Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Hip-Hop & the ECMAs - Part 2 of 5

Hip-Hop & the ECMAs

Popularity of Hip-Hop in Atlantic Canada

Part 2 of 5

By Brockway Biggs

Hip-hop has been steadily gaining momentum this past decade and Atlantic Canada is no exception. The online voice sounded loud and strong as Classified won the inaugural 2009 ECMA Fans Choice Award.

Fredericton's Scotty & The Stars received a 2009 ECMA nomination in the Children's Recording of the Year category for their album 'Here We Go!' Band member, Andy Cotter, has been touring elementary schools in Atlantic Canada for the past month in support of the album and has seen directly the strength hip-hop has with youth.

"About half way through our show, I ask Scotty if he thinks anyone in the crowd has ever heard of hip-hop. The kids go nuts, and it has opened my eyes to how popular rap has grown. And we're working in some pretty rural schools."

Showcases for Hip-Hop artists at the 2009 ECMAs

The 2009 ECMA festival provided more than 200 showcase opportunities. Despite the popularity of rap, the genre only had one gala performer, zero official showcases and four partnered showcases.

The gala awards ceremony featured French Acadian rap group Radio Radio on the big screen. The fun vibe of this Moncton crew landed them performing at ADISQ (the French Junos) this past year.

Radio Radio are well known in Quebec, but their presence in Atlantic Canada still hasn't been established. In fact, one of the lead emcees is often mistaken in his NS hometown for a local folk singer. As a result, a lot of people were asking who those French guys were that rapped about Jacuzzis.

"We're not surprised people haven't heard of us, we perform mostly in Quebec."

The African Nova Scotia Music Association (ANSMA) included two rappers on the bill of their annual Black Vibes showcase: Hellafactz & Asia.

Halifax's Hellafactz is a self-proclaimed hip-hop activist with the goal of promoting positivity, while having recorded with the likes of KRS-One and Edo G. Fresh off winning the 2008 ANSMA Upcoming Youth Award, he started off slow, but progressively increased the vibe. 'No Qwestion' was a touching dedication to his daughter.

The man, the myth, the legend, R$ $mooth made the trek to Corner Brook to DJ the event and surprised the crowd by taking to the mic on the Hellafactz's reggae-laden 'All We Can Do'. Veteran Halifax rapper Asia showcased the amazing multi-talented abilities that have been gaining her praise for nearly a decade, especially with her group Nu Gruv.

Music New Brunswick (MNB) also included two rappers on their Saturday night bill: Nayles and Brockway Biggs.

It's been nearly a decade since Moncton's Nayles first broke onto the scene as part of the group Element Kontrol. He spit the gritty tooth and nails raps for which he's become renown.

Brockway Biggs (myself) always has fun and this was no exception. He had the ladies shaking their cabooses and the fellas throwing their thumbs up, much to the delight of several delegates in attendance.

Part 3 - The Corner Brook Hip-Hop Struggle
Part 4 - Why was Hip-Hop side-stepped in Corner Brook & Hip-Hop Approach of other Music Award Festivals
Part 5 - Cape Breton in 2010 - Hip-Hop Suggestions


Part 1 - An Introduction - Hip-Hop Side-Stepped in Corner Brook


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