Training Season
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Training Season

Ottawa, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | SELF

Ottawa, Canada | SELF
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Hip Hop Alternative




"OAK EP release on ThisIs50"

Training Season, a Canadian hip hop collective from Ottawa, Ontario, releases their new project titled OAK. For those unfamiliar to the up-and-coming hip-hop group, the collective is led by rapper/songwriter GPxTempest (aka GP), rapper/songwriter King Caexar (aka Caexar), and singer/songwriter Queen (aka Q). The collective is managed by co-founder Baze Johnson and features a diverse group of talented individuals from their extended group Kouga.

Their EP, OAK, is heavily influenced by West Coast and Midwest sounds fused with old school hip-hop, Korean rap and anime culture. OAK offers an alternative style of hybrid west coast music as it features jazzy samples, clever lyricism and modernized gritty beats. The term "OAK" is a metaphor for Training Season’s identity and ideology of strength and longevity, which is representative to that of an oak tree. The word "OAK" is an acronym for "Ottawa And Kouga." Ottawa is their home city and Kouga is their brotherhood. There group is made up of eclectic, awkward and diverse individuals.

This debut EP is a representation of their hopes, dreams, aspirations and ambitions and serves as a testament to their skill and upward potential in the hip-hop game. - Savannah Britt

"Training Season Interview on OT waddup"

New artists are carving their way into the city’s soundscape as 2015 progresses. I’ve come across many sounds that I feel qualify as the “new sounds of Ottawa”. This is not to undermine any of the work currently being done, but rather to highlight a new wave of talent ready to bring life to the city. Meet TRAINING SEASON, a ying-yang type duo comprised of rappers King Caexar and GP. OTwaddup met up with them to discuss music, inspiration, and the city. (They also brought along engineer Will, manager Baze, and songstress Queen from their extended group – KOUGA clan). @TrSeason on Twitter

How did you guys meet?

King Caexar: We grew up together. Some of us met in high school.

GP: It’s kind of funny, cause we were all really like… loners. Well KC was with Will and his group.

Baze: I wasn’t in there, I was Facebook famous back then!

GP: Yeah, so in the beginning Baze was doing… his thing… *laughs* just… an asshole really. They had their own group, and I was a loner. When I first met Baze, some of them did not like me for shit.

I remember dressing up as a pimp for Halloween, and I came to school all dressed up (this was in the ninth grade so I thought that everyone was dressing up and shit). So then I get to school, and those are the only clothes I brought. They’re the only things I’m wearing. From that point on, they started making fun of me and shit like “Oh! It’s Pimp George!” That’s why I didn’t like them.

Is that the P in GP? *laughs*

KC: GP is for Galvanic Poet. It’s just a name we came up with a long time ago. Electrifying flows… It’s a play on words.

GP: I wanted to simplify it after a while. I thought Galvanic Poet was a bit too long and then I realized GP also speaks to my nickname. Everybody has been calling me GP since I was like 5 years old (Georgie Porgie). It speaks to my aggressive side in rap and it speaks to my personal side with my friends. That’s why it’s GP.

So when did you guys decide that you were going to make music?

KC: It started in high school, in my last year I think. Each of us was doing our own thing. Like freestyling and stuff. It was actually Baze’s idea. “You and GP are really good, you should work on something together”… And then we spent that whole summer writing random songs, going back and forth.

GP: Man that was the best summer of my life

KC: We were just writing a lot, really bad compared to what we are doing right now. But we got better as time went by. The progression was crazy.

GP: You have to think about it though, that was 4 years ago!

KC: And obviously, we didn’t know about the places in Ottawa where we could record at a high quality level, so we created our own studio in our friend’s basement and stuff. That flopped. We released a couple of tracks, but really… we didn’t have any sort of support or anything.

GP: We didn’t grasp the concept of actually having to pay to record. We would spend two days straight, just listening, mixing, and mastering our own stuff. “Yo yo, what is that? E….Q….. filter…. that sounds right, slap it on there!”


GP: Came out barely audible and we’d think it was gold, and then we’d be surprised when we had just 100 views, so we’d take it down.

KC: When we got serious, that’s when it all really started.

That’s an important realization to come to haha. You told me something about the connection between TRAINING SEASON and ball…

KC: Yeah, ball influences our group name a lot. Like.. training season.

Baze: Trappers man..

KC: Yea, cause Trappers is our home court.


Baze: Trappers is the neighborhood we grew up in.

KC: That’s where we all chill in the summer, even now.

The name TRAINING SEASON, where does it come from, what does it mean?

Baze: This is my perspective. TRAINING SEASON is like committing yourself to excellence. When we were growing up, playing basketball in Trappers, we would always want to compete with each other, and push each other to be better. That’s where it comes from; it’s constantly training season. You’re always in that mindset of working and getting better. We try to apply it to the group

KC: I look at the “season” as a representation of the way seasons are always changing. We’re always able to adapt. We can always work on any sort of music, any type of beat. It also speaks to the contrast in our styles. We have really hard stuff, and we have really warm and fuzzy stuff. So… it makes sense. The name works well with the group.

That’s one of the questions I was going to ask you guys actually. Your styles are different. How would you describe these extremes?

KC: I fall in sort of the Earl category. I’m very lyrical but I use a lot of complex metaphors, really old school, influenced by Wu-Tang and different types of Hip Hop. George he’s more sort of the… Kendrick Lamar.

GP: My style is more… I speak for the people, I speak for myself. You know, I’m an expressive rapper; I make music so that people can know that I’m nice, but I make music more so that people can hear it and have something to draw from it, and relate to. KC is just pure… anything you put him on, he wants to murder it, murder it. Murder it. Murder it.

KC: That’s where the TRAINING SEASON comes in, a lot of symbolism. The cold, the warm…

I asked lots of questions about both of you, but I know there are more people in the squad –

KC: That’s when KOUGA comes into play

Do KOUGA have a lot of input in your music?

GP: We’re like a brotherhood

Queen: There’s a girl too!

Baze: Including a female

Q: *laughs*

Baze: It’s not like a brotherhood. We want it to be a collective of great people

KC: We want to expand into more than just music. And a lot of people in our group are doing more than just, rap music. We just want dope people. When I think of KOUGA, I think of my squad, but we don’t hang out with the same people.

GP: They’re not the music that we are, but an extension of who are and what we do. KOUGA is our identity.

KC: Yeah KOUGA has a lot of input. We argue a lot but at the end of the day, it’s still good. It’s KOUGA.

Conversation with KOUGA could last indefinitely. Everything from jokes to anecdotes were brought up with ease and warmth. When mention of musical inspirations came along, Anime seemed to animate some of the KOUGAs.

KC: A lot of our music is influenced by mangas, especially my type of music. It’s influenced by a lot of anime. The straw hat I like to wear, it’s kind of like the one in One Piece. I don’t know if you know that show…

I was actually trying to find a definition for Dressrosa and all I could find were One Piece related links. I’m guessing that’s where it’s from.

KC: Yea, that’s where it’s from. That’s where the straw hat is from too. Dressrosa is this land of deception. From the outside looking in, it looks fun and everybody is enjoying themselves. But in reality, people are being oppressed and tortured by this leader called Don Flamingo. Basically, when I wrote it, it was about the rap game. What I thought it was before starting to rap. It looked so appealing. But when I got into it and I saw all the troubles, trials, and tribulations, like dealing with people who are not as serious as I am or as passionate about the work as I am, they just hold you back. There are many obstacles, especially in Ottawa. The biggest problem here is support from people.

How does being in Ottawa affect your music?

Baze: The rap support game here is….. Building a fan base here is hard.

Queen: It’s a small city, everyone thinks they’re better than everyone in everything and anything. But at the end of the day, you just need to do your thing.

Baze: They think they’re competing but they’re really not.. And if anything, when KC and GP are in the booth, they’re always thinking “let’s see if I can go harder than ___ this time, or whatever. This is how you get better. Some people here are just hating instead of trying to improve themselves.

GP: I can’t say Ottawa is wack because these are our people at the end of the day. I don’t want to think of this situation as myself against the city. But no matter what somebody or some people do to you, it can never supersede what you can do for them. People want to talk about us, or any artists for that matter, but at the end, people are just going to respect what deserves respect, and recognize when it’s due. And when that time comes, we’ll be ready to put on for the city the same way other people put on for theirs. TRAINING SEASON is as dedicated as people are willing to be dedicated to us.

Queen: Some people are really closed minded. Getting to people is the challenge. But if you just keep pushing, eventually they’ll listen. - Mugoli S

"Daily Chiefers OAK Review"

Training Season hits our pages today with a dope new EP in the form of their newest project, OAK.

It features some gritty lyricism and nice beat selection from the Ottawa natives, who definitely have caught my ear with this one. Catch the hard-hitting OAK below & enjoy! - HEF_D

"Stardom Mag Placement"

Training Season – “Dressrosa” - Stardom Mag

"Overlooked Artists coming to Bluesfest 2016"

Oak, Training Season’s 2015 release is one of the most brilliant pieces we’ve heard. Combining Hip Hop, R&B, and Soul. The alternative rap group from Ottawa makes us so damn proud to be their city. The collective is led by rapper/songwriter GPxTempest (aka GP), rapper/songwriter King Caexar (aka Caexar), and singer/songwriter Queen (aka Q). Influenced by West Coast and Midwest sounds, Oak combines Korean rap and anime culture while an electronic baseline guides your ear through the track. - Shelby-lyn Miller

"Training Season - Margarine Feat. Mick Jenkins"

Training Season and Mick Jenkins link for haunting "Margarine".
Ottawa trio Training Season (GPxTempest, King Caexar, Queen) enlists Chi-Town force-to-be-reckoned-with Mick Jenkins on this hazy voyage. Reverberated synths and violent drums channel something off the It Follows soundtrack, providing the emcees with a dark, cold canvas. The end result is a track that's lyrical as hell, with each rapper going off on lengthy verses ripe with wordplay and wide-ranging subject matter before Queen rounds things off with a haunting hook.

Training Season prove capable of holding their own on a track with Jenkins, and we look forward to hearing more from the Canadian crew. Look for their upcoming album, The Caexar Saga: L Man, dropping later this year.

Quotable Lyrics

Run a mile through unfortunate events like Lemony Snicket
Vomit, bulimics think I'm pushing the limits
Depleted after some minutes, beat it, the pussy afflicted
With spirits, speaking in tongues, impeded speeches dyslexic
Wave is buzzing like crickets, cicadas, season is wicked
Verses stretch like pilates, niggas pay Hades a visit - Mitch Findlay

"Training Season "Quaaludes" Video"

Ottawa's Training Season just dropped haunting visuals for "Quaaludes."
Coming off some dark lyrical fire with Mick Jenkins, Training Season comes through with a new video for their single "Quaaludes." The track itself is lyrically dense, breaking down themes of anxiety, substance abuse, and addiction. With cinematography from Ajax Visuals, the first person video is a nightmarish portrayal of addiction - deliberately disorienting, uncomfortable, and tense, exactly as it should be. The group states that "the song's purpose is to shine a light on what one goes through when battling their demons," and their intention is adeptly realized.

"Quaaludes" can be found on Training Season's upcoming project The GP Saga: Femur, set for release in 2017. - Mitch Findlay

"SoundCloud Staff Picks (April 7th)"

A round-up of our favorite SoundCloud tracks of the week: T-Pain, Eli Sostre, Dave East, & more.

This week revolved around the release of Kendrick Lamar's fourth album. This morning brought a mixture of frustration that the album didn't release on April 7th, as Kendrick had hinted, and relief that the album will definitely be released on April 14th.

The hubbub surrounding Kendrick somewhat obscured what was an all-around strong week for hip hop releases. This week included releases from French Montana, Wale, A$AP Ferg, and many other top-tier rap stars. In this week's installment of SoundCloud Staff PIcks, our staff spotlights a series of releases from predominately lesser-known artists.

Check out each staff member's picks and stream the playlist below.

Rose Lilah: T-Pain "Pull Up Wit Ah Stick" (Remix); Eli Sostre "Hold You Close"

Danny Schwartz: Garren "Wrong Way"; Ron Grams "Location" feat. JK The Reaper

Shaun Michaud: Dave East "Free Smoke" (EastMix)

Kevin Goddard: Eli Sostre "Glass"

Mitch Findlay: Allan Kingdom "The Fusion" feat. Denzel Curry; Training Season "Margarine" feat. Mick Jenkins

Carver Low: Brodinski "Slo Mo" feat. Drug Rixh Peso; Drayco McCoy "Dirty Money" feat. Lucki - Danny Schwartz

"Training Season - BossMann"

Training Season drops new single,"BossMann."
In case you missed it, Training Season first made an entrance onto the scene with the dark, lyrical "Margarine," featuring one of the most underrated in the game - Mick Jenkins. Next, they earned a spot on our "Artists You Should Hear" feature, selected in-house at our office A&R meeting. Suffice it to say, Training Season have proven themselves to be an innovate new group to watch for, with a solid offering of dense lyricism and eerie vibes.

Now, the Ottawa crew made up of GP, King Caexar, Queenn & Baze Johnson has come through with their latest single, "BossMaan." Right off the bat, the whole sonic aesthetic is feverish, yet inexplicably whimsical. Perhaps it's the way the vocals are layered, which give certain parts a playful, yet menacing air. The entire crew makes sure to come through with the dopeness, bringing enough geek-friendly pop culture references to please some of the more savvy film-and-video-game-heads out there.

If you're feeling this, check out the aforementioned "Margarine," which goes hard as hell. "BossMan" is set to be included on Training Season's upcoming project The Caexar Saga, which as of now is simply "coming soon." In the mean time, get acquainted with an up-and-coming new group who seem intent on carving out their own unique lane.

Quotable Lyrics

Black hole pussy, nasty shallow
Ditto personality, ugly as Tuco
These fools find jewels in pesos
Takin' chains off n*ggas like Tarantino

Training Season The Caexar Saga New Song - Mitch findlay

"Training Season And Mick Jenkins Share “Margarine,” A Rap Epic For Changing Times"

Margarine was created in France in the 19th century as a substitute for butter during shortages. But "Margarine," the new track from Ottawa hip-hop collective Training Season and Chicago rapper Mick Jenkins, is very much the real thing. Along with their guest, GPxTempest, King Caexar, and Queen share six minutes of dense verses that stay swampy and menacing: from sex to betrayal, "Margarine" stands out in how it reveals the layers to its obsidian-black pessimism.
"'Margarine' is a metaphor used to summarize our observation of how rap has changed over the years," Training Season told The FADER over email. "Growing up, rap had substance & told a story. There was a connection between lyric, artist and community. This song is our way of navigating through what was and what is now defined as rap. In an era where ignorance and lack of substance seems to be rewarded, we find ourselves at a crossroad, dealing with the temptation to stray away from who we truly are as artists."
Training Season's upcoming project The Caexar Saga: L Man will be released later in 2017. - Jordan Darville

"3 New Artists You Should Hear"

Three new artists for you to discover this week.

We're back again! It's our second week showcasing our three favorite discoveries from yesterday's in-office meeting. This week, we're elaborating a bit further on the type of sound from each artist we picked to help you gauge your interest almost immediately.

We've always made a conscious effort to mine for, and introduce, new artists to the site. Without getting into the specifics (*eye roll emoji*), as a user, you'll likely know of an artist in particular that you first encountered here on the HNHH pages. With that being said, beyond combing through our regular submissions for our weekend Heatseeker highlights, we're going to be spotlighting our top three favorite staff-submitted tracks each week, following our in-office A&R meeting.

Here's how it works.

Every week, each of our staff members submits a song from an artist we've never yet (or else ~barely~) posted on HNHH (so get your song into the hands of a staff member, and wow them with your musical prowess hint hint)
The song does not need to be new
This can include music videos
We listen to all the submissions as a team (Monday, weekly)
Each staff member votes on their top three favorite submissions out of that week's batch of submissions
We cull the votes, and feature the top 3 on the website, in a handy article like this
Also: in an effort to include direct user/fan-submitted music as well, we'll be going through our Soundcloud messages and picking out a few extra submissions from there to include in the meeting each week (hint hint)
Now that you have the breakdown, take a look at this week's top three new artist discoveries-- we've included some basic info on each as well.

Vote on your favorite out of these three below, we want to know what you think!!

Artist: Training Season (composed of: GP, King Caexar, Queenn & Baze Johnson)

Song: "Flavor (MV)"

Location: Ottawa, CA

Sounds: Down-tempo, dark, voice akin to Night Lovell and Tyler, The Creator but less brash, more thoughtful

Discover more music: Training Season's Soundcloud

Posted before: Yes, barely - Rose Lilah



Training Season is an emerging Canadian Hip-Hop collective from the city of Ottawa.The group is led by vocalists GP, King Caexar and Queenn. Our music is mostly influenced by West Coast, Midwest, Old School Hip Hop, and Japanese anime.

Notable Performances include:

  • Megaphono Music Festival
  • Ritual Night Club
  • Ppl Night Club
  • U Ottawa Urban Showcase
  • Canadian Music Week   
  • 2016 RBC Bluesfest  
  • 2017 City Folk Marvest local showcase

Band Members