(Intro rant:) If there’s one thing I don’t understand, it’s how the whole entire world can be on US-American rappers’ nuts and act like the northern half of the American continent just ends behind Portland or Detroit or, well, Portland (Maine). It really wouldn’t take that much more of an effort to look at the bit above the 49th parallel to notice there’s a big-ass chunk of land up there and those cats on the other side have a bit more to offer than just the best maple syrup in the world. In fact, for the biggest part of Canada, it’s not even a language problem that keeps the people from understanding them. (end rant.)
But nevertheless, Canadian artists have taken quite a bit longer to get some recognition with their neighbours and luckily, with the likes of the Maestro Fresh Wes, Rascalz, Swollen Members, Choclair, Eternia, Kardinal Offishall and many more, they’re finally getting a break with an international audience, as they so rightly deserve.
In this post, we’ll focus on an MC from the Toronto area and a crew from Québec, to keep things balanced on both sides of the language border. I won’t even say too much about the artists but let their music speak. Needless to say, they’re both ill as all hell and this stuff is some real quality that’ll grow on you the more you listen to it.
Dan-e-o, hailing from Scarborough, Ontario, represents the Monolith crew which is heavily featured on his first album. He’s been dropping verses on wax since his legendary Dear Hip-Hop in 1996. What makes Dan-e-o stand out among his fellow MCs is his versatility. He is at home in both straight-up battle-type flows à la Big Daddy Kane or Percee P and in some more schmoove, laid-back reggae rhythms.
Dan-e-o – Book of Daniel (2000)
Dan-e-o – See no Evil, Hear No Evil (2004)
For more, peep Dan-e-o’s website to check out his videos and find out about his latest and maybe last album, Speak no Evil (2005.)
Muzion (pronounced mew-zigh-on) are Impossible, J. Kyll and Dramatik. They represent Montréal (Québec) and the fact that they live in a world where French and English interlace also shows in their lyrics which consist in great part of French, but with some very noticeable insertions of English phrases. – Just as they come out, it seems. The result is a raw and heartfelt language mixture that just flows effortlessly. But that’s not enough. They also have quite a bit to say and it becomes clear that they take their time crafting their lyrics and arranging their beats that continue to win people’s hearts on both sides of the Atlantic.
Muzion – Mentalité Moune Morne (Ils n’ont pas compris) (1999)
Muzion – J’rêvolutionne (2002)
This is Muzion’s website to watch their videos and read up on their members.