Making the Best of Bad News [Article/Photos]
Montreal, QC – The presence of beloved musician and mentor Paul “Bad News Brown” Frappier was felt by hundreds on Sunday night as spirits soared high at the Bad News Brown Tribute Show. Held at the historic Métropolis concert venue, the event commemorated the life and legacy of Montreal’s first and only “electronic triptonic melodic harmonic” hip-hop artist. Legends of the Fame hit up Real City on a trip sponsored by Grand Affair Limousines to present MTL with its first ever Hip-Hop trading card, an exclusive Signature Edition Bad News Brown Memorial Issue card enclosed in a trophy case.
The Memorial Issue card, only the second of its kind, was presented to Bad News Brown’s producer and long-time friend Dirtwork. The hand-crafted gold-foil card features a photograph of the artist on one side, with a micro-bio and stats on the back. The card aims to pay homage to one of Canada’s greatest musical legends, a man who started out as a street busker and climbed the ladder of success to international recognition. Bad News Brown took his music to a level seldom attained by other Canadian artists; his innovative and unique harmonica-driven signature style, like an icebreaker, cleared the way for him to perform on stage with some of modern hip-hop’s heaviest hitters, such as Nas, Snoop Dogg and Kanye West.
Despite the celebration, it was a bittersweet night as most people reminisced of their fondest memories involving News. “It’s sad to see everyone come together for an event like this but at the same time, it’s motivational to see the amount of people that had love for my dude,” says Milli Millz, who performed at the event. “With Paul, it was never about him. It was about helping his peers; [he was focused on] bringing Montreal to another level.”
The celebration was held on the artist’s birthday, a date chosen specifically as symbolic of his life accomplishments. Serving as a retrospective glance at his rising career, the show was hosted by Bad News Brown himself via short video interludes and featured performances by dozens of national and international artists who have collaborated with the hip-hop harmonicist in the past, such as the Australian/UK platinum artist Daniel Merriweather and Lee Oskar, the Danish harmonica virtuoso and manufacturer.
“There was a lot of talent, a lot of great music but we’re still missing the man himself,” recounts Montreal-based artist M’City Solo, “he woulda loved it though.”
If you made the mistake of missing out on this tribute to Canada’s harmonic hip-hop king, never fear. Check out the Legends of the Fame photo series to peep the photographs from this historic event and don’t forget to check out the album Born 2 Sin. It’s unlike anything you’ve ever heard before.
The legacy of Bad News Brown will continue to Reign in Power. ▪
Fred E Fame and The 5th Artist Development Agency, powered by HipHopCanada.com, will be traveling across Canada as part of a national photography tour to scout for up and coming legends to feature in future editions of the Great Canadian Hip-Hop Card Collection. For the opportunity to be featured in your city’s card collection as well as perform at the next release party, contact Fred E Fame by telephone at 647·880·6332 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your stage name, age, contact information and city of residence in your correspondence.
Article written by Kristen A. Shouli
Photography by Fred E Fame
Photography by Fred E Fame
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