Wacka Flocka or Gucci Mane.
“I hate hip hop,” says Peepsho bluntly. “I’ll listen to Cam maybe, Beanie Sigel, Eminem I can listen to over and over, but I just found out the other day who Wiz Khalifa is. So that tells you that I’m more focused on my life, my music and out of the box type artists than catching the new shit on the radio that’s buzzin.”
When crafting his own material, Peepsho can’t resist drawing from actual events or memories from his turbulent existence. Whether it’s the time he was in the same jail at the same time as his father, a crazy night turned dangerous or an old girlfriend coming back for more, there’s just too much going on in his life (and his head) not to put it on record.