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)