This is part two of a series of posts about Toronto hip-hop. Part one featured Famous and Luu Breeze, two up-and-coming MCs that are making an impact on the mainstream with their lyrical game. This issue will focus on two others that are harnessing the power of the American hip-hop machine, but repping T.O. just as hard. One MC, and one DJ.
I first ran into DJ Wristpect (blog), aka Shez Mehra, partying on a random Thursday in Guelph. Guelph is about 45 mins north-west of anywhere near Toronto, but has one of the busiest party scenes in Ontario due to the University in town. Guelph is traditionally rich in musical talent, with notable exports such as The Constantines, Royal City, Gentleman Reg, and the kids who run (ran?) Kazoo. Toronto music faithful will have some familiarity with most of these acts. And anyone who gives a shit about the state of Toronto’s DJ community will have also heard Wristpect and the great work he’s been doing with Little Brother(!), Just Blaze(!!), and AZ(!!!). More recently he’s been doing great things on tour, such as parties with DJ AM and MSTRKRFT.
The highlight of Shez’ career for me0 has been the Bridging the Gap series of mixtapes – bridging Toronto hip hop with artists from the U.S., specifically North Carolina, New York, and Chicago. These are all available for download on his blog. If you’re only going to grab one tape, check out the HipHopDX co-branded Rock the Bells mixtape, which is party music at its finest. If you’re going to grab two, check out the aforementioned collaboration with N.C.‘s Little Brother.
Now, as far as reaching for collaborations with American hip-hop superstars, nobody has reached harder than Drake (myspace). I don’t know how much money that kid and his faithful invested in the relationship with Lil’ Wayne: if you’re putting out tracks with the Greatest Rapper Alive and running with Young Money, the pressure is definitely on. Once again, the recent mixtape is very strong, well reviewed, and available for free download (see a pattern emerging yet?)
(This video is for Lindz .. you the fucking best)
It’s good to see these two get together sometimes. “I Run T.O.!”
More to come.