Category Archives: hip-hop

Celebrating the rich and on-going history of hip-hop music and culture.

Toronto Sounds Terrible (And it Shouldn’t)

Toronto Sound: Vol. 1 – A Memoir of the City’s Rising Producers by KLFTN

I was really looking forward to reading this book. As a hip-hop historian, I wanted to dive into the history of beatmakers and producers from Canada. The cover art is amazing and looks great when the book is completely unfolded. Unfortunately, that is the only thing impressive about it.

Don’t get me wrong, the stories in this book are ones that hip-hop fans in Canada should know. They are just told in a way that is flat and boring. I had to stop reading the book due to the blatant grammar errors that distracted me from both the history and the stories. It is really difficult to read a book that has not had any editing or polishing done to it.

Horrible sentence fragments like this one, “Then the labels would pay attention with the exception of Beat Factory” are used throughout the book. Unnecessary words, awkward phrasing, and persistent grammar errors made it impossible for me to enjoy the book. I had to stop reading it.

I wasn’t sure that I should even write about it here on my blog. In fact, I have been wrestling with this for months now. I thought perhaps I could come back to it later and see something worthwhile that would allow me to continue reading. Unfortunately, it really is a terrible book that would have benefited from having an experienced editor or co-writer shaping it into a book worthy of publication.

The book covers thirty years of hip-hop history with a focus on the groundbreaking event series “Battle of the Beatmakers.” Superstar producer Boi-1da began his career at the very first edition of the event back in 2005. He took home top prize three years in a row and went on to create some of the biggest records to come out of Canada.

It would have been nice to have been able to read about the event and how it helped shape young producers. It did a great job in developing the scene and giving producers a chance to grown their skills and showcase their talent. These kinds of competitions have become even more popular in the last several years. Canada’s history in it is fascinating as well. Unfortunately, this is not the outlet to tell the story. Either that or a major reworking of the book is necessary.

Since the book has “Volume One” in its title, and I hopeful that they will be able to craft an improved second chapter with a new writer, co-writer, or editing team. If they do it right, I will read it. If not, it will end up in the recycling bin (which is where this one belongs).

My List of 2018 Reads (coming soon)

WIB Rap Radio and DOPEfm Combine with Sankdafied

Daddy J of DOPEfm is the special co-host for this edition of Word is Bond Rap Radio.

I got my start in radio on his show almost eleven years ago, so it was really nice to rock with him once again.

Sankdafied called in to talk about his new album, Atoms & Evolution, which is available everywhere you get your music from now. If you like what you hear today, please support by grabbing a copy of the project.

And let us know you are listening with the hashtag #WIBRapRadio

The Library Steps – Nothing Friendly
Chris Skillz ft Skyzoo & Left Lane – One Two
Evidence ft Rakaa – Wonderful World
Fraction & Finsta – Working On It
Cozz – Questions
Awaxx of the Rhythm Writers – Pay to Play
Cautious Kieran – Return To Sender
Sankdafied – Pay to Play
Sankdafied ft Branded Moore – Easy
Sankdafied ft Speak EZ – Life
Ice Cube – Endangered Species
Treacherous Three – Action
Super 3 – Philosophy Rappin’ Spree
O.C. – Give It Up
Muneshine & Vinyl Frontiers – Easy Does It
Animal Nation – Money
Napoleon Da Legend – Bionic Trigger
TapesOne2 – One Step
Anibus – Levitation
Moka Only – Somethings Going On

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Koty Kolter (Oshawa Hip-Hop Concert – Sunday)

Team Alpha Pack Entertainment in association with Ill Broken Entertainment presents Koty Kolter.

Supported by one of the best opening lineups in Oshawa history, including names like Mack Money  Milestone, Nathan Skullz of 420 KlickRuby Red and more. With a special guest performance by Justn Credible. 

DJ Chase March will be holding it down on the 1s and 2s.

I hope to see you out!

WHAT: Koty Kolter – Chop Chop Live In Concert
WHEN: Sunday April 8, 2018
WHERE: The Diezel Room – 59 King St E, Oshawa, Ontario
TICKETS: $15 ($10 advance)
SHOW: 9:00 p.m. – 2:00 a.m.

Von Pea and The Other Guys on WIB Rap Radio

I podcasted this one over at The Word is Bond last year but forgot to post it here.


This one was recorded live on the radio back in December. Enjoy!

Von Pea of Tanya Morgan and Von Pea and the Other Guys calls in to kick with Chase March in this edition of Word is Bond Rap Radio. Bad weather kept Traffimatics away from his in-studio appearance but he still kicked a dope freestyle over the phone lines. All this plus two hours of great hip-hop.

Mega Ran – Snow Business
Basement Freaks ft James Brown and Dead Pres – I Feel Good With This Hip Hop
Duffle Bag Hottie ft Bennie – Dirty Money
Masta Ace – Take a Walk
Code Nine – Melba toast
Langston Hughes III – Je Ne Sais Quoi
The Alchemist ft Budgie and Evidence – By My Side
Defari – I’m here
Von Pea and The Other Guys – Oh Yeah
Von Pea and The Other Guys ft Verbal Kent, J-Live & Wordsworth – Talent
Von Pea and The Other Guys – Everything
Traffimatics ft Mad Hattr and Chase March – Y’allready Know
Traffimatics – The People
Derty Mac ft Traffimatics – Unfriend Me
Traffimatics and Chase March – freestyle
Mobb Deep – So Long
Eminem – Any Woof
Fortunato – What I Got to Say
Big L – Danger Zone

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WIB Rap Radio – Some Things Stay the Same

Some things stay the same, like Word is Bond Rap Radio. We have been coming at you weekly with great hip-hop music and talk for six years now and have over 300 episodes podcasted for you to check out at any time.

And of course, we bring you daily hip-hop news and coverage at from a team of dedicated writers and music lovers.

So. press play,  enjoy the show, and let people know you are listening!

O.C. – Fair Game
Dweller & Jonny Capicola – The Deep End
Sharky – Some Things Stay the Same
Certain Ones – Work it Out
Murs – Celebrate
Blu & Nottz ft Sene & Elisa Meri – Yesterday
Buck-N-Nice ft Reks – Time
T.$poon ft David Bars & Benny the Butcher – Last of My Kind
Mic Bless & Science Green – Mic Bless
MLNY ft Innesence – Bruce Lee
Tribeca-Grand – NY-PHI
DJ Duke ft Skyzoo – Untitled # 1
D-Smooth – Taken Total Control
Masta Ace – Acknowledge
Xzibit – Paparazzi
Cypress Hill – Throw Ya Set in the Air
Exit Only ft DJ Hullewud – Nine And a Half
Fraction and Finsta – Pushing Verses
Imperial ft Sareem Poems & Sojourn – Know the Call
Sankdafied – Ms Out
Casual & Finale – One Man Army (8-bit Remix)
Gavlyn and DJ Hoppa ft Sampagita – Needs
Keith Murray – The Style
Cayoz Da Emcee ft pHoenix Pagliacci – Fire & Ice
Koss ft Blaq Poet – The Rawness
Superior ft Blu & Edo.G – Make the World Go Round
Baba Brinkman – Wizard of Odds
Babylon Warchild ft Punchline and Wordsworth – Piano Keys
Configa ft Craig G – From the Soul
Dessa – Half of You
Organik Poisons ft SmooVth – Hindsight
Ozay Moore – WSTCST
A Tribe Called Quest – Electric Relaxation

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Chase March Madness!

Welcome to the first ever Chase March Madness. 

Tomorrow on Word is Bond Rap Radio, we will be deciding what the best hip-hip album release of the month is. But we need your help.

Please comment on this post with your selections, vote via Twitter, or via Facebook, or call in live tomorrow night at midnight to Radio Western at (519) 661-3600.

The first match is Apathy – The Widow’s Son vs Murs – A Strange Journey Into The Unimaginable

The second match is Bishop Nehru – Elevators: Act I & II vs PRhyme – PRhyme 2

The third match is Czarface – Czarface Meets Metal Face! vs Phonte – No News Is Good News

We will be taking votes right up to showtime and live on the air via call, text, and social media. Near the end of the show, we will take the the winner from each round and then vote one more time to see who takes the title of Chase March Madness 2018. 

Word is Bond Rap Radio’s 6th Anniversary Special

Word is Bond Rap Radio took to the airwaves in March of 2012.

This week we celebrated our 6th Anniversary by spinning music from 6 years ago or songs that were track 6 on albums.

We also pay tribute to Craig Mack, who passed away last week by playing a new song that he is featured on. We follow that up with the classic track that launched Bad Boy Records back in the day. He will certainly be missed.

Stewie was also in the studio to talk about his fundraising concert going down this Friday in London. Ontario, Canada.

I had a blast live on the air this week celebrating this milestone. I hope you enjoy the podcast!

Apollo Brown and O.C. – Disclaimer
Murs and 9th Wonder – Tale of Two Cities
Saigon – Game Changer
Skyzoo – Range Rover Rhythm
Bumpy Knuckles and DJ Premier – P.A.I.N.E.
Showbiz & A.G. – South Bronx Sh*t
The Book Thieves – I Don’t Know
Rel McCoy – Work of Heart (Muneshine Remix)
Ngajuana – The Deep End
Hip Club Groove – Trip to Reality
Erick Sermon, Method Mad, Mr. Cheeks, and Craig Mack – Come Thru
Craig Mack – Flava in Ya Ear
Exit Only – The Countdown
Muneshine – Lower Level
Chan Hays ft Supastition, Ambition, and One Be Lo – Never Knew
Group Home – Sacrifice My Lifestyle
Phryme – Streets at Night
Fraction and Finsta – Trenches of the Mind
Apathy – Alien Weaponry
Busta Rhymes – Break Ya Neck
Nice & Smooth – Funky For You
Run-DMC – Rock Box
Beastie Boys – Body Moving
Ice Cube – Bop Gun
Moka Only – Replay
Jeru The Damaja ft O.C. – Spontaneous
NF – Let You Down

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If you liked this show make sure to check out last week’s episode

Hip-Hop DJs Advancing Technology

Hip Hop DJs and the Evolution of Technology: Cultural Exchange, Innovation, and Democratization by Andre Sirois

This was a fascinating read about the importance of hip-hop DJs in advancing and developing technology. Sirois aka DJ food stamp has done his research and it shows on every single page.

Here are some of the things I took note of while reading it.

The First Mixers

“Around 1990 Vestax release the PMC-05 TRIX battle mixer. [This] made Trix the first DJ to have a signature mixer, which included his signature on the faceplate, and it marked the first major instance of a DJ’s design concept being executed in a product.”

I was surprised that it took that long for a signature mixture to appear.

“In 1971, the first DJ-specific mixer (nicknamed “Rosie”) was custom designed by Alex Rosner for Francis Grasso to use at the Haven Club; it’s basis features reflected the needs of Grasso’s mixing technique. Later that year, the Bozack CMA-10-2DL rotary club mixer became the first commercially available DJ mixer. By the mid-1970s, manufacturers began recognizing and dveloping mixers for mobile DJs as well, most notably the Clubman line of mixers manufactured by Meteor Light & Sound, CO, and the GLi380 and 3880.”


I love this passage about the importance of being authentic and how one could build up credibility in hip-hop culture.

Sarah Thornton “subcultural capital” – one’s authenticity and credibility with the hierarchic of a subculture. Within hip-hop; DJ culture, subcultural capital is amassed in a variety of ways, including being skillful with turntables and a mixer, having a unique style, naming and popularizing new DJ techniques, winning DJ battles, touring with notable musical acts, owning and collecting rare records, producing tracks, making records or mixtapes, DJing at large venues, and so forth.

In hip-hop, we refer this as “paying your dues.” You need to demonstrate that you have put in work, you have invested the time and effort into the craft, and that you have something to show for it, whether than be accolades or co-signs.

You Can’t Be a DJ Without Gear

According to Thornton, it involves objects (for instance records, mixers, and turntables) and knowledge (how to manipulate those technologies with the hands). Within a creative network like hip-hop DJ culture, subcultural capital creates hierarchy and difference and adds value to the recorded music and DJ product industries.”

Know the Music

“In knowing, owning, and playing the music, ” Thornton writes, “DJs, in particular, are sometimes positioned as the masters of the scene.” That is, within music scenes or subcultures, DJs often have the most credibility and subcultural capital, and are at the top of the scene’s hierachy.

Grandmaster Flash Had the Clout

Grandmaster Flash was a well-established name in the early days of hip-hop culture.  When rap music was first recorded and released commercially, he was signed simply because of the clout he possessed. Unfortunately . . .

Flash did not perform on the records or get songwriting credit. Instead, Sugar Hill Records used Grandmaster Flash solely as a brand to authenticate and sell records to hip-hop fans. Flash’s name was used for its brand equity because he was the most popular DJ at the time, and in the 1970s the DJ was the main celebrity in hip-hop culture.

How the 12″ Record Became Standard

This is a fascinating story about how the 12″ vinyl record became the standard format for rap music due to a mistake in the early 1970s.

Tom Moulton needed to release a single but he had run out of 7″ blanks to press the song on.  He was “in a rush to get his remix to DJs [so] he adjusted the gain and EQ for the song and cut it on a 10” disc. He said, “So , it was by accident . .. But for the next song we cut, we went for the 12″ format instead of the 10″ . . . That was the birth of the 12′ single.”

People quickly followed suit.

In 1976, Salsoul Records decided to meet the standards and produced the first commercial vinyl 12″ maxi single “Ten Per Cent” by Double Exposure. Shortly thereafter, the 12′ single became a commercial format used by record labels and made popular by DJs and club-goers.

This was a fascinating read. It was great to see a scholar work about hip-hop deejays and how influential they have been in helping create and shape DJ culture. Without the hip-hop DJ, we wouldn’t have much of the technology we now take for granted. Even other genres of music owe us a debt.

The book also covers how the Technic 1200s became the standard turntable, how digital vinyl systems came into creation and popular use, and it features quotes and stories from some of the best deejays in the genre. Every hip-hop DJ should read this.

My List of 2018 Reads – coming soon!

St. Patrick’s Day Hip-Hop Jam (London, ON)

Please join us for a St. Patrick’s Day jam as we get together to kick some rhymes and have a good time.

There is no headliner for this event, just a bunch of cool rappers doing what they do best featuring . . .

Hajiii The Modern Day Hippie
Johnny Bars
Labeled Minority

and DJ Chase March on the 1s and 2s.

The best part is that it is a free show if you get in the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day and wear green. And only $5.oo is it’s not easy being green.

I have been putting together a great set of tunes just for the occasion featuring House of Pain, Alkaholiks, Young Black Teenagers, and more.

I’ll be ready to party and hope to see you there!

WHAT: Mic Check (St. Patrick’s  Day Jam)
WHEN: Saturday March 17, 2018
WHERE: Old East Bar and Grill – 765 Dundas Street, London, ON.
TICKETS: $5 (free if you wear green)
SHOW: 9:00 p.m. – 2:00 a.m.

Women in Hip-Hop 8 Spectacular (Part 3 of 3)

Women in Hip-Hop 8Every year for International Women’s Day we shine a spotlight on hip-hop’s better half by dedicating the overnight’s worth of radio programming to the Women in Hip-Hop.

This is the third and final podcast episode for Women in Hip-Hop 8 and it features . . .

Know Your History – 1981

The third year rap music was recorded, we had some amazing female voices on record. Here are some of them and a little bit of history behind them.

Solo Sound – Get the Party Jumpin’
Afrika Bambaataa & The Cosmic Force – Cosmic Punk Jam
Missy Dee & The Melody Crew – Missy Missy Dee

TJ Edward’s Jams

Local emcee, TJ Edwards walks us through some of his favourite joints from the women in hip-hop featuring . . .

MC Lyte – Cha Cha Cha
Queen Latifah – U.N.I.T.Y.
Lauryn Hill – Everything is Everything
Foxy Brown – Oh Yeah
Erykah Badu – On and On
Da Brat – Funkdafied
Lil Kim – Don’t Mess With Me
Missy Elliot – I Can’t Stand the Rain
Eve – Eve of Destruction

WIHH 8 Outro

And I close things off with a mixset to bring the 8th annual women in hip-hop spectacular to a close.

pHoenix Pagliacci – Dearest Dilla
Wynne – An Open Letter to Donald Trump
Encyclopedia Brown & Psalm One – Bionicles
Dynesti WIlliams – Take It
Lyrica – Stay Woke
Chezale – My Story
Chris Jay – Break a Dawn

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If you liked this show make sure to check out the full Women in Hip-Hop 8 Spectacular.