The CHRY 105.5fm Metro Mix offs (1988)
One of the most important training grounds for young djs in Toronto was the CHRY Metro Mix Offs. Beginning in 1988, this event has included such notable djs as; DJ Power, DJ Lil’ Jaz, DJ Grouch, DJ DTS, DJ Apollo (now emcee and producer Anonymous Twist), D-Scratch, Nick Holder, DJ Easyrock (now Peter from Peter & Tyrone) and several more.
photo credit: From the Johnbronski archives
HONEY JAM SWEET 16 EDITION – THURSDAY AUGUST 11
For Immediate Release
July 27th, 2011
Toronto – The Honey Jam artist showcase, celebrates its Sweet 16 anniversary at the Mod Club Theatre (722 College Street) on Thursday, August 11, 2011. Hosted by MuchMusic’s Sarah Taylor, the 2011 edition promises to deliver one of the best showcases in the history of the event – a night of exciting live entertainment with a diverse group of artists.
As Honey Jam turns 16 so does it’s breakout star from the 2010 showcase, rapper Reema Major who is causing a lot of buzz in the industry with her I am Legend Mixtape.
Ebonnie Rowe, Honey Jam Founder, Producer and President of PhemPhat Entertainment Group, says “We’re so proud of Reema! I’m confident that we’ll be hearing similar success stories from several of the artists performing this year. They are at the right age, the talent is undeniable, many are also songwriters and play instruments as well. But I don’t want to give away all the details of what you can expect – you have to come out to the show!!”
The lineup of 18 artists from Toronto, Calgary, Montreal and London includes 3 artists from the acclaimed Remix Project and child piano prodigy Catherine He, at age 7 the youngest artist ever to take to the Honey Jam stage. Go to www.honeyjam.com and click on “2011 artists” to see more info on who made the cut.
DJs for the night include DJ MelBoogie and Tasha Rozez.
The show is not a competition but there are prizes/opportunities being offered. All of the artists will have one of their tracks featured on a promotional compilation CD courtesy of Universal Music Canada which will be handed out at the showcase, Universal will also give each artist consultation time with their Director of A&R. The girls will receive product from Benefit Cosmetics, Converse is also giving each artist a backpack and certificate for a pair of shoes, and they all received 1 hour of one-on-one vocal/performance coaching time with Elaine Overholt sponsored by Slaight Music. One lucky artist whose name is pulled randomly will receive Honey Jam Hookup Prize Pack which includes sound equipment from Yamaha, a photo shoot with Nathaniel Anderson, legal consultation with Taylor Mitsopolous Klein Oballa, $1,000 cash from EMI Music Canada and a fitness package from Think Fitness.
Advance tickets at $20 are available at Play De Record, 357 Yonge Street, $25 at the door. Proceeds from the showcase will support YWCA Toronto’s programs for women and girls – www.ywcatoronto.org
by Jay Chang
photos by Taejon Cupid
“Perhaps we’ll break thru the glass ceilings
Shatter the roof and emerge
From these boxes that they have us in cooped
And grow to smash the mold that they casted of you” Shad – Brother (Watching)
On the grounds of what once housed the First Ontario Parliament Buildings, Canadian Hip Hop took yet another step towards breaking the glass ceilings and shattering the roof. An unassuming Tuesday evening at CBC’s Glenn Gould studio became the meeting ground of incredible Canadian Hip Hop talent, spanning from pioneering legends in the game to bright young stars on the come up. It was a night that many in attendance will never forget, the affair a true celebration of all that the scene has accomplished as well as a hint of what can become.
The guest list was an unabashed who’s-who of the scene: Maestro, Michie Mee, Ghetto Concept, Skratch Bastid, Kardinal, Choclair, Saukrates, K-os, Classified, DJ X, Red1, K’naan, Dream Warriors, Reema Major, Shad, Cadence Weapon, Gee Wunder, Starting From Scratch, and countless other significant contributors to Hip Hop in Canada. It wasn’t just music – T-Dot Pioneers 2011: The Glenn Gould Remix appropriately paid homage to the history of the movement with an impressive original photography exhibit of the last 25 years of places and faces in the scene put together by Bobby O’neill.
Contrary to one of the most critical elements of Hip Hop culture, there was no battle here. Egos were parked, the classic Toronto mean-mug was on vacation, and love and communal respect flowed. Buck 65 from CBC’s Radio 2 hosted the concert portion of the night, clearly enjoying the opportunity to share his passion and knowledge of Canadian Hip Hop.
Incredible collaborations stacked one on top of the other before the eyes: Ghetto Concept performed with their full original cast (including Infinite) for the first time in 16 years; GC then introduced their well-known teenaged female newcomer Reema Major, who subsequently called Michie Mee to the stage. Chiz-Knock walked out with Sauks and together they performed “Rubbin’” in full. Kardi had his usual unbeatable stage swag and breezed through “BaKardi Slang” and “The Anthem,” the latter while running through the crowd sporting a custom Toronto FC jersey with his name emblazoned on the back.
K’naan nicely slowed the tempo with “Wait a Minute” before introducing the legendary Dream Warriors for a hot performance of “My Definition.” K-os and Saukrates teamed up for “I Wish I Knew Natalie Portman” before bringing out Maestro, who, rocking a full tuxedo and conductor baton, belted out “Let Your Backbone Slide” with the crowd roaring the lyrics right back at the stage. The critical point was then reached when Shad spit the full second verse of the track, never missing a single note.
The grand finale of such an unbelievable set of performances did not disappoint. The entire cast (and a few additional Canadian rhyme-spitters who appropriately snuck on stage) gathered front and centre and laid down their best freestyle verses in classic pass-the-mic fashion. After 15 minutes of raw talent showcased and the evening seemingly over, the DJ crew cut to the instrumental of Northern Touch and absolute madness ensued. With most of the members of the original track on stage, a fireball of Hip Hop love formed and the entire stage bounced in unison. The mold was smashed, the roof was shattered. An unforgettable ending to what will always be looked at as one of the greatest single nights in Canadian Hip Hop history.
by: Odario G. Williams
Winnipeg’s ‘Peg City Holla Urban Music Festival’ was founded in 1997
by Odario G. Williams (Mood Ruff/ Grand Analog) in 1997. Aside from being one of Canada’s original Hip-Hop festivals, it is also one of the longest running. During it’s ten year span, Peg City Holla was partnered by Mood Ruff members Eli ‘Spitz’ Epp and Ofield K. Williams.
Mood Ruff’s initiative was inviting like-minded underground artists to
Winnipeg for a three day stay of performance, play and politics. The
event included outdoor performances, car shows, graffiti expos, poetry slams, round table discussions, b-boy summits and a film festival.
Guests included Ali Shaheed Muhammad (of A Tribe Called Quest), Jeru The Damaja, Black Moon, Zion I, Herbaliser, Royce Da 5’9, Moka Only, D-Sisive, War Party, DL Incognito, DJ Dopey, Monolith and plenty more.
Most importantly, Peg City Holla featured some of Winnipeg’s finest
artists such as DJ Brace, Frek Sho, Shadez, Break Bread Crew
(including Farm Fresh & John Smith), Brakada, Nestor Wynrush and
Bonafide. The PCH Festival was one to look forward to every August in
A Hip Hop Town Hall Meeting
by Rowena I. Alfonso
“When Rappers Used to Dance: An Exploration of Hip Hop and Its Progression as a Culture” took place on March 27, 2010 at the Toronto Free Gallery. Presented by The Bigger Than Hip Hop Show (CHRY 105.5fm) and OTA Live (FLOW 93.5fm), the event was a lively three-hour panel discussion about the changes that hip hop has undergone as a culture. Moderated by Ty Harper, True Daley, and Rez Digital, the event had the feel of a hip hop town hall meeting. The knowledgeable panel, consisting of emcee Spade of Citizen Kane, author Dalton Higgins, MFA student Ebony Haynes, Professor Rinaldo Walcott, and emcee Ian Kamau, spoke to an equally knowledgeable audience which included djs, emcees, commercial and community radio show hosts, as well as other respected members of the Toronto hip hop scene.
The panel covered a wide range of topics concerning hip hop, including the possible criminal origins of “the running man,” the changing gendered constructions of black masculinity and femininity, the sexual exploitation of black women (from the Hottentot Venus to the video vixen), fatherhood in the black community in general and in hip hop in particular, as well as the complex relationship between hip hop culture and capitalism. The Q & A portion of the event contained few questions, but many comments as spirited audience members stepped to the mic to join the debate about the current state of hip hop in the T-Dot and beyond. Sometimes serious, sometimes humorous, ever controversial, never dull, the event itself captured the multifaceted nature of hip hop culture and its practitioners. However one feels about the changes in hip hop culture from the past to the present, it is clear that the future of hip hop is secure as long as the community that creates and nurtures it continues to discuss, debate and dance with each other.