From the looks of 2020 so far, not much. However this quarantine time did put a few of us into motion on a little thing we like to call The Beat Of The Week. We’ve been busy!! I’ve got a few episodes in there with the wife also, I highly recommend checking it out. It’s been allot of fun!!
How do I start this… how do I start to write a blog simply to express my feelings on the current situations and events when in fact…. I can’t…. I can’t express my feelings because there are no words that would describe them well enough to make anyone reading this understand exactly how disappointed I am that in 2020 a blog like this still needs to be written about how people still need to fight to be treated equally…
I suppose I should start by apologizing to those that follow my website only. I’ve been fairly active on my social media platforms but never enough here.
Secondly I want to dive right into why this blog needed to be written. I am a 35 year old white male. I have a small native bloodline but that’s not relevant to this. I am a hip-hop and R&B artist. I sing, rap, produce, engineer and perform hip-hop and R&B music. I haven’t profited (monetary wise) from the culture as of yet, I’ve actually probably invested more money into it than I’ll ever make back but I wouldn’t change a thing. Making hip-hop music and being a part of the hip-hop scene has given me many great experiences and allowed me to meet some amazing people. Performing hip-hop music has given me opportunities to travel, meet and rock for some of my hero’s. One of my best friends Reggie Retro gave me the tools and knowledge I needed to create my own music and expressions back in 2004.
When I was young I didn’t have much. I didn’t come from a wealthy family and at times we struggled to survive. I remember sleeping in front of space heaters with the oven on in the middle of winter on a Christmas Eve to stay warm cuz the gas company shut the heat off once. I’ve been homeless and hungry, I’ve slept on the streets, I’ve been to jail, I’ve been shot at… I’ve had to rob other people just so I could eat… But even at my lowest, when I thought suicide might be the best option.. I could always find someone to relate to in hip-hop.
When Pac said to “hold on, be strong, cuz after every dark night, there’s a bright day after that”…. I cried. When Cube spoke about a corrupt system and police brutality, I felt that, when bone thugs sang that budda love ballad I blazed to that and felt like maybe everything would be ok. It wasn’t just hip-hop either, it was black music in general. I fell in love with many 60’s & 70’s soul musicians like Curtis Mayfield, Nina Simone, Bobby Womack, Bill Withers, Al Green, Ray Charles, The Isley Brothers and so many more… There was just a realness, a pain and sincerity that couldn’t be found or duplicated anywhere else. The weight of oppression, the pain of the struggle, but most importantly the courage and strength to keep pushing forward even when all the odds are stacked against you. This is why black culture saved my life… There is no voices that spoke to me more than those of black artists. They were my hero’s. People that came from nothing but built empires on honesty. It gave me hope. It gave me courage and confidence. If it wasn’t for those voices I can honestly say I wouldn’t be here right now. It was a black man that taught me to make beats, record and helped me express myself through music. It was black culture that welcomed me as a guest to participate in it’s creation and entertainment and it’s black culture that I will stand up for when it comes to racism and systemic racism. If you need to know my position I think it’s pretty clear.
I think it’s sad that after over 100 years people still have to fight for equality. I think it’s sad that the people we pay to protect us, kill people in the streets over… Nothing…
I watched that video a few weeks ago when everyone else on the internet did. It made me so fuckin angry. “I can’t breathe” the man said, “I was hungry, my stomach hurts”…… I’ve been hungry…. I know what it’s like when your stomach hurts from hunger. I’ve done much worse things than write a fraudulent check for food… The only difference is I never had to fear for my life if the police showed up.
What happened to George Floyd was a travesty and an unfortunate example of what black people have to fear everyday. People love to dig up records of transgressions that happened 10+ years ago and say “well he was a criminal!”…. Does that mean he deserved to die? No, he was a human being and just like any human being he deserved a fair trail. It was up to the court to determine if he was a criminal, but George never got that chance.
I attended the protest in London Ontario on June 6th. I have asthma, an autoimmune disease and a pregnant wife but I wore a respirator and took the risk of being there because it’s my home town and it was the right thing to do. I salute everyone and anyone who also took the risk to join the mass protests during this pandemic. I didn’t take many videos or pictures, I was there for the cause not self promotion. It was beautiful. 10,000 people of all different cultures and colors attended and marched the streets of London peacefully. I’ve never seen my city gathered together in such solidarity, it made me proud. Watching the protests all over the world I think it’s become evident that a change needs to happen. Hopefully the bricks we lay today build bridges to better tomorrows. To everyone involved in the fight, I salute you, let’s make the change together!!
Just dropped a dope new music video on the Dreamsters Union YouTube Channel. “Stay Inside” which was mostly shot outside my home in Brampton, is more of an update than a social statement. I’ve been layed off due to this pandemic and been pretty busy in and around my home. I figured many of you can probably relate too.
Check out the video in the link below and much love and respect to all the blogs and pages sharing it!!
Well, as Im sure most of you have noticed by now this year will not be my year. It won’t be your year and probably won’t be anyone else’s either. It’s incredibly tough to be an artist on the rise in these times and even tougher for those that rely on music and gigs to pay bills. Venue owners are wondering if they will even be able to afford to come back after this…..
But in the heart of it I see DJs, rappers and beatmakers entertaining from home, people being creative and innovative, some clashes of minds but for the “moist” part.. Uh sorry… most part people are coming together while still being apart. Coming back from Japan at the beginning of march was terrifying. The flight is long and it’s a tightly packed space. My wife and I faired ok, surpassed our isolation periods with no sickness or symptoms. Unfortunately shortly after the world went crazy and everything closed down. Now we are here…
Needless to say all shows for the unforeseeable future are cancelled and tho that does suck I’ve also been given a great and rare opportunity. The opportunity of time. Much needed time to finish projects, put some touch ups on work, bang some beats out and come up with some new ideas aswell.
If you do follow me on my social media outlets I have been performing some live online sets recently aswell and I’ll continue to do more.
I’ve also been doing some little beat making videos for the Dreamsters Union YouTube page so be sure to Subscribe to the channel and check out the other dope videos aswell!!!
In the meantime I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy!! I’m layed off work and locked up at home but I’ll still be online trying to be positive. Hopefully we make it through this soon and with as little casualties as possible. I hope people are making safe decisions regardless of what they believe in for the safety of others. I’ll be inside doing what artists do and driving my wife crazy. Lol
Much love and respect!!!
Stay tuned for uncanny surprises spawned from my absolute boredom. Lol
It’s my birthday!!! Following my yearly tradition I’ve got a brand new album I’ve released today!! 10 brand new songs for the 10th day of the 10th month. This album also has some great features from Ngajuana, Oh Kg & Bobbi Redd. All songs are produced by TellingBeatzz. Go get it now for free on Bandcamp. Will be coming to all other platforms soon!!
Today marks the 3 year anniversary of “Loaded With Pain”. This was the first album I had a distribution deal for, the first album that charted across Canada for me and the first and only album to hit shelves at HMV.
This album was a hard, emotional piece of art to create. I was going through alot at the time in my life. My grandfather had passed 3 years prior, my grandmother had a massive stroke that left her half paralyzed and my father was slowly dying from throat cancer. Loaded With Pain was originally a small mixtape I had done back in 2011 after a bad break up, but with everything I was going through in my life at the time I decided to recreate it from a different perspective. It was a challenge both mentally and emotionally, but I had a great support team that inspired me to keep it going. I wrote “Make Me Whole” for my family and it was super difficult to get through. Later I asked Skylar McFarlane, a member of my father’s former band “The Outcasts”, to do a guitar solo in my father’s style of playing for the song. My father was still alive at the time but wasn’t well enough to play. In the end it was the last song my father would hear before he passed away, we shed tears together listening to it.
When the songs were all completed, MadHattr and myself did the mixing and sent the mixes to Notion to be mastered. During the wait, it was time for the album art to get done. I had a vision for how and what I wanted it to look like, but there isn’t many out there that could capture it so perfectly. I hit up Justin Main of Photified to do the work. When we got together for the photoshoot, I explained my vision. Being a big fan of Frank Miller’s work in comics I remembered scenes from the SinCity comics, one in particular I thought would be perfect for the cover. We discussed visuals and I showed him the cover I was hoping to emulate. With Justin there’s no maybe’s, anything is possible
In August of 2013, two months before the album released, I went to the FanExpo in Toronto and got the opportunity to meet Frank Miller himself. I showed him the artwork for the album inspired by his comic art. I was worried how he would feel about us recreating his artwork but he loved it. He told me he felt honored to be my inspiration for the project and thought the images were “really cool”.
After getting Miller’s approval it was time to submit the album for pressing and choose a release date. I chose to release it on October 4th because that would have been my late grandfathers birthday. He was my main father figure growing up so it only seemed appropriate. I also dropped a video for “Ill Intentions” the same day, one of my most popular songs and put it on the album as a bonus track. My father passed away early December that year, making it the last album he heard from his son.
Though sometimes I do look back and ponder over small details, engineering and having more time to fine tune, I honestly wouldn’t want to change a thing. Any later and my father would have missed it and that would just be unacceptable, after all, I made this album for him. I’m so grateful and appreciative to all those that helped bring these songs together and get this album out at the time we did. To all my fellow musicians and emcees that participated, MadHattr and Notion for keeping with the deadline, and to everyone out there that supported it when it dropped. I love you all and I couldn’t of done it without you!!
So go listen to “Loaded With Pain” today and let it touch your soul. It was my release when I was going through shit and hope its yours aswell.