When RC the Rapper performed at the freedom rally in Regina, he wanted something most people didn’t.
“I hope I get one of these tickets. We’ve been trying to get one for months. I want my court case against the government. Otherwise, I gotta sue,” he said to this journalist, laughing.
RC got his wish – right after the interview, and we were both fined $2,800 for being at an outdoor gathering of more than ten people.
“I’m ready for it. So I welcome whatever is to come from hate-mongering and smear campaigns, tickets, whatever, bring it on. I know the truth is on my side,” RC told the Western Standard.
For the past five months, RC the Rapper has been performing at freedom rallies. For that, he can thank his friend and manager Kelley Lynn Lewis. She recalled how they first crossed paths eight years ago.
“I was just starting my career in healthcare as an X-ray technologist, and I was graduating from school, and I wanted to make an X-ray YouTube video. So I wrote my own song and dance. And I needed somebody, a videographer,” Lewis said.
“He liked my little concept so much, he actually filmed my YouTube video for free. And that’s how we became friends.”
RC, whose real name is Conrad Goodsir, is a videographer, photographer, and beat producer with his own studio. The 35-year-old started rapping 20 years ago and got his stage name during his teen years.
“I wish the story was cooler than it is, but it’s basically just a nickname that stuck. My first name is Conrad. And in junior high, my hilarious friends decided to reverse the R and the C in the name. Instead of calling me Conrad, they called me Ron Cad. And then Ron Cad just got shortened over the course of time to RC and it stuck,” Goodsir said.
“I released a lot of songs when I was younger, I was pretty active from the ages of 17 to about 21. And then from there, life happens. And the music kind of took a backseat. But I would consistently do it whenever I felt strong enough about something.”
The pandemic lockdowns gave RC the motivation he needed.
“Once this stuff happened, it’s like that switch got flipped, and I felt like I could put this kind of material out there,” he said.
Lewis also takes credit for getting RC in gear.
“I’m the one who made him actually get off his ass and start rapping and doing something. He’s a vehicle for truth and we need to be able to reach people, right?” Lewis said.
“He spends all his time as a producer, making music for other artists and getting their names out there. Yet, he’s probably one of the most talented people I know. And he’s got such a great way of putting words together. And he’s just always been a really spiritual person and just very, very educated [and] knows about the truth.”
In a role reversal, Lewis filmed the music video for RC’s song The Virus, which dropped last December. She showed the video to freedom walk organizers in Calgary, and they put him on stage four days later. Since then, the pair have travelled together to events in Edmonton, Saskatoon, and Regina, and even smaller Alberta communities like Mirror and Innisfail.
“With this whole pandemic and everything going on, there’s so much fear. And it’s just about the love and connecting with people and unity and letting people know that we can still live our lives,” Lewis said.
“Once we love ourselves, we are then confident enough to be ourselves. And then it doesn’t matter, we will stand up for ourselves and we will stand up for the truth. And that’s the kind of the underlying message throughout the songs.”
Lewis has been invigorated by meeting the like-minded.
“It’s been amazing. We’ve met so many patriots and freedom fighters and freedom family. And we’ve all been pretty much disowned by our own families at this point. I’ve always said I’m a black sheep, I’ve always been super against the grain,” Lewis said.
Not everyone sees the problem, let alone the solution, according to Lewis.
“We’re definitely not supporters of the government or tyranny or anything like that. So just watching what’s happening to our country and watching what’s happening to our rights… It’s so frustrating, some people are just like, ‘What rights are they taking away?’ Do we really have to have that argument? Like the right to hug my family, see my family, the right to breathe – let’s start there, right?
“We are living in a very intense environment and situation right now, so it’s hard to not focus on the anger, and it’s hard to not focus on everything that people are doing to us. And you know what it’s like to not want to wear a mask, you get harassed. It’s crazy – by tons of people.”
Red Pill Rapper Mitch Murphy from Kelowna might be the only other hip hopper in the freedom movement, and RC thinks he knows the reason.
“Artists, they’re a very fickle bunch. They like to stay in their lanes, and they’re scared to venture out and be the odd man out. So…there’s not very many people speaking out. But somebody’s got to lead the charge and I’m trying to inspire more people to do the same, not just in music but in general,” RC says.
The rapper will join celebrity protester Chris Sky at a freedom rally at the Alberta legislature on Wednesday at 3p.m.
“We’re just getting started. It’s gonna be a busy summer. We’re not slowing down for no lockdowns, no bylaws, no nothing,” RC said.
“I believe in humanity. I think that we’ve got a dark period ahead to get to the light, but I do think that we’ll get there.”
Harding is a Western Standard correspondent based in Saskatchewan.