Buck 65 at the Pyramid Cabaret in Winnipeg with Rob Crooks

       In less than 2 weeks I will be opening up for one of my all-time favorite artists, Buck 65 at the Pyramid Cabaret in Winnipeg. When I first heard Buck 65, around ten years ago, he really changed the way I thought about not only music, but so many other things as well (for example what it meant to be a hip-hop artist/fan). This show was originally supposed to happen in May, but due to unforseen circumstances had to be rescheduled to July 13th. Here’s an excerpt from a post I wrote about the show that was originally supposed to happen a couple of months ago:

“This show means a lot to me for a number of reasons. Buck 65 has been a huge influence on my musical outlook since I first heard his album Vertex over ten years ago. At the time, I was just getting out of high school and was a major “backpacker”; I listened exclusively to New York underground rap, from Black Star to Mobb Deep, Thirstin Howell III to Gang Starr etc. But with the opening up of the Wax Museum (a now defunct) record shop in Osborne Village, hip-hop fans in Winnipeg like me didn’t have to rely on what HMV had in stock anymore. Thanks to the dedicated people at the Wax Museum our eyes were opened up to a whole other contemporary movement in hip-hop that was happening all over Canada and the States at the time. With the guidance of the people who ran the record shop, all of whom were active in the local scene themselves, I was introduced to so many mind-blowing acts, from locals like Fermented Reptile and Frek Sho, to Canadian artists like Soso and the Goods, to American crews like Living Legends and Anticon.

But out of all of these acts, Buck 65 made an impression on me that was unique and particularly influential. The music he creates is undeniably hip-hop, but unlike any other hip-hop I’d ever heard before. His album Vertex was my first glimpse into a relatively uncharted territory, a completely novel way of thinking about breaks, cuts and rhymes. It wasn’t long after I heard Vertex that I picked up his earlier release Language Arts and the Sebutones album 50/50 Where It Counts (Sixtoo, the other member of the Sebutones has also been a great influence on me). These three albums, along with Man Overboard are without question masterpieces of modern hip-hop music. Their influence on me is still unfolding, even a decade after my first contact with them.”

For the Facebook event page you can click here.

For those of you who only know of Buck 65 through his later videos on Much Music or as Rich Terfry from the CBC radio show The Drive, here are some of my favorite earlier Buck 65 songs from the late 90’s early 00’s, just to give you an idea of how much an influence he had on indie/underground hip-hop culture:

 

Buck 65 – Eye Make-Up Excuses (Language Arts)

Buck 65 – Slow Drama (Vertex)

Sebutones (Buck 65 & Sixtoo) – Tranquilized Tones (50/50 Where It Counts)

Buck 65 – Untitled (Man Overboard)

 

I hope to see you at the show!!!

 

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Moka Only & Factor Chandelier with Birdapres, Rob Crooks and Dj Co-op at the Green Room

       This coming Wednesday, June 13th, I will be opening up for Canadian Hip-Hop legend Moka Only, who will be performing with my long time homie from Rapskatoon, Factor Chandelier. Also on the bill are some other good friends of mine, but more importantly great artists, Bridapres and Dj Co-op. This is gonna be a good old rap show, like we used to have, and it will all be going down at the Die Maschine … I mean, the Green Room in Osborne Village, Winnipeg.

I think most people who are of a certain age and who have paid any attention to popular music in Canada over the last ten years are familiar with Moka Only, and likely have had one of his songs stuck in their head. Maybe best known to the populace as a sometimes-member of Swollen Members (during the years when Swollen Members had catchy hooks; coincidence? no), Moka Only has also had ties to Vancouver’s pop sensation Len. But what some people might not know is how prolific Moka Only is as a solo artist. He releases several quality albums a year, that he raps on, sings on, does all the production for and records himself. He is a true artist. This show should be very entertaining and I intend to take some notes of the man while he’s on stage.

Along with Moka, manning the ones-and-twos, will be my main man Factor Chandelier. Speaking of prolific, Factor has put out more albums over the past year than anyone I know. His merch table puts anyone else’s to shame. And his albums move! Probably because it’s great product. He’s worked with artists such as Xzibit, Josh Martinez, Kool Keith, Awol One, Noah 23, Moka Only, Aesop Rock, Gregory Pepper, Buck 65, Living Legends, Ceschi, tha liks, Sadat X and of course two of his main go-to emcees the L.A. legends Awol One and Myka 9. He started making noise back in the late nineties with the Side Road imprint, which he began with another Saskatoon legend, Dj Chaps. They put out records by some of Western Canada’s best rappers, such as Def 3, Ira Lee, Kay the Aquanaut, Cam the Wizard and many, many others. I’ve known Factor for probably ten years now and he’s one of the funnest people I know, so I’m looking forward to chilling with the homie, talking rap and taking shots of tequila with him. Come see us at the bar after the show!

Finally, I’m pretty sure that anyone who would be checking out my website knows all about Birdapres (we’re just finishing up our EP together!) and Dj Co-op. Birdapres has deep roots to Vancouver and has known Moka for years as well. (In case you’re wondering, yes, that’s both of them in the “If You Steal My Sunshine” video). And Co-op is undoubtedly one of the top party rockers in Winnipeg. So this is going to be a crazy night, guaranteed. Tickets are insanely cheap, drinks will be flowing and girls will be dancing. Wednesday, for the next few months, is the new Thursday. So come down to the Green Room on the 13th and have some fun, why don’t cha?!

You can check out the Facebook event page here.

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