A critical look at Ice H20 Records’ Canadian signings [Article]
Toronto, ON – Nothing compliments a blunt better than a cup of a green tea. No milk, no sugar – just straight green tea. Prior to experiencing the combination first hand, I would have never imagined myself enjoying such a “sophisticated high”. The medley of three different leaves whet my palate one night and entirely changed my perspective on getting lifted. Luckily for me, I was fortunate enough to embark on this voyage with a colleague who possesses a strong acumen in all things hip-hop. One topic that came about was the arrival of Wu-Tang’s Raekwon in Hogtown and the launch of his imprint; Ice H20 Records.
While it’s debatable that JD Era and Gangis Khan aka Camoflauge are the top two free-agent Toronto MCs, the topic of discussion that night was attempting to understand The Chef’s vision when he chose the two of them as the core for his roster. Camo has long been compared to Wu for his ability to effortlessly mix science with streets. I know some other Toronto spitters that also possess that Shaolinesque character, but none of them have the following, the catalogue nor the visibility of Gangeezy the Greezy. His affiliation with Raekwon simply puts a stamp on what his true fans and supporters have been testifying for years.
Enter JD Era.
Whether you’re building a basketball roster or a record label, you need “that guy.” Call him your marquee, the franchise tag, whatever you want to call it, he’s gotta be there to put your team in a position to be successful. While Camo is somewhat an extension of Raekwon himself, it’s Era who will supplement the mainstream element that Camo can’t provide. Lest we forget, before Drizzy got scooped by Young Money, it was JD Era’s name floating in the rumour mill with possible ties to Ludacris’ DTP and other ventures. He gets love in the clubs, gets played on the radio and has built a solid reputation for releasing quality product.
While the inner-workings of Ice H20 Canada label are still a mystery, that shouldn’t keep us from enjoying the moment and the music to come. If you doubted the combination of The Chef, JD Era and Ganghis Khan on paper as I did, I urge you to take a leap of faith and listen to Raekwon’s Unexpected Victory mixtape. Like green tea and a blunt, they work extremely well together – and you won’t know unless you try. The only down side, is that once again, it took an American for us to see what was under our noses for years.
Written by Mac Moseley for HipHopCanada