T-Dot Part 5: Foundation Creative Group [Article]
Toronto, ON – A heavy Happy New Year and Best Wishes are in order to all the HipHopCanada readers, and I hope ’03 finds everyone cool. For me trying to find artists in Toronto to write about has been the most fun I’ve had in front of a computer since the introduction of free on-line sports pools. I thought this city was going to blow up for a while, now I’m sure of it. Kick back and take a trip with me through the four companies that make up one of the tuffest organizations in urban music today, the FOUNDATION Creative Group.
The Foundation Creative Group’s (FCG) four branches include Public Management (artist management & publicity), Street Level Imaging (Graphic Design and Wardrobe Styling), Tone Mason Inc. (hot producers), and World Rydah Studios (beat making and engineering)
If you don’t know my man Gavin Sheppard, then you ain’t doin’ it right now. As founder of the I.C. Visions project (North America’s first government funded Hip-Hop Rec Centre), Gavin has spent years creating this company and building urban awareness around the city. His Public Management business has been collecting some aspiring artists that are ready to make the plunge into the music business. With a roster highlighted by Canada’s hottest producers, ToneMason (more on them later), Public Management is about to embark on the road of open doors. Rappers Rochester aka Juice and Mhedikc are the first two hip-hop artists to be repped through FOUNDATION. I have heard Rochester’s early works (his debut album is about halfway done) and I must say I am impressed with this young cat and his mic skills. Peep him on the first set of MuchVibe promo spots. PM also handles R&B folk, including Jarod, the sister duo avenue* and singer/songwriter Jenni Denim.
For Canadians that are sick of the same sounding beats and have grown impatient, stand up and recognize ToneMason. Musically these guys have it all together. The instrumentals are really on another level, stuff that we just haven’t heard here yet. Sitting in the studio with these guys or even peeping a beat CD I still can’t believe the stuff that they have that they’re just sitting on. Having already crafted bangers for Kardi, The Rascalz, and MuchMusic, (they do the theme music for both The Vibe and the DownLo) it’s just time standing in their way. Patience is a virtue! To keep the crispness intended for each of their tracks, Blaow Mezziah makes sure the music coming through World Rydah Studios comes off sounding proper.
Now you could have all the talent in the world, but if you don’t look right, people ain’t feeling you. Having already done wardrobe and styling for such artists as Baby Blue, Thrust, Ro Dolla and the first 2 Remy Shand videos (4 Grammy Noms Capo!), Shane Stirling and Street Level Imaging have begun to carve out their stake in the field of urban art. His experience goes beyond the hip-hop community having added a little urban feel to works for Nike and Athlete’s World.
There is so much going on with the FCG that I’ll probably have to write another article next week just to keep you up on their movements! Keep your eyes peeled for a documentary being done by MuchMusic that goes behind the scenes detailing an artist’s creative process. Also if you are anywhere near TO get down to the Reverb (631 Queen St. W @ Bathurst) on Feb 6th where Canada’s first urban documentary is being filmed with Mhedikc, Rochester, Point Blank, Hustlemann, Empire and more performing live… I’m waiting till FCG is on the TSE!! That’s a wrap, Holla back Capo…