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Class of June 2010: Call for Support [Article]

Class of June 2010 - Drake - D-Sisive, Eternia & MoSS, Marco Polo & Sweatshop Union

There is still half a year left to unfold before anyone can really define the key moments of 2010, but one thing is certain, June 2010 will be a HUGE factor in shaping that definition. Not only is June host to the release of what is considered by most to be Canada’s biggest full-length project in history (Thank Me Later), but also a mass of other highly anticipated albums including Eternia & MoSS’s At Last, The Stupendous Adventures of Marco Polo, D-Sisive’s Vaudeville and a 3-project release presented by Sweatshop Union. 

It’s time to support. Support for home-grown talent has undoubtedly increased immensely in the last decade but one thing that’s still trailing is support through sales. 

It’s time for Canadian hip-hop fans to support with our wallets. Granted, if you’re in a financial state where it doesn’t make sense to spend money on music, by all means don’t. But if you have 10-20 dollars to spare then consider purchasing one of the albums showcased below. I’m the last person that wants to look at music through sales reports and dollar signs but that doesn’t mean I don’t think it’s important for people to support by purchasing music they enjoy listening to. 

Jay-Z said it best: “I’m not a businessman, I’m a business, man!” 

“I’m not a businessman, I’m a business, man!”

Each of these artists are owners of their own businesses; their business being their music. Their success depends on their ability to turn their fans into tangible sales, their ability to land gigs and ultimately their staying power in the beast that is the music industry. Shows usually give an artist more pocket money than album sales, but prime album sales can potentially open a lot more doors for them. 

On top of that, if we want more big business invested into the infrastructure of the Canadian scene it’s important to show them that artists can move units. It’s telling them the fans are there and that there is a consumer base which could benefit their own businesses. Things are already a lot stronger than even 5 years ago but there’s still plenty of room for healthy growth. 

Before we breakdown the albums coming out, I’m making a point to say that I will be putting my money where my mouth is and purchasing each of the projects on their respective release dates. 


Drake – Thank Me Later
Release date: June 15th 2010
Label: Young Money/Cash Money

Drake - Thank Me Later - 

Never before has a Canadian hip-hop artist achieved so much in such a short amount of time, while having never actually released a full-length album. In fact, forget the that he’s a Canadian altogether and it still applies just the same. Few artists, in any genre of music, have achieved as much as Drake has without having an album to speak of. 

From countless high charted singles, Grammy nominations, various other award nominations, covers on the biggest magazines and being regarded by many highly respected music industry critics as the biggest thing to hit hip-hop since 50 Cent, Drake seems to have done it all. The really interesting thing for me is seeing where Drake’s career is propelled to after Thank Me Later hits stores this Tuesday, June 15th 2010. 

The guest appearances: Jay-Z, Lil Wayne, Alicia Keys, T.I., Swizz Beatz, The-Dream, Young Jeezy and Nicki Minaj. 

The production credits: 40, Crada, Francis and the Lights, Boi-1da, Al-Khaaliq, Kanye West, Swizz Beatz, Omen, Tone Mason, No I.D., Jeff Bhasker and Timbaland. 

Some first week sales predictions have been floating around. Some might call me crazy based on the conditions of the market, but back in March I made a bet with a friend that the album would do 1.4 million or higher on the first week. He, as well as various others, have questioned my sanity on making a bet like that but many would have said I was crazy if I said Wayne would do 1 million plus the first week with Carter III (he did 1,005,545 copies according to Wikipedia). It’s a go big or go home mentality… besides, in the past 2 weeks I’ve seen predictions as high as 1.6 and 1.8. I’m cool with that too — remember, the bet was 1.4 or higher. 

The album will be available for purchase on iTunes on June 15th via

Sweatshop Union

West coast hip-hop mainstay Sweatshop Union is releasing 3 albums on June 15th from various members of the group. The 3 projects include Sweatshop Union Presents: DIRTY CIRCUS – Alive And Well, Sweatshop Union Presents THE TRILLIONAIRE$ – By Hook or by Crook, and Sweatshop Union Presents PIGEON HOLE – Age Like Astronauts. All 3 projects are coming out on URBNET Records. Some of the listed information was taken from URBNET’s site: 

Sweatshop Union presents Pigeon Hole - Age Like Astronauts 

Sweatshop Union presents TRILLIONAIRE$ – By Hook or by Crook
Release date: June 15th 2010

The Trillionaire$ are the brainchild of Metty The Dertmerchant , a combo consisting of himself and fellow Canadian MC Evil Ebenezer. Handling the entire production of The Trillionaire$ debut, Metty Dertmerchant also enlisted some of the best artists in the game today to appear on the album: Frank Nitt of Frank N Dank, AWOL ONE, Moka Only, Josh Martinez, Mos Eisley of Sweatshop Union, Mat The Alien and DJ D-REC. 

Sweatshop Union Presents: DIRTY CIRCUS- Alive And Well
Release date: June 15th 2010

An album many years in the making, this debut from Sweatshop Union’s Metty The Dertmerchant and Mos Eisley is somewhat of an ode to the traditional “classic era” of hip-hop. With carefully selected productions that adhere to that “vintage” format crafted by the group itself as well as Swollen Members producer Rob The Viking, Slakah The Beatchild and the legendary old school DJ Rip One. Alongside the two MCs are featured guests: Bootie Brown of The Pharcyde, Moka Only, Blame One, Geo of Blue Scholars, Shad K, Dynas and DJ’s Grouch, Cysko and ES Nine. 

Sweatshop Union Presents PIGEON HOLE – Age Like Astronauts
Release date: June 15th 2010

After years as members of the west coast hip hop collective Sweatshop Union, Pigeon Hole release their debut full-length record, Age Like Astronauts, this summer on URBNET records. Their latest creation boasts innovative production from the mc/beatmaker team and a distinctive sound that borrows, bends, and shapes music without regard for genre. 

“We made the record using Canadian psych samples, 60’s lounge-pop LP’s, baby drum kits, and homemade cassette tape synths,” says Marmalade, one half of Pigeon Hole. “Mostly we drew from the classic hip hop we listened to when we were young. I don’t know what you’d call it. Boombap-psych rap, maybe?” 

Pigeon Hole consists of Sweatshop Union’s Dusty Melo and Marmalade. The two met in Nanaimo, B.C. Soon after, buzz got around of an exciting young rap group packing local venues. 


D-Sisive – Vaudeville
Release date: June 22nd 2010

D-Sisive - Vaudeville - 

D-Sisive is another mainstay in the Toronto scene going back to the Planet Mars days. One anecdote I have to share, since I have the space to do so, is from a show he was doing in Ottawa back in 2008. He was in town to promote his JUNO-award nominated EP The Book

We were outside a few minutes before he was set to take the stage and I asked him which songs he would be performing. He let me know he’d be performing the latest single to which I replied, “Dope, will you also be performing “Brian Wilson?”. He said he would. At this point I told him I preferred “Brian Wilson” as it was probably my favourite song on the album. I didn’t think much of it but no more than 20 minutes later he took the stage and before performing “Brian Wilson” he announces to the crowd that “Jesse from HipHopCanada likes this song better than my new one”, in a slightly disgusted, but obviously joking manner. It reminds me why I like D-Sisive’s music… he’s down to earth, calls it like he sees it and has a great sense of humour. 

He’s not an artist that makes his fans wait for new material, at least not lately. That same “Brian Wilson” song I mentioned above goes into great detail about why he was absent from the music scene for some years. I guess now that he has returned in full force he’s making up for lost time. 

The new album Vaudeville was produced entirely by himself under the name Orville Knoblich and Andrew “Fresh Kils” Kilgour. The album features two guest appearances including King Reign and Ron Sexsmith. 

“Only an artist as adventurous and prolific as D-Sisive could create an album as exciting as Vaudeville. And only an album like Vaudeville could attract an internationally celebrated troubadour like Ron Sexsmith to make his first appearance on a hip-hop album.” 

You can purchase D-Sisive’s Vaudeville album on iTunes on June 22nd at

Eternia & MoSS

Eternia & MoSS – At Last
Release date: June 29th 2010
Label: Fat Beats

Eternia & MoSS - At Last -

Having known Eternia for years now I’m really happy to see how far she has taken her career. I was introduced to Eternia through Tamara Dawit at least 5 or 6 years ago, maybe longer. At the time she was rolling with Collizhun of Tough Dumplin’. I had heard good things about her rhyme skills from a few people but had yet to really hear anything for myself. I accompanied Eternia and Collizhun to a show in Ottawa and after her high energy performance I was sold. Fast forward to June 29 and Eternia has partnered up with talented Toronto producer MoSS to release the highly anticipated album, At Last

At Last features incredible production from MoSS and a great supporting cast including Tona, Maestro Fresh Wes, Joell Ortiz, Rah Digga, Rage, Termanology and Reef The Lost Cauze. 

It will be available for purchase on iTunes on June 29th at

Marco Polo

Marco Polo – The Stupendous Adventures of Marco Polo
Release date: June 29th 2010
Label: Duck Down Music

The Stupendous Adventures of Marco Polo - 

Marco Polo is easily one of my favourite Canadian producers. I love his consistency and the fact that I don’t even have time to really take in a project he puts out before the next one is set to release. I’ve just started taking in his newly released Ruste Juxx collaboration album The eXXecution enough to remember the words and now he’s about to drop The Stupendous Adventures of Marco Polo. It wasn’t long ago that he put out the Double Barrel album with Torae either. It’s not just that he’s consistent, it’s that he’s consistently dope as well. If you don’t know Marco Polo at this point you’re fast asleep. But it’s never too late to wake up… in fact, you can pick up his new album on June 29th through Duck Down Music. It’s a collection of unreleased singles, B-sides and collaborations he has worked on over the years… a great way to get a feel for his work. 

Marco handles the production on the entire project and the guest appearance list is crazy: Promise, Arcee, Shylow, D-Stroy, Bad Seed, Large Professor, Red Clay, Ruste Juxx, Saga, Torae, DJ K.O., Royce Da 5’9″, Elzhi, Supastition, Skyzoo, Diamond District, Skoob of Das Efx, Surreal, Grand Daddy I.U. and Exile. 

You can purchase The Stupendous Adventures of Marco Polo on June 29th on iTunes at


Digital Sales

If you prefer purchasing digital music, you can visit these links to purchase music from the artists showcased above:


Sweatshop Union 

Eternia & MoSS


Marco Polo

Written by Jesse “Dutchy” Plunkett for HipHopCanada

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  1. Chedo

    It’s an amazing month for music.

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  4. Mike. J

    Despite some people not feeling Drake’s album for whatever reasons. They way i see it is his music is not for everyone. Just like Kid Cudi, B.o.B, and Wale’s music is not for everyone. Just like 50 Cent’s music is not for everyone. But for those that do like Drake’s Music then cop the album and support the Canadian Rap scene. So far two artists have shed the spotlight on Toronto and Canada. K’naan and Kardinal Offishall. Their 2008 U.S. debuts didn’t sell past 50,000 units up to now but it still opened doors for them. I see K’nann’s next album selling more due to the popularity of “Waving Flag”

    Now Drake is coming out tomorrow. I believe this album will sell more than the previous two i mentioned and that’s no disrespect to Kardi or K’naan. Drake is 23 and he appeals to a lot of young people. Also his past acting role on “Degrassi: TNG “has helped with fan anticipation. I read the professional revies on the TML wikipedia article and they seem favourable. I believe more rappers from Canada as well as R&B artists will be in the international spotlight withing 1 to 4 years.

  5. BC Bud Boy

    Drake’s gonna kill it in his first week!!!

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