December 31, 2009

Pound Magazine

Long before Nas claimed hip hop is dead, the forward thinkers at Pound Magazine were already philosophizing. This issue from December 1999 I believe this was issue number 2, an almost palm-sized gem found for free on streets of Toronto. Pound was one of the rare places that you could read interviews with Dilated Peoples, Jeru and nuff (what people would call underground) artists, and also read about the political exploits of third world destabilization efforts a la Henry Kissinger. Long before most people had regular access to the internet, Pound was the place where you could read interviews with cats that weren't on the radio and not making the cover of the source. More importantly, Pound was never a hype-machine, much like bigger American mags, like the Source and XXL. More importantly, Pound never fronted on homeground talent, making sure Kardi got the cover early in his career, Sauks and Redman blessed a cover and Chiznock, during the rough Blake Savage days also got a cover. Nice to see the homeground repped right. miss Pound...

October 24, 2009

Boogie Down Productions, the BX to Tdot...22 years ago?

When I first heard that Michie Mee was down with Boogie Down Productions, I knew there was a moment in which Toronto had arrived long before the term Tdot O, or before the post-Fresh Arts Toronto hip hop explosion. In 1987, I was just trying to get me a BMX bike, had not idea of the major moves happening in my city. Hadn't even got into Kane or P.E. just some Run D.M.C. I was just lucky to get me hand on this gem of a record cause as you can see there is also featured on this record two joints from Rumble and Strong and all joints are produced by Boogie Down Productions. What makes this record real special to me is that I know during this era Canadian hip hop artists weren't asking New York hip hop artist to be on their tracks. Instead, there was a mutual awareness and respect for each other's work and since Toronto was one of the first trips New York cats took to test their material, it only seems right. Imagine, in 1987 Eric and Parrish weren't gettin paid, Rakim was not paid in full and most hip hoppers were in it for the love, the sheer excitement of seeing Doug E. Fresh or Biz Markie make music with their mouths...

August 12, 2009

CIUT 89.5fm as we knew it...

Gentrification and hip hop are close cousins, some might even say the parents of hip hop culture.  Ever since the monstrosity of a highway carved up the South Bronx and Brooklyn, you can be sure where ever people need to be uprooted for increased profit...hip hop culture will be affected.  The latest in Toronto-- University of Toronto community radio CIUT 89.5 fm must vacate the building for the expansion of the Rotman business school.  It was a fight in the U of T community but of course, community always looses to profit...CIUT has been significant in nourishing Toronto's hip hop community from the Masterplan show that started in 1989 to the overnight (literally) success of Project Bounce (R.I.P.).  I have literally walked into this building to find  Doug E. Fresh hanging out, Crazy Legs just chillin' or OHNO promoting his show on three separate occasions when I would just be hanging around on a saturday night.

Other shows still, like Oral Ammunition which eventually became Stylistic Endeavours, have been around for more than a decade providing this city with quality hip hop unheard on commercial radio....

July 9, 2009

Rockdabells Toronto 2009

You just never know where and when a Tdot Pioneer might show up and blow up the spot. Krs-1 was hosting Rockdabells this year alongside Supernatural and of course, as Krs always does, he made sure he bigged up Michie Mee who was apparently set to joint Boogie Down Productions back in 1986 before Scott La Rock died. Later in the show just before Big Boi was set to grace the stage, out of nowhere with purse still on her shoulder Michie jumps on stage for a likkle greeting and to receive her props from the 12,000 strong crowd...I was really caught off guard by this... see the shakey camera work, my bad.

July 1, 2009

Canada Day

It is only fitting that since its Canada day we pay tribute to Canada's longest running hip hop radio show. Since 1989 the Masterplan show on CIUT 89.5fm has been banging out real hip hop long before dudes had to claim they were real. Nuff said.

Founded by DJ DTS (pictured left), Johnbronski, DJ Power,and Motion in '89 this show continues to air every saturday night from 8-10pm. Now 20 years deep, founding member DTS continues to keep the show live while mentoring several up and coming djs like L'Oquence, EV Star, Jazzy and others. This show is a Toronto hip hop staple, on a number of occasions as I passed through to hangout in studio over the last ten years I have 'bumped' into Doug E. Fresh, Crazy Legs, and OHNO. Callers from as far away as Pittsburgh regularly call up to bigup the show and make requests. It is great to see that 2 decades later people still devote their time (volunteer time!) for the love of hip hop

Catch history in the making...

June 4, 2009

The Blast Master a Tdot Pioneer?

People might think Tdot Pioneers are only Canadian artists. Think again, the Blastmaster and Scott LaRock go way back in Toronto Hip Hop history. KRS-One will be in town next week.... read below


June 9th 2009 will mark an historic meeting at Toronto City Hall. The L.I.F.E. Movement and Manifesto have teamed up and are working to bring together front line youth workers, youth led organization leaders, young people, media, and a panel of expert and celebrity guests from across the GTA and abroad - to discuss the current state of violence in Toronto, and find ways of working together towards common solutions. The honourable guest speaker, KRS ONE, founder of the internationally renowned STOP THE VIOLENCE movement, attended a similar meeting to this one back in the 80s spearheaded by the founder of the Universal Zulu Nation Africa Bambaataa. Inspired by what he learned, young KRS started a movement, and this meeting has that same potential to have a ripple effect for generations to come. The meeting will look into the work that has already been done in the area of violence prevention in Toronto, examining studies such as “The Roots of Youth Violence Report” released last year, and aims to provide space for the development of an action plan fed by various community members towards a way forward.

Date: Tuesday, June 9, 2009
Time: 6:00pm - 9:30pm
Location: City Hall, Committee Room 2
Street: 100 Queen St. W

June 3, 2009

Bridging the Gap...

My man Mindbender and Michie Mee chop it up outside the Stylus DJ Awards. Events like this allow younger cats to meet and network with Tdot Pioneers like Michie who was all smiles. Gotta love Toronto for events like this, where you get Michie, Sauks, Maceo Soundcrew, Lindo P, Killowatt, Solitaire, Ian Andre Espinet and more under one roof . More on Maceo shortly. Straight up there were legends from 1973 to the present up in the house.
Gotta bigup Mike Z and Click who had a vision back in 2006 and have worked hella hard to bring Djs from Halifax and Vancity together to network, celebrate and move the scene along.

Doin' it Real Big

The Stylus Group did it up large monday night...1200 attendees. Performances by mans like Saukrates, Luu Breeze, Andreena Mill and more

May 31, 2009

The Stylus DJ Awards...

So its that time of the year again where DJs from across Canada meet in Toronto for the Stylus DJ Awards. Starting in 2006 the Stylus Awards have become a major event in the hip hop/urban music scene supporting and recognizing the amazing pool of dj talent the nasty north got. Bigup to Click, Mike Z and Scratch for getting this started. Each year young cats get to meet and learn about the foundation soundcrews that made the leap from funk to hip hop, making hip hop possible in Canada. Back in 2007 they inducted into their hall of fame the Killowatt soundcrew.... check out their trophy pictured above. Killowatt was very influential in laying the foundation, and opening the doors to the ladies (Lady P and DJ M&M) in the early 1980s. The awards go down tomorrow with legendary soundcrew Maceo being inducted in to the Hall of Fame...more on this after I interview Maceo...

April 19, 2009

Veteran entertainer Wes 'Maestro' Williams celebrates 20 years of success

Had to pass this article around...for all my Scarborough headz

March 14, 2009

Motion --> Emcee, Poet, Author

This month Motion, one of the founders of the legendary Masterplan show (alongside DTS, JohnBronski & Power) released her 2nd book of poetry. 40 Dayz is a follow up to Motion in Poetry her debut book in 2002. Love to see positive moves from some of Toronto's hip hop legends...check out her new joints as well @

Read the reviews, order a copy

March 5, 2009

Toronto's First Emcee...

In the early 1980s the legendary Sunshine Soundcrew put on a young braggadocios Butch Lee. Butch Lee was Chief Rocka number 1, keeping the show live all across Toronto. Long before record deals, label drama and mixtape clout Butch was doing it big with Sunshine. Butch came by the Masterplan show 89.5fm recently and kicked it. Stay tuned to the Masterplan show saturdays @ 8:00pm for more interviews from T-dot Pioneers....peace

February 9, 2009

8 hours and 45 seconds!!!!!

When talking about pioneers the name D.O. (defy the odds) should be mentioned. Back in 2003 my man set the Guinness World Record for the World's Longest Freestyle. At the Markham fairgrounds, outdoor nonetheless, D.O. ripped it for 8 hours and 45 seconds! For those young cats that be spitting practiced freestyles take notes. If you check the video, D.O. is rhyming about people passing by and whatever comes to his mind. Rather than trying to be the 'king of his city' my man took on the world, grabbing the guinness record. This was nothing new for a cat who was eating emcees at the Source Unsigned Hype competition in Detroit years ago. Today, D.O. is rockin' crowds alongside Slakah the Beatchild as the Art of Fresh duo (
D.O. hit me off with a copy of the Guinness plaque, it's pictured above.
Also, check D.O.'s catalogue, it is deep-->

The Manifesto Documentary

This past summer I was fortunate enough to work on the Manifesto documentary, it has been the catalyst behind the Tdot Pioneers project. I had the pleasure of working with JohnBronski, one of the founding members of the Masterplan show, Son of S.O.U.L, Mindbender, Ty Harper and many more hip hop luminaries. In interviewing people like Master T, Rumble, Farley Flex, Ron Nelson, DJ Mastermind, Motion, Lady P and nuff other people, I learned a whole lot about the origins of the hip hop in Toronto from roller skating jams to Boogie Down Productions' connects to this city. Back in September we did a community screening of the rough cut and people showed love. We're still working but I thought I bless ya'll wit the trailer...

February 2, 2009

Figures of Speech on Rapcity ca. 1995

Rapcity (Canada's Yo! MTV raps) was the spot back in the day where aspiring crews could get their shine on. Check this video, featuring a rare appearance by Y-Look, ( an emcee turned lawyer who was an integral member of the Circle's success in the 90s. Also check Saukrates, Marvel, Solitair, and Kardinal all cats who kept the hip hop scene poppin' in the 1990s. Rapcity and X-Tendamix were industry engines providing much needed airplay for Canadian hip hop artists. At muchmusic Master T was the man (along with help from Roxy!) who made hip hop and black musics happen on the 'nation's music station'. Master T would put you on, if you came correct and he mentored artists so that they could come correct with a video, promo material and press package. Almost all the cats in this crew session have experienced success in the music industry thanks to the important groundwork Master T, the constant professional put in on the daily. Bigup T!

January 31, 2009

Lady P, Toronto's first female emcee

Before records were cut, college radio shows, or monster jams there were soundcrews. Like the soundsystems of Jamaica's pre- and early reggae years, these soundproviders fed hunger party goers. Killowatt soundcrew was on of Toronto's westend sounds in the early 1980s. Unlike other soundcrews of their day Killowat had a female Dj in the crew (DJ M & M) and a hypewoman by the name of Lady P. Remembered by most as the first lady to step to the mic, Lady P paved the way for people like Michie Mee, Fly K, Tara Chase and others. In 2007, the Stylus DJ Awards awarded this pioneering sound crew with a lifetime achievement award. Long before troop suits and shell toes, Lady P definitely paved the way for all aspiring emcees in Toronto. Check her and Fuller G dressed to the Ts. Done know.

What is a Tdot Pioneer?

The first time I used the term Tdot Pioneers, a well-respected member of the Toronto hip hop community laughed. She wasn't being malcious, I think she just had never heard the term before. This is because no one really talks about all the djs, emcees, producers, dancers and writers that were steady on the scene since the Fantastic Voyage began playing hip hop in 1982.
Therefore, this site is dedicated to reppin' Toronto Hip hop history, Canada's first hip hop community. The logo I use for this site is from the Solitair record in the picture. In the mid 1990s Kneedeep records was grindin' out some of the best hip hop this city has ever produced, bring us the likes of Choclair (, Marvel (, Kardinal ( many of other circle members. Like all pioneers, these cats built upon the foundation left by K4rce, Rumble and Strong, Michie Mee, Ivan Berry and many others.