MASTA ACE: BRINGING BACK WHAT’S DOPE

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Ok so my curiosity has been peeked in anticipation of Masta Ace’s upcoming show this Wednesday, March 27th at Foufs. So I caught up with Ace, Stricklin and Wordsworth about the industry, their Canadian tour, food and of course, Ace’s latest album, Son of Yvonne.

How long have you all been performing together?

Ace: “We’ve been performing together since 2001. I was promoting my album ‘Disposable Arts’ and decided to bring Strick, Words, and Punch on the road with me in Europe and we pretty much been rockin’ ever since.”

The album is a worthy tribute to the past and fabulously cohesive. Is it a safe assumption that this is has always been a project in waiting? Have these tracks been written over the years or was time dedicated to get them all out at once?

Words: “The album turned out so cohesive because we were used to each other having toured for so long together. We’re all pretty much like brothers, so the album process was a natural progression. And yes, we came together to write the songs over like a year’s time I believe.”

What are some of the major changes you love and hate about the industry?

Strick: “Well what I love about the industry today is social media and its effects. Nowadays, you are able to reach out easier to artists you admire and also it’s easier to connect with the people who like your music. That’s a plus! What I don’t love is the trendiness of some of today’s music. Everyone seems to be doing the same type of flow because its ‘trendy’! I like the originality of the music that came from earlier eras.”

In your opinion what are some industry misconceptions of new and up and coming artists? Where should their focus be?

Strick: “I feel because of social media and technology today, some of the newer artists are in too much of a rush. They think they deserve the ultimate success right away and that’s not how it works.”

Words: “Yeah I agree with Strick. The new artists today should be more focused on building a career organically. Because of Twitter and Facebook, the game is so fast right now. You put an album out and people are sick of it after only a month! So more time should be spent on slow cooking your career instead of giving people the fast food.”

Most Canadians would love to travel across this great country, how does it feel to make that journey and doing what you love?

Ace: “This is my 5th time touring Canada I believe and each time has been amazing! The country is beautiful from the small ski towns like Banff and Revelstoke to the bigger cities like Vancouver and Montreal. The people give a lot of energy, and Im always excited to be able to see all these things doing something I love. I’m blessed!

Have you been eating well? (very important you know…)

Strick: *laughs* “I’m gonna let Ace take this one!”

Ace: “Well, he’s laughing because I’m kinda like the health nut of the crew. I’m very aware of the things I eat so a lot of times healthy options aren’t available. Touring can be very brutal for healthy eating because you tend to eat late at times because of the travel. I sometimes have to break down and have fast food because thats the only way I can eat that day. I don’t think I ever want to see another Tim Horton’s in my life!” *laughs*

We love you here in Montreal, we can’t wait to see you all on March 27th, how will you be making your visit a pleasant one?

Words: “First off, thanks for the love! Umm, if I have time, I would like to go sneaker shopping. I always like to see what kicks are popular in foreign places.”

Strick: “Also wanna thank Montreal for the love and I would like to just chill and enjoy the city. Maybe walk around and sightsee and end it with a nice dinner.”

Ace: “I’m with Strick, see some sights and have a real nice dinner. Then put on a great show for a packed house! That would be the perfect day!”

Men who like to eat and shop are alright in my books.

There’s more…If you have yet to buy the album get on it and click here. Far from disappointing, the album includes features by the great Big Daddy Kane, the fabulous Pav Bundy, Reggie B, Milani the Artis and MF Doom. I mean honestly, can you ask for more than that?

Masta Ace and his camp will be performing live, March 27, at Les Foufounes Éléctriques, 87 Ste-Catherine East. $10 before 9pm/$15 after 9pm.

Test Their Logik w/ Mickey Boston performing in Montreal…


Controversial hiphop duo, Test Their Logik – comprised of Illogik and Testament – will be performing live in Lasalle’s D. Church (3067 Welligton) on Thursday, May 19th. Mickey Boston will the lone opener for the duo who have come a long way with their now official album launch.

This March through June, Toronto’s most notorious revolutionary hip-hop artists; “Test Their Logik” will be touring across the portion of Turtle Island known as “Kanada” with their long-awaited debut album. They are looking to connect with communities large and small on this journey in order to help develop links between communities, do shows to bring together radical minds, offer workshops for mind and body, and inspire people to imagine radical transformation and freedom.

Test Their Logik is made up of two revolutionary MC’s: Testament and Illogik. The pair were recently charged with conspiracy and other indictable offences for a widely-distributed music video they made titled “Crash The Meeting” which encouraged resistance to Toronto’s G20 summit. After 5 months of non-association conditions, these charges were stayed, and the duo are once again able to record and tour together.

Looking to tell their stories and listen to others across this land, they plan on hitting the road with their music, radical literature, workshops and talks. In past tours they have done shows large and small in bars, basements, alternative venues, community centres, schools, and auditoriums. Reaching out to urban and rural, indigenous and settler, young and old, and people of all walks of life and backgrounds, Test Their Logik is breaking the barriers imposed on them. In addition to performing their powerful thought-provoking music, Test Their Logik are happy to speak on the current state and potential of hip-hop, art and resistance.

Testament can also speak on power from below, resistence and repression, and leaderless organizing, with the G20 as a case in study. He can also lead a report-back workshop from his fact-finding trip to Palestine last year. Illogik is a certified and trained yoga instructor and martial arts practitioner who combines the ideas of both into ‘warrior yoga” sessions, basic self-defence workshops, as well as anti-oppression trainings.

“The ways we can connect are endless, the point is that we make contact with each other, build our capacity for grassroots power, lay down roots and build the networks that we will need in the future.”

These are tentative dates for our proposed route. If you live in any of these cities and want to help make this happen, then send an email to: holler(A)testtheirlogik.com. We are also open to revisions, if your community is interested in having us visit you. We are interested in connecting with people on reservations, intentional communities, small towns and large metropolises so get in touch!
This March through June, Toronto’s most notorious revolutionary hip-hop artists; “Test Their Logik” will be touring across the portion of Turtle Island known as “Kanada” with their long-awaited debut album. They are looking to connect with communities large and small on this journey in order to help develop links between communities, do shows to bring together radical minds, offer workshops for mind and body, and inspire people to imagine radical transformation and freedom.

Beats, Rhymes and Flows…Montreal brings hip-hop Thursday through Sunday.

by Mickey Boston

I am not intent on constantly updating hip-hop shows in the city and do not have any form or fashion of making any new-found intent on doing so however, having mentioned this, this week is one big exception. This week expect quite a bit of microphone delivery on the part of some of Montreal’s finest emcees and djs. In essence, three local hip-hop shows are springing throughout this half week with quite a few shows at very affordable prices.

Thursday, March 10th, 2011

For lovers and fans of Soké Zahir, an emcee and producer who has dedicated himself to Montreal’s (and Quebec’s) hip-hop scene let alone the international one. Soké has been on the scene generously giving his time not just only to his craft but also bringing life and vibrancy to those around him. In essence, there is a lot to say about this artist and even a lot of professionally done video clips one may view. The show has no cover and this album is a long anticipated one as followers may know every track that has been put out has been a masterpiece. The album, Soké Soundsystem, will be sold at the show while Freshmakers will also be performing as well. The launch goes down at 9pm at St-Laurent’s Jukebox.

Thursday night also begins with the One Year Anniversary Showcase of Spit the Truth. STT has been a year long hip-hop showcase which featured itself on a monthly basis at none other than Montreal’s Brutopia pub. In order to celebrate their one year anniversary, hosts and founders Rough Draft and DJ Conn Shawnery will celebrate the event’s first year anniversary with 13 emcees alongside some rather random and spontaneous freestyles by the night’s closure. The cover is only $5 and will be held at Club Lambi. Don’t miss it. Strongly recommended for lovers of underground hip-hop, so be sure to head out and support an array of local talent from Murderface’s CL to NDGs own Deprisk. Other acts include Paradoxe, tri-lingual emcee Mad Gab, Spook-One, T-Cup, Clarity, MC Puzzle, Mic-key Boston, BK of Art-Cons, Alquimia Verbal, B Green and P Flow Matics.

Saturday, March 12th, 2011.

For lovers of the battle scene, the King of the Dot is your best bet. There are just so battles on the bill that one just needs to read the flyer for all the info. Organizers of KOTD always provide a loaded plate and the series has itself been running for just over a year. The battles have garnered a significant amount of views and popularity over the net. For those who want to see and hear some of the most poignant punch lines and deliveries with a slight twist and dab of freestyle then this is the event for you and yours.

The event will be hosted by none other than OG Hindu Kush & KOTD Champ Bender of Flight Distance. There will also be live video mixes by The Dopamine while AGL/Step Your Life Game Up “When That Umbrella Pop” T-shirts will be available. Finally, OG Hindu Kush: In 3D will be available for sale. (Hard pause copy)

Enter Big Brosky

Covering Montreal Grassroots Hip-hop, Graff and b-boying.

It's always nice to put a face to the journalist or writer, this is what I look like while I appreciate the piece behind me a few steps in front of Guy Metro

Before I am to begin slamming some very poignant articles on this UP site, it is undeniably quintessential that I introduce myself to the local mooks and heads in and around this very beautiful Island that we all so proudly and fondly call home.

The name is Mickey ‘Big Brosky’ Boston. The ‘Mickey’ is actually pronounced Mic-key (as in Microphone Key). In a nutshell, I am a local hip-hop artist, photographer and activist born in Montreal’s Little Burgendy district. By the age of six, I and my family moved to the United States and since three years ago, I have been residing back in Montreal where everything began. This is undeniably my hometown and I do find it essential for one to always remember and be proud of where he/she came from. In context of “Boston,” well to make a long story short, I am a huge fan of the Red Sox and NOT the Bruins, just the Red Sox. Despite this, I do rock my vintage expos jersey with an Expos fitted tipped to the side, but because I am still following baseball, the Sox became my team after we lost our beloved Expos, and yes I can name you that entire roster.

I performed at UP Summer 2010, proudly with my Expos cap on, a team I still love and am strongly nostalgic for. Rember those $5 ticket days at the Stadium?

I am a huge advocate for grassroots hip-hop and for those who have already either been in the loop or have been following my music over the years know how the fabric of my hip-hop is strongly woven in the garments of the old school. My new track with Regimental Oneton drops tomorrow entitled “Old Skool Reminisce.”

In essence, I am all about the creative process when it comes to hip-hop and its sub-culture and as an academic (I was working doctoral studies in literature and am still stuck in McGill for the next couple of years) I bring a rather critical and tenacious eye to where hip-hop is headed both on a local scale as well as on a global/universal one. I am intent on covering and bringing you the events that you either need to scope, hear about or read about if you missed ’em. In other words, this is all about the underground, the hip-hop that goes back to graffiti writers, b-boys/b-girls, djs and true school heads who know the difference between commercialized junk and classic underground gritty sound.

Expect some very stunning photography from my part. The photography is called "Mickey Boston Philosophy." My Philosophy is influenced from KRS-1, but this is a long story. Above: Johnny Skywalker of Red Mask Crew Montreal, a contributor to UP Breakestra and b-boy battle.

Moreover, despite such givens, I will attempt to bring you interviews with local b-boys, graff artists and hip-hop artists here in Montreal. You will get to learn and discover some peeps in Montreal who you may have perceived never existed. Aight, enough has been said on my end…Feel free to drop your questions and concerns my way and let me know what it is that you would like Under Pressure or myself to cover.

Finally, I would like to extend my respects and condolences to the family of Paul Frappier also known as Bad News Brown who was a  gifted artist and friend, undeniably his smile was sunshine. Keep the vibes positive, don’t let the paint dry out and stay up and stay focused, One.

RIP Paul Frappier a.k.a Bad News Brown

courtesy of bwkphotography.com

photo courtesy of bwkphotography.com

To Montreal he was a Hip Hop icon, loved by all. His music resonated, seeped through our ribcage and squeezed our hearts. He’s shared the stage with the likes of Snoop, Kanye, IceT….this we all know, most will remember this legacy, but, Bad News Brown will always been Paul Frappier to me.

We first met when I was attending John Abbott College. He was hilarious. I mean FUNNY.  A funny no one else had been to me up until that time. I spent most of our friendship laughing and the rest finding out what a knowledgeable person he was. He was a surprising individual with a giant heart and personality to match. It was no surprise to me that he found his destiny on stage.

We lost the proximity that nurtured our friendship when I went off to university.  Centre-Ville is a long way from Hudson but, we seemed to bump into each other often enough because we ran in the same circles. We’d indulge in a dose of nostalgia and it would usually end in a genuine, “Nice seeing you, take care”.  As life went on, as it usually does, we grow and move on to bigger and better things. He went on to hone his skills and managed to create a harmony between hip hop and a harmonica that we didn’t know we needed until he started to blow. Now, those who knew him, those who have crossed paths with him, performed with him or simply knew him a Paul can sit back and listen and remember.

Thanks for the laughs, the love and the music.