Thursday, February 8, 2007

News:: ECMA Nominees - Rap/Hip-Hop Single Track Recording of the Year

All right, you've seen my now famous ECMA Alternative Recording of the Year preview post, and you've seen my faux-coverage of the Children's Recording category, so it's about time I get to the hip hop. Or to be more precise, the Rap/Hip-Hop Single Track Recording of the Year. It's not just Rap, not only Hip Hop, it's both, in one fantastic category. Plenty of good hip hop albums coming out Halifax and the Maritimes, you'd think the ECMA's could have a whole album category for the hip hop. But I digress, let's just look at the nominees:

Classified - Find Out

Classified happens to be only nominee that I've reviewed for the hill, in fact I've even interviewed him. Does this bias me? Perhaps, but Find Out is just a cool song really. Honestly, when I first heard it I thought it was an average song, but it grows on you. The handclaps and "you're gonna find out" vocal sample are catchy as hell and I think it might be one of Clas' strongest vocal outings on Hitch Hikin' Music. Class's production has also evolved to such a professional level (little touches like the cartoonish intro and the flute loop are examples) that his music stands out. Considering Classified's previous Muchmusic award win and his recent Juno nomination, he's certainly the most high profile of the ECMA hip hop nominees.

myspace>> Classified

web>> Classified @ Urbnet

Ghettosocks - Step To A T-Rex

Ghettosocks has an awesome name and an Edan-esque flow. A Halifax-Edan might be a good way to describe G-Socks as, like the Humble Magnificent, Socks makes his own beats and MC's with a sense of humor and a deep knowledge of hip hop's past. Step To A T-Rex opens with what I believe is a Style Wars sample mixed with a Dinosaur-related, old-school movie sample. I know I just said the he reminds me of Edan, but when his vocals first come in on this track, he sounds rather like the god. The beat is a catchy mix of tambourine,low-key drums and a tight bassline. Socks' flow is perfecto for the track as he spins a tale of dinosaurs and MC supremacy. All in all, this is a very cool song. I've been trying to get a copy of the album to do a review, hopefully I'll have that shortly. Good on the ECMA's for nominating a quality underground song like this.

myspace>> Ghettosocks

web>> alpha flight

Jay Bizzy - East Coast Warriors

Jay Bizzy has been a constant on the Halifax hip hop scene since moving here from the hip hop mecca that is Shelburne, NS. I haven't heard much from Jay, but he is a talented MC - he reminds my a bit of Classified with perhaps a bit more vocal dexterity. East Coast Warriors is from Jay Bizzy's second album, The Ghost Of Jacob Marley, and features an assist from Classified & Johnny Hardcore on the vocals. It opens with a sample from The Warriors, which is always bonus points with me, and has a nice classic beat with some boom bap drums and nice horns. Jay Biz leads things off, and all the MC's do a good job kicking some solid battle rhymes (props to Bizzy for the "Conducting Things like Wesley Williams" line, I enjoyed it). This song also has a nice scratched chorus which earns bonus points. Classic hip hop song all in all, once again good for the ECMA folks for this nomination.

myspace>> Jay Bizzy


Jesse Dangerously - Outfox’d (When Pacifists Attack)

Jesse has been a mainstay on the Halifax hip hop scene for quite some time, and is also well-known in the "nerdcore" scene, which, despite the unfortunate name seems to be a fairly large movement. As the nerdcore moniker would suggest, Jesse does some very underground, uber-backpacker type hip hop (do people even use the term "backpacker" anymore?). Outfox'd has a very electro feel to it, like a beat El-P might make if he was feeling especially groovy. It matches Jesse's sing-song flow pretty well though, and there's bonus points for the solid KRS-One sample used at the beginning. I think the song is about Jesse telling jerks not to push him too far or he might break his pacifist code. Or maybe not, honestly the sing song flow is so hyper in spots I can barely make sense of it. Probably need to listen to the song a few more times to really know what it's about, which is probably a good thing from Jesse's perspective.

myspace>> Jesse Dangerously


Sko-Shun Tiez ft. Kaleb Simmonds - Ghettodays

Sko-Shun Tiez is comprised of female MC's Tandra & Benz, the Sko-Shun G SYCO and DJ Unik. They represent North Preston to the fullest with their Nova Scotian brand of west coast/down south influenced hip hop. Probably the nominees with the most commercially focused sound, Sko-Shun Tiez help provide some variety to the category. I couldn't find the nominated song anywhere, so I can't really review it. I do know it features former Canadian Idol top ten contestant Kaleb Simmonds which makes sense as a few of their myspace samples have R&B; hooks on them. Being honest, Sko-Shun Tiez aren't really in my wheelhouse, but their songs are fairly polished, so I can see why they were nominated.

myspace>> Sko-Shun Tiez

Who's going to win? No idea, Find Out has the most "big song" feel out of all the nominees, so I wouldn't be surprised if Classified took it. If not him then Jay Bizzy or Ghettosocks would be my call. Good group of nominees though, hard to argue against any of them really, a good selection job by the ECMA folks.

Posted at 10:41 PM by naedoo :: 0 comments

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