Category Archives: hip-hop

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

WIB Rap Radio – Continuing to Celebrate Canada 150

DJ Hullewud joins me in my quest to play 150 Canadian hip-hop songs to celebrate Canada 150. He spins for the first hour and then I close out the show with some classic homegrown joints.

This is Part 2 of Word is Bond’s Canada 150 Special. 

The Leathers – Too Bad
Exit Only – Xtraordinary
Rascalz – Funky Migraine
Dream Warriors – Day in to Day Out
Infinite – Wise Guys
Jorun Bombay – The God Complex
Monark – Bootlegga
Cipher – Dues
Saukrates – Hate Runs Deep
Truth by Design – Let My Tape Rock
Abstract Artform – James A. Richardson
Shades of Culture – Mindstate
Hip Club Groove – No Biz
First Words – Won’t Stop Rocking
Maestro Fresh Wes – Certs Wid Out Da Retsyn
Wordburglar – Cream of Wheat
More or Les and Fresh Kils – Pop N Chips
HDV – Pimp of the Microphone
Governor Bolts – I’m Back
Skratch Bastid – I Ain’t Lazy
Wrabeanz – Canadian Dreaming
Empire – Co-Sign
Nilla – Just For You
Jeff Spec – I Put a Spell On You
Cee & Po3 – What Do You Believe In
Sharky – Bombs in Your Backpack
Ngajuana – Falling Down
Da Grassroots – Spears of Ice
Choclair – Twenty One Years
Kardinal Offishall – On Wid Da Show
SepTo – C.R.E.A.M. 2014
Animal Nation – I Owe I Owe, So Off to Work I Go
Dan-e-o ft Kish and Maestro – Vapors
Fresh Kils – Harder Than a Brick

64 tracks down, 86 more to go.

Tune in next week as we continue out quest to play 150 Canadian hip-hop tracks to celebrate Canada’s Sesquicentennial.

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If you liked this show make sure to check the previous installment

and stay tuned next week for Part 3.

Thanks for listening!

Chase March on the Gripple Effect Mixshow

I am the guest DJ for the latest edition of The Gripple Effect Mixshow.

It’s an open-format show that highlights the art and skill of various deejays. Hosted by DJ Gripski, the show has absolutely no limits. A DJ is free to craft a mix of any length that covers any genre.

I wanted to have fun with this mix and play things I wouldn’t normally get the chance to play on my underground hip-hop show, Word is Bond Rap Radio. So there is some funk, some pop, some hip-hop, and a few instrumental tracks. I’m quite proud of how it turned out.

When I recorded this mixset, I played a song called Freedom and felt like I should mix it into another track by the same title. At the time, I didn’t realize that my guest stint for the show would be featured for episode 55. It made me think of the old commercials I used to hear for Freedom 55. I haven’t seen or heard a commercial from them in a while, and this is by no means a recommendation of their services. I just thought it was a nice plan on words and the theme of my mix.

Please visit DJ Gripski’s website and subscribe to his podcast. It celebrates the art of deejaying and features great mixsets every single month.

Download or stream DJ Chase March – Freedom 55 from the Gripple Effect Mixshow page.

Need a Scratch Hook? DJ Sale on Now!

Rap albums always sound better with some DJ skills showcased. Whether you have a chorus that has vocal samples scratched in or something just to highlight a lyric or two, having a real DJ on your song elevates it significantly.

Now is the perfect time to add some turntablism to your song as I am holding a two-week sale.

If you have a specific idea of what you would like to hear, like a particular lyric from your favourite MC, just let me know and I will make your vision come to life on the record. If you aren’t sure of what you would like, I can create something based on the beat and lyrics you already have.

Send me your track via email and I will get to work on it right away.

Here is a song I did with Traffimatics and Mad Hattr so you can see what I do.

Here is another song I worked on with Lyrical Mind called “No Holding Back.”

If you would like to have your album tracks mixed or create a mixtape, I can do that as well. A hip-hop album always sounds better with a DJ.

Let’s work!

Please email me – chase (at) chasemarch (dot) com

Word is Bond Rap Radio – 5th Anniversary Special

Word is Bond Rap Radio celebrated its 5th Anniversary with special in-studio guests, live performances, a freestyle cypher, hip-hop trivia, and prizes.

Labeled Minority, Tempomental, Sankdafied, The Mighty Speak EZ, and DJ Hullewud were all in the house to celebrate live on the radio. I spun tracks featuring 5 MCs on them and even gave away packs of 5 Gum to celebrate.

Thank you for five years! It’s been a blast!

Here’s to the next 5!

Jurassic 5 – Golden
Rascalz ft Checkmate, Kardinal Offishall, Thrust, and Choclair – Northern Touch
LL Cool J ft Method Man, Redman, Canibus, and DMX – 4, 3, 2, 1
Run-DMC ft Pete Rock and CL Smooth – Down with the King
Labeled Minority – Freestyle
Labeled Minority – Pigment
Kayne West ft Jay-Z, Rick Ross, Nicki Minaj, and Bon Iver– Monster
Tempomental – Another One
Heltah Skeltah ft OGC – Leflaur Leflah Eshkoshka
A Tribe Called Quest ft Leaders of the New School – Scenario
Bone Thugs and Harmony – Crossroads
Sankdafied – On My Own
Craig Mack ft Notorious B.I.G., L.L. Cool J, Busta Rhymes, and Rampage – Flavor in Ya Ear (Remix)
Swamp Thing ft Wordburglar, Def3, Birdapres, Relic, Ambition – Meat Lump
Funky 4 + 1 – The Joint
Speak EZ – Just Another Night
Word is Bond – 5th Anniversary Cypher
Mission 5 – Nameless
LL Cool J ft Prodigy, Keith Murray, Foxy Brown, and Fat Joe – I Shot Ya
Mad Hattr ft Cee, Notion, and Exit Only – Eya

Listen to Word is Bond Rap Radio

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Download WIBRapRadio – 5th Anniversary Special

DJing Two Hip-Hop Shows This Weekend

London, Ontario, Canada is the place to be this weekend for some great hip-hop performed live. I will be DJing both of these events as well. I hope to see you out to at least one of them. Let’s support the local scene and artists.

UnderGround Kings Battle League London – Volume 2

The premiere rap battle league hosts its second event today, Friday June 2, 2017, with live performances, several battles, special guests, two main events, and live deejays. The battles will be professionally filmed as well. The first event was spectacular and this second one will be even better. We have a new venue perfect for this style of competition.

Hosted By:

Tyler Hetherington of CHRW’s Consignment Show and D.T.P

Co-Main Events:

Tipsy Russel vs Brewza
Craze vs Ender-One

Also on the Card

Shys T vs Dutchie
Chronic Clepto vs Grose
Bo Gus vs Static

DJs for the Night

Dj Wiskaz and Chase March

The Details

Check the Facebook page for more information.

WHEN: June 2nd, 2017
WHERE: Old East Bar & Grill, 765 Dundas St. London, ON.
DOORS: Open at 9:00
TICKETS: Free Admission

Hip-Hop Anonymous is back. Bigger and better than ever. We have a new venue for this monthly hip-hop showcase that is more conductive for a rap show. We have some great talent on the bill including a local favourites Typewriters, Tempomental, and Labeled Minority.

Also on the bill are Koty Kolter, Jon Dow, S Don Perion, Dylan Sears, Bash, and Lola.

DJs for the Night

Chase March and DJ Hullewud

Hullewud has his radio show from 10:00 – midnight but he will make an appearance after that.

It’s going to be a great night!

The Details

Check the Facebook page for more information.

WHEN: June 3rd, 2017
WHERE: Grinning Gator – 391 Richmond St. London, ON.
DOORS: Open at 9:00
TICKETS: $5 before 11:00 p.m. / $10 after that

I’m really looking forward to these events. I  hope to see you at both of these shows. Support local hip-hop and the artists. We really appreciate it.

Fresh Kils and Emotionz Tour (London, ON)

Fresh Kils and Emotionz

I am proud to be part of this bill. I will be holding it down on the 1s and 2s all night long.

Fresh Kils is a seasoned performer and someone you need to see live. He is absolutely incredible.

Emotionz hails from Vancouver and has been making moves as a rapper, DJ, and beatboxer for years now.

Presented to you by Apex Live and Soundstream Multimedia, Vancouver based rapper/beat boxer Emotionz is coming to The Grinning Gator in London, Ontario for a night you don’t wanna miss!

With special guest Fresh Kils banging out beats on the mpc. Other artists on the bill will be Zick, TempoMental, Del Reze, Sunshyne and much more! Hosted by Jym Fur-aira. DJ for the night, Chase March. 

Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 @ the door. THIS IS A 19 + event ID REQUIRED Tickets also available online at Universe.com

Check the Facebook Event Page for more information.

WHAT: Fresh Kils and Emotionz Tour
WHEN: May 13, 2017
WHERE: Grinning Gator – 391 Richmond St. London, ON.
DOORS: Open at 9:00
TICKETS: $10 in advance, $15 at the door

Stay Driven (Motivation and Inspiration from a Rapper)

Stay Driven by D-O

Stay Driven by Duane D.O. Gibson

D.O. aka Defy the Odds is a rap artist who set a Guinness World Record for the longest freestyle ever, 8 hours and 45 seconds. He has released countless albums and dropped several music videos.

When I saw this book at the library, I thought it was worth the read. As I worked my way through it, it was obvious that it was written for teenagers who are looking for some motivation and inspiration. That makes sense since I found it in the teen section.

Here are a few of the takeaways I took from reading it.

Visualize 

D.O. tells the story of Biggie’s first album for Bad Boy. Apparently, Puff Daddy thought the album needed something else before he released it. It needed a single. So, he masterminded the idea of “Juicy” and asked Biggie to talk about making it big in rap. At the time. Biggie didn’t have all the riches he mentioned in this song. “It was all a dream” as he says in the lyrics. But it was a dream that came true. Puffy knew they needed a single. Biggie went along with it. And it was almost as if they visualized it into existence.

Play with Words

“Over the year I’ve created a rhyming database in my mind. It started when I created my own rhyming dictionary – this was before I found out there were actual rhyming dictionaries. The process of writing my own dictionary helped build my rhyming database.”

What a cool idea! D.O. also talks about how he would read the dictionary to help improve his vocabulary.

Don’t Coast

“I’ve learned that it’s not the talented people who success. Ironically, a lot of talented people don’t success. I’ve seen it time and time again.

These people think they can coast on their talent and not try as hard as everyone else. The problem is, hard workers pass them by.”

D.O. admits that when he started rapping, he wasn’t very good. But he worked at it. There were rappers out at the time that were better than him, but very few of them achieved the success he did. It all came down to work ethic. And D.O. had that in droves.

Be Respectful of Women

D.O. tells a story in the book about losing a rap battle to a female MC. The match was very close and the judges wanted to hear two extra rounds to determine the winner. He could have torn her apart by saying some sexual rhymes, making fun of her weight, or he clothes. These are all fair when it comes to rap battles. However, he said, “It just didn’t feel right to insult her. It just wasn’t my style. I decided that when I wrote songs about women, I’d tell stories from my perspective.”

D.O. lost that battle, but he got invited to an after-party where he made a very important business contact. When he looked around the party, he noticed that the person who did go on to beat that female rapper, wasn’t in attendance. It turns out that he wasn’t invited, because the female host didn’t like this style. She liked D.O.’s though.

Stay Positive

D.O. stayed positive and it opened all sorts of doors for him. He worked hard and achieved his dreams. That is something we can all learn from.

My List of 2017 Reads – a detailed reading log (continually updated all year)

I’m in a Music Video (Y’allready Know)

Traffimatics featuring Mad Hattr with DJ Chase March, “Y’allready Know”

I’m very proud to be part of this track. Mad Hattr is one of the best producers in the underground hip-hop scene and has been grinding for years. He is nice on the mic and brought the fire with this production.

Traffimatics is an up-and-coming emcee and I have had the pleasure of rocking with him at several live performances and shows. It was nice to be able to work on this track with him.

I am available to scratch hooks on your songs, guest host your mixtape, or craft custom mixes of your songs. Having a deejay on your track is a good look for hip-hop. If you’d like to work, please contact me.

I hope you enjoy the track.

Please share it, give it a like, and support underground, independent hip-hop.

The Come Up Show – Record Store Day Edition (with DJ Chase March)

Record Store Day was this past Saturday and it celebrated its tenth year, encouraging consumers to visit their local record shops for all sorts of exclusive releases and material.

Cheeky Monkey (Sarnia)

I stood in line before the store opened to make sure I could get a few items that I had my eye on,

Brother Ali RSD

including this triple LP re-issue from Brother Ali on clear vinyl.

Soul Assasins - Picture Disc

I also picked up a double LP compilation from Profile Records and a cool picture disc  from the Soul Assassins.

Vinyl DJ mix

I was fortunate enough to be asked to guest-host The Come Up Show that day as well, and I got to spin these records for the very first time on the air. The red one is from the Profile Records release and the black one is one of my older records.

Mission 5 on vinyl

Since I was celebrating record store day and spinning vinyl on the radio, I had to take out the record I made back in 2000. I am very proud to have released my own music on vinyl. This one is a triple single with three songs on Side A and their accompanying instrumentals on Side B. My group was called Mission 5 and the song I played was “Close the Curtain.”

Here are the other songs that I played on the show.

O.C. – Ma Dukes
Ruff Ryders – Ride or Die
3 Fresh MCs – Fresh
Beatnuts – No Escapin’ This
Nine – Whutcha Want
Run-DMC – Ooh What’cha Gonna Do
Kool Moe Dee – Knowledge is King
Peanuts and Corn – Savings Account
Sir Menelik ft Grand Puba and Sadat X – 7XL
Brother Ali – What’cha Got
Young MC – Got More Rhymes
Mission 5 – Close the Curtain
Grand Analog – Play My Kazoo
Cquel – Memory Lane
Tempomental ft Exit Only – Stability
Mad Hattr ft Whatshisface – It Gets Cold
KIV – Show Me the Money
Fantom of the Beat – First Time Ever
Apathy and Celph-Titled – Prince of Vengeance
Es ft Mathematik – We Are Only Getting Older
Public Enemy – Can’t Truss It
Labeled Minority – That’s When Ya Lost

Press play and enjoy this special edition of The Come Up Show, which you can hear Saturdays from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. on CHRW.

And remember that you can catch me every week on Word is Bond Rap Radio Monday nights at midnight and anytime on the podcast.

Listen to Word is Bond Rap Radio

Interact with us online

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Twitter – The Word is Bond, Chase March
Instagram – The Word is Bond, Chase March
Follow CHRW on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

If you liked this show make sure to check our previous episode of real hip-hop music and talk

We Celebrated Live-N-Direct 20 with Style

I had a lot of fun supplying the music for the 20th Anniversary of Live-N-Direct.

dj-chase-march-of-word-is-bond

I have fond memories of listening to this radio show on 93.3 CFMU every week. DJ Realistic and host, Eklipz, always put on a great program that highlighted the best in underground hip-hop. The mantle has been passed a few times over the past twenty years, but the time-slot and show have continued to rock the air waves every single week.

dj-chase-march-and-rap-group-1424

Hip-hop group 1424 was one of the acts to hit the stage to help celebrate this milestone anniversary.

dj-chase-march-set-up

The crowd was enthusiastic and I was very excited to be part of this seminal event.

ldn20

I love live hip-hop shows whether they are in a venue with rappers and deejays, or they are on the campus radio airwaves.

dr-disc

I don’t get to Hamilton much anymore these days, but it is my hometown and I will always rep for it. Of course, whenever I am back in town, it’s a must that I visit Dr. Disc.

the-mixedtape-at-dr-disc

It’s nice to have my music in the store now too. If you’d like to pick up a CD copy of The MIX(ed)TAPE, please go find it at Dr. Disc Hamilton on 20 Wilson Street.

LND20

LND20 was a huge success.

Here’s to the next twenty years, Live-N-Direct.

My Radio Show is 5 Now!

My radio show, Word is Bond celebrated its 5th Anniversary with special in-studio guests, live performances, a freestyle cypher, hip-hop trivia, and prizes last week.

I had a lot of fun spinning songs that featured 5 emcees on the tracks. I tested my listener’s knowledge of hip-hop by asking trivia questions about the fifth album releases from artists. And I gave away packs of 5 gum as prizes.

Labeled Minority, Tempomental, Sankdafied, The Mighty Speak EZ, and DJ Hullewud were all in the house to celebrate live on the radio. If you missed it live, you can celebrate with us now through the magic of podcasts.

Thank you for five years! It’s been a blast!

Here’s to the next 5!

Jurassic 5 – Golden
Rascalz ft Checkmate, Kardinal Offishall, Thrust, and Choclair – Northern Touch
LL Cool J ft Method Man, Redman, Canibus, and DMX – 4, 3, 2, 1
Run-DMC ft Pete Rock and CL Smooth – Down with the King
Labeled Minority – Freestyle
Labeled Minority – Pigment
Kayne West ft Jay-Z, Rick Ross, Nicki Minaj, and Bon Iver– Monster
Tempomental – Another One
Heltah Skeltah ft OGC – Leflaur Leflah Eshkoshka
A Tribe Called Quest ft Leaders of the New School – Scenario
Bone Thugs and Harmony – Crossroads
Sankdafied – On My Own
Craig Mack ft Notorious B.I.G., L.L. Cool J, Busta Rhymes, and Rampage – Flavor in Ya Ear (Remix)
Swamp Thing ft Wordburglar, Def3, Birdapres, Relic, Ambition – Meat Lump
Funky 4 + 1 – The Joint
Speak EZ – Just Another Night
Word is Bond – 5th Anniversary Cypher
Mission 5 – Nameless
LL Cool J ft Prodigy, Keith Murray, Foxy Brown, and Fat Joe – I Shot Ya
Mad Hattr ft Cee, Notion, and Exit Only – Eya

Listen to Word is Bond Rap Radio

Interact with us online
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Twitter – The Word is Bond, Chase March
Instagram – The Word is Bond, Chase March
Follow CHRW on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

If you liked this show make sure to check our previous Anniversary Specials

Word is Bond Rap Radio Celebrates 5 Years

WIBayblon 5 Rap Radio

I started Word is Bond Rap Radio five years ago. The tagline of the show has always been “real hip-hop music and talk” and I have been happy to share some of my favourite music with you week in and week out for the past 250 episodes.

I have had in-depth and exclusive interviews with some hip-hop legends including Atmosphere, AZ, Brother Ali, Classified, Del the Funky Homosapien, Masta Ace, Michie Mee, Ras Kass, Sadat X, and Shad.

I’ve have also had these amazing artists on the program; Apollo Brown, Bishop Nehru, Cesar Comanche, Constant Deviants, Dessa, Dilated Peoples, DJ BNutz, DJ Format, D-sisive, Eternia, Fresh Kils, Ghettosocks, Homeboy Sandman, J Rawls, John Robinson, Lightning Rod (Last Poets), Moka Only, More or Les, M-Rock, Nilla, Rapper Big Pooh, Relic aka Rel McCoy, Skyzoo, Substantial, Termanology, and The Left.

And of course, I have had countless local artists, upcoming talent, and independent artists on the show. I’ve produced dozens of documentaries on hip-hop music and culture, celebrated the Women in Hip-Hop every year for International Women’s Day, and had guest deejays providing mixsets.

It’s been an absolute blast bringing you this show every week. I’m looking forward to the show tomorrow night. We have big things planned to mark this anniversary. We will have live guests, a cypher, some trivia, and of course, great music mixed live by yours truly.

Tune in tomorrow night to 94.9 CHRW to catch it all live. It starts at midnight and goes straight through to 2:00 a.m.

Word is Bond Rap Radio 5th Anniversary Special

What: 5th Anniversary of Word is Bond Rap Radio
When: Monday March 27, 2017 – Tuesday March 28, 2017
Time: 12:00 midnight to 2:00 a.m.
Radio Frequency: 94.9 FM (CHRW)
Online Streaming: CHRW stream

Listen to Word is Bond Rap Radio

Interact with us online

FacebookThe Word is Bond, Word is Bond Rap Radio, Chase March
Twitter – The Word is Bond, Chase March
Instagram – The Word is Bond, Chase March
Follow CHRW on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

UGK – London’s Rap Battle League (Volume 1)

UGK London Vol 1

UnderGround Kings Battle League London

makes its debut this Friday.

It’s a brand new, premiere rap battle league. There will be live performances, several battles, special guests, a main event match, and live deejays. The event will be professionally filmed as well. It is sure to be an amazing night and I hope to see you there.

Hosted By:

Tyler Hetherington of CHRW’s Consignment Show
and LondonBoiWatts

Main Event:

Chilly Palmz vs. Ender One

Also on the Card

Brewza vs. That Guy
G Langs vs. Chronic Clepto
Craze vs. Adam McNope

DJs for the Night

Dj Wiskaz and Chase March

Special Appearance By:

Kehmak

Performances By:

Young Prince Beats
Big Mouth Records
SirReal

Special Guest:

Del Reze

Check the Facebook page for more information.

WHEN: March 24th, 2017
WHERE: Grinning Gator – 391 Richmond St. London, ON.
DOORS: Open at 9:00
TICKETS: Free Admission

Five Rappers Who Will Breakout in 2017

In the world of hip-hop, we hope 2017 will be just as awesome as 2016 was, with its many surprises from new album releases to the introduction of new musicians in the limelight. Despite the challenges some of the musicians experienced, there were several great releases. The rise of some musicians has created a buzz and generated musical hype, especially 2016’s breakout star Chance The Rapper, who received seven Grammy nominations. This has severed has inspiration and should elevate artists to greater levels in 2017.

Here are five rappers making big waves in the hip-hop industry . . .

YFN Lucci

This rapper has actively contributed to the dominance of Atlanta hip-hop. Appearing alongside artists such as Meek Mill, Yo Gotti, and 2 Chainz, he has received wide recognition as one of the most promising upcoming artists. To top it all, his hit “Key To the Streets” featuring Migos has received national recognition. In music circles, it is believed that a hit begets more hits and that is true with this artiste. The rapper has managed to revamp the sound of his hit releases with his new track “Everyday We Lit” featuring vocalist PnB Rock.

Amine

This rapper came into the limelight some time last year. As the year was coming to an end, his hit “Caroline” was number 12 on the Hot 100 chats. His style is easygoing, laid back, and shows a lot of ambition. He says when he wrote the song he was hoping to create the modern day “Billie Jean”. Once he clinched the spotlight, he did not waste any time using his voice and lyrics in protest including his Tonight Show performance that was widely viewed as a protest against Donald Trump. His hits and performances have piqued the curiosity of his listeners enabling him to gain a huge following in return.

Princess Nokia

Her September mixtape titled 1992 has helped her cover plenty of ground. Her syllable rapping style that has the crowd in love with her “90s New York beats” easily transitions to club tracks such as “Kitana”. Her flexibility enables her to deliver calm couplets and assertive tracks all in one breath. These make her one of the promising rappers of 2017.

Kodie Shane

It is well known that Lil Yachty came into the limelight after his guest verse on Broccoli was nominated for the Grammy. He has garnered more than 60 million streams on his “1Night” single. However, Kodie Shane is seen as the rapper that might further take Yachty’s musical genius to the next level. Her mixtape titled “Zero gravity” is precise and sharp with an infusion of rap, catchy beats, and melody. Her duet with Yachty released towards the end of the year is still making the airwaves.

Dae Dae

The 24-year-old rapper made his first appearance into the hip-hop industry in 2014 and is finally getting the recognition he deserves. His 2015 hit “What U Mean” had over ten million views on YouTube and ended up in the Billboard chart. It has become the anthem for Atlanta and the rapper continues to show that he is in the game to stay. The rapper has range and has gone ahead to use music to address Black Lives Matter and express his views. As long as he can maintain momentum, 2017 is indeed his year.

Big things coming in 2017

These five rappers will be making noise this year. Mark my words.

Guest Contributor: Kevin Kennedy

Lyrical Mind’s Birthday Bash – Oshawa

lyrical-mind-birthday-bash

Come out and celebrate Lyrical Mind’s birthday with some good friends, good vibes, and a great night of hip hop.

Headliner: Lyrical Mind

Opening Performances By:

Last Breed
Justn Cr3dibl3
Chezza
Cizzle
Tre Da Kidd
Milestone
Billy Marks
Infamous

Dance Performance By: Heather Mascarin

DJ Chase March on the 1s and 2s all night long.

WHAT: Lyrical Mind’s Birthday Party
WHEN: Saturday January 7, 2017
WHERE: The Atria – 59 King St. E., Oshawa, Ontario
DOORS: 9:00 p.m.
TICKETS: $10 at the door

Visit the Facebook Event Page for more info.

I hope you can come kick it with us if you are anywhere near Oshawa this weekend.

Top 16 Albums of 2016

A few years back I wrote a post about the best albums of that year. I called it the Top 9 Albums of ’09 and unknowingly started a tradition. Every year now, I have to add one more album to the list.

This year, I had no problem finding 16 albums to rank. It was a good year for hip-hop music.

All of the albums listed below were in heavy rotation for me, were featured on my radio show –  Word is Bond several times, and the tunes bang.

I even got to interview a few of these artists on the show.

If you have a favourite album that I didn’t list here, please leave a comment below. This time of year is always great for discovering music that flew under your radar. I know I discover great new music from other people’s lists. Hopefully mine can do that for you too.

So without further ado, here is the Top 16 Albums of 2016.

16. Sadat X – Aqua

sadat-x-aqua

Sadat X is a veteran in the rap game. He still has the chops on the mic and enlists the production skills of Pete Rock, Diamond D, DJ Scratch, and more. The features on the album are also on point.

15. More or Les – Blow the F&#@ Up But Stay Humble

more-or-les-btfybsh

More or Les has a very distinct voice and actually talks about things on his record. In the lead single for this project, he admits that he might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I think you should at least take a sip. He battles stereotypes, drops knowledge, and makes your head nod.

14. Atmosphere – Fishing Blues

atmopshere-fishing-blues

Atmosphere are always one of my favs.  I might be a little biased here. And this may effort may not be their best work to date, but it is still getting regular rotation in my house and car.

13. Torae – Entitled

torae-entitled

I love how Torae has stopped using the n-word. The track that addresses this on the album is absolutely brilliant. I also like how he tackles the subject of entitlement that many of us struggle with regularly.

12. Apollo Brown & Skyzoo – The Easy Truth

apollo-brown-x-skyzoo-easy-truth

Apollo Brown is one of the best producers in the game. He can bring out the best in an emcee. And when that emcee is already a gifted lyricist such as Skyzoo, a collaborative project is going to sound amazing. This one is a future classic!

11. Rel McCoy – Gas Money

rel-mccoy-gas-money

Relic officially changed his name to Rel McCoy with this project. He tries some new flows and enlists the talents of a variety of producers including Fresh Kils, Tone Mason, Moka Only, and Elaquent to create another great album. Rel never disappoints.

10. DJ Hullewud / DJ Chase March – The MIX(ed)TAPE

dj-hullewud-x-dj-chase-march-the-mixedtape-cover

It might be a little self-serving to include this on my year-end list, but I am very proud of this project. It features world-premiere and exclusive tracks from some of hip-hop’s best underground artists including Exit Only, Sankdafied, Branded Moore, Swamp Thing, Timbuktu, Jon Corbin, Es, Zoetic Minds, Animal Nation, Ultra Magnus and DJ Slam, and more.

9. Masta Ace – The Falling Season

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Masta Ace goes back to high school with this concept album that retells the story of his youth in skits placed between topical songs that will surely have your head nodding and you rapping along.

8. Tiff the Gift – It Gets Greater Later

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I really love the feel, the message, and the boom bap beats on this one. It was worth the two year wait between albums if this is what Tiff the Gift had been cooking up for us. My favourite track is “Painted Pictures.”

7. Common – Black America Again

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Common has taken a few mis-steps when it comes to albums and projects. But his growth and development is something that cannot be denied. His is redefining a genre that often tries to paint older voices as irrelevant. This is Common at his finest.

6. A-F-R-O and Marco Polo – A-F-R-O Polo

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All Flows Reach Out is one of the freshest new voices we have in hip-hop. Team him up with one of the best producers to ever come out of Canada, and we end up with A-F-R-O Polo, a great underground hip-hop project.

5. Elevator Emcees – Elevator MCs

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These guys captured my attention right away with this project. They remind me of Dilated Peoples with their sound. I hope to see big things from them in the future.

4. Homeboy Sandman – Kindness for Weakness

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I love this album. “Eyes” is quite possibly my favourite song of the whole year. Homeboy Sandman is quite unconventional and definitely not everyone’s cup of tea. He can probably relate to More or Les is that way.

3. A Tribe Called Quest – We got it from Here… Thank You 4 Your service

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This album is incredible for a few different reasons. First off, it is the last album we will see from the group as founding member Phife Dawg passed away. Secondly, the group came back together to record it. You can tell that they were in the same room at the same time. Third, they push the envelope while maintaing the Tribe sound. I’m so glad we have this final chapter in the ATCQ catalogue.

2. Tempomental – Loaded with Pain

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Tempomental is one of London, Ontario’s finest. His live performances are absolutely incredible. He has a soulful flow, sings, and produces. This album is sonically beautiful with some depressing and thought provoking lyrics. It’s what Tempomental does best.

1. Nilla – Valkyrie

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We haven’t heard from Nilla in years, but it was well worth the wait. This album was produced entirely by Ghettosocks and we even get to hear him vocally on the project as well. Nilla takes aim at misogyny in hip-hop and sexism in every day life. She spits hard hitting rhymes over top of great boom-bap beats. She will definitely make you say, “Woah, man!” (a highlight track everyone should hear)

Support the artists

Go find these albums and support the artists by purchasing their music, playing to see them perform live, and copping some merchandise.

Your turn

Do you agree or disagree with my list? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!

End of the Year Hip Hop Anonymous Bash

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We are closing off the year with one more edition of Hip Hop Anonymous featuring performances by Tempomental, Sankdafied, Typewriters, Laura Leger, Traffimatics, KRouge, Revelated Me, and T Will. There will also be a beat showcase by AdD.

DJ Chase March on the 1s and 2s all night long.

WHAT: Hip Hop Anonymous – End of Year Bash
WHEN: Friday December 30, 2016
WHERE: Gordy’s Brewhouse. 1631 Oxford St. E. London, ON.
DOORS: 9:00 p.m.
TICKETS: Free (DWG wants to give back to all the fans and supporters)

Visit the Facebook Event Page for more info.

I hope to you can come out and kick it with us in a small, intimate setting. Help support the local hip-hop scene by attending shows, letting people know that you are going via social media, buying some merch at the gig, and enjoying the tunes. It’s going to be a good night!

A Chase March Hip-Hop Christmas Mix

I did this mix of underground Christmas-themed hip-hop live on the radio Monday night.

I get tired of the same-old, same-old Christmas music every year. That’s why I did some digging and found some new and new-to-me tunes to spin.

Merry Christmas everyone. I hope you have a safe and happy holiday and enjoy the mix!

FavorMusik – Snowed In
Saigon – It’s Cold
Kev Brown – We’re a Car-roll-ing
Bob Rivers – If Eminem did Jingle Bells
Fat Lip (of Pharcyde) – All I Want
Foreknown ft Phil Harmonic – Ghost of Christmas Past
Torae – Egg Nod
MC Lars – Frost the Flow Man
Cross Movement – Different Kind of Christmas
Scribbling Idiots – Jingle Bell Knock
Page One x Theory Hazit x MG the Visionary x DJ Because – We Three Kings
Atmosphere – If I Was Santa Claus
LA Symphony – Christmas Song
Word Salad and Mad Hattr – Your Present’s Here
Sweet Tee – Let the Jingle Bells Rock
Juice Crew All Stars – Cold Chillin’ Christmas
Onyx – Jingle Bells, Shotgun Shells
Easy-E – Merry M-F Christmas
People Under the Stairs – Holiday Party
Run-DMC – Christmas in Hollis
Dynamix II – Merry Ride
Supastition – Sounds of Xmas
Muneshine ft D-sisive – Starter Jacket
Bop Alloy – Hottest Christmas on Record
Audio Two – A Christmas Rhyme
Rev Run and Friends – Santa Baby
Kardinal Offishall and Friends – Christmas Rappin’
Ice Cube – Put it in ya Egg Nog
ScienZe ft Blu – Charlie Brown
Casual – Santa Claus
Dana Dane – Dana Dane is Coming to Town

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The King of Rock-Bottom

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Ten Ways to Not Commit Suicide by Darryl McDaniels (DMC)

I am a huge Run-DMC fan. They are my all-time favourite group. So when I saw this book at the public library, I knew I had to pick it up.

I had heard DMC talking about this book on the radio, and to tell you the truth, I wasn’t that interested in reading it. Maybe it was the awkward title. Maybe it was the fact that Run-DMC disbanded when Jam Master Jay died over 10 years ago and I haven’t paid much attention to the solo carreers of Run or DMC since then.

When I saw that this book was available for me to read for free, I knew I had to check it out. I found out a few things I didn’t know about Run-DMC. I thought they were cool with each other and made music together in a creative partnership. DMC doesn’t paint that picture in this memoir. He writes of his unhappiness with the group often. He also has nothing positive to say about Run. He doesn’t blame Run for anything and he doesn’t air any of his dirty laundry. This isn’t a tell-all book. It isn’t a self-help book either. It’s simply a memoir from an artist who almost fell victim to the music industry.

DMC writes how he drank to relieve the anxiety he felt when performing live. It quickly became a problem for him as he slid down to alcoholism. It’s almost hard to believe that any one person could drink as much as he did. And it almost killed him.

He tells us of his childhood passions and how they took a backseat to his rapping career. He is working hard to fulfill some of the dreams he put on hold when he became the King of Rock.

I am glad to see that DMC made it through the dark times and that he is still here in this world. Run-DMC are an historic group that deserve all the praise and recognition that they get. I wish things could have ended better for them. I wish Jay hadn’t died. I wish that they had released the 20th Anniversary album and launched the tour that was speculated just before Jam Master Jay’s untimely passing.

We won’t likely see a Run-DMC reunion, but we can continue to play their music and sing their praises. And we can read this book.

My List of 2016 Reads – just about complete now

12th Annual Xmas Wrap (Biggest Rap Show of the Year)

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One of the first hip-hop concerts I ever went to in London, Ontario was The 4th Annual Xmas Wrap. I was strictly a fan back then and just starting my career in radio. I wasn’t really known yet, especially outside of Hamilton. A lot has happened in the past eight years. DJ Hullewud distinctly remembers meeting me at that event. It’s hard to believe that was eight years ago.

I’m glad that the event has remained a Christmas tradition for all of us. It’s almost hard to believe that I am actually on the bill this year. I am so excited. This is always the biggest show of the year. It’s nice to see Swamp Thing come back to town every year to connect with their roots and throw an amazing concert full of talented artists to a packed house of energetic fans.

This years event is special because it features a Soundminds reunion, and marks the return of Sum-1 to the stage. It’s also hosted by London legend, Fritz tha Cat.

DJ Hullewud and DJ Chase March will be holding it down on the turntables all night long too.

The 12th annual Xmas Wrap Spectacular

The Annual Xmas Wrap Spectacular returns on December 22nd at Call The Office. This years event features Swamp Thing (Timbuktu, Chokeules & Savilion), Thesis Sahib, Soundminds, and Sum-01, along with DJ Hullewud & DJ Chase March. Hosted by Fritz Tha Cat.

Bios

Swamp Thing – For the past five years Toronto’s three-headed rap monster, Swamp Thing (Timbuktu, Chokeules & Savilion), have delivered a special sonic treat every Halloween. This year is no different. Back again with perhaps their greatest achievement yet, “Pray To Science” dropped October 28th via Urbnet. Produced entirely by Savilion and Timbuktu, “Pray To Science” delivers uptempo grooves and deep pocket space-aged boom bap, born of and created for the musically creative. Digging into the pantheon of underground hip hop, the records features collaboration from Ghettosocks, Birdpares, Ambition, Wordburglar, and Nilla.

Thesis Sahib – Thesis Sahib has been contributing to the underground hip hop movement for the past 19+ years, both as an innovative rapper and a well known visual artist. His articulate, rapid-fire delivery, harmonic vocals, and imaginative lyrics have graced an impressive catalogue of sought after releases on CD and vinyl. Often combining both 2D aesthetic with circuit-bent electronic toys, compositions written on modified Gameboys, a face mask costume fitted with a heavily effected microphone, and circuit-bent sounds have become part of his music and on-stage performances.

Soundminds – The last time the legendary London crew Soundsminds graced a stage together was at the 10th Xmas Wrap event back in 2014. Fingerslim, Mr. Megaphone, and Lionize Prime will once again reunite on stage, at the same time, with a very special set of their classic tracks, along with a possible surprise or two.

Sum-01 – Fresh off her latest hiatus, it’s the offical Sum-01 comeback. The queen of London hip hop returns to the stage for the first time since the summer of 2010 to take us back in time and perform tracks off her 2008 mixtape and 2010 EP.

Fritz Tha Cat – Claiming to have retired from the rap game 10 years ago Fritz returns to the stage this year to host the Xmas Wrap event for the very first time. Fritz has been quiet musically since dropping the last OK Cobra record back in 2009, but can be heard on the new Hand Solo “Bassment Of Badmen 3” compilation over DJ Moves production….with rumours of more new “old” material dropping in the near future.

DJs

Music provided by DJ Hullewud (Sausage Gut Radio, Crate Crusaders, Sons Of Boombap) and DJ Chase March (Word Is Bond Rap Radio, Sons Of Boombap).

Info

WHAT: The 12th annual Xmas Wrap Spectacular
WHEN: Thursday December 22, 2016
WHERE: Call The Office. 216 York Street, London, Ontario
DOORS: 9:00 p.m.
TICKETS: $10 at the door

I hope to see you there!