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  • Editorial: Is Screwface The New Face of Hip Hop?!?!?!

    June 5.09 @ 2:55 pm
    Posted By: markdyer

    Written by Mark Dyer

    As I walk into the Sound Academy anxious to catch the newest upcoming artist to start off the Spring/Summer edition of concerts in Toronto. I look around the room and I realize how mixed the crowd is from young to old, women and men are all here for the same reason I decided to dress fresh and purchase this concert ticket. They are all here to witness the full-scaled concert from a Canadian-born artist “Drake”. I found this pretty interesting, seeming that Toronto has been known for being the Screwface Capital. As DJ “Charlie Brown” spins iconic classic records to warm up the crowd, I started to think over how long it took for Toronto to be the pinnacle arena for new artists. Is Toronto becoming the New Face of Hip-hop? Are We really marching behind our “OWN” Artist(s)?

    First of all, let’s all remember Kardinal Offishall for a second. Most of us, especially Torontonians born in 80-87 remember the start of “Kardi” good ol high school memories. “Naughty Dread”?? Most of us should remember this song. Love him or hate him, he does have a creative tenacity to forever impress an audience. How about “Northern Touch”?? I remember taping this song off Rap City onto my yellow Sony Walkmen, because Momma didn’t want me buying any “Hip Hop” tapes LOL. This song broke through the Canadian airwaves at an accelerating rate, impressing all of us!! We all felt proud to be Canadian in the American-dominated industry.

    The persistence and tenacity of Canadian Artists in the 90’s continued to pave the way for new artist to evolve out of this country today. The improvement of Canadian urban online & offline journalism has opened the gateway for new & upcoming talent to grow and build a withstanding audience locally & internationally. A key example would be Drake, because his rap awareness started in America to be exact I believe his hype started online (I could be wrong), but his appearance started internationally on Degrassi. The Canadian urban media streams such as HipHopCanada, Urbanology, youngfreshnew, TOFLO.com, has allowed the international and domestic audience to pay attention to the emergence of new urban artist quicker & faster. These streams have helped artists communicate their appeal to urban Canadians, which is vastly spread out geographically. Also, the Juggernauts can pay attention to a new Canadian artist’s appeal & exposure easier, which has allowed various artists to tap into the overtly saturated US market. Here’s what’s interesting, most new artists from Canada have a multiple backgrounds, bringing more favour and charisma to the industry. This favour continues to impress our fellow Urban American’s!

    The Juggernauts “Americans” notice that we Canadian’s have vast amounts of talent waiting to exhale on this music industry. The Question is….Are we ready to stand behind our own crop? Time and Time again, we would buy tickets for an American Powerhouse artist, and be forced to listen to the first act “The Canadian”, and What do we do?? We either show up late knowing that our own artist is probably gonna be weak or We pay him/her no attention as he/she performs with full energy twitching nerves, sweaty palms on the mic, thinking about when will the audience start booing. After finishing a 15min of a 20min set, the subtle muttering erupts in the room, and now we’ve let down our own talent.

    So where are we now?? Drake appears on stage and the crowd erupts singing & rapping his music. Is it a turn of a whole new generation? I’ve noticed that the new generation is building a new concept & thought process for our own artists. It’s called giving them a chance…A chance not only to become a Powerhouse but a chance to make a name for Toronto in Toronto. As the artist builds, exposure appears as exposure appears domestically & intentionally, Toronto becomes attractive. As Toronto becomes attractive, we can become the NEW FACE OF HIP HOP.

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