2012 Who’s Got Next Profiles: Wave 2 [Article]
Toronto, ON – The 2012 Stylus Awards by Pioneer DJ are getting close and that means the official release of Stylus/HipHopCanada compilation, Who’s Got Next 2012, is as well. Leading up to Stylus weekend, we’ll be posting profiles of the artists that are featured on the compilation. We’ll divide them up into 3 seperate posts. Click the jump link below to see the second wave of Who’s Got Next profiles featuring Neno Rocwell, J.Moy and Shynobi, JiXX, Smash Brovaz and Black Sage.
“On Monday, May 28th, 2012 the most influential players in urban and club culture from across the country will come together again for an evening of recognition and celebration. After six sold out years The Stylus Awards has quickly become the ‘must-attend’ event of the year for the country’s biggest and brightest stars in the urban, dance and club music scene.”
Wave 2 Profiles
Neno Rocwell, has been an emerging talent for a few years now, but why haven’t we heard about him? Well the answer is a bit different then you would expect. “I just didn’t care” he replies, without so much as a second thought. But why? Neno has always felt like his music was reaching the crowd that it should. “When I started, it was just for me, then (it was) for my friends to have something real to ride to. Now it feels like, ‘Oh I am kinda good at this, let’s see where else it can go” (laughs). And he is good…more than “kinda”. The young, Florida born word-smith sets himself apart with not only his unique style and versatility, but also his refusal to conform to the fads of today’s music.
Neno has marked his transition from virtual anonymity to music’s newest up and comer with several endeavours, the most notable of these success being his newest mixtape, “Roc the Throne”, with the upbeat single “If The Party Stops” which landed him on the Styles Awards’ mixtape compilation, “Who’s Got Next?”
With a variety of quality material set for the upcoming year, Neno is sure to gain further recognition in the industry and catch the ears of diverse listeners. For more information, downloads and exclusives on Neno Rocwell, please visit http://www.nenorocwell.com.
J.Moy and Shynobi
As products of the mid 90’s hip hop era, J.Moy and Shynobi are bringing back the essence of real hip hop. Two MC’s with two distinct styles. J.Moy gives listeners an in-depth look at his life with what he calls “reality rap” while Shynobi brings that uncanny and witty wordplay. Opposites, but when together give rise to each other. The combination of the two is an example of what Asian philosophers refer to as the Yin and the Yang.
J.Moy and Shynobi are two thirds of the hip hop trio better known as Drunken Fists. After releasing a few underground mixtapes, J.Moy decided to take another path and pursue a solo project. After winning various competitions, a TIMA nomination award, an appearance in The Source magazine, and having his first single “Keep it Movin” peak at the number 2 spot on 93.7WBLK’s Unsigned Hype, it was only right that he returned back to his roots to continue building the Drunken Fists Empire.
J.Moy and Shynobi are now beginning to put a mark in the music industry. As products of the old school, there is no better way to start their journey than to feature the legendary Chip Fu (Fu-Schnickens) on their lead single Dangerous.
“The difference between what’s possible and what’s impossible, is determination.” Was a quote heard many times by Toronto rap artist JiXX, and he embodies determination in everything that he does. Jixx started rapping at a young age looking up to his older brother and Canadian hip hop icon JB, recording his first song at just 12 years old. “I started rapping from an early age; I just started in the home studio of a childhood friend and producer Wondas of Wondertainment.” From then on he started building a huge buzz in Toronto’s east end (Scarborough) working with many local artists.
In 2004 he formed the group “Yay Billz” alongside his younger brother Sly Tha Ryder. The group did many shows in the Toronto area and the name was picking up recognition fast. “I have worked with a lot of local talents to name a few: Benny Blacc, TNT, Nem s iss “K-Fresh”,Tommy Spitz, Matte Black, JB, the whole LP Entertainment camp (Desran, Shay, Ryda), Mayhem Morearty, Gee Wunder , Rochester juice , Famous, Mista Bourne, Darryl Riley and many others”
In 2008 JiXX’s determination and strength were put to the ultimate test, as fate would come into play. While sitting in his Envoy with his 8 year old step daughter he was shot he believes about four times which has never been confirmed as all the bullets made exit wounds. JiXX lost a lung, and was shot in the heart and liver. He woke up in a coma two weeks later. On Intensive care for over a month and going through open-heart surgery gave the 23 year old a new perspective on life, and a renewed love for family. JiXX stayed positive through the whole experience and has recovered well which can only be attributed to him and his family’s faith.
Today JiXXs’ new mixtape #LOTNS “Leader Of The New School” (mixed and hosted by DJ Law) was released last July 23rd 2011 and so far has had a good response, and features three hot singles “James Earl Jones, Heartless, and See You Later Featuring Desran” (new R&B artist signed to LP Entertainment). JiXX as well plans to drop his first EP this fall, which will also feature his first single “Spoil You” featuring Dre Marone & produced by Soundsmiths’ Koolaid Tha Rebel and a track titled “Hold On” with female R&B singer/songwriter “Antoinette.” Currently JiXX has a mixtape which was released early 2011 with Tommy Spitz of GCP titled “Spitz Vs. JiXX” also mixed by DJ Law and Host by JJ is Jenni from Flow 93.5 FM, and is still circulating all across the GTA and also available online as a free download. JiXX is currently working on completing tracks for his next untitled mixtape and an LP Entertainment Compilation which will also feature fellow label members: Ryda, Shay, Desran. Not only that, he recently shot a video for “Spoil You” which he plans to release this summer 2012.
Smash Brovaz are live! Junia T & Crooklin are the two ill-styled, rhyme-kicking emcees that make up this dynamic duo. With musical sensibilities referencing hip hop’s golden era, they infuse a youthful brashness creating a unique sound that can be described only as new school nostalgia. With a name that pays homage to one of their generation’s most recognizable video game series. Not underground, just with their ear to the ground, Junia T & Crooklin strike a chord with the young at heart and wise in mind. Delivering music that moves you and a stage show that shoves you across the room, Smash Brovaz bring the ruckus. Born out of house party ciphers, Smash Brovaz have been manifesting memorable musical moments since before they were officially a duo. And it’s that ability to capture the essence of a moment in time that gives their music life. The spontaneity of their characters is channeled through their knack for freestyling and also will shine through in both the live and recorded music that they bring to the world.
Smash Brovaz boasts a rich performance history that began at Toronto’s longest running open mic In Divine Style as the youngest artists on the grand finale’s bill and has continued to this day. Their stage show leads the way in terms of local notoriety and is a product of a very natural stage presence and MC aura. The Toronto Star named Smash Brovaz in their list of top 5 indie hip hop acts from Toronto, once again pointing to their “raw, rambunctious energy.” Junia T also recently achieved national exposure as winner of MuchMusic Rap City’s “hash tag freestyle” for five consecutive weeks. They’ve opened for artists such as; Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, Pac Div, and Sean Price, and also performed at every Manifesto (Toronto 2007-2012) since the festival’s inception.
“We consider ourselves performers first, before recording artists,” explains Junia T.
Despite this unusual self image, they’ve released a series of solid singles over the last two years. Most notably “What You Need, What You Want” featuring Blake Carrington achieved rotation on MuchMusic, MuchVibe and Aux TV. In WHAT YEAR, they released their self titled EP and are now looking forward to a summer 2012 release.
Throughout their rise, they’ve achieved 360 degree perspective on their sound by honing their production skills as well. Junia & Crook cite influences like Foreign Exchange, Little Brother, Boot Camp Click & Slum Village when discussing the origins of their sound. With a clear sense of self, they are maturing into men and bringing their microphones with them. Smash Brovaz have organically grown into a tight knit duo with a chemistry that transcends songs or stages but instead lives as they live. “We pull each other into places on our songs that we might not have gone if we were on our own,” explains Crooklin. “I might jump off a concept or a train of thought on a song and Junia will be inspired by the results of my inspiration and pen some raps to fit the vibe but from his perspective or from his life. The give and take of our creative process is what makes us strong.”
With a wildfire of true school hip hop burning inside them, Smash Brovaz embodies authentic showmanship and style. They are not bound by charts or demographics or even the title “MC,” but instead let the chips fall where they may by making music defined by their tales and their tastes. Smash Brovaz are two of a kind.
From the West-end of Toronto, Born Joseph Alleyne, Black Sage is one of the newest hip-hop sensations hailing from Canada. Black Sage’s early passion for music has been the source of an on going love/hate relationship which he creatively elaborates on in his latest record “Just A Chick” Ft. Saukrates now playing on Much Music/Much Vibe, Rap City and radio stations across the nation. Black Sage’s raspy voice which compliments his energetic allegro type flow, delivers a conceptual and creative depiction of today’s society and his day to day lifestyle. When u listen to Sage’s music u sense a hunger for a better life for a different reality, to say the least you can say that it is… remorsefully street” says Gavin Shepard (founder of the Remix Project).
Black Sage is preparing the release of his new single entitled “Slow Dance” Ft. Ray Robinson, along with the video, from his album self titled “Sage-A-Tarious” due for release early 2013. He will also be releasing “Black on Black” Ft. Michael Blackson from B.E.T’s Comic View summer 2012. Sage has always made it a point to make it clear that he is not just an MC he is a entrepreneur “Just know first/ I’m a business man/ I did my research/ I know the psychographics/ a master mind when it comes to the mathematics”- Black Sage”My Life” off of the” Official Leak” mix tape available now on iTunes. Black Sage has taken his entrepreneurial skills to alternate levels with the development of his clothing line by the name of “Josef Alleyne’s Couture”, his media company Higher Heights Multi Media Group all while operating his Independent record label Forensic Science Records.
In 2006 Black Sage released two singles, “You Don’t Know Me” and “Shine”. “You Don’t Know Me” with more of a commercial appeal was greatly received and played in regular rotation on radio stations like Flow 93.5FM, 105.5FM and 89.5FM to name a few. Sage then released a sample CD/DVD called “Da Odyssey Vol.1″ which featured the video for “Shine” and his full length EPK. In 2008 Black Sage went on tour across Canada with other up and coming artist, With his return to Toronto the talented MC performed along side other great canadian talents like Drake, Kim Davis, and Devine Brown during the annual Unban Noise Festival, one of the largest of its kind in Canada. He later released the single, “Hot Spot” which was a success and created a demand for a video, which aired on Much Music in 2010. In December 2011 Black Sage released “Just a Chick” Ft. Saukrates, produced by Rich Kidd, and was immediately picked up by popular Radio Stations across the country. The video for “Just a Chick” is now rotation on Much Music, Rap City and Much Vibe and other licensing stations nation wide. Black Sage closed 2011 as opening act for Rick Ross at the Sound Academy on December 22. He entered 2012 with momentum going on to getting booked to open foe the Wale show in Hamilton, then opened for Mya, M.O.P, Smiff n Wesson and Lord Finesse. Black Sage has definitely gained his respect in the industry and fans.
Black Sage continues to exhibit that success does not discriminate, if you have the passion you can make your dreams a reality. Expect more from this talented, savvy hip-hop artist and entrepreneur as he continues to grow and manifest. Look out for his album “Sage-A-Tarious” set to be released in early 2013.
In Case You Missed it… Wave 1
About Who’s Got Next
The submission period ran from February 14th to April 11th.
Stylus Spinfest 2012 is taking place from May 26th to May 28th. Throughout the duration of Stylus Weekend 1500 manufactured CDs will be distributed at all sponsored Stylus SpinFest events. This is an opportunity designed to also help break artists by getting this CD in the hands of DJs and Industry Tastemakers nationwide.
All selected artists will be featured on the “Who’s Got Next?” compilation , will receive copies of the CD, a pair of tickets to the Exclusive Stylus V.I.P. Mingle BBQ AND Stylus Awards, as well as a featured spotlight on HipHopCanada.com and the Stylus Group website. Only unreleased songs will be considered. Artists signed to a major label need not apply.
#1 single picked will be announced and offered single digital distribution deal with On Blast Digital.
The artist/label submitting will own the rights to any songs released on the “Who’s Got Next?” compilation. The compilation is the property of The Stylus Group and strictly used for promotional use only.
Don’t forget to visit StylusGroup.ca.