The underground has been the heart and soul of Hip Hop
since its creation. For every mainstream artist who is living the good life off
of their first billboard smash, there are ten indie artists grinding their way
through countless hours of touring, promotion and recording, as the prize of
getting their material to the masses is bountiful. It’s a beautiful thing to
see how an underground artist can gather such a loyal fan base, from mixtape to
album, who will keep their name warm and keep the light bill paid. Maybe no one
knows this better than underground legend Classified, as he finally has
reached his mountain top, so to speak, dropping the greatest hits collection While You Were Sleeping.

From dropping his debut album Time’s Up in 1995,
to creating his own label Halflife records, Producer/MC Classified
has truly avoided taking time for some shut eye. Another Canadian Hip Hop stalwart hailing
from Nova Scotia, Classified has created a name for himself that has
produced 12 albums in 12 years. Racking numerous accolades for his work in his
native homeland and across the East Coast, Class has definitely earned
the right to drop a reflection of his work, as it is a treat to his die-hard
fans, and those who unfortunately has not yet had the chance to witness his

This Is For gets things rolling,
as Classified shows his talent for not only rhyming, but crafting beats.
The beat seems as if it is from the lost vault of Gang Starr, as Class
addresses everyone from backpacking haters to innovative A&R’s willing to
take chances on unique voices. Fall From Paradise, from 2006’s
critically acclaimed Hitch Hikin’ Music, finds Classified
satisfied with his career and his experiences. He has performed with Busta
and smoked hash with Keith Murray; (“I Love Hip-hop, ’cause
it made me who I am/it gave me confidence, it made me a honest man”
). Maybe
being inspired by Mr. Nasir Jones, 1995 saw Classified flipping a
sick Hall & Oates sample for his cut Life’s a Bitch,
which sounds like it could be a hit today. Hard To Be Hip-Hop is brilliant,
as the beat sounds nothing like Hip-Hop. Rhyming over a Black Eyed Peas
sounding techno-pop fusion, Classified gets help from Maestro Fresh
and DJ IV as he kicks the truth, “It’s hard to be Hip-Hop, and ain’t
nobody stayin’ real, it don’t pay bills when you showcase skills

The crown jewel of this piece may just be Love
the One You’re With
, which features Mic Boyd and Mike Boyd
Sr., Classified’s
brother and father, respectively. The song lifts a sample
from folk rocker Stephen Stills, and shows that talent must run in the
Boyd family. Depending on whom you talk to, Classified is either a
Hip Hop legend or rap’s best kept secret. Either way, he has cemented his
status in the game through hard work and sick wordplay. So after the next tour,
he should pack the bags and take a trip back to Paradise.