Lyrics To Go: Rap lyrics to appear on subway screens for National Poetry Month [News]
Toronto, ON – Lyrics To Go, an excellent mix of noteworthy participants – 10 Toronto area hip hop artists on subway platform screens across the city – whose verses have been chosen to celebrate the 16th National Poetry Month in Canada. This year’s theme is “Poetry City.” From April 1 to 30, 2014, silent 30-second videos on PATTISON Onestop screens draw the commuter’s attention to the narrative revolution and metaphoric rhyming schemes of hip-hop. Lyrics To Go is part of PATTISON’s ongoing Art in Transit programme.
Artists on board for Lyrics To Go include: two-time Juno nominee Eternia, spoken word and visual artist Ian Kamau, raw up-and-coming MC, JellyTooFly, with a story as authentic as her charm, rapper and producer KJ, the always inspiring John River, who not only conveys his own story but also those of his peers, international soul rebel Masia One, Free the Children youth scholar and spoken word artist, Mustafa Ahmed, female rap artist pHoenix Pagliacci, who aspires to have stories heard, Progress (Freedom Writers), whose social commentary is ushering in a new renaissance of conscious hip-hop, and, last but certainly not least, the freestyle master SepTo, who can develop a rhyme, a storyline, and a punch line from any combination of random words.
“What better way to support artist’s within our community than throughout the better way!? We at Manifesto are extremely excited to work with PATTISON Onestop in celebrating National Poetry Month with our curated Lyrics To Go campaign. Celebrating the rich and diverse talent pool of hip hop artists and their lyrics, within the GTA, remain a consistent mandate for Manifesto and showcasing urban lyrics only makes sense as, hip hop is the melodic cousin to poetry/poems.” said Dwayne Dixon, Executive Director, Manifesto.
“I’m looking forward to our first co-presentation with Manifesto, and can think of no better way to celebrate National Poetry Month than to draw from the deep well of lyrical creativity that our local hip-hop artists offer. Lyrics To Go will hopefully bring a whole new audience to these artists, as well as a wider understanding of what poetry can be.” said Sharon Switzer, National Arts Programmer and Curator, Pattison Onestop.
About The Artists
Two time Juno-nominated and widely considered one of Canada’s foremost lyricists, Eternia continues to knock down barriers & trail-blaze across the globe for Canadian Hip Hop music. Eternia has toured extensively in Canada, the United States, Mexico, Australia, & Europe; those that are lucky enough to catch her on stage credit her as one of the best live performers they have witnessed. She has been billed with superstars such as Nas, Damian Marley, Wu-tang Clan, Missy, Snoop Dogg, Big Daddy Kane, Pete Rock & CL Smooth, EPMD, KRS One, Common, Joell Ortiz, Blackthought, Pharoahe Monch, Black Sheep, Immortal Technique, MC Lyte, Ras Kass, Ice-T, Jay Electronica, Bahamadia, Roxanne Shante, Necro, Saukrates, Jully Black & many more. From The Source Magazine to Hot 97, from the NY Daily News to NPR, from Toronto to Berlin, from NXNW to SXSW, from the Juno Awards to Paid Dues, there is no doubt Eternia has arrived… AT LAST.
My name is Ian Kamau; I am an artist. I believe my ability to create is tied to my purpose. I was raised in Toronto to filmmaker parents who came from Trinidad in 1970. I believe in community. My creative life actively involves my community work. I make music. @iankamau
Toronto’s own JellyTooFly lives outside of the box. This emcee from the North has reintroduced the art of real to the craft of rap through her own personality, story and talent. What started as an interest in poetry, evolved to spitting covers, which in turn led to writing and rapping her own tracks, enabling Jelly to craft an unmistakably fresh flavour that sets her apart from any musical peer. Through her projects TIJB, TIJB 2, King, and Inn The Rough as well as a praised verse on the viral 2012 Stylus Awards Cypher video, Jelly has proved to be a lyrical threat to any rapper, man, woman, East or West. No fake or filler, she is a raw emcee with a story as authentic as her charm.
Born Matthew Jonathan Derrick-Huie to parents of Trinidadian (mother) and Jamaican (father) descent, John River was raised in Mississauga, Ontario, a city located west of Toronto. River broke into the music industry in early 2012 at the age of 17 when he released his first single, “Every Evening.” The song generated 42,955 views on his YouTube channel, making it the highest played video on his channel thus far. Since “Every Evening,” he has released 5 other songs and their accompanying videos which have collected a total of over 130,000 views on YouTube. John River’s first project, The Calm, released in November of 2012, was critically acclaimed and received positive feedback from various media outlets. Flow 93.5, Toronto’s home of hip-hop and r&b and most popular urban radio station picked up John River’s music, crowning him the youngest Toronto rapper to ever be played on that radio station. He has opened for acts such as, Canadian pop sensation Carly Rae Jepsen, singer/songwriter Andreena Mill, Kardinal Offishall and Jully Black. @TheJohnRiver
Raised in England, he relocating to Canada at 11. KJ is Hip Hop inviting Rock, R’n’B and Dance Music to dinner and everyone wants seconds. Compared to the likes of Common, Andre 3000 and Mos Def, KJ is fitted for the Hip Hop history books. He is a credited recording and mix engineer, and self production inspired by Danger Mouse, Kanye West and many more has made his sound diverse yet still current.
Masia One has rocked audiences around the globe building her reputation as a international soul rebel. The release of Bootleg Culture, produced by Che Pope (G.O.O.D. Music, Kanye West), has Masia touring worldwide in 2013 including Jamaica, USA, Canada, Germany, Sweden, Singapore, Malaysia and Philippines. Her complex Hiphop flows switch effortlessly to Dancehall chanting, as showcased in her international underground hit Warriors Tongue. This artist is unapologetic about her unique style and celebrates her cultural mashup, expressing herself beyond the music through visual art, fashion design and through her brand consultation company MERDEKA. She is strongly committed to arts education and has actively toured high schools across Canada reaching advocating Girls Rights, Anti Bullying and HIV / AIDS education.
Coming from Regent Park – North America’s first and largest existing housing project – Mustafa Ahmed has been a witness to the changes and gentrification of his neighbourhood. He utilizes the power of the arts to speak and demonstrate his understanding of the intricacies of communities such as his. Mustafa has opened up for artists such as Jhene Aiko and Pharaohe Monch and has performed alongside Margaret Atwood and Samantha Nuitt. He has also worked with Nelly Furtado, Broken Social Scene, and poet George Elliot-Clarke. He has been featured in commercials such as Much Music Coca Cola’s cover commercial and has travelled internationally to share his poetry. He has had the opportunity of performing at various venues and events such as CBC’s Metro Morning, JAZZ FM live, Global’s 16×9, Pathways to Education Gala, Manifesto Festival of Community and Culture, the Mayor’s Art Ball, Metro Hall for the Forgiveness Project, Martin Luther King Memorial day at the Roy Thompson Hall, Hot Docs Festival, NYC’s Nuyorican café, RBC presents The Walrus Talks on Philanthropy, TEDxToronto, The Sony Center for Performing Arts and more. He hopes to use his writing skills to touch hearts, minds and inspire younger generations to be more active in the world. He is a Free the Children youth scholar, performing for annual youth summits, and has recently completed his debut poetry EP.
pHoenix Pagliacci is a 25 year old artist from Toronto, Canada. She has been singing/song-writing since the age of 6. Her talent has afforded her the opportunity to perform, record and even co-write with artists worldwide. pHoenix looks up to her musical heroes Roxanne Shante, Stevie Wonder, India.Arie, The Roots and Lauryn Hill. Through music and leadership, pHoenix works with youth in the community, in hopes that she too can inspire them to achieve their creative potential.
PROGRESS (FREEDOM WRITERS)
There are very few artists left who seek to re-connect with hip-hop’s true roots of struggle and resistance, Progress is one of those artists. As an aspiring revolutionary, he is committed to the total liberation of oppressed peoples across the Globe. Progress is one seventh of the Toronto super group/movement Freedom Writers. Following the release of their first official single “Wake up,” the brand new Progress composition “As I Reflect” is sure to continue the Freedom Writers’ onslaught of top-notch solo and group content currently flooding the city. In “As I Reflect”, Progress mixes raw social commentary with clever world play, helping to usher in a new renaissance of so-called “conscious” Hip Hop. In his creation of this video’s concept, Progress aimed to give realistic, political information to viewers as they “reflect” on his offering. The track is produced by Freedom Writers heavy-hitter Big Sproxx, who also directed the debut video.
Raw talent. Word smith. Lyrical mastermind. Quick creativity. Instant composition. Urban griot. Known as Sep…or by adding his hometown allegiance, he’s also referred to as SepTo (“the T.O. is for Toronto”), this artist has been learning and mastering his craft while studying the music scene, handling his academics, and of course performing—and blowing audiences away on the airwaves and on stage with his talent. Guided and influenced along the way by some of Toronto’s hip hop legends, such as the voices of the Mighty Monolith movement, Sep has grown up a student of his art, and a scholar of performance. To say that Sep is a phenomenal MC would be to overlook the numerous unique qualities that make this hip hop artist a true original.
Founded in April 2007, Manifesto Community Projects is a non-profit grassroots organization known for our annual Festival of Community and Culture as well as year-round dynamic urban arts programming including workshops, lectures, and showcases. Manifesto works to unite, inspire, and empower diverse communities of young people through arts and culture. As a result of Manifesto’s hip-hop roots, our organization has thrived and established a distinct position within Toronto’s vibrant scene of youth-based community arts programming.
For more information visit TheManifesto.ca.
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