The Weeknd – Rolling Stone (Video)

Posted in music on October 4th, 2012 by urbanguy
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Four Questions with…Muneshine

Posted in funky snob, music on October 2nd, 2012 by urbanguy

When the prolific Saskatoon-born, Toronto-based rapper/producer known as Muneshine dropped There is Only Today earlier this year, heads listened…and liked what they heard. Maintaining a careful balance between Muneshine the Producer and Muneshine the Emcee wasn’t easy, but he pulls it off impressively on all 13-tracks. Known more for his work with Toronto emcee D-Sisive, Muneshine (real name Rob Bakker) calls upon names such as !llmind, Buckwild, and DJ Spinna to help deliver a soul-sample driven rap project. We caught up with the busy artist and hit him with the Four Questions...

Q: What can we expect from Muneshine between now and the end of the year?

A: There’s a lot going on! Now that my new solo album (There Is Only Today) has dropped I’ve got my producer hat on. I’m finishing up the Dorian Grey project with new-comer, ELMNT, the new Jonestown (3) with D-Sisive and I’m in the early stages of conceptualizing my next solo project which will be a production album featuring different artists. Besides these, there is the Wolves (myself, Ghettosocks, D-Sisive, Timbuktu & Bix) album coming out soon and a remix project from There Is Only Today with producers I didn’t get a chance to work with on the main release (such as The Herbaliser, Moka Only, Slakah the Beatchild, Croup and more).

Q: If you weren’t making music, what would you be doing right now?

A: I can’t imagine not working in music. If I couldn’t create it, I would still find a way to be surrounded by it in a professional sense. I’m at my best when I’m creating, so I hope I’ll have that option for some-time.

Q: Who is your target fan/demographic?

A: I’m trying to reach people like myself. People who came up on (or even recently got into) hip-hop when it was still driven by the art. People who like smart, relatable music. I also hope my music will get to people outside of hip hop’s reach.

Q: What separates you from current producer/emcees right now?

A: I don’t rely on one position (producer or emcee) to support the other. I work with different producers (as an emcee) so I can really focus on the writing and delivery, just like I work with other artists (as a producer) so I can put everything into that aspect of the music. I give both 110% and that enables me to maintain a consistent level of quality and productivity.

Muneshine – “Lower Level”

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Saul Williams as Hip Hop’s Poet Laureate…

Posted in culture, music on September 6th, 2012 by urbanguy

“We have to continue to question our democracy, our leadership, our capitalism. If hip-hop isn’t addressing these issues, then (perhaps) it’s time to create a new kind of music.”

Had a deep chat with hip-hop artist, poet, actor, writer and singer Saul Williams for CBC Music. Fascinating brother. He’s in town later this week for his Chorus: A Spoken Word Tour.

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Yeah so this happened today.

Posted in music on September 5th, 2012 by urbanguy

Excited to be officially announced to the Grand Jury for this year’s Polaris Music Prize. Now myself and 10 other Canadian music writers/critics get to select the best Canadian album of the year (regardless of genre). No pressure.

Seriously though, I’m pretty excited about it, especially being this is my first year on the actual jury (and the fact that there are 200+ Canadian journalists to choose from). Selecting the top album from this years’ shortlist – Cadence Weapon, Cold Specks, Kathleen Edwards, Feist, Fucked Up, Grimes, YAMANTAKA // SONIC TITAN, Handsome Furs, Japandroids, and the always controversial Drake — won’t be easy. But I’ll manage.

The Polaris Music Prize Gala goes down September 24 at the Concert Hall Studios at Masonic Temple.

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Canada’s own Tamia reveals a Beautiful Surprise

Posted in culture, music on September 5th, 2012 by urbanguy

Connected with R&B’s Tamia (remember her?) for CBC Music recently, discussing her comeback album “Beautiful Surprise” and what she’s been up to in the past few years….

“She’s married to an American – pro basketball star Grant Hill– and has been living in the U.S. for years, but R&B songstress Tamia is still a Canadian gal at heart. “I still claim it,” the talented singer says over the phone from New York City. “I do come up a lot. My family and roots are all still there.”

Read the rest here.

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Talking with Rich Kidd…

Posted in general on August 30th, 2012 by urbanguy

Toronto native Rich Kidd has been on his “shiiiiiit” for what seems like ages now. Now in its sixth iteration, the We On Some Rich Kidd Shiiiiiit mixtape series has been something of a regular mid-summer expectation, a welcome hip-hop release that typically delivers the musical goods.

Kidd is always on that grind. Peep the full interview/review over at Exclaim!

Madchild of Swollen Members talks DopeSick

Posted in music on August 28th, 2012 by urbanguy

With his solo debut album Dope Sick (out today), Madchild is taking the term “keeping it real” to heart. When it came time for the front man of Swollen Members, the seminal West Coast–based hip-hop group, to create the new album, “it was about being honest with myself and being honest with the listeners,” the MC says. “I’m not going to hide anything. It’s all truthful. That always works the best, I think – just being true to your art.” Love or hate Swollen Members, you have to concede that Shane Bunting is a talented lyricist/performer. Check the full piece over at CBC Music.

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Rochelle Jordan — “Pressure” (Review)

Posted in music on August 22nd, 2012 by urbanguy

Aaliyah influences abound throughout Rochelle Jordan’s new mixtape Pressure ― and to say the Toronto R&B/soul artist has growing buzz would be a severe understatement. Building off the warmly received and critically heralded 2011 mixtape effortROJO, the newly dropped Pressure continues along an artistic through-line that filters elements of ’90s R&B ― think Kelis, Amel Larrieux, and the aforementioned Aaliyah ― into a concentrated, postmodern soul dose of multilayered beats and breathy vocals. Indeed, Jordan and producer KLSH refine what made ROJO such an enjoyable listen ― a highly atmospheric vibe, snare-driven beats ― and pack the 12-track Pressure with a now-trademark progressive production that simultaneously reaches for flashy and minimalist. Tracks like “Losing,” “Somebody” and “Pressure” wistfully put modern day relationships on blast (“Why you walk away when I just wanna talk/Babe, if you stay we can turn the lights off,” the singer-songwriter coos on the title track) and travel along an evidently deeply personal wavelength. “Couldve Been” is perhaps the standout track on the project, a mid-tempo number that confidently invokes late ’90s Janet Jackson. More than a throwback, Pressure represents an unapologetic, understated sound that frankly sounds like nothing in R&B right now. - Originally published at Exclaim! Magazine. 

Jordan is definitely one to watch. If you missed yet, catch the talented Toronto artist answering my UrbanGuy “Four Questions with…” feature a few months back. And if you haven’t already, be sure to download the Pressure mixtape pronto.

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Four Questions with…The Airplane Boys

Posted in music on August 3rd, 2012 by urbanguy

Since making a buzz with the 2011 mixtape Where’ve You Been, Toronto’s The Airplane Boys have been on the rise. From there it’s been constant North American touring (including hanging around with the likes of Snoop Dogg, Kendrick Lamar and J. Cole) and the release of sophomore effort with 2012′s Alignment.

The duo (Beck Motley and Bon Voyage) bring to the game a post-modernist style of rap, featuring elements of synthpop, house, R&B and dubstep  with a laid back vibe.

Definitely dudes to watch. As The Airplane Boys prepare to play Osheaga this long weekend, peep the email responses they gave for our Four Questions…

Q: How would you guys best describe the Airplane Boys style?

A: We love high end fashion, vintage, meets Japanese streetwear, meets avant garde.
Q: Who is the target fan/demographic?
A: The creative class.

Q: What do you guys love best about the Toronto music scene?

We love the culture and diversity that Toronto has to offer.  You literally have access to every culture in the world in one city.

Q: What can people expect from you guys for the rest of 2012 (and beyond)?

A: We’re currently working on new music, so stay tuned for that. We’re also performing in a few summer festivals including Catalpa in New York, Osheaga in Montreal and Sunset Festival in Los Angeles.

You can find the duo on Twitter (@theairplaneboys) or on Facebook.

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D-Sisive – Asian Elvis (Mixtape)

Posted in music on July 31st, 2012 by urbanguy

Derek Christoff (aka D-Sisive) is a machine, steadily working overtime and pushing out music on a regular basis. On deck: Asian Elvis, a 16-track sample-heavy mixtape that delivers his trademark underground vibe from the rap specialist.  Out today.

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