March 06, 2017
Canadian hip hop has a long and storied history, and one that never seems to get enough attention. There’s Vancouver’s Swollen Members, who exploded in the early ‘00s, and whose founding member Madchild still battle raps. There’s Regina’s Queen City Stoop Kids, whose left-field, eclectic sound is making Saskatchewan sound more exciting than ever. There’s Manitoba’s ‘90s-invoking Mcenroe and Birdapres and The Lytics, as well as the explosive sounds of Young Kidd and Winnipeg’s Most. Classified reps Nova Scotia harder than anyone. Of course, there’s Drake, who made The 6 famous. And that’s even without dropping big name legends like Choclair, Kardinal Offishal, and of course Drake, who made The 6 famous. A lot of quality hip hop comes from here up North.
North Side Hip Hop (NSHH) is planning to celebrate that legacy this month, as well as the current players making Canadian hip hop a force to be reckoned with. Their ‘I Was There!’ project will travel through Hamilton, Toronto, Montreal, and Saskatoon, working with Archive Fellows in each city, to “excavate and promote the achievements of local hip hop architects across Canada.” Their plan is to, “digitize archival materials and develop curriculum innovation projects that allow educators to access and utilize the site’s archival materials in meaningful ways.”
The events will kick off in Montreal on March 9, with musical tributes from Nomadic Massive, the Narcicyst, and Strange Foots to DJ Butcher T. Saskatoon (March 11) will focus on Aboriginal women in hip hop and feature a panel discussion led by Eekwol, and performances from T-Rhyme and mRae Grooves. Hamilton’s event (March 24) will honour Leon “Eklipz” Robinson, who founded the city’s Concrete Canvas festival, showcase his visual art, and provide a screening of his documentary I Was There! Steelcity Hip Hop Respective. And finally, the March 31 event in Toronto will focus on DJ Ron Nelson, who helped promote and develop artists like Maestro Fresh Wes and Michie Mee.
In Other News:
- Spotify will soon have hi-fi music streaming available.
- A death metal-themed web series named Boring Girls based in Toronto is coming this year.
- Florida Man and Nickelback, together at last.
- Sunrise Records is going to take over a bunch of HMV locations.
- Ontario wants your help to fight ticket bots and scalpers.
- Sonic Boom and X-Fest in Alberta have been cancelled.