Monthly Archives: July 2010

Chasing Content – August 2009

It’s that time again. As we approach a brand new month, we think of all the potential that lie in front of us over the next 31 days.

Welcome to the latest installment of Chasing Content. This feature allows us to look back and see where Silent Cacophony was last year at this time. You can read all of the posts from last August or you can browse through these old favourites. There is no reason these posts should get buried in the archives (maybe the last two could though)

Brother Ali is Phenomenal – This guy is definitely one of my favourite rappers. I can’t believe I went from blogging about him to actually getting to interview him earlier this year. What a trip!

Three Types of Listeners – What type of listener are you? Read this post and weigh in with a comment.

Summer’s Gone – This song always hurts to hear. It’s a painful reminder that the summer has flown by too quickly. I’m not looking forward to the summer coming to a close but it’s pretty much inevitable. This is a great song from an amazing band though.

Teaching Tip Tuesday: The First Day of School – Teaching Tip Tuesdays is currently on hiatus but will start up again when school does. Any new teachers might like to read my advice for the first day and check out the other great tips, resources, and ideas I share every week.

3-Sided Mix Tape – This one still hurts my heart. I wish things had worked out differently.

A Sad Picture Story – This tells the story of why the above post still hurts. It does so in a few pictures and accompanying text. I hope she’s doing okay. I still think about her often.

Q&A vs Articles

I’m extremely lucky to be doing what I am doing. I never thought that my blog would open up so many doors for me. I started it primarily to be a platform to get my name known so that I could eventually get some of my fiction published. That was the original goal for this blog.

Recently, I’ve been fortunate enough to interview some pretty amazing individuals. That started off innocently enough as well. My friend, Gamma Krush, is a DJ for DOPEfm, a radio show on 93.3 CFMU that broadcasts from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario each and every Saturday night. I’d been listening to the show and was a fan long before I became a member of the production team.

I didn’t know at the time how involved I’d become with the show. Gamma Krush simply asked me to help him conduct an interview one day. He had done one himself the month before and wasn’t really happy with how it had turned out. Since I had experience conducting interviews for both the university paper and community television several years prior, I was really excited to have the opportunity to do so again.

Well, since then I haven’t looked back. I’ve conducted 45 interviews.
Wow! I’m blown away by that number and the sheer talent of the people I’ve been able to meet.
The first interview I did with DOPEfm, is available as a podcast. After that, I decided that I wanted to see the interviews on my blog as well. So I started transcribing the interviews so that you can read them too.
When I interviewed Olympic Ice Dance Champions Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, I was asked to write an article and not just a Q&A like all of my transcripts have been. I really enjoyed writing that article. It reminded me of the few I’d written back for the university paper. That article was published in The Londoner Newspaper. I’m really excited about that.
I worked all of the interviews I did with the Olympic Athletes into full articles instead of transcripts. It really has me wondering what is better, a transcript or an article? What are your takes on this? Have you enjoyed my transcripts or my articles more? Or is there room for both?
I transcribed the interview I did with hip-hop artist Eternia but I wrote several articles around the one I did with D-sisive. I am quite proud of both of these projects. I found that I didn’t really save any time writing the articles. Transcribing or writing interviews takes quite a bit of time. They also seem to take up about the same amount of space in type. Both of these interviews were presented over several blog posts.
So, what’s your vote?
Q&A type transcripts, articles, or it depends?
Thanks for weighing in? 

Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir Autograph

It was amazing to watch Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir during the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics. They were just breath-taking on the ice. They captured the hearts of Canadians and viewers across the world while they also took home Gold Medals.

I still can’t believe that I had the opportunity to meet and interview these two World Champions. It was such an honour.

Not only do I have the newspaper article to remind me of the event, but I was also able to get their autographs. Pretty cool, eh?

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A Beautiful Symbol

You can learn a lot from fiction, even a comic book.

The panels below are from Y: The Last Man. This brief conversation made me pause and consider something that I’d never thought about before.  Good fiction can always do that.

Here’s a bit of a set-up for you. Yorick wants to buy a ring for his girlfriend. The salesman starts to spin a story about a ring that makes it sound mystical. He then illustrates something about the whole act of proposing marriage that simply blew my mind.

Mr. T: “Do you see how this ring glistens like gold in one light and silver in the next. This represents the male and female sides which all of us possess. 

Many cultures believe that men and women are reversed at the moment of proposal. The young lady’s finger is transformed into a symbolic phallus, while the gentleman presenting the ring-“

At this point Yorick cuts him off. The exchange is hilarious but it really made me stop and consider the act of proposal and what it really means.

I find this reversal to be absolutely poetic and beautiful. I can’t believe I’d never heard of this before. I even asked a few friends and they hadn’t heard of it either.

You see, comics can teach you something. I never would have researched proposals on my own. This really blew my mind. It’s so simple a symbol that this should have been obvious to all of us. It makes me wonder how many other things we do without ever really knowing the deeper meaning behind our actions.

This book is definitely a Recommended Read. Find out more about it and other great comic books / graphic novels. 

The Auto Shop Waiting Room

No one here is creative.
They silently sit and watch golf on the television,
I mean, golf?
Who finds that in the least bit entertaining?

The newspaper sits untouched.
I’ve been here for two hours
and the magazine rack,
beautifully stoked,
has not seen one visitor.
It’s lonely.

I wrote five pages of my journal,
read some of the newspaper
and several chapters of the novel I brought with me.

Always have a book with you,
that’s my motto.
Otherwise you can end up in a spot like this
and brainlessly waste an entire afternoon.

I hate being in this waiting limbo.
That’s really what this is.

Limbo

It should have been an in and out oil change.
Instead, two mechanical problems needed to be addressed
which is currently sucking up my afternoon.

Thank goodness,
someone new showed up,
an elderly lady and she’s knitting.

Am I old because I can’t just sit here and do nothing?
like everyone else had been doing
until she showed up

Or do some people just need to create?
And why doesn’t everybody?

Is my car ready yet?
I’m so ready to but out of this limbo.
One way or the other, I will.
It’s time to escape.

73 Minutes of DOPE

DOPEfm is an overnight hip-hop show that airs on 93.3 CFMU from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada each and every Saturday night. The show was created by Daddy J and is co-hosted by Gamma Krush and myself.

If you missed the show this week, here’s the playlist from the latest podcast. You can download it for free and subscribe to it as well. It’s like getting a free mixtape every week.

Duality – Self Scientific

The Last Lind Of Defense-Dilated Peoples

This 1s 4 U-WilDelux ft. D Strong

Greeny Greeen-Goodie Mob ft. WitchDoctor

Stars in the East-Tracey Lee ft.One Step Beyond

Love Was Complicated-ST MiC ft. Jazz Addix and Dutchmassive

Break it Down-J Live

The Interview-Artifacts

Moving Along-Jungle Brothers

Whats the Reaction-Kwest the Madd Lad

Gameplan-Lord Finesse

Left Field-Yaggfu Front*

Hang Em High-Sadat X ft. DV Alias Khrist

Info For The Streets-Mood

Mr.Smith-LL Cool J

Escapism-Pete Rock & CL Smooth

Easy on the Tweeter-World Renown

A Friend-KRS One

*forgot to mention that track.

Eternia Interview Concludes

Say it ain’t so. Our time with Eternia is nearly up. Don’t fret boys and girls, you can download the interview for free so you can listen to it whenever you want. We had a great discussion and played some amazing music as well. So without further ado, let’s conclude this interview transcript.

Chase: “Who are you listening to right now? If we raided your MP3 player or your car deck, what would we find?”
Eternia: “You would find a lot of 90’s R&B. Shout out to Shai, SWV, H-town, Jodeci, Aayliah, a lot of 90s R&B, and a lot of 90s dancehall. I listen to TOK and I used to listen to a lot of Capleton and Buju. I’m just doing a trip down memory lane for me. 
Newer cats, sometimes I try to not get my mind filled with other people’s music, not because it’s not good but because I don’t want it to affect mine. But I’m a Royce the 5’9’ fan. I’m checking for J Cole. Obviously Reef the Lost Cauze, I’ve always been a fan of. My peers too.
But it’s mostly non-hip-hop stuff. I really like Sia from 07. I really like Zacky Ibraheem. I’m really checking for my sister’s stuff, Jessica Kaia. She’s working with Tanika Charles, who you should be familiar with and if you’re not, you will be soon. She’s working with Rich Kidd, she’s working with Slackah the BeatChild. She’s working with Richie Hennessey. My sister is killing the game. She’s on my album.
So, yeah, a lot of stuff I’m listening to is not hip-hop and that’s not because I don’t love hip-hop. You know when it’s your business, especially when you’re recording. If you’re listening to a lot of someone when you’re recording, all of a sudden you start sounding like that person. So sometimes, I’m a little weird about what and how I listen to rap.”
Chase: “Your sister was on your first video wasn’t she?”
Eternia: “Not my first video but we have a music video together called ‘Love,’ big tune. Then she did a song ‘On Blast’ and I did a verse on that. And now she has a track on my album, she sings in the hook called ‘Played Out.’ So it’s an ongoing trend.”
Chase: “So is music in the family?”
Eternia: “Absolutely. You name a genre of music, we have someone actively doing it in my family. And I mean touring, making CDs. I have an industrial musician brother, Adversary. I have another brother in a band and they’re recording right now. It’s like classic rock or rock. I have a sister and another brother that play hand drums. My father was producing techno music, don’t ask. My mother plays classical piano. So everybody in my family, yes, definitely.”
Chase: “Who came out first? Did you come out first? Was it like a competition like, ‘Oh Eternia’s got a record out.’”
Eternia: “I think I probably started doing my craft professionally first, only because I was 15 and I was really young. But my mother and my father came before me.”
Chase: “It has been a pleasure talking with you.”
Eternia: “Thanks for stopping by my release party. We’re live at The Opera House right now and that’s, like, ridiculous. So thank you guys for coming for my ‘At Last’ record release party. DOPEfm, you guys have been holding me down for years. Shout out to Daddy J!”
Chase: “Yeah, we gotta get him to spin some of your cool tunes right now because you’ve got a lot of stuff we didn’t play in between the talking.”
Eternia: “And I’ve got new stuff. Don’t forget to run the new stuff. You gotta run the new stuff too. BBQ, It’s Funny, At Last, Day in the Life, they’re all out even before the album.”
Chase: “I saw those all leak but I didn’t download any of them because I want the album. I’m like an album kind of dude. I got the BBQ track because I wanted to spin that for this but I’m waiting for that album. I’m gonna be lining up Tuesday to pick it up for sure.”
Eternia: “I wish you could come to New York and cop it at Fat Beats but you’re going to have to go to Play De Record or wherever it is you go.”
Chase: “Alright, cool. This is awesome. Can’t wait to see you on stage in a few minutes and just tearing down the place.”
Eternia: “Definitely, thank you for having me.”
And that’s a wrap. Boo!
I so could’ve talked to her all night long. She was such an amazing person and I’m glad I finally got to meet her and conduct this interview. Her album with producer MoSS is now out, ‘At Last.’ Go buy a copy and don’t just download it on the sly. We should support good hip-hop and this album is definitely that. It’s been on heavy rotation since I bought my copy. It’s a great album.
Download this interview for free. I finished the show with a mixset featuring some new and old music from her as well including a few songs we talked about but never played. Check it out.
You can also check out all the interviews I’ve done by clicking on the “Artist Interview” tab at the top of this page. There is also a handy player in the sidebar for you to stream the interviews as well.
Remember that DOPEfm is live every Saturday night on 93.3 CFMU from the McMaster University campus in Hamilton, Ontario. And if you can’t receive our signal where you’re at, you can stream us at http://cfmu.msumcmaster.ca/ or check for our podcasts at http://dopefm.ca 
A special thanks to Thom Payson of Total Productions for the great photography you have seen here all week. The above photo shows Eternia with fellow MC Reef The Lost Cauze.

Thanks for tuning in.



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Music Playlist at MixPod.com



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Eternia Interview Part 3

I hope you’ve had a chance to listen to this interview. Eternia is just fire on the mic, controls the crowd when she hits the stage, is a cool down-to-earth person, and drops amazing hip-hop.

Case in point is this track, The BBQ Remix featuring Jean Gray and Ty Pheonix from the album “At Last” by Eternia and MoSS.

Listen to this track, download the podcast of the interview, read the story, and follow us on Twitter – Eternia, Chase March, DOPEfm. Thanks!

Chase: “Okay, we’re back with Eternia and we just heard The BBQ. Nice track there. So. you’ve been pretty busy lately. You’ve been all over the place this week.”
Eternia: “This week? This week? My whole life! I’ve been all over the place my whole life. Ya know what’s funny? When I blank out I’ll say, ‘Oh. man it’s been a long week,’ but then I’ll be like, ‘I mean month, I mean year, I mean life.’ It’s been a long life what can I say.”
Chase: “You’ve been doing a lot of shows.”
Eternia: “Yeah, we’ve been doing a lot of one-offs. We’re about to hit Europe in July. We’re doing four shows in Toronto in a period of two weeks, which to me isn’t a lot. I like to do a show every night, ya know what I mean? But in between that we’re doing press and we’re doing a music video shoot and I’m visiting family and doing a whole bunch of other stuff, so yeah, it gets busy.”
Chase: “I follow you on Twitter and I saw that you were really excited about having your first 12” out.”
Eternia: “Oh my goodness! Yes, it’s with me right now. I’m really excited! I’ve had a 7” out of Australia with ‘Evidence’ and ‘Bang’ on it.  It’s an exclusive collectors edition of Evidence / Bang.”
Chase: “Yeah too bad I don’t have that. I wish I had that.”
Eternia: “All I have is numbers 0 to 10. They’re numbered all of them. There were 250 made and I have zero to ten and they’re mine. One day they will be worth something magical.”
Chase: “I’m sure they will.”
Eternia: “We’re doing a double album on record as well, on wax. Fat Beats is the place to go, It’s fits our sound to a T and they cater to our audience and so I’m really honoured and really blessed to be on that label.”
Chase: “You have a ton of releases. I was looking at your discography-”
Eternia: “And I guarantee you that’s not even an updated discography because I personally put that up on the web and I have not updated it for a year or two. So I promise you , there is way more than that.”
Chase: “Yeah, I got that off your Sonic Bids.”
Eternia: “Yeah, that’s not even updated. There’s been at least 10 or 20 more since then.”
Chase: “You’ve worked with a lot of different people. The SoulStice tracks I really love. You’ve also done some work with Wordsworth, EMC.”
Eternia: “A couple times, before he was EMC and was Punch and Words.”
Chase: “I love EMC! I think they performed here, at this venue.”
Eternia: “They were. They’ve done Opera House more than once and they kill a show. They’re inspirational to me when it comes to what they do live. Really, I can see EMC five times and I never get sick of seeing them live. They are one of the best acts live. I can’t say that enough.”
Chase: “Yeah, I remember seeing them too. They traded off so smoothly. There was a Masta Ace song, there was a Punch and Words song, there was an EMC song with all four of them, and it was just seamless. It was amazing.”
Eternia: “Yeah, I can’t promise my set’s like that but that’s because there’s not four of me.”
Chase: “So when does the new album drop?”
Eternia: “Tuesday June 29th. We’re doing an in-store at Fat Beats that day. Whatever happens, happens. I’m just gonna breathe a sigh of relief and say, ‘At Last.’ when June 29th comes”
Chase: “We will air this before then but it won’t be on my blog till it’s already out. So anyone reading this or listening to this in July, you need to go to the store and support.”
Eternia: “And you know what? It’s an independent release so you go to your mom-and-pop-shop and if they don’t have it, you ask them to order it. It’s that simple. If it’s not somewhere that just means the store decided not to pick it up .so you go in and tell them, ‘I want you to order this record.’”
Chase: “That’s cool because I don’t think too many people would actually do that.”
Eternia: “Yeah, you need to know that because oftentimes stores, especially when they’re independent stores, they might not know but their fans do and they want to cater to the people that are coming in and buying music.”
Chase: “I wanted to talk to you about your name. How did you get that moniker?”
Eternia: “Honestly. It’s from He-man in the 80’s. It was the planet, centre of the universe. And obviously I was very full of myself when I was a teenager and I thought I was the centre of the universe so I called myself Eternia. That’s the story.”
Chase: “Too bad there’s another Eternia on Twitter.”
Eternia: “I am The Real Eternia on Twitter, okay? Don’t get it confused with the fake guy.”
Chase: “So you have two full-length albums and recently you’ve put out a mixtape.”
Eternia: “Technically, there have been four releases all together. It’s debatable what were full-length albums and what were mixtapes. There has been ‘The Collection’, ‘Its Called Life’, ‘The Set-Up’, and then ‘Get Caught Up.’ Those were all previous to ‘At Last.’ I view them all as albums but no, not all of them had barcodes. They were all albums in my eyes because they all had original content on them.”
Chase: “One of my favourite songs that you’ve done is off of Classified’s album with DL Incognito and Maestro. There’s a dope video to that one too.”
Eternia: “That was really good. That was the first time I jumped on a track with Maestro Fresh Wes. He was in my music video for ‘Sorrow Song’ way before that but then we actually recorded together for the Classified record. I love DL, I love Class, I think we all look up to Maestro. Maestro is so humble and doing the video for that was kind of like icing on the cake and I think it’s one of the most memorable tracks in Canadian hip-hop.”
Chase; “Definitely. We gotta play that one right now.”
Eternia: “Let’s do it. So, it’s myself, Classified, DL Incognito, Maestro Fresh Wes, if you don’t know who Maestro Fresh Wes is, you should not be listening to this radio show. Just turn around, look yourself in the mirror, and slap yourself in he face, now listen to this song.”
Chase: “Alright, we’re back with Eternia. I love that track right there. You start it off and just kill it with how fast you’re going and all the multi-syllables. You’ve got some great videos and YouTube stuff where you are just killing it. If anybody sees those and is not instantly a fan, there’s something wrong with them, I think.”
Eternia: “I think when look at me and talk to me, they get confused because I’m super-smiley and they see me rap and they’re like, ‘I don’t understand.’ But ya know? we all have different sides to us and I think the side you’re referring to is my work-out-some-aggression side, that’s what that is.”
Chase: “I’m an elementary school teacher and when you’re in front of the class, it’s like you’re on stage. And when you’re on stage, you’re a little bit different and maybe when I even on radio or my blog, I’m a little bit different that I would be in real life too. So, it’s not a unique things or weird that you’re like that or anything.”
Eternia: “It’s showmanship. Absolutely. When I was raised, rapping in the 90’s, it was really about coming in and standing out in a cypher. In order to stand out, you had to have a strong voice, strong delivery, strong presence. You had to be intense and you had to be confident, otherwise you just get sideswiped.”
Chase: “That’s what captures people. I remember seeing The Fugees before they got big and they looked a bit nervous or sacred on the stage. Like Pras was looking at his feet all the time instead of engaging the crowd. Lauryn Hill really shined in that show but the two guys looked like they didn’t have that stage presence. But that was early on in their careers. I don’t wan’t to bash The Fugees.”
Eternia: “But it tells a lot. In terms of talent, let’s just say this, the people who were nervous and they people who were not had a reason to be. That’s all I’m going to say about The Fugees.”
Chase: “Where is Lauryn Hill these days?”
Eternia: “Lauryn Hill is about to jump on Rock the Bells. They were getting complaints that they didn’t have any female MCs on their tour so they went and booked the best female MC of all time. That was the best response ever. Now they can book me, but they did book Lauryn Hill which is a big deal.”
Chase: “She needs to start rapping again.”
Eternia: “Everyone says that. But if you just listen to what she’s dropped, you know she’s ridiculous. It’s not about quantity to be, it’s about quality and she’s superceded that time and time again.”
Chase: “Do you have any other favourite female MCs?”
Eternia: “I never listen to people based on their gender. It’s just if I can rock out to the record. But some of them who happen to be women; I love Latifah. I was really young when Salt N Pepa came out and I love them but I kind of feel funny saying that now but in my day and age, they were amazing. MC Lyte, of course, Bahamadia, Rah Digga, Rage. And there is newer ladies post 2000 killing the game, Anomalies, Invincable. There are a lot of women I work with so I get in trouble when people as me this question but these are people I’m fans of for sure.”
Chase: “I know Shad says in his new lyric that there is not enough women in hip-hop. I feel the same way and when I hear a new name that sounds feminine, I want to check it a little bit more just to see what it’s like.”
Eternia: “I feel like you’re the minority. Like most people wouldn’t want to check it if they think it’s a chick.”
Chase: “That’s weird to me. I don’t understand that mentality at all. I want to hear the other side. Like Shad says, we’re only hear half the story and we’re not hearing the better half.”
Eternia: “I should sample that. Shad, I might sample that line. That’s really dope.”
Chase: “We need to hear more female MCs. That’s my thing right there.”
Eternia: “I don’t want my gender to not be acknowledged at all, because my stories are going to be different being that I am a woman because my life experiences are different.
But I look forward to the day where it doesn’t have to be about female and male MCs, where we are literally viewed based on our abilities. I compare that to a corporate workplace and I understand that there is still gender discrimination but not generally as much as there is in hip-hop. So when you interview someone to hire them for a position, you’re not saying, ‘Well, she’s alright for a chick,’ or hopefully it’s not ‘Well, we need more women in the office.’ Hopefully it’s about who’s the best candidate for the job.
I hope one day we’re rated the same way. When it comes to booking cross-country tours, when it comes to press, when it comes to record labels picking up artists, all that, it won’t be a matter of gender. It’ll just be, ‘Man, this is some really good music.’ I think hip-hop is a couple years behind, like 20 years behind when it comes to that mentality. Other areas of business, other areas of occupation are a little more forward thinking, ya know?”
Chase: “Wouldn’t it be awesome if people start saying their Top 10 rappers and there’s a female in there.”
Eternia: “Absolutely because we get compared to other girls. I’d loved to be compared to my favourite male MCs even if they say I’m not as good as them. Like they can say. ‘Yo, she does this like this person’ because I actually do learn from a lot of dudes that rap so I might sound like some dudes out there, probably more than girls because I knew a lot more male rappers growing up.
But people just don’t do that. They’ve got their Top 5 or Top 10 MCs off all time and they’ve got their favourite female rapper. And by the way, you can only have one. It’s like they can only pick one. It’s like only Jean Gray or Eternia. But why not both for different reasons? Just like human beings.”
Chase: “But that’s a problem for society it general. I mean, why do we have actor and actress when the –or suffix means ‘one who.’ We should just all be actors.”
Eternia: “Right, just like I’m an MC. I’m a rapper. I happen to be a woman, get over it.”
Chase: “I pulled this off your website. It’s quoted, ‘Perhaps for a moment, you can do as all of Eternia’s peers have done and put aside race, gender, nationality, close you eyes and just listen. We guarantee you’ll believe.’”
Eternia: “I wrote that, probably shouldn’t say that but I did.”
Chase: “No, you should. That’s beautiful!”
Eternia: “I went to school for journalism. I have to write my own bio sometimes. What that basically means is that the music is the most important thing. Good music is music that makes you feel and I think that no matter what race, what country, what gender, we can all make music that touches someone else, even if they don’t understand our language let alone if they’re not a woman and I’m a woman, ya know? So music that makes you feel is what I’d describe as dope music and so I just want people to listen and if they don’t feel anything, then move on. But if you feel something, than I did my job.”
Chase: “I think we should close on that note because that’s a perfect ending. I’d love to talk to you some more and there’s a couple other things I’d like to ask you but, man, that wraps it up nicely right there, doesn’t it?”
Eternia: “I’m not mad at that. Sometimes those just come out. I don’t know how it happens. They just come out of my mouth.”
I tell ya, it was so awesome meeting and talking with Eternia. I loved her before but I love her even more now. She was such a cool down-to-earth person. Go out there are support the great music she makes. “At Last” is in stores now and is a great album. I picked it up and I encourage you to do the same, You won’t be disappointed.
You can download the interview or stream it with the player below because I didn’t stop the interview here. I wanted to continue talking with her so I did. I hope you have enjoyed this coverage. I know I sure enjoyed bringing it to you. We’ll rap this all up tomorrow with the conclusion of this transcript. See you then!

Thanks to Thom Payson of Total Productions for the great photography you’ve seen here all week.
MusicPlaylist
Music Playlist at MixPod.com

Eternia Interview Part 2

Chase: “I’m back with Eternia. Thanks for tuning in. Remember you can download this interview for free. 
So Eternia, you actually documented your road to success and you had a whole documentary video series leading up to you getting signed. That was really cool to see. When you started that, you didn’t know what was gonna happen either, did you?”
Eternia: “Not at all. We actually faced a lot of resistance initially with that whole concept. People were like, ‘We don’t know what’s happening with this record, we don’t know when we’re dropping it, we don’t know what label we’re dropping it on, we shouldn’t be doing any press.’ 
Most people in the business will suggest that if you have a project and you don’t have a label, you hold onto it tight, you don’t let anybody hear it, and you wait until you have the perfect situation to drop it. I was like, ‘Listen, nobody knows who I am,’ that’s not true, stateside a lot of people didn’t know who I was. And so, I’m not gonna sit here and wait for things to fall in my lap. I’m gonna create a demand.
DJ Sav-One from The Underground Come Up, he came up with the Road to Release idea. But it was really just, ‘Let’s create awareness! Let’s create a buzz. Let’s create a reason for a label to want to sign us. And it worked. Arguable, I don’t know if we’d be with Fat Beats without those videos so that’s a big deal. 
It was a risk. A lot of people were against it, straight up because people don’t want you to promote a product when you don’t know when you’re releasing it or if it’s coming out. They get really nervous about that but we were doing it anyways. It’s fate.”
Chase: “It’s kind of like ‘fake it till you make it.’”
Eternia: “But we were honest. We were like, ‘We don’t have a label deal but we got this awesome album, what’s good?’ We were very honest, ya know?”
Chase: “Totally. It’s like know what you want and making it happen. That’s pretty cool. How did you link up with MoSS anyway because he is a super-producer? I’ve met him, he’s a really cool guy too.”
Eternia: “Yeah, yeah. He should be here later tonight. It’s our release party tonight! How we met is a cool story. A promoter in Winnipeg, Bear, shout out to Bear, booked me for a one-off. I flew from New York City to Winnipeg to do a show, my own show, and for the next day to open for EMC, Marco Polo, Mr. Addict, Torae, and MoSS.
We met each other at sound check, we were already fans of each other’s work. And then I got on stage and I performed for him and ten other people because the place was empty. Literally it was just him and ten other people. And this shows why it’s important to rock a house no matter how many people are there. So it’s him and ten other people, boom, I rock the house and after I got off stage he was pretty much like, ‘I heard a whole album in my head.’ He was very excited, very excited.
I didn’t know if he meant it or it was just being said at the moment because one thing that I find happens a lot with me is people will get really excited when they see me live and they’ll be like, ‘I wanna work with you,’ and they’ll be big names and then I just never hear from them again. Kind of like they just talk sh*t, but he didn’t. He was a man of his word. That was summer of ’07 and in November of ’07, we recorded the first song for the album.”
Chase: “I’d like to play one of your songs right now. Do you have any preference? What should we spin?”
Eternia: “Ah, man. Do you want to go back or do you want to do something current? It depends on what you wanna do.”
Chase: “Actually, there’s a couple songs that I want to play. I want to play the one song you did with SoulStice.”
Eternia: “Oh yeah, ‘No Place Like It.’ I think no place like home where we represent our different countries. I love that verse. That’s all about Canada. So definitely, run that track. Shout out to SoulStice.”
Chase: “Alright, so we’ll spin that track and we’ll be back with more Eternia. Stay tuned.”
Please download the interview or stream it with the player below to hear this awesome song.
Chase: “I love how you celebrate Canada in that song we just heard. You talk about how absence makes the heart grow fonder because you actually had to leave to pursue your career, right?”
Eternia: “I celebrate Canada is a lot of my music. I don’t know if people always hear it but I celebrate Canada a lot. Like the track ‘The Mega’ that M-phase produced is all about Toronto. Yeah, definitely, it always comes up in my music. There are a few themes that come up in my music a lot, and Canada is one of them.”
Chase: “Another thing I want to talk about is ‘My Favourite Rapper Wears a Skirt.’”
Eternia: “Yeah, and I’m not wearing it right now, what’s up with that?”
Chase: “Can you tell us what that’s all about?”
Eternia: “Yeah, that’s a t-shirt that I have that’s grown very popular with the women and the men. It’s really just something somebody said to me once. I was at a show and they literally came up to me and opened their arms real wide and said, ‘My favourite rapper wears a skirt,’ and they were being stupid. But a bell went off, ding-ding-ding, and the rest is history.”
That was in the summer of 2008. We went on tour, the ‘We Be Girl Tour’ with Bhamadia, Roxanne Shante, Invincable, DJ Shorty, and obviously the t-shirt did really well there.
I don’t know if people really know this but the first time it was revealed was with A Tribe Called Quest at the Toronto Rock The Bells concert. Literally, Jerobi did the whole headlining show wearing ‘My favourite rapper wears a skirt’ which I think is a big deal considering he’s on stage with Q-tip.”
Chase: “A Tribe Called Quest is one my favourite groups of all time and Gamma Krush who spins on the show is a huge Tribe fan.”
Eternia: “That was a big deal. Actually, that’s why I rushed the production of those shirts. He said, ‘You get me one in time and I’ll rock it.’”
Chase: “Very cool. I was talking to Rochester at the Stylus Awards-”
Eternia: “You talk to everybody. This guy interviews everybody!”
Chase: “That’s what I do. I actually take the time to transcribe it and put it up my blog too.”
Eternia: “Awesome!”
Chase: “So there’s tons of content there. Anyway, he was telling us about the 411 initiative and ‘What’s the 411’ and I was doing some research and see that you are involved in that as well.”
Eternia: “Yeah, me and Juice aka Rochester toured a lot together, he’s like a brother. All with ‘What’s the 411?’ and sometimes with other organizations as well like Plan Canada in conjunction with ‘What’s the 411?’ So we do tours in high schools, different themes but mostly AIDS awareness and I did girls’ rights as well.
Obviously girls’ rights is near and dear to my heart and it’s really just about gender equality issues. I talked to girls about how this impacts them and how view themselves and their future and their gender roles and their family. I never knew that I defied a lot of these gender roles until I started doing this gender equity tours.
I do kind of represent the abnormal when it comes to gender roles because I rap and I’m a chick. It was pretty cool.
My favourite story with that whole tour was, we were supposed to ask kids what they learned from the presentation and usually it’s facts and stats. And so, this little twelve year old kid put up his hand and he’s all excited. I think it was at CW Marshawn in Toronto and he put up his hand and said, ‘I learned that some girls rap better than boys.’ And I was like, ‘Yes!’ I was like, ‘That is the cutest thing to learn’ and that wasn’t what we were teaching them, but ya know that might be my next shirt, ‘Some girls rap better than boys.’
Chase: “That is cool. It also sounds like a real worthwhile thing being able to touch with the community there and actually have that voice and that conversation.”
Eternia: “It’s actually the work that I enjoy doing the most. People always ask, ‘Oh, you’ve met this person or worked with that person or who’s your favourite star that you met?’ And honestly, the favourite people that I meet are not the name-brand people. The favourite people that I meet are like those kids in Grade 5 or the kids in a street mission that I’m performing for. Like, those people really impact me. They really touch me and they leave me feeling inspired. So they give me energy whereas opening for major label people is just tiring. It’s damn tiring. Ego everywhere.”
Chase: “You’re pretty active online. You’re on Twitter. I’m following you on there. Do you make a lot of connections with fans on Twitter as well?”
Eternia: “Sav, who’s behind me now, told me not to go on Twitter.”
Chase: “What’s wrong with Twitter, Sav?”
Eternia: “It doesn’t statistically equate to sales. That’s why he doesn’t like Twitter. If you do a graph based on the amount people tweet versus their sales, it actually decreases your sales.”
Sav One: “Unless you’re on 24:7.”
Eternia: “Right, but I don’t get on it like that. I’m not crazy with it. But I do like to connect with people and let them know what’s happening. I’m pretty sociable.”
Well, that ends Part 2 of this interview. Please come back tomorrow to read more. I so loved meeting and talking with Eternia. She is a really cool person to know, a fierce MC when it comes to shows, and an amazing musician when it comes to her songs. So go to Twitter. follow her, pick up her CDs, download this interview, and leave a comment below. See you here tomorrow for Part 3 of the Eternia interview. 
Thanks to Thom Payson of Total Productions for the great photography you will see here all week.


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Eternia Interview

DOPEfm has always shown Eternia love. She’s dropped some classic jams over the past ten years and we always spin her music. 
I finally got the chance to meet her last month at her album release party in Toronto. She was so cool in person that I must say that I love her even more now. 
I hope you enjoy this interview. You can download it for free, stream it with the player at the bottom of this post, or read the transcript. Enjoy!
Chase: “Alright everybody this is Chase March and I’m here with Eternia.”
Eternia: “What’s up? I’m very happy to be here, live at The Opera House.”
Chase: “You’ve been making noise for a long time. I hope people out there know your name. I’ve been a fan since I first heard you. It’s amazing to see that you’ve had such a long career, You’ve got material going back all the way to 2000.”
Eternia: “Even before 2000, but the stuff before 2000 was pretty small-time, mixtape, indy. At lot of it has been like that but I’ve been recording since the 90s.”
Chase: “I know, personally for me, whenever I hear a female MC, I take extra notice because it’s kind of rare. I don’t know why. Why do you think there is a lack of females in hip-hop?”
Eternia: “I don’t believe that there is actually a lack of females in hip-hop. I think there’s a lack of coverage, oftentimes. I think that getting ourselves out there with multiple full-length albums, there is a lack of that with female MCs. But when it comes to every city, when it comes to every place I go, I find a multitude of females MCs everywhere I go who are doing their thing, holding it down, throwing events, on the radio, and actually doing things that MCs do to promote themselves in every city that I go to. So I know a lot of female MCs globally.
There are a variety of factors. I don’t want to get into all of them. Sometimes it can be the fact that they don’t have a team behind them, they don’t have an infrastructure behind them, they don’t have investment, they don’t have backing. I can tell you myself, most of what you see from me, and I’m not as big as my male counterparts, most of what you see from me is one woman in operation. So imagine trying to get to a certain level and not having anything aside from your own resources. That could be something that’s limiting female MCs from going as big as out male counterparts.
That’s only one issue. Obviously, the acceptance in the culture is, ya know, go to any average American blogsite and I think they just shoot you down before they even listen to you if they hear you’re a chick. It would be much easier to hit the game being faceless and genderless and let people listen to the music and all of a sudden become fans, and then an album in be like, ‘Ha-ha, I’m a chick and you didn’t know. I tricked you! ‘cause I bet they’d listen to it and like it.’ That’s all I have to say.”
Chase: “I think so too. Shad’s new album just dropped and he’s got a lyric on there about how he can speak to women and about women but he can’t speak for women and that we’re really only getting have the story.”
Eternia: “I’ve never heard that lyric. I’m glad you told me that. He brings up a really valid point. Ya know how everyone always asks, ‘What do you bring to the game that’s different than anyone else?’ It’s not that I’m female, but I will say that my experiences and my perception and my story is unique. No one else can tell my story,
I do think that in general there’s really only one or two voices in hip-hop, two dominate kind of narratives. And I think that hip-hop should represent every slice of life, every slice of culture, and every slice of the world globally, not just America. So I think that’s one thing in which my culture, hip-hop, lacks, is having a voice fore everybody not just for certain demographics.”
Chase: “That’s a really cool point. I know there was a point in my life where I only listened to underground hip-hop and that was it and I didn’t listen to anything else. Now, I’ve grown and matured so that my music tastes are more wide in variety but I still know people that only want to listen to that knucklehead stuff. I mean, there is a lot more out there and artists should have the freedom to make the kind of music they want to and have people listen to it.”
Eternia: “I have a hard time listening to emcees who are considered dope but aren’t saying anything. So like MCs that got the flow and the delivery and the punchlines but they’re not saying things that make me think or make me appreciate their intelligence. It doesn’t have to be all intelligent rap but MCs who aren’t putting their life into their music and being vulnerable, I have a hard time appreciating them even when the rest of world is like, ‘Oh my goodness! They’re ridiculous!’ Ya know, I think it’s important to be human on record too. It’s important to be dope, but then you gotta be human.”
Chase: “I’m a lyrical dude and really focus on lyrics and I got a couple of your lyrics that I want to focus on here.”
Eternia: “Uh-oh.”
Chase: “One is from ‘Time.’ You say, ‘There’s an expiration date on my career. It’s like if I don’t make it this year, then I’ll just disappear.’ But that was a long time ago and you’ve been putting in a lot of work since then. So I guess you didn’t really believe that, you were just expressing a hunger there.”
Eternia: “No I believed it. When I wrote that I totally believed it. I wrote that in 2004. That was on ‘It’s Called Life’ and I did feel the pressure from the industry and everyone. It was like now or never, you only got one shot, especially for a woman. It’s just like being in acting. It’s different when you’re a male actor, you can be 50 and get roles but it’s harder for a woman. Obviously, I’m not close to 50 but I just felt that, ‘I gotta do this while I’m still young.’ I felt that there was an age requirement for hip-hop and so I wrote that.
Now the difference is that I’ve let go of the industry standard. So me making music right now is not really about making it. Me making music now in the year 2010 is about the God-given talent that He’s given me and walking through doors of opportunity that He provides for me. But if the doors stop opening, that’s okay. It’s not like a loss to me anymore. So I’ve let go and I write about that a lot.
I wanted to name an album, ‘Let Go.” Maybe I will one day. I’ve let go. It’s not about, ‘Gotta make it! Gotta do this! Gotta do that!” It’s more like, “I’m doing this because I want to do this. It’s great look at all the things that have come from it but if it doesn’t happen, people stop interviewing me, fans stop coming to my shows, that’s okay too.”
Chase: “No it’s not! People need to support you, for real.”
Eternia: “Good answer.”
So go out there and support good hip-hop. Eternia puts on an excellent show. If she’s coming to your city, make sure you go buy a ticket to her concert. Don’t forget to go and buy her new album “At Last” as well. It really is an amazing album with production done completely by MoSS.

You can support her as well by following her on Twitter, downloading this podcast, and taking the time to write a comment on this post. Thanks for tuning in y’all. See you here tomorrow for Part 2 of the transcript. 

Thanks to Thom Payson of Total Productions for the great photography you will see here all week.


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Celebrating our Athletes

I compiled all of the coverage I got from Inspiring a Dream: Celebrating London’s Olympic Athletes into one radio program. There are two parts to this show to allow for a commercial break at the half hour mark. In addition to the interviews I’ve run on this blog, I’ve added content that I recorded from the main stage during the presentations. This is new content that you haven’t heard yet if you have been following this blog.

There were a few swimmers in attendance and they joked with each other in a friendly way. Darda Sales was asked about the training they do and she mentioned waking up early, training, getting breakfast, and then if you’re Joe Bartoch, you go back to sleep. It was quite funny, I recommend you give it a listen.

This show has been aired on CFMU’s Morning File and will be rerun again shortly. Stay tuned to 93.3 fm weekday mornings if you live in the Hamilton area to catch this show.

If you’d rather listen to the individual interviews or read the articles I wrote, you can find them all here. Otherwise, go download Part 1 and Part 2 of the show. You will still hear the complete interviews as well as bonus audio in between. You can also stream it with the player below. Enjoy!

Warrior in a Wheelchair

The Winter Olympics energized the community and had Londoners feeling pride at the accomplishments of our amazing athletic heroes. We wanted to welcome them home with a huge celebration in February but unfortunately things couldn’t quite come together then. The athletes had commitments and continued to remain busy for weeks afterwards. However, we finally had the chance to get them all together and honour them last month at the John Labatt Centre.
The city of London decided to honour our summer and paralympic athletes at the event as well. It was great to see the outpouring of support the community showed. The arena was packed full of fans sporting red and white. The crowd was energetic and loud as we honoured our local heroes.
I had the chance to talk with David Willsie, co-captain of The Canadian National Wheelchair Rugby team. He’s been to three paralympic games and was featured in the Oscar-nominated documentary Murderball. He has a long list of athletic accomplishments and when I pointed this out to him, he simply said, “I’ve been fortunate enough to play on a lot of good teams.” He then added, “Winning is a lot better than losing.”
Most people would never consider playing such a violent sport as rugby, let alone doing so in a wheelchair. Willsie, however loves it. “The original concept of our sport was called murderball and we actually switched it to wheelchair rugby to make it a little more sane, I guess. Most of us, we broke out necks doing something a little crazy anyways so we just transformed that after our accidents and started hitting each other with wheelchairs.”
Willsie is known to trash talk on the court but there was no sign of that at all at the community celebration last month. He was blown away by all the support. “It was amazing. The energy, you could just feel it. And to see the kids’ faces when you’re going around. It’s unbelievable because training is boring and stuff like this really pushes you through.”
Willsie talked to fans and signed autographs for some time after the event. I called him an inspiration but he bounced the praise right back to the fans. “Some days you don’t want to train, ya know, the weather is crappy, you don’t want to load up the chair and get it all set up. You just remember those kids, you give yourself a little kick and go back out there and do it.”
Willsie really appreciated the event. It was clear that he was enjoying the attention and the support of the crowd and the kids who waited patiently for a moment of his time. “I’m having a blast!” said Willsie. “I know I’m getting more out of it than the kids are.”
The community has stood behind him for a long time. He’s been competing on the Canadian National Team since 1999 when the team took home a third place finish. David Willsie has a resume full of gold, silver, and bronze medals. He took home silver at the 2004 Paralympic Games in Athens, Greece and bronze in the 2008 games in Beijing.
His training schedule is pretty intensive as well. “I do a lot of wind-sprints and cardio training in my sports chair. I’ll do that five days a week, long distance cardio a couple days a week, and then some guys hit the weights a lot harder than other guys.”
He also wanted to thank Lord Dorchester High School for the use of their gymnasium. He trains there nearly every day. “That’s just the community getting behind you.” He also added that London hosts The Clash for Cash, which he calls “the best spectator club rugby event that’s going.” It’s clear that David Willsie is proud to be from London and really gets energized by the support of the community.

The Canadian team is going into the 2010 World Championship in Richmond, BC ranked third but Willsie believes they are better than that. “We got one World Championship ring. We’re going to get another one in September.” Big words indeed but he’s proven he can back up those words on the court, time and time again. London will be cheering him on and with that energy behind him, he is sure to help his team win another medal. 

You can download the radio interview I did David Willsie for free or stream it with the player below.


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D-sisive, Legendary MC?

I saw D-sisive at the Toronto Freedom Festival earlier this year when I was there covering the event for DOPEfm. Canadian hip-hop legend Saukrates was performing and he brought D-sisive out on stage with him. They have a song together, “Wednesday, the remix” that will be appearing on the new Saukrates album “Season One” and they performed it live on the main stage.

“It was really awesome. Just doing the song with him was a pretty cool experience. He’s definitely an artist that inspired me to start making music at a young age. So when I got the email to do the song with him, it was exciting.”
Saukrates first dropped in 1994 with the now classic song “Still Caught Up” and D-sisive dropped in 1997 with “J.A.C.” Both of those projects received a lot of attention from the Toronto music scene. In fact, I can’t believe that I’ve had the opportunity to interview these two Canadian legends. D-sisive jumped in after I made this comment and said, “I wouldn’t say I’m a Canadian legend. Icon, maybe.”
I reminded D-sisive that he was named “Best unsigned artist” in 2002 in Now Magazine and that he’s got some classic songs like ‘Lost Sight’ and ‘Popped’ and ‘Critics’ that people still talk about and play all these many years later. He’s got more recent tracks that have received a lot of attention and play as well such as ‘Nobody with a Notepad.’ When I mentioned that song, D-sisive introduced me to the producer of the track, Muneshine. I interviewed him as well so stayed tuned for that here soon.
D-sisive has some big name fans behind him as well. The fact that DJ Premier is playing his stuff is pretty amazing because there is a lot of great Canadian hip-hop that rarely gets played stateside. “It’s definitely amazing to get recognized by somebody like him.” D-sisive still deflects the legendary status by saying that DJ Premeir is “a real legend!”
I really like his song ‘Nobody with a Notepad’ with lyrics that say, “All I need is a notepad open wide and a sharpened pencil for my thoughts to jot you a letter from the heart.” That’s what emcees typically do, sharing themselves. A lot of the rappers I’ve been talking to lately are actual artists and want to say something on the mic. It’s not just about battle rhymes and sounding hype. I have to give it up for D-sisive for doing just that and not going the route that everyone expected him to back in the ‘90s.
You can hear the growth in his latest record ‘Vaudeville’ He does some unconventional things on it, if you are coming from a strict hip-hop perspective. Although the record is still hip-hop and it really bangs. D-sisive breaks it down by saying, “I tried to get more musical with that record. I wanted to separate it from the rest of my albums.” It is available now. Go pick it up. “And don’t put it on Napster” or, I added, “the blogs.”

I wanted to talk about D-sisive’s dad. He mentions him in a quite a few songs. ‘Nobody with a Notepad’ ends with the lyric “forever standing in the shadow of my old man,’ which leads right into ‘Father,’ which is a song about the loss of his father. In that song, D-sisive mentions that his father has said, “I don’t know a thing about rap but I know that I like this.” And then D-sisive says, “Listening to my songs on repeat was his way of saying, ‘That’s my boy’ from the bleachers.”

“My dad was really supportive of my music. I wasn’t the typical athletic son at all, and I know he kind of always wanted that son. I wasn’t really able to provide him with that, but he was a huge fan of my music. He didn’t really like hip-hop music that much but he stuck it out for me. It’s really awesome having him be as supportive as he is.”

I like how on “Back Then” you touch on the whole creative process and how rappers often record rhymes using homemade studio techniques such as using pantyhose to create a shield for the microphone to absorb the hard P’s and other sounds. You also touch on writing rhymes on napkins and scraps of paper whenever an idea strikes.
“Ideas will hit wherever I’m at or an idea for a punchline or something that will make an interesting chorus, but most of the time, I wait till I get the beats. I need the beats to inspire me. I am never at a loss for ideas but I usually wait till I get the beat. That’s what inspires me to write. I let the beat, kind of, talk to me and dictate what I gotta write.”
D-sisive does a majority of his work with producer Muneshine but has worked with a number of different producers.
I brought up the “Yesterday Mixtape” which highlights the amazing songs D-sisive has done over the years leading up to the last four releases he’s dropped in the past couple of years. When I first mentioned it, he rolled his eyes, however.
Apparently he made that mixtape to bring people up to speed with what he’d done over his career. He made it especially to sell during his tour over in the U.K. a few years back. He was surprised that people over there were familiar with his music because of the success “Popped” had sparked from the album Dim Sum by DJ Serious.
I think it’s a nice collection for anyone that doesn’t have “J.A.C.” tape or “Dim Sum” album and while D-sisive might not like to hear his old material, I know his fans, myself included, love to hear the old classic jams. D-sisive is a Canadian hip-hop legend whether or not he wants to admit it or not.
Listen to the entire D-sisive interview with the player below or you can download it for free. And make sure to stayed tuned to this blog and DOPEfm for more D-sisive coverage. Thanks for reading and listening!

If you missed the other parts in this series, go back and check out

D-sisive Then
D-sisive Now
D-sisive, In The Right Place and Time

D-sisive, In The Right Place and Time

D-sisive got compared to Eminem a lot in the early stages of his career. I don’t think it was exactly a fair comparison. Eminem tried to be shocking with his material. D-sisive on the other hand was just your straight battle MC. Of course, they both were able to turn a phrase to have audiences cheering with appreciation or laughing out loud. They still do this as well.

But with Eminem, I found that his last two albums were just the same old, same old. I was bored of it and I didn’t want to hear it. His new album is really good though. That’s why I am glad that artists can grow and develop and offer us something new. It’s not just the same old album. It’s not just full of skits and people telling him he can’t rap about this and he’s gonna say his outlandish stuff anyway. He seems to be more human and vulnerable on this record and it is refreshing to hear.

Eminem says in the course of the record that his last two albums didn’t count and that he just wasn’t in the right spot creatively. I think some artists, no matter what the genre or format, often need to be in the right mind state and situation to create quality material. Otherwise, they will end up creating something without heart and the audiences will clearly be able to see that it isn’t up to par.

I really like following Canadian musicians. K-os was huge and we waited forever for his album to drop and it didn’t come until years and years later. D-sisive was huge and we waited forever for him to come out with an album as well.  Same with Saukrates, been waiting a long time for his second album. It makes me wonder why it takes so long for certain Canadian hip-hop artists to come out with their albums.

D-sisive feels that it goes back to being in the right place to create. Timing can be everything when it comes to art. He admits that he wasn’t in the right place all those years ago. “I know that I’m very thankful that I never put an album out in ’99 or 2000 because it would have been hideous.”

I have a hard time believing an album by D-sisive would have been horrible though. I really like the stuff that he did put out at that time. He had some great cuts on Dim Sum, the compilation album from DJ Serious. Truthfully, I would have loved to hear a full length D-sisive album along those lines. But it just wasn’t meant to be, it seems.

D-sisive doesn’t like to focus on his old material much but he says that he can still listen to ‘Childhood’s End’ from that compilation. I know that I still often quote one of his lyrics from that song. I did so in the BK-One interview as a joke because it is such a great line. D-sisive says, “I can turn a posse cut into D-sisive featuring some other rappers who don’t matter.” Brilliant line. I love it!

The old D-sisive is still alive and well. There really isn’t as much of a separation between the two as I’d first thought. You can still hear his attention to detail in his lyrics. He still has witty wordplay and he continues to inject humour into his tracks even on dark albums that are entitled, ‘Let the Children Die.’

“Dark, what are you talking about?” asked D-sisive during out conversation. “It’s very chipper,” he said.

I asked him what he was trying to say with that title and he told me that rappers like to keep secrets. He said that Shad knows what the title means and that he, himself knows what Shad’s new album, T.S.O.L. stands for. “Every night, we get on the phone and just laugh about it when people ask us what it stands for.” It’s apparent that D-sisive is a funny guy because he can’t even turn that off in an interview.

Another D-sisive lyric that shows the old D-sisive is still alive and well is from “Boom Baba Boom” from his Jonestown album. He starts it off like a gangta rap song, “I got a nine in my pocket” and then he quickly subverts that by admitting that he’s lying and that instead he has “a rhyme in my noggin.”

This track is completely brilliant. In fact, it gets so tangled up with imagery and comparison that D-sisive feins confusion before coming back to the chorus. You really need to hear his track.

I love how D-sisive talks about 2Pac’s first movie, Juice in this song. He chastises a young hip-hop cat for not having seen the movie. In the song D-sisive almost continues making his point anyway but stops and basically says, ‘Wait, you haven’t heard of Juice?’

D-sisive then starts using imagery from the film to highlight the beef and controversy behind the 2Pac and Notorious B.I.G. tragedies. He imagines Biggie smiling when 2Pac died in the film but before he died in real life and before he allegedly set him up and then, ‘Wait, I’m confused.’ And then it goes to the chorus. It’s a hilarious moment in a great song. I love it.

This album is available as a free download. Go pick it up, and it you love it as much as I do, go out and buy ‘Let the Children Die’ and his brand new one ‘Vaudeville.’ He’s been dropping a lot of music lately, including these albums and a lot of singles as well.

D-sisive went from being conspicuously absent for years to now where he seems to be everywhere. You can hear a lot of single tracks floating around as well as some great guest appearances on several different records, and of course, the recently released full-length albums.

“Yeah, I have a lot of lost time to make up for,” admits D-sisive. “So I just keep cranking out music.”

That is awesome. Keep cranking out those tunes D-sisive. I love what you’ve been doing lately. In fact, I still have coverage that I need to share with all of you. So come back tomorrow for more D-sisive. You can download the interview and mixset for free as well or you can stream it with the player below. Thanks for tuning in!

D-sisive Now

I remember when D-sisive first came out. I was simply blown away at how he could get on the mic and destroy anybody who would dare to battle him in a cipher. He was an animal on the mic and it was obvious how much passion he had for hip-hop. He had great witty punchlines, an awesome delivery, and it seemed like he was destined to soar to great heights in music.

He put out an EP, had several guest features on different records, did tons of shows, and then he just seemed to disappear. He finally resurfaced with an EP entitled ‘The Book’ in 2008 in which D-sisive was clearly exploring some dark new territory. Anyone expecting the battle-ready, humourous D-sisive was met with a more introspective rapper who shared some pretty dark and depressive thoughts. This project threw a lot of listeners off. It really wasn’t expected.

D-sisive continued bearing his soul and making emotionally poignant music with ‘Let the Children Die,’ which he quickly followed up with a free album ‘Jonestown,’ and his latest album ‘Vaudeville.’ In between these projects he has also dropped some amazing single tracks.

I’m glad ‘The Book’ didn’t throw me off because I’ve always loved his music. He really is an amazing artist. I hope I didn’t offend him when I told him that I didn’t like ‘The Book.’

“So you hate me?” is what he said. “You’re trying to say you hate me.”

Of course, that’s not it at all. I think that ‘The Book’ was just something that I wasn’t prepared for as a listener. D-sisive has changed and grown as an artist. He is more open and emotional now. It was a sound far-removed from his early work and it simply threw me off.

I asked him how he came upon this new sound. “I guess a lot of that came from the experiences that I went through over the 5 or 6 years that I wasn’t really creating music. I started making music when I was 15 in 1995. At that time and at that age, I hadn’t really experienced anything. I just really didn’t have anything to write about so I made the music that I did. I was really focused on battling and that was all I really cared about.

I wasn’t really paying attention to songwriting. All I wanted to do was freestyle, battle, punch lines. That’s all that I cared about, and I never really thought about telling my story or even telling a story, for that matter. Then around 2001, 2002 when things started to get serious in my life, my mind just wasn’t in it anymore. I just wasn’t interested in creating. It wasn’t a priority to me anymore.

It just go to the point where it felt like I didn’t have anything to write about. I was just kind of tired. My heart wasn’t in it. So, I went through what I went through and I finally came back after such a long hiatus, I guess. Ya know, I still made music off and on throughout that time but I wasn’t really focused.

After the hiatus, I didn’t want to come back as the same artist. Rounding near the end of 2002, when I kind of stopped recording, around that time I had a publishing deal with EMI, I was getting a bit of attention in the States, and there was interest. But I was also getting tired of the music I was making.

Making the battle songs, I was kind of looked at as a court jester and like a comedian. I really wasn’t interested in being that anymore. So then, fast-forward years, when I started making music again, I finally found my voice and I found something to talk about. And the from ‘The Book’ it all just grew from there.”

D-sisive admitted that I wasn’t the first person to tell him that ‘The Book’ threw me off. “I still get that. To this day. I’m putting out my fourth album next week in the span of two years. The other night, at one of our shows someone brought up ‘Popped’ and were talking about it like they’d just heard it. They were like, ‘That sh*t’s the f*cking dope sh*t, man. Like, that’s what you should be doing. Do that!’

But I’m so passed that. But I guess people still love the old D-sisive, ya know, before ‘The Book’ but that’s just not me anymore.”

Eternia, who’s been making a mark on the Canadian hip-hop scene since the 90’s as well, recently told me that, “I have a hard time listening to emcees who are considered dope but aren’t saying anything. So like MCs that got the flow and the delivery and the punchlines but they’re not saying things that make me think or make me appreciate their intelligence. It doesn’t have to be all intelligent rap but MCs who aren’t putting their life into their music and being vulnerable, I have a hard time appreciating them even when the rest of world is like, ‘Oh my goodness! They’re ridiculous!’ Ya know, I think it’s important to be human on record too. It’s important to be dope, but then you gotta be human.”

She makes a really valid point. D-sisive is ridiculous on the mic, always has been. But now he’s actually saying something, showing vulnerability, and being human. I think I was just unprepared for all of that when ‘The Book’ first dropped. I also think that he’s found more of a balance between the old D-sisive that everyone loves and the new more introspective and human artist before us today.

I’ve always been a D-sisive fan and absolutely love the new material that he has been dropping lately. If ‘The Book’ threw you off, please jump back and catch his new material. You won’t be disappointed.

Don’t forget to download the entire radio show or stream it with the player below. Not only will you hear things I haven’t covered in this story, you will also listen to a great mixset following the interview including some classic material from the one and only D-sisive. I’ll see you here for more D-sisive coverage as well. Make sure you come back tomorrow. We’ve only just scratched the surface so far. Stay tuned and thanks for listening and reading. Peace!

If you missed the first post in this series, go back and check out D-sisive Then and come back tomorrow to read D-sisive, In The Right Place and Time

D-Sisive Then

D-sisive is a familiar name to most Canadian hip-hop enthusiasts. In 1995, he started to garner a lot of attention for his witty punchlines and ferocious skill on the mic. He’s dropped some pretty classic jams over the years starting with his debut EP, J.A.C. back in 1997.

In 2000, he was featured on the Dim Sum compilation album by DJ Serious. Shortly after that album dropped, I had a chance to interview him for the university newspaper.

Last month, I caught up with him again and this time we did a radio interview for DOPEfm. I showed him the university article and he thought it was hilarious. He certainly has changed a lot in the past ten years. So much so that I didn’t think it was appropriate to share this old article with you. However, D-sisive told me to post it up, so here it is.

First off, I would like to say that I didn’t write that headline. I was actually quite angry when I saw it. I didn’t touch on race at all anywhere in the article because I just wanted to focus on how much talent D-sisive has. I think music should be colourless. That’s one of the reasons I hated the fact that the headline called attention to something that isn’t relevant to the music or the story.
When I showed D-sisive the article last month he didn’t seem too concerned about it. In fact, he thought the trip down memory lane was funny.
I have to point out that I also didn’t sanction the panel they put about me at the end of the article either. But unfortunately, when you write for a newspaper, you rarely have any input into the formatting of the article or the headline, as was the case for this article. Nonetheless, I’m glad they ran the story and gave D-sisive some exposure.
So that was D-sisive back then. I hope you got a kick out of that blast from the past. Tomorrow I will share with you D-sisive Now, the interview we did at Call the Office just last month. See you then! (see what I did there) 

Wicked Skatepark – Wicked Wipeout!

It’s a good thing it’s summer holidays and I don’t have to go into a classroom tomorrow morning.

If it were a school day, I would have wobbled in awkwardly.  The students would have all asked, “What happened?” and I’d end up sharing another skateboard injury story. But I thought I’d share the story with you here nevertheless.

Kiwanis Skateboard Plaza just opened up this summer in London, Ontario. It is an absolutely gorgeous park that I’d been dying to visit for some time. If you want to go it is located at 1475 Brydges Street.

This picture is from the Facebook page for the park and was taken at the opening ceremony.

Completed Skateboard Park is a “plaza” style design covering approximately 1,700 square meters. Some of the features included in the park are: hubba style ledges, banks, pier 7 manual pad, lilly pads, jersey barrier, hips, curved ledge with extension and gap, pump bump sequence, transition gap, concave ledge, corner C-ledges, euro gap, transition/miniramp feature, coin bank. This park is geared towards beginner and intermediate skill levels – info from “Ready to Skateboard: London’s places to skate”

I have to say that I have never seen such a great park before. It has so much in it, including two halfpipes complete with coping bars.

I have been skating at parks that only have quarter pipes and most of those don’t have the coping bar at the top.

It had been a while since I’d skated an actual halfpipe. I love halfpipes.

Of course, since it had been so long, I started off slow. I didn’t try to do anything outlandish. I just tried to get comfortable on the ramp. I was doing just fine for about ten minutes.

The next thing I know, I was rolling down the ramp and wasn’t quite properly balanced on my board. The board shot out from under my feet and I went crashing to the ground.

Fortunately, I was wearing a helmet. Still though, it was quite the wipeout.

I took some skin off my elbow in the fall, scraped up my hip and bruised it quite a bit. Ouch!

It hurts to just walk right now. I know that it’s gonna continue to hurt for a week or two as well. But falling is a part of the sport. You can’t expect to skateboard and never fall. I’m just glad I have the sense to wear a helmet when I go to these parks now.

Visual Running Tours

I love finding new places to run. I often take my camera along with me and stop every few minutes to snap a picture. This way I can present you with a photographic story that captures the scenery of my run.

This post will serve as a table of contents page for these Visual Running tours. You can bookmark this page as I will continue to update this list every time I post up a new visual tour.

I hope you enjoy these Visual Tours of my trail runs. I’ve certainly enjoyed bringing them to you and hope to update this list soon.

Beamer Memorial Conservation Area – Grimsby, Ontario

Beverly Swamp – Flamborough, Ontario

Carolinian Trail – Pinery Provincial Park, Ontario

Clark Wright Conservation Area – Middlesex County

Coldstream Conservation Area – Ilderton, Ontario

Dirt Runway – Northern Ontario

Dorchester Mill Pond – Dorchester, Ontario

Dundas Valley – Hamilton, Ontario

Farm Trail – Binbrook, Ontario

Komoka Conservation Area – Komoka, Ontario

LaFarge 2000 Trail – Flamborough, Ontario

Lambeth Centennial Park – Lambeth, Ontario

Marguerite Omston Trailway: Walter Bean Grand River Trail – Kitchener, Ontario

Marsh Trail at Rondeau Provincial Park – Chatham-Kent, Ontario

Meadowlilly Woods – London, Ontario

Medway Valley  – London, Ontario

Moffat Creek – Cambridge, Ontario

Niagara Escarpment – Grimbsy, Ontario

Pinafore Park – St. Thomas, Ontario

Princess Point – Hamilton, Ontario

Red Hill Valley – Hamilton, Ontario

Southpoint Trail at Rondeau Provincial Park – Chatham-Kent, Ontario

Spicebush Trail at Rondeau Provincial Park – Chatham-Kent, Ontario

Springbank Park: Terry Fox Parkway – London, Ontario

Stoney Creek of The Thames – London, Ontario

Tulip Tree Tail at Rondeau Provincial Park – Chatham-Kent, Ontario

Warbler Woods – London, Ontario

Waterfront Trail  – Grimbsy, Ontario

Westminster Ponds – London, Ontario

Visual Tour Clark Wright C.A.

I love finding new places to go for a trail run. It’s fun to bring my camera along with me to present these Visual Tours as well. I’ve been running for months already this year but I have been hitting the same trails I shared with you already. That was until early this week when I discovered Clark Wright Conservation Area.

“This 20 hectare site, donated by Mr. Clark Wright, includes nature trails through lans that have been reforested over the past 40 years. The conservaion area is a diverse site with forest, meadow, wetlands, and ponds, making it an excellent place for bird watching. Many of the trees were planted as part of the Memorial Forest program of the Saint Clair Regionb Coservation Foundation.” – from The Walking Trails of Middlesex County

Here is a memorial stone for J.G. Clark Wright (1905  – 1990)

The red line on this map shows the trails that I ran through.

I wasn’t so sure about this run when I started off on this grass trail.

But then it opened up to this boardwalk.

Here’s the type of trail I love to run. It give me a chance to commune with nature. I love finding spaces like this that remove you from the hustle and bustle of city life. Places where the sounds of civilization fade away.

Oh no! I don’t have a backpack or a walking stick. I’m also completely by myself. Am I doing something wrong? What’s this sign trying to tell me?

Oh yeah, it just means I’m on the hiking trail.

I had to stop here and admire the little stream and pond.

But only for long enough to snap a few pictures, and then I was off running again.

After all, the trail was calling, quite literally.

Well, that was my run.

The course was a little short with only 1.9 kilometers worth of trail but I ran through them all twice to get my 5 kms in. It was also a flat course but it was nice and quiet and offered some different surfaces from grass to boardwalk to dirt trail.

You may also want to check out this post with some of the history and background of the Wright family.