Close this search box.

PARIS. Is Making The Most of Things

The Toronto-based rapper is thinking globally while acting locally in his quest for domination.

by Ben Boddez

Photo by Volatile Digital

Vancouver rapper PARIS. might still be in the early stages of his plan to take over the world, but he carries himself with the confidence of someone who’s already sitting on top of it. His blend of hard-hitting tracks full of top-tier flexes and – more commonly – woozier, vibe-heavy melodic rap tunes that he’s displayed over the course of his first eight singles finds him standing out from the pack with the kind of infectious self-assuredness possessed by some of the greats.

The most successful of those eight singles is titled “Ice Spice,” titled after the NYC rapper that PARIS. has often referred to as his “wife.” While the claims of their romantic entanglement have seemingly been exaggerated, PARIS. did post a series of social media posts with raised eyebrows and smirks when Ice Spice did reply to a couple of his DMs about the song. When asked where he’d take hip-hop’s it girl on a date, he continued to show that he’d let his aura do all the talking.

“Probably like Pizza Pizza or something like that. Something humble, something cool. A slice of pizza never hurt anyone,” he says, extending the joke. “We’re actually on a break, though. I’m seeing Rubi Rose right now.”

Perhaps destined to adopt the typical rapper lifestyle from an early age, PARIS. also goes by the name ParisPlayedYou across his social platforms, often flipping the latter half of the name into a similarly playful ad-lib at the beginning of his tracks. Some years down the road after PARIS. became enamoured with hip-hop after hearing one of his mom’s favourite tracks – The Notorious B.I.G.’s “Big Poppa,” described now by PARIS. as “the sickest song I ever heard” – playing from his mom’s car radio speakers at age five, his tireless pursuits of the opposite sex became evident to those around him.

“ParisPlayedYou is real life, man. It’s something that’s a part of me, a lifestyle kind of thing. I’ve always been told by family, my mom, or other people, ‘You’re always talking to girls! You’re going to be a player.’ It always had to do with girls,” he says. “So I just used that. Paris was just a funny little nickname I had in the friend group that ended up sticking. Put those together, and you have this guy right here.”

If it wasn’t hip-hop, the younger PARIS. certainly felt that he was destined for extravagance. Although he’s dabbled in quite a few sports – track, rugby, football and MMA, to name a few – PARIS. has been a fan of basketball for his whole life. Amongst posts of his music, you can still find him excited about compilations of NBA highlights online – he thinks that the Dallas Mavericks are going to take it all this year. It’s no surprise that PARIS.’ most recent release is titled “4th Quarter,” comparing his hip-hop prestige to fellow Torontonian Shai Gilgeous-Alexander coming in clutch with a buzzer beater.

“If it wasn’t music, it was the NBA. I thought I was going at one point, I really believed it,” he says. “Then I just didn’t grow past six feet, and I was like ‘That’s fine. Whatever.’ I still play a lot. It’s my first love besides music – well, sports in general. I played almost every one.”



Instead of jetting around with his teammates to different arenas, PARIS. instead has been using his love of travelling for musical inspiration while he prepares to ascend to the level where he’ll be jetting around to arenas with a microphone instead of a ball. His move to Toronto was for the purposes of elevating his musical career – feeling that there’s a higher hip-hop ceiling in the city and identifying with its most popular sounds – but he feels that being able to change the frame will be able to give his bars a little more perspective.

PARIS. lists his future dream destinations as Italy, Greece, Dubai, Japan and paying tribute to his cultural heritage by visiting the Philippines. “Travelling gives you new joys and new lows because it’s something different – different people, different things, different cultures. It’s a shock to a lot of people – a lot of people don’t even leave where they’re from, right?” he says.

That spirit of adventure and spontaneity manifests in all aspects of PARIS.’ life, extending to his music as well. He’s previously been quoted as saying that he’s “always ready to try new things, which can be a great tool, but also have its repercussions,” something that he explained by saying that although he wants his work to sound as free, natural and unrestricted as possible, he doesn’t want it to pass the threshold into sounding under-planned. Finding the right balance is a necessity in the studio, and the primary way he’s found to solve it is easier said than done – not thinking as much.

“When you get into the music industry, compared to when you’ve newly discovered music, you try to categorize things, make it more statistical,” he says. “You think about marketing, you think about reaching the right demographic, all that shit. When it comes to trying to implement that with writing music, you’re taking the creative aspect of it away and thinking more businesslike. That’s important in music, but in terms of creativity, it blocks a lot of things because you’re thinking about everything else except music.”

PARIS. feels that this kind of mentality is a main reason why he hasn’t been excited by a new mainstream hip-hop project with big enough scope to shift the culture in the past three years. As a longtime devotee to hip-hop culture – meaning the breakdancing, DJing, graffiti and fashion that come along with the rapping as well – he feels that he can be the one to give the culture the shakeup that it desperately needs right now. Part of this comes from pride in being a Filipino hip-hop artist, something that he hopes will be a breath of fresh air and emphasizes by linking up with others, like MBNel – “It’s exciting. There’s only a handful of us, I’m a new face to hip-hop. It’s definitely going to be a challenge, but in a different perspective, I can use that to my advantage,” he says.

“Not to sound negative, but I feel like hip-hop is in a weird place right now. In a very mid place sonically,” he continues. “There’s a lot of music that’s just cool, but it’s not very memorable. Drake’s doing a great job of being consistent, but I don’t think anything is insane, like jeez, it’s lit, right now. Somebody needs to take over.”

With plans to build up to his first full-length project in the future, that kind of takeover is at the top of his mind. Still in the early stages, but with the unshakeable confidence that it’ll all come together sometime soon. Listening to the persona he puts forward in his music, it’s easy to believe him.

“We’re on pace for world domination,” he says. “But before I dominate the world, I gotta dominate where I’m at. But it’s going to happen, bro. Maybe I’ll bring my girl Ice Spice in for the next interview.”