Calgary rapper RTC Profit launches new album exploring the need to stay motivated despite obstacles
by Amie Osness, Contributor
The COVID-19 pandemic changed how musicians were able to interact with audiences. But with perseverance and newly relaxed restrictions, Calgary rapper RTC Profit released a new full-length album and celebrated with an album release party at NVRLND arts foundation in Ramsey on April 1.
The event included multiple artists. There were original paintings and prints by Anthony Russell, which included famous black figures such as Anderson .Paak and Michael Jordan, as well as depictions of Black Lives Matter protests. Also interspersed through the evening were two hip-hop dance performances by Kimisha Laidley, Maraya Senio-Clark and Tiana Spencer.
The space was dim, with alternating mood lighting in purple, green, orange and red, while a projector threw animated imagery on the main wall. A small bar was tucked in the corner and a few high-top tables with stools lined the perimeter, leaving room for people to gather near the small stage and also for a dance floor.
Profit stood proudly on stage and spit his lyrics with flawless timing. Between his nuanced lyricism and the dancer’s dynamic choreography, the energy was high. Their performances garnered much clapping, hoots and calls from a crowd appearing excited to gather. There was not one mask visible in the room.
But, as anyone in Calgary knows, gathering in crowds indoors, unmasked, with late-hour alcohol consumption was not allowed until recently ̶ March 1. To manoeuvre through two years of COVID-19 restrictions and lockdowns, Profit kept writing and recording.
“I like to make music with a message that’s motivational, that makes people think, so I figured it’d be a terrible time to stop,” said RTC Profit.
So, Profit stayed committed to his music, releasing a five-track EP, Never Forget Loyalty in July 2020. During 2021, he worked with his videographer to release eight videos over a 12-month span, as well as wrote and recorded the album Persona Non Grata.
“A lot of people often tell me that I am a bit of a workaholic,” RTC Profit said.
The album name, Persona Non Grata, encompasses the concept of being the unwelcome one, whether for political or ideological reasons, which, to a degree, resonated with Profit. With this notion in mind, Profit flips that traditional script, and instead decides to use it as an impetus, for himself and others, to seize opportunities and realize they have a voice.
“Rather than use that as an excuse to stop pushing, I really and truly just decided it’d be a good idea to use that as motivation to continue,” said RTC Profit.
Originally slated for a November 2021 release date, Profit worked through a series of setbacks, so being able to release and celebrate Persona Non Grata was gratifying.
“I hope people can appreciate it for what it is and what its intention is,” RTC Profit said.
Not one to rest long, RTC Profit is already working on two new EPs and planning future shows.
“I always like to think of what’s next.”