Here’s to Canadian Hip-Hop!

Hey, everybody! Reader here!

The Juno Awards were held over the weekend, celebrating the best in Canadian music, and a highlight for me, was seeing Maestro Fresh Wes inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame.

Back in the late 80’s and early 90’s, I first heard hip-hop, rap, whatever you want to call it, and I loved it. It was unlike anything I had heard before, and for a kid in the Prairies, it was something new and exciting.

My brothers and I had Maestro’s tapes at home, especially his first couple of albums, including “Symphony in Effect,” which featured the all-mighty “Let Your Backbone Slide,” which made him the first Canadian rapper to have a gold single, and was a track that set the stage for decades of great Canadian Hip-Hop to come!

Not to mention other hits like “Drop the Needle” and “Conductin’ Thangs.”

And then, in 1998, when he was going by just Maestro, he dropped “Stick to Your Vision,” built on a sample of the Guess Who classic “These Eyes,” and another Canadian classic was born.

Maestro was part of the first wave of notable rap artists from the Great White North, including Dream Warriors and Michie Mee.

They paved the way for later Canadian rappers of the late ’90’s and early 2000’s like Rascalz, Choclair, and Kardinal Offishall.

And then major international artists like Drake and The Weeknd burst through the door and took Canadian Hip-Hop to an even higher level.

Canadian Hip-Hop continues to grow and thrive.

It’s so much more than just the big names – there is a wealth of talent and diversity within the genre that deserves to be celebrated. Canadian hip-hop offers a wide range of sounds and styles that showcase the country’s rich cultural tapestry.

Canadian First Nations hip-hop artists are using their music to shed light on important issues facing Indigenous communities, such as social justice, cultural preservation, and environmental protection. Through their lyrics, they are telling the stories of their people, their struggles, and their triumphs in a way that is both captivating and empowering.

Let’s not forget about the producers, DJs, and other behind-the-scenes creatives who are helping to shape the sound of Canadian hip-hop and push boundaries in the genre.

One of the things that sets Canadian hip-hop apart is its ability to blend influences from all over the world while still staying true to its roots. Whether it’s incorporating elements of trap, dancehall, or afrobeats, Canadian hip-hop artists are constantly pushing the boundaries of what the genre can be and creating music that is uniquely Canadian.

Canadian Hip-Hop takes the best of the world and makes it our own!

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