Friday, June 22, 2007

Canada Raps:: Kish - I Rhyme The World In 80 Days

A while ago I came across this post on Aaron Wherry's blog, in which he offhandedly closed off by offering five dollars to anyone who could disclose the whereabouts of Canadian hip hop pioneer Kish. Well, visitors to hipster-ish music blogs being who they are (ahem, yours truly excepted of course), someone left a comment with the revelation that the man who was able to rhyme the entire globe in a mere 80 days is now doing voice-over work for everything under the sun. To me this was the perfect segue to post this classic jam, but I couldn't find it among my cyber stacks of old music. So I put this post on hold. But as you can probably guess, I found the song a few days ago, and there was much rejoicing.

If you're familiar with Andrew Kishino's work from back when he was simply known as Kish, then you'll no doubt get a kick out of hearing him selling random shite (I enjoy when he says "The official car of funkytown") or doing movie trailers for oscar contenders such as Grandma's Boy, The Ringer, The Benchwarmers, and Four Brothers. He certainly uses his rap-past to conjure up some extra "hood" in his voice for the Four Brothers one.

For those not in the know, Kish busted on the scene in on the infancy of Canada's rap scene in 1991 with his big jam I Rhyme The World In 80 Days. Kish was of Japanese-Canadian descent, but he looked white enough for all of us hip hop lovers of the caucasian persuasion to claim as our own. Plus he was down with the rich man's Randy Jackson, Canadian Idol's Farley Flex, when Flex was a household name due to his Maestro connects. Well that was enough proof that Kish had some legit Toronto hip hop creds. Of course that was until junior high school girls started buying his cassette, and all the "real" hip hop dudes wrote him off.

Kish was an average rapper, perhaps better than average for 1991, and this song is a pleasant slice of early 90's hip hop. It finds Kish travelling the globe and getting into various rap adventures over a catchy beat (done by the First Offence production team that also made the most famous beat in Canadian hip hop). It was the kind of thing Special Ed would do in a far less cheesy manner. There is also a hook sung by some female singer who was perhaps someone of note in 1991. I have no idea who she is, but she gives a mighty sassy performance in the video. The video is also worth a look if only to see Kish's rap-dance stylings. Pretty sure he didn't get his record deal based on his dancing ability.

So history looks back on Kish as a one-hit wonder, but look at all his success now! Looks like Kish is having the last laugh. But I would be remiss if I didn't mention the fact that Kish gave us one of the most memorable lines in Canadian hip hop. If you approached a Canadian male in the 30-35 old range and said "Yo Kish you went to Africa?" I'm willing to bet as many as 80% would reply "Nah, Japan!". So one-hit wonder or not, Kish left his mark. Enjoy.

mp3:: Kish - Rhyme The World in 80 Days


Posted at 8:15 AM by naedoo :: 8 comments

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At 1:14 PM, Blogger ack did sayeth:

actually, my favorite part of this whole video is when he had a chance to rock his freshest outfit for the video, he chose that busted Atlanta Hawks sweatshirt that looks like it came from Winners.

Think about that. The 92-93 Hawks featured:
Dominique Wilkins
Kevin Willis
Stacey Augmon
Mookie Blaylock
Adam Keefe
Jon Koncak
Blair Rasmussen
Greg Foster
Randy Breuer

That's a team only Tim Stickings could love.


At 12:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous did sayeth:

Crates to concrete was a sick track to remember that ?


At 12:56 AM, Blogger El Gato did sayeth:

Crates to Concrete was incredible. That whole CD was. I don't know why we are the only 3 people in the world (I am not from Toronto) to remember him. I thought he was sick as hell.


At 8:19 AM, Blogger naedoo did sayeth:

Oh, believe me, plenty of people remember Kish. Like I said in the post, if you say "Yo Kish you went to Africa?!?" to a Canadian male in the 30-35 range, way over half will come back with the "No, Japan!"

Living UNderwater actually has Kish's sophomore album posted for d/l:


At 11:09 PM, Anonymous bramptonboy did sayeth:

I feel a special kinship with you all. My friends and I still use the "Yo Kish you went to Afica?...nah, Japan" exchange to this day.

For you Canadians reading this, not sure if you've seen the clip where Six Sixeiro and Tim McCalleff (co-hosts of "The Score Tonight" sports news broadcast on the Score TV Network) do the "Yo Kish" thing on air. Priceless.


At 4:39 PM, Anonymous vespa did sayeth:

"3:26 AM" from Kish's second album is a killer and flow.

If the Manifesto Festival ever books him, I'm in. I don't care if the rest of the bill sucks.


At 4:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous did sayeth:

I loved the song "Jim Class" but maybe that's because that's my voice talking to him. lol
Kish was my boyfriend in high school and we were friends when all of this was "goin' down" for him.
Being popular with the tweens sure was the kiss of death. But it was the record execs that did that marketing. In fact the whole album wasn't nearly as good as his demo album was.
I'd sign this but as I've revealed my relationship to him... that's a little too personal.
Kish and I went to a snobby, white-bread, rich high school (a huge departure from his younger life in NYC) and he was certainly the only rapper there. Poor guy got a lot of flack from his peers and classmates. Mnay of them thought he was a joke then and he sure hates/resents them to this day for that, but the strange thing is that many of us have found each other again on Facebook and of course there's a high school group page and plenty of people have asked me about him and told me now they are proud of what he did. He won't even talk about this part of his career now. Too bad.
It's fun reading here that so many people still use the "nah.. Japan!" line.


At 2:56 PM, Anonymous vespa did sayeth:

Oh man...I was trying to get in touch with him through his agent in LA just to talk music, but I've received no response from Kish.

(for the record, I didn't go to his high school)


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