Vancouver, BC – Self-proclaimed East Van OG DJ 151 has been tirelessly pushing his movement in Vancouver from time and with his upcoming project No Borders he manages to team up with a posse of notable artists including Ras Kass, WC and local come-up boy Merkules to name a few.
In anticipation of the project, that was executively produced by 151 himself, he’s been dropping a series of promo videos with co-signs from some of No Borders featured artists. Peep the short clip below featuring Merkules and look out for No Borders dropping some time this month.
Vancouver, BC – It was only a week ago when I was sitting in my apartment downloadingSophia Danai‘s newest album, Love Royale, for the first time off iTunes. A colleague had given the project a stellar review which tempted me to take the leap and purchase. Having already read Sophia’s interviews on the album, I was inspired by her commitment and bravery to creating a project fully dedicated to love and loss. Let’s face it, the best music ever written has generally come from a place of the lowest or highest emotional heights – and there’s no deeper place than the affection we experience for other people throughout life. Conclusively, there is no braver feat in my opinion than exposing those feelings for people to critique and analyze. I could fully go into why this album was phenomenal, but to save another recap you can check out Prachi Kamble’s review here.
When I was asked if I wanted to cover Sophia’s album release party at Vancouver’s Biltmore Cabaret on Friday, April 1st, it was an easy sell. The show promised to feature other notable talents such ninetyfour, Stevie Ross, and Vancouver’s current favourite rapper Brevner – many of whom make up the notable crew of bsharp productions. It was Brevner himself who was not only featured on the project, but also handled much of the production alongside Danai. In my opinion, the album had already surpassed ordinary heights from a composition standpoint, but it was her live performance that really took me from the status of fan to a believer in her movement. If you were present in the crowd, you could see that she took a lot of other people to that place as well.
Calgary, AB – On Apr. 2, the 2016 JUNO Gala Dinner & Awards took place at the Telus Convention Centre in downtown Calgary.
For those of you who aren’t familiar, here’s how the JUNO Awards work: there are 41 different JUNO Award categories but only six of those awards are actually announced at the big JUNO Awards broadcast on national television. The remaining award winners are announced at a smaller virtually unpublicized Gala Dinner & Awards reception on the evening before the televised JUNO Awards broadcast.
West Coast rapper & JUNO Award nominee SonReal with @Shirley_Mang
Calgary, AB – The 2016 JUNO Awards, honouring Canadian music achievements, were presented in Calgary this past weekend by CARAS (Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences). The majority of the awards were announced the day before the main ceremony, at the annual pre-gala event. The main ceremony was held inside the Scotiabank Saddledome and was televised by CTV. You can find a complete list of winners below.
The Weeknd took home 5 JUNOs | Photo: Sarah Jay (HipHopCanada)
Calgary, AB – Drake might have only won 1 award at this year’s JUNO Awards, but it came in the category we care about the most.
If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late started off as a surprise ‘mixtape’ and eventually morphed into a nomination for Album of the Year at the BET Hip Hop Awards, Top Rap Album at the Billboard Music Awards and Best Rap Album at Grammy Awards. So with 3 nominations under his belt, the project was overdue for a win.
And this year’s JUNO Awards delivered. Beating out an impressive list of nominees including BadBadNotGood/Ghostface Killah, Kardinal Offishall, k-os and SonReal, If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late was named Rap Recording of the Year which gives Drizzy a career total of 6 JUNO Awards.
Congrats to Drake and the OVO Sound team. Drake’s next album, Views from the 6, will be out on April 16, 2016.
Calgary, AB – Despite the fact that awards for specific musical genres are typically given out at the JUNO Awards pre-gale event the day before, Country Album of the Year managed to find a coveted spot on the televised CTV broadcast. It makes total sense, if you take in the fact that the host city Calgary has a huge country fan-base, but the amount of people in attendance won’t come close to the amount of people watching via television or a phone/tablet. That’s not to say that the event organizers shouldn’t consider the audience paying to attend, but it would be nice if hip-hop got the same sort of look sometime in the future. After all, the winner of this year’s Rap Recording of the Year award was Drake and we all know he can sell tickets.
Ironically, the televised country award was co-presented by Canadian hip-hop ambassador Kardinal Offishall and YouTube star Jus Reign.
And while I sat annoyed thinking about it, Kardinal and Reign embraced their roles and completely stole the show for the brief time they were on stage. The positive social media response was instant and even included calls for the pair to host the event next year in Ottawa. So while we didn’t get to see our award presented for all to see, we did have some great ambassadors representing for the scene.
CARAS was gracious enough to give us access to the JUNO Week events, including the main show, and we’ve got a ton of great stuff coming courtesy of Sarah Jay and Rosa Jason. We’ve got a ton coming so stay tuned!
Calgary, AB – Despite the Rap Recording of the Year category being once again relegated to the JUNO Awards pre-gala event – meaning not in the televised ceremony – Canadian hip-hop got some great exposure from tonight’s event.
The Weeknd was easily one of the most anticipated performers of the evening, and during his set he brought out a surprise guest to assist him. The XO general ran through a pair of tracks from Beauty Behind the Madness before bringing out one of the album’s key contributors, Belly. The Ottawa-native and XO member recently signed to Jay Z’s Roc Nation and ended 2015 by releasing his mixtape, Up For Days which featured “Might Not,” featuring The Weekend. Belly’s latest single is “Zanzibar” featuring Juicy J, but “Might Not” is still getting regular play on Canadian commercial radio (as well as international) and this should give it a boost.
More Coverage On The Way!
Be on the look out for a lot more JUNO coverage from our amazing team out in Calgary, Sarah Jay and Rosa Jason. You can also check out our Instragram profile for a ton of exclusive pics from the awards. Stay tuned!
Vancouver, BC – Wherever you were Friday night, it probably wasn’t as rowdy as the show Denzel Curry put on at the Alexander Gastown in Vancity. The Carol City, Florida rapper returned to headline a show for Vancouver as a stop on his 2055: The Ult Experience Tour with his tour accomplice Allan Kingdom. Straight up, this show was on levels that I hadn’t really anticipated heading into the night. The last artist to really pull the house down at the Alexander was Tory Lanez back in November (but then again, we all know that guy swings from ceilings like he’s Spiderman). I knew that Denzel Curry would probably put on a pretty well deserving act that would get the crowd going – but I didn’t really anticipate the energy levels that he brought, or the mosh pit that ensued. A notable evening would be a harsh understatement of the wilding out you could observe from any angle of the stage. It wasn’t a completely sold out shoulder to shoulder evening, but the crowd was wilder than a lot of sold out shows I’ve seen.
Vancouver, BC – If you follow Canadian hip-hop or rap, you may recognize the growing amount of quality talent coming out of the West Coast as per recently. It doesn’t take an expert in music to recognize that Toronto has claimed the main glare of international focus as the musical hub of the country, largely due to the success of Drake. And, it’s also not surprising that his success has drastically helped channel the spotlight of coverage on a long term scale. What has been a pleasant surprise is the reaction we’ve experienced on the West Coast as artists have come to terms with this reality, what it could mean for the success of their careers, and the amount of quality music that was needed in order to compete for adequate coverage to put Vancouver back on the map.
Instead of falling victim to a stagnant rate of growth and success (which easily could have ensued) – local talents have stepped up their game to prove that Vancouver is ready to create it’s own worthy attention. It’s artists likeKenny Gourmet who are helping pave the way for a revitalized sound which is catching up to the fast pace of changes in the genre. As an emcee who accurately describes himself as a “young artist with a polished sound,” his most recent project Tilde or (~) is an album that stands-up against our Eastern Canadian competition, as well as one that will help take Vancouver in a more modern and relatable direction.
Vancouver, BC – It’s been a minute since we’ve seen a release from Vancouverite Cody the Catch, but the Legendary Hammers emcee has returned with the latest video release for “Turnt Upside Down” from his latest album Secret Ooze. The video takes viewers on a venture with the emcee as he undergoes his own substance induced trip. The perspective is entertaining, and follows Cody through a night of partying and shenanigans with his counterparts and crew.
Cody and the Legendary Hammers maintain a heavy presence throughout the video around their favourite spots in East Vancouver, and pay homage to their Vancity roots. Steps Necessary accompanied the track by producing the heavy-hitting beat which really solidified it’s party-anthem status. The video is a premeditated release to hold fans over until the release of Cody’s next project Menace to Sobriety which is due out this summer. Check it out below.