Toronto is on storm watch. A sharp bitter wind invades Queen St. West, bullying the people out in it with a face-full of snow. They're the first chunks of an expected overnight blizzard that's come to a city wishing for spring. But we're hiding - tucked away in Velvet Underground before Divine Council deliver a storm all their own.
$ilkmoney is sprawled across the sofa below the small window that is our only reminder of what we're ducking from. Cyrax! is quietly resting on the small space left on the couch beside him, following a flight from New Jersey. But Lord Linco is absent, still stuck at the airport they've just come from, after acquainting themselves with the strict and serious folks known as Canadian customs agents. It's a rite of passage for most rappers that make the trip onto Canadian soil - even those who find musical inspiration from Finding Nemo and kick back by debating the status of vegetables.
There's not a lot of time in between sound check and preparation for the rap collective's debut Toronto show though, so we don't wait for Linco. I join the pair in the empty venue they'll later tear up with tracks like 'Dirtbags in Distress', 'Nevaland' and the Andre 3000 accompanied 'Decemba'.
So this is your first time in Canada?
Cyrax!: We just landed at the airport and came straight here.
$ilkmoney: We came straight from Jersey and we got out of there at a good time too, because it's about to be a snow storm. I heard that after 5pm it's about to be like 21 inches.
How was the customs experience? Because obviously there's only two of you sitting here right now.
Cyrax!: It was easy for us.
$ilkmoney: That shit was easy as hell. I don't know what happened to that ni**a. He tried to do his own thing. He tried to come up with his own plan and...
Cyrax!: It failed.
$ilkmoney: It went awry. There he is, racing against time to get here. He inconvenienced himself. But it was easy as hell. It was easier to get through this border than in London. London hated us.
Speaking of London, I know you guys were just over there. How has travelling really changed things for you guys as creatives recently as you soak in these new places and perspectives?
$ilkmoney: 2015 was my first year ever getting on a plane and ever since then, we've just been travelling. I love travelling.
Cyrax!: We be goin everywhere.
$ilkmoney: Yeah, it's probably one of my favourite things to do. See different places. Eat different foods from different places. Smoke different weed from different places.
Creatively, do you feel it impacting and are you working on things while you're moving around?
Cyrax!: Always. We're always working on new music on the road.
$ilkmoney: I can say that if I would have just stayed in Richmond, Virginia where we're from - if I woulda have just sat there in my room every day, I probably wouldn't have a lot of the songs that I have now, because I wouldn't have had those new experiences. I just would have been so used to a city and staying within my comfort zone. So, travelling has really gotten us out of our comfort zones.
Cyrax!: And being on the road, a lot of inspiration comes from a lot places. We just try and soak it all in.
Now that you've found these bits of inspiration, do you feel like you're ready to put out another project soon?
$ilkmoney: We're definitely ready to put out another project - together and individually. We're all working on our own projects and then together, we're going to do a tape and then we're going to do an actual album release. So, the creativity never stops.
When you guys talk about your creative process, you use the word 'organic' a lot. So when you're all doing your own things, is that natural to you all or does that cause any tension?
Cyrax!: With us, we all started out as solo artists. We're strong on our own, so when we come together, we're even stronger. It just works.
$ilkmoney: It's never any tension because the songs that we would have that we would all get on, those songs would come together because we would all be in the studio and it would just happen. Every single song that we have, where it's either Cyrax! or Linco or me and Cyrax! or the three of us produced by Twat, it just happened. It wasn't planned or anything. We just kinda was together and we felt it out. Well, me and Cyrax! planned some songs.
Cyrax!: Me and $ilk got this thing called $ilkmoney vs Cyrax! with just me and him going back and forth on tracks and shit.
$ilkmoney: But we work together a lot and individually a lot, so we switch it up. I don't think nothing of it. It's me and my bros on a song together.
Cyrax!: And that's what we been doing since 2013. We're just getting better.
So, I think the last visual we saw from you guys was 'Dirtbags in Distress' and on it, you were talking about how you didn't have your priorities together. Do you feel like you have them together now?
$ilkmoney: That song was a factual statement. My financial situation is pretty fucked up. Life could be a lot better. I'm not going to sit here and blame anybody but myself, because I fucking spent my whole advance on some weed. So I'm not tripping it all.
Not to sound like your mother, but have you learnt from your experience? You know how to budget correctly now?
$ilkmoney: Hell yeah. I think the only thing worse than being broke is having some money and then going broke again. I think that's worse than being broke. That's a lesson that everyone has to learn. Or should learn.
You mentioned earlier that you guys are like bros. And brothers fight. So what has been the best argument or debate that you've had on the road and who won?
$ilkmoney: As of recently, there was this discussion we were having. This ni**a Linco, for some reason, thinks that every vegetable with a seed is a fruit. And I'm like, my ni**a, every vegetable has a seed though. Cucumbers have seeds. I don't know what vegetable does not have a seed. In my mind, if a fruit or a vegetable doesn't have a seed, that's a GMO.
Cyrax!: He deadass believes it.
$ilkmoney: If that's the case then there's no such thing as a vegetable. If every vegetable with a seed is a fruit, then there is no such thing as a vegetable. So we went back and forth for a while, but that ni**a still believes it. I don't.
So now that we got that out of the way. Tell me about what's in the vault. What do you having coming?
$ilkmoney: We've got a whole project coming. Icytwat is definitely coming soon. That's going to be amazing. It's got me on it. It's got [Cyrax!] on it. It's got a lot of cool ass beats on it and some special guests. We're working on a lot of stuff. I'm working on a project called I Hate My Life (and I really wish people would stop telling me not to.)
Cyrax!: I'm working on my first mixtape type thing. I'm in the early stages of it.
And obviously, collaborations have been a big deal for you guys. Are you looking for more big names to work with?
$ilkmoney: Definitely our own stuff. As for big names, I can say the only people that I would want to work with would be to keep working with Andre 3000. I want to do music with [Erykah] Badu, Currency, Tyler the Creator. Stuff like that. Other than that, the mission to make Council worldwide and to spread our sound and our vision and what we do and who we are.