20Jul/100

Up North Tip: Cold Front Record Release Party (1991), CKLN 88.1 FM Radio Rarities

A while back I wrote the first entry in my Canadian hip-hop series, which focused primarily on the Cold Front Rap Compilation of ’91. This is a little late, but to accompany that piece on one of the finest compilations ever crafted, here are two videos from the record release party. Courtesy of our homie Andyman187:

As detailed by Andyman, in his original blog entry:

This is something special for my Toronto headz! Here we have the Cold Front Record Release Party at Live At The BBQ featuring interviews with Executive Producer John Bronski and various groups involved in the project. You also get an ill freestyle cypha with DJ X on the wheels dropping beats for Toronto's finest out in the parking lot of Much Music. Featured Emcee's include Base Poet, Thrust & 10-Kay repping KGB, Sonya Live, Maestro Fresh Wes, T Soul, Kish, Motion, as well as former Maestro Manger and Canadian Idol judge Farley Flex stepping out and kicking some lyrics which had the crowd going crazy!

Note: The first video has the interviews and some performances, the second has the freestyles. Please, do yourself a favo(u)r and peep these treats. The freestyles capture the essence of what rap performances are all about, and possess the socially interactive and congregational aspect of hip-hop that is often absent and sorely missed on wax. When have you last seen an artist kick a funky fresh freestyle to commemorate the release of his or her record?

While everyone rips the mic on their turn, I’d also like to say that I’m a sucker for talented female emcees, and damn, these Canadian sisters are doing their thing here. Imagine, women being respected for their artistry by fans and executives–males and females alike–without having to succumb to bullshit pressures about their appearances and exploiting their bodies. If you don’t love that, you don’t love hip-hop.

While watching the second video, and parts of the first, I realized an element that has deteriorated in hip-hop: the live performance. I’m not exactly sure what it is–maybe it’s the better technology and equipment of today, maybe its the lack of sampled beats with producers opting more for synthesizer-driven grooves–but the instrumentals are almost too overwhelming on stage, especially the bass (gone are the days of smooth and melodic basslines, with the ushering in of those new buzzing electronic basses… Don’t get me started on dubstep) and the artist has to shout his or her lyrics instead of articulating properly. This especially hinders the experience when watching recorded versions of live performances, which should in itself be rewarding as well. Of course, this is not always true, and as ThomasV has shown us with many of his posts, artists can still pull off great live performances.

Also, while you’re here, we have another selection of goodies for your collections. Hip-hop junkies, especially those interested in Canadian hip-hop, will appreciate these gems. Also from Andyman’s blog:

I’ve also included some rarities ripped from CKLN 88.1 Fm (a Canadian college radio station) courtesy of my man Neogeo!

CKLN 88.1 FM – Radio Rarities

1. Crime Master Divine – Open Duck Season
2. K-Force – Freestyle
3. KGB – Ready To Attack (Demo)

4. KGB – Street Legal (Demo)

5. Motion, Thrust & Michie Mee – Black On Black

6. Rumble & Strong – Crazy Jam

7. Sweet Ebony – Different Touch

8. Sweet Ebony & Groovey D – ?

Again, props to Andyman187 for the videos and rarities/demos. He has a lot of other great stuff on his blog, Rekordz On Wheelz, so be sure to check out his site and show him some love and support. Enjoy!

Peace,
— Teddy C.D.

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