Old Habits

‘Used to be me rapping in front of that TV, now I’m here…’

Back in the day, you couldn’t search for some lyrics you vaguely remembered and discover a song you had heard days or weeks earlier that was stuck in your head. I distinctly remember walking down Queen Street at 12 years old and being handed a cassette album by a street team member (slow down – I’m talking about a literal cassette from someone whose job it was to walk the streets and promote music before the ages of Facebook mass messaging… and it worked better). The tape was called BROLIC from Loud Records and would further solidify my pre-adolescent love affair with hiphop.

brolictape

From there, it grew quickly into an all encompassing obsession. Hearing Tash from the Alkaholiks and Pun with NORE on those tracks would quickly cement my musical tastes but I needed to find something more familiar. Much Music had a VJ named Master T that hosted an earlier form of Rap City that would see everyone from a young Steve Nash to a pre-Hypnotize Biggie playing up the camera for the Canadian broadcast channel.

masterTjanetJackson

With the Cancon regulations in their infancy, most of the music was still from our American counterparts but there were glimpses of light that Canadian’s were making headway in the music game. That same year, we were blessed with Northern Touch (and its legendary video from Director X) along with some lesser known joints like Essex Court featuring Quiz (another adolescent rapper from Toronto). The latter also featured a prominent record store that I used to cop vinyl from called Eastern Block and having them film in the same location where I would grab records made everything in the music realm seem so attainable it was scary (I had a simple mind as a child).

Standing in front of the TV that summer, I learned the words to all my favourite tracks. Not only was I rapping along but I was starting to write my own, along with writing plans to take over the music world (hah). The seed was planted and it wouldn’t stop growing.

A few years later brings us to today and I’ve been putting out records and videos for most of the last decade. Having them air on TV seemed surreal at first but as we gained notoriety and bigger placements (putting IN THE TDOT into a multiplatinum video game in Asia which then came over to North America), the impact of friends and fam letting me know they saw me on TV was dulled. Seeing fans from Korea making choreographed dance videos for Youtube made the thrill of being on Canadian TV seem minuscule in comparison.

Earlier this year, my friend and mentor D.O. hit me with the beat for OLD HABITS and simply told me to go in. After listening to it on loop, I had to come up with some crazy shit for him. The big paradigm shift happened when I was watching some old music videos with the homeys and we realised that the content we saw as kids (superstar Canadian artists filming ACTUAL music videos for the TV networks!) was pretty low budget shit when viewed as an adult (partial adult). That being said, there are kids out there surfing Youtube and still watching on MuchMusic that tune in every day and see their heroes on the screen.

It took me a while to process but I now understand that the music and content we are putting out is impacting fans that I may not have even met yet at shows or walking around in different cities. There are kids in Saskatoon, San Francisco, Mississauga, Milan, Barrie and Brazil that love music and its our duty to make big records that can impact their lives. Every – single – time.

I say that to say this – OLD HABITS is one of my favourite records ever and a journey I want to take you all on.  Kids aren’t mobbing down the street anymore hoping to meet their next favourite artists but I hope a few can stumble across this and it changes their life the same way mine was changed taking a stroll down Queen Street over a decade ago.

Bless.

Remember – you catch more bees with honey than vinegar and don’t forget to bring that #THORO to your borough.

This entry was posted on Friday, August 1st, 2014 at 7:00 am and is filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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