FESTIVAL MAGAZINE VOL.3
Festival of Community & Culture F E AT U R I N G
TALIB KWELI & HI-TEK
NUNCA, ROADSWORTH, COLIN MUNROE, 9TH WONDER, RICH MEDINA, SAGE, ART OF FRESH, SAIDAH BABA TALIBAH, 3-FLOOR ART SHOW, CANADA PRO BBOY CHAMPIONSHIP, FILM FEST+MORE. 5 DAYS. 8 EVENTS. 120+ ARTISTS. ONE CITY.
Mayor David Miller
wo years ago, the first ever Manifesto Festival of Community and Culture took place across the City of Toronto. Its unique celebration of vibrant, inclusive and positive hip hop culture, culminating in a free event at Nathan Phillips Square – Toronto’s city heart – was a memorable milestone for this city’s youth and urban arts communities. Today, as the stage is set for the festival’s thirst annual installment, we recognize that this is not just a festival, but a growing movement that continues to touch communities across the GTA, leaving an impact on passionate emerging artists and on our city as a whole. Born out of the simple idea of allowing the city’s young and emerging artists to showcase their talent on a bigger platform and with a unified voice, Manifesto has done much more than that. Through the festival and its other initiatives, Manifesto strives to improve sustainability within the youth arts sector, in turn helping to fuel the local economy and to nurture healthy communities by contributing to the careers and livelihood of local artists, arts organizers, community groups and tourism. Perhaps most importantly though, Manifesto has ignited and continues to inspire a new generation of artists and leaders dedicated to creating social change through arts and culture. Manifesto’s continued growth and success is indeed a reflection of Toronto’s values of celebrating diversity and richness of our cultural heritages, and of bringing people together to share in celebrating the arts. It is also proof of Toronto’s young, burgeoning creative individuals who are ready to represent their city by sharing their ideas and talents with the world. With this in mind, I am confident that others will join me in both celebrating and supporting the organizers, community partners and contributors of the third annual Manifesto Festival, for providing another year of quality events and artistic programming that the City of Toronto ought to be proud of.
Mayor David Miller City of Toronto
They still plottin, my Third Eye is steady watchin Festival of Community & Culture
Manifesto Magazine Vol. 3 Manifesto Community Projects Executive Director Che Kothari Creative Director Ryan Paterson Managing Director Seema Jethalal Music Director Jesse Ohtake Visual Arts Director Devon Ostrom Documentation Directors Mark Valino, Meghan Janushewski Executive Assistant Nayani Thiyagarajah Book Keeper Heather Campbell
Manifesto Festival Team Dance Director Jon Reid Visual Arts Coordinators And Curators Trevor Goodwin, Amy Peebles, Steve Ferrara, Lisa Martin, Charlie Irani, Teresa Aversa, Joshua Brandt, Patrick Ellard Music Team Phil Azer, Kb, Christian Bortey Film Fest Coordinator Mina Mikhail Freshest Goods Market Coordinator Taurean Scotland Volunteer Director Simone Holness Website Director Josue Salazar Creative Team Patrick Daggitt, Fernando Morales, Paul Harrington, Marc Ghali Promotions Director Derrick Pierre Online & Radio Promotions Adam Meghji Production Directors Cameron Wright, Lina Beaudin Technical Director TJ Shamata Documentation Team Bryan Lapointe, Daniel Libby, Jon Riera, Giles Monette, Ahsley Dier, Anoushka Alo, Jerisse Dujuan, Melissa Moffat, Luis Romero, Elle Alconcel, Saada Awaleh-God, Bilal Tariq, Micheal C Palma, Kevin Centeno, Fran Rawlings, Malinda Francis, Alaska Francis Public Relations Indoor Recess Inc.
Manifesto Magazine Team Publisher Manifesto Community Projects Inc. Editor In Chief Sean Deezill Writers Sean Deezill, Addi “Mindbender” Stewart, Dalton Higgins, Del F. Cowie, Neil Acharya, Erin “eA” Lowers, Dj Grumps, Craig Cal, Freddie C, Josue Salazar, Chantle Beeso Photographers & Illustrators Che Kothari (cover), James Kachan, Kagan McLeod, Meghan Janushewski, Tobias Wang, Julie Fish, Elle Alconcel, Ajani Charles, Kevin Centeno, Michael C Palma, Jonathan Chester, Roadsworth (cover) Design & Layout Ryan Paterson, Christine Mangosing, Ilona Fiddy
Manifesto Board Of Directors Chair Adrienne Lorico Secretary Nayani Thiyagarajah Members Miro Oballa, Jonathan Ramos, Garvia Bailey, Donna Harrow, Ian Kamau, Kehinde Bah, Hassan Jama, Sol Guy, Jamel Shabazz Special Thanks To all the past staff, long time supporters, sponsors, artists, workshop leaders, promoters, program partners and amazing volunteers who commit their time to Manifesto and help make everything we do possible. Other special thanks to Mriga Kapadiya, Gaurav Sawhney, Norman Alconcel, Prakash Surapaneni, Cass Elliot, Melanie MacDonald, JJ Ford, Addis Embiyalow, Nana Yanful, Andrea Zammit, Laura Metcalfe, Shahina Sayani, Jaime Wilson, Marcel DaCosta, Joanna Duarte Laudon, Dave Guenette, I.James.Jones, Ravi Jain, Munira Ravji, Emmanual Muamba, Quincy Jones III, Cedrick Dezchamps, Barbara Wodnicka, CFC, Drake Hotel, Lakeshore Arts, Lawrence Zucker, Loaded Pictures, Pablo Aravena, Polyteck Inc., Bernie Sandor, Marguerite Reid, Rob Sandolowich, Scarborough Arts Council, Lee Family, UrbanArts, SWB, TYC, and so many more… we would need this entire magazine to acknowledge everyone who has contributed, but know that you are in our hearts and in our minds. If you are interested in advertising in future issues of Manifesto Magazine please email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 416.569.6355 We welcome & encourage your feedback. Send comments to email@example.com or mail to: Manifesto Community Projects Inc. 358 Dufferin St. – Unit 109 Toronto, ON M6K 1Z8
Copyright © 2009 Manifesto Community Projects Inc. All Rights Reserved. No Part Of This Book May Be Reproduced In Any Form Or By Any Electronic Or Mechanical Means, Including Information Storage And Retrieval Systems, Without Permission In Writing From The Publisher, Except By A Reviewer, Who May Quote Brief Passages In A Review.
- Talib Kweli, ”The Manifesto”
very once in a while, music, art, culture, and technology collide in a way that opens up unique possibilities and shifts consciousness - a catalyst for creative evolution and social change. You can feel it in the air in this beautiful city. We’re proud to present the 3rd edition of the Manifesto Festival of Community & Culture - a festival for the city, by the city. With the blessings and support of so many, it is growing into a summer-ending tradition in Toronto, where artists from across the city amass in one big loud bang to set off the new season. With the festival’s arrival, we are reminded of the amazing creative energy and electrifying potential that exists in Canada. We are in the midst of a dynamic period, where new forms of collaboration, creation, and communication are empowering people to express their ideas and their art, and inspiring them to look to the past and learn from each other in forging a new and exciting future.
With this spirit in mind, we have opened up our festival programming to national and international guests of honour to share in Toronto’s beauty and talent and to welcome their shared perspectives and creativity. Like the name of Reflection Eternal’s first album, Train of Thought, Manifesto is just that - an idea that continues to develop through action and conversation, unconstrained by boundaries yet responsible in its movements, and dedicated to exploring the outer limits of possibility. Montréal street artist Roadsworth embodies the perspective of our generation who understand the power in questioning the systems we are born into, and who take action within these systems to alter public perceptions, garner community support and instigate change through art. Thanks to the commitment of countless community members, mentors and visionaries, this year’s lineup builds on the festival’s foundations while setting an ambitious vision for its future. To see things grow to these levels in such a short time is truly a beautiful thing and a testament to the amazing foundation that we have had the privilege to build on. As we grow, we never forget the heart and soul of this movement: people power, ingenuity, generational exchanges of knowledge and a common goal of building stronger communities. As our elders have taught us, let’s keep the essence of hip hop in mind throughout this festival: peace, love, unity, and safely having fun. Toronto is undoubtedly making its mark internationally as a leading cultural capital. With that said, Toronto, we ask you to stand up and join us in celebrating the vibrant youth arts movements that are brimming with endless potential. If you are reading this while at the festival, put it down, befriend a stranger, dance, paint something, feel the beat… be a part of Manifesto and share with thousands of others another legendary moment in Canadian history. One love.
THEBAITSHOP LOGO 2009
sisters sharing stories A STANDING OVATION FOR TODAY’S AT-RISK YOUTH.
Toronto’s ultimate urban lifestyle and entertainment guide.
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JULY 30, 2009
September 18, 2008
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THE OUTKAST MC AND SOLO ARTIST ESCAPES FROM LABEL HELL JUST IN TIME FOR CARIBANA WEEKEND 24
CITY Higher prices = good policy, bad politics 10
FILM Neil LaBute’s Lakeview
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Table of Contents Festival Guidebook
27 Keys to the City By Sean Deezill
Manifesto Year in Review
29 Manifesto Talent Spotlight
11 One City Series Schedule
31 Freshest Goods Spotlight
11 Soul(less) On Ice By Dalton Higgins
32 Up in Your Business with
13 Festival Schedule 14 Venues, Map & Info
by Chantle Beeso
Jonathan Ramos by DJ Grumps
34 Reflecting on the Making of
“Let Your Backbone Slide” by Del F. Cowie
15 Manifesto Film Festival
35 Recognizing the Dot by Del F. Cowie
16 Canada Pro 2009
38 Recession Proof by Freddie C
17 Chapter 3: 3-floor Art Exhibition
39 Technology: Hip Hop’s
Locomotive by Freddie C
19 Parkdale Youth Festival
42 Timeline: Hip hop & Technology by eA
19 106 & York Urban Arts Festival
44 Know Your Craft: 5 Steps to
20 Hip Hop Love feat. 9th Wonder 21 The Main Event 23 The Main Event
Set Times & Site Map
Creating Your Own Blog by Josue Salazar
44 10 Tips for Building a Successful
(and Respected) Blog by Sean Deezill
45 Northern Lights by Sean Deezill
24 Free Workshop Info 26 The Official After-Party Mural by Nunca
anifesto Community Projects is a non-profit grassroots organization working to unite, energize, support and celebrate Toronto’s vibrant and diverse music and arts community, and find innovative ways of working together towards common goals. We aim to provide a platform and the resources needed to advance the growth of the arts as a tool for positive change, on the individual, community and city level. The critically acclaimed Manifesto Festival Of Community & Culture is 5 days of incredible events across the city, culminating in a massive free outdoor concert at Nathan Phillips Square in the heart of downtown Toronto. Growing to be the largest and most unique festival of its kind in just two short years, the festival brings together hundreds of artists & performers, and thousands of spectators to showcase our city’s talented arts community and strengthen its foundations by building a collective sense of pride and possibility. Featuring an array of events, from art exhibitions, dance competitions, workshops, free outdoor concerts, film screenings, and more, the festival combines a grassroots, community-focused essence with high production quality.
Manifesto’s point of origin lies in hip hop culture - in its spirit of ingenuity, raw creativity, and people power, but we strive to stay out of boxes and create a platform with the potential to act as a catalyst for cross-pollination, collaboration, and the growth of new forms in this city of wildly talented people. These are our main objectives... Work with amazing people and partners to develop unique projects and produce quality events and initiatives that have a positive impact. Share knowledge, experience, and expertise intergenerationally both in the process of producing our events and initiatives, and in their delivery. Help instill a sense of civic and national pride and strengthen foundations for a homegrown star structure by showcasing the wealth of talent in our communities and unearthing and celebrating our rich cultural histories. Nurture the continued growth of art, music, and culture by actively engaging the public, but youth especially, in authentic and interactive representations and experiences.
Manifesto Year in Review
anifesto Community Projects continues to rise and shine and create amazing connections across the world with its communitybuilding initiatives and loveinspired celebrations. These are just a few of the unparalleled events that have Manifesto has been a part of in 2009: On June 6th 2009, history was made like never before, when KRS-One, unquestionably one of hip hop’s most important living legends, met with Manifesto, the L.I.F.E. Movement, the Grassroots Youth Collaborative, and 500+ members of the hip hop community in Council Chambers at Toronto City Hall and participated in an unprecedented roundtable discussion about strategies for 09
by Addi “Mindbender” Stewart
mitigating violonce, cultivating healthy communities, and counteracting negative stereotypes. The Teacha introduced his Stop The Violence movement to the city, connecting with dozens of activists and artists encouraging them to continue spreading the peace, love, unity and respect mindstate at the core of hip hop culture to those who need it most. Rather than looking at the stereotypical violent aspects of hip hop, Kris Parker chose to look at the human side of what could be a remarkably peaceful movement in Toronto. The BeautifulCity.ca project has been growing strong and steady with a revolutionary and righteous idea in its heart: to “place a tax or fee on billboards with the funds going towards art in the D BI LL BO AR public sphere.” The goal is to democratize FE E and share all public spaces, and invest a percentage of major public advertisements into grants for marginalized communities and youth arts initiatives that enrich our city. Over 50 independent organizations such as the Art Gallery of Ontario, Manifesto Community Projects, Regent Park Focus Youth Media Arts Center, Style in Progress, the Toronto Arts Council Foundation,
Sketch, the University of Toronto Student Union, among dozens more, have joined together in a collective effort to legally commit large companies who utilize billboard advertising to “break ‘em off some,” as they say in rap culture, and contribute some of their profits to the citizens they affect every day with their dominant media presence. The Beautiful City Billboard Fee will be before Council on October 5th and October 26/27, go to beautifulcity.ca to learn about how you can get involved in making this idea a reality! Beats, Breaks and Graffiti was bigger and better this year, last year being the inaugural event at Toronto’s picturesque Harbourfront. With four legendary Toronto graffiti artists all competing at with equal elements on every level, from the canvas to the caps to the colors and the word chosen to create spontaneously, the artists Globe, Skam, Artchild and Elicser all delivered unprecedented creativity for the crowd and judges to see. The winner walked away with $500 in their pocket. With the waterfront behind them and good hip hop music in the air, it was another amazing event for Manifesto to host. The Michael Jackson Tribute & Canada Day Celebration at Dundas Square was, without question, one of the most joyous, delightful, successful and inspirational events to ever happen in that internationally-renown public space. On July 1st, 2009, some of Toronto’s finest DJs and party people united to celebrate the memory and music of the best entertainer who ever lived. Three straight hours of MJ songs enthralled the thousands of attendees, and DJs Starting From Scratch, Son of S.O.U.L., Mensa, Sean Sax, DJ L’oqenz, Jason Palma and dance crew Rated X, as well as hosts Big Norm and Wan Luv, made sure the people didn’t stop ‘til they got enough music from the King of Pop. Not even the onset of rain
could make the revelers disperse, as an ecstatic gathering of sequined-gloved, Moonwalking, dancing machines partied and sung until the turntables were unplugged and speakers shut off. Download the FREE 3hr mixtape from the event at themanifesto.ca/go/mjmixtape. It’s epic. Manifesto has had the opportunity to get involved with a number of other projects both at home and abroad. Ignite The Americas, a youth arts policy forum Manifesto co-produced that brought young leaders from across the Americas to strategize and build; Project Nine Mile, a collaboration with members of the Nine Mile community in Jamaica to develop arts and culture opportunities; film screenings as part of the “Transforming Classrooms and Streets: Life Lessons of Poets and Beat Masters” event; and the roundtable discussion with DJ Drama as part of the Stylus 2009 DJ Awards, there have been a plethora of events that Manifesto has undertaken and executed with unwavering dedication to community empowerment, independent entrepreneurialism, as well as educational entertainment. With the arrival of the 3rd Annual Manifesto Festival of Community & Culture, Manifesto is excited to keep the momentum building. Stay tuned. For more info on Manifesto’s projects go to themanifesto.ca/projects
Photo Tobias Wang
themanifesto.ca 10 10
The Manifesto One City Series
is an umbrella program of partner events leading up to and following the Manifesto Festival that recognizes artists, organizers and promoters who contribute to the city’s rich cultural fabric. Its goal is to provide independent organizers with a platform for cross-promotional exposure built on the attention surrounding the festival itself. It is our way of shining a light on those that make the city what it is and reaching out to their respective audiences in an effort to unify the city behind the idea and experience of the Manifesto Festival of Community & Culture. Come support the people and organizations that bring this city to life!
Soul(less) On Ice
lame it on “indie” rock. My third book Hip Hop World has absolutely nothing to do with rock music. But am I alone in feeling bamboozled into believing that anything could be more ”indie” in thought, resources and spirit than rap music and its global constituencies. Rock n’ roll was invented and innovated by African Americans, while the “indie” rock scene in Toronto (arguably the world’s most multicultural city) is terribly homogenous and provincial. So I wondered why we celebrate it ad nauseum, to the exclusion of genius Afro-diasporic music creations – like rap music. Sadly, some of the only things that are black or “of color” at “indie” rock gatherings, are the stage curtains. And even them curtains ain’t got no soul. So I decided to celebrate hip hop, in print, in all its global multiracial glory. Most of the hip hop practitioners I consider colleagues and friends, come from all over the map, are Black to South Asian, Asian to
by Dalton Higgins
Aboriginal, Eastern European to Latin American, and more. And their stories need to be told. As one of Canada’s long time journo provocateurs, I had to write about Inconvenient Truths. Was the Notorious B.I.G (and most of hip hop’s founding fathers) more Yardie than you think? Is there a reason why my Filipino brothers dominate turntablism? Why is beat boxing and break dancing more popular outside of America? What exactly is this Gay Rapper witch hunt all about? Who are the new school raptivists, and what drives them? Are Islam and rap compatible? Did Hipster Rap (R.I.P.) ever stand a chance given the shortened attention spans of its millennial music inventors? Can we vote BET off the air? I wrote the book I wanted to read. And that meant musing on whether Asher Roth is as terrible as I think he is, and why I think burgeoning Aboriginal rap scenes rule. Can rap live on forever? Disco died. Funk went badunk. Techno is like “hell, no”. Or has rap already died and gone to a Cuban (or Chinese) heaven? Hip Hop World Official Book Launch - Sept 1 @ Lula Lounge as part of the Manfiesto One City Series
in partnership with the City Of Mississauga A ridiculous jam that exposes youth potential in music, art, dance and theatre in an ode to the history of ‘Sauga urban culture.
Slakah The Beatchild
reakin’ Showcase B Tournament + much more!
@ Mississauga City Centre
HIP HOP WORLD
Book Launch Party Celebrate the release of Dalton Higgins’ new book! For people into globalisation, black / youth / counterculture, innovative music, and pondering the past, present, and future of the art form. feat.
@ Art Gallery of Ontario
Andycapp Rod Skimmins @ The Boat
@ Lennox Contemporary
@ Drake Underground
Musicians take to the streets of Toronto to raise money for children affected by war.
@ Various locations
Classic hip hop and R&B anthems all night long!
Join Toronto poet/MC/ organizer Ian Kamau and friends to check the new album. Don’t sleep.
4 DJs on 4 Turntables, mixing, blending & cutting the very best of funk, soul, RnB, house and hip hop music.
@ Opera House
@ College Street Bar
@ AnitAFRIKA Dub Theatre
SCARBOROUGH FRESH FAIR
with live performaces, Battle of the Barbers, Hip Hop Chess Open, Tee-Off Tshirt Design Comp, workshops, prizes & giveaways, and tons more! Not to be missed!
The soul you love. feat.
J. Period NYC Agile Sean Sax DJ Mensa
Lindo P. Rochester Famous JB Trish Rich Kidd Rated X Shannon Alvares + much more!!
@ Revival Bar
@ Albert Campbell Square
reFRESH FOR LESS
Buy, sell, or swap everything from streetwear to sweetwear, jewelry pieces to Jesus pieces, sneakers to kitten heels.
SEPT ArtReach Toronto & Manifesto present
OPEN MIC for youth at 5:00pm. Contest and performances kick off at 6:00pm.
DJ Dirty Dale DJ Serious Jason Palma
@ Whippersnapper Gallery
@ Andy Poolhall
The Hilltop Hoods
SEPT Footprints & Nufunk present
Manifesto ART SHOW & RISE AUCTION CLOSING + NUIT BLANCHE PARTY!!!
Manifesto rocks McCaul street to close out another crazy year. 3 floors of music, art, and mayhem with
Mixtape Massacre Fathom
7-YR ANNIVERSARY feat.
Hypnotic Brass Ensemble
@ Opera House
@ Lee’s Palace
Marinda & Solari Son of S.O.U.L.
hip hop, house, jazz, funk, disco feat.
$15,000 in cash prizes!
@ Phoenix Concert Theatre
Youth artists and entrepreneurs compete to win
YOUTH ARTS PITCH CONTEST
@ 52 McCaul
Ian Kamau LISTENING PARTY
29 WAR CHILD: BUSKING FOR CHANGE
Numeric & Dalia
Toronto’s first ever photo exhibition featuring photographs and compelling stories of India’s indigenous people, the Dalits.
@ Rolly’s Garage
Reef The Lost Cauze
THE MAIN INGREDIENT
NEVER FORGIVE ACTION feat.
@ Revival Bar
Jedi Mind Tricks
@ Rolly’s Garage
17 PICKING UP THE PIECES
A NIGHT WITH TROKEL SJOSTRAND
Futureboogie, disco not disco, leftfield house and tropicalia with
of Underground Productions/DoKument Press (Stockholm, Sweden)
Wio-K Telmary DJ Dopey L’oqenz
from The Roots
BANG THE PARTY
DVD/CD Release Party with guests Angerville, Cory Lee, Ish, Jus Frais, Mr. Burns, DJ Greedo, Solo R.E.D. & more
presented by Harmony Movement, UNITY Charity & Manifesto
SPESH K 90209
@ Lula Lounge
ARTS.FOR. EQUITY YOUTH SHOWCASE
@ Drake Hotel
Get involved!! Come show your support for an all starlineup of deputations to help push the City to pass the Beautiful City Billboard Fee.
@ Toronto City Hall themanifesto.ca 12
The Festival SEPT
MANIFESTO FILM FESTIVAL (6:00pm-11:00pm)
Opening party debuting a new secret cinema, featuring documentary and short films about hip hop culture and beyond.
@ Acacia Centre
CANADA PRO 2009 BBOY CHAMPIONSHIP (8:00pm-2:00am)
Some of North Americaâ€™s best bboy crews go head to head for a $5000 prize!
@ Sound Academy
PARKDALE YOUTH FESTIVAL (12:00pm-7:00pm)
All day event featuring artists and performers from the Parkdale community as well as some special guests.
@ Queen & Cowan
ART EXHIBITION (8:00pm-2:00am)
3-floors of top notch art from Toronto artists and special guests. Feat.
NUNCA (Brazil) Roadsworth (Montreal) @ 52 McCaul St.
106 & YORK
(6:00pm-10:00pm) Manifesto teams up with JaneFinch based Rated Inc. to rock the Toronto Centre for the Arts!
@ Toronto Centre For The Arts
(10:00pm-2:00am) The Hip Hop Love crew team up with Manifesto to present the legendary superproducer 9th Wonder!
@ Premium Rhythm Bar
THE MAIN EVENT @ NATHAN PHILLIPS SQUARE
A FREE full day stage show, hip hop playground, and evening concert featuring over 100 artists. Headlined by
TALIB KWELI & HI-TEK ARE REFLECTION ETERNAL 13
DUAL VENUE AFTERPARTY
(10:00pm-2:00am) Join the Manifesto team and a capacity crow at this dual venue jam to celebrate another successful festival and the incredible city it showcases.
@ Mod Club & Revival
Venues Map & Info
QUEEN ST. WEST
RICHMOND ST. WEST
BLOOR ST. WEST
SHEPPARD AVE. E
EGLINTON AVE. E
MOUNT PLEASAN RD.
1 Acacia Centre
4 Queen St. W & Cowan St.
186 Spadina Ave.
5 Toronto Centre For The Arts 5040 Yonge St. - Recital Hall
2 Sound Academy
Premium Rhythm Bar 173 Eglinton Ave. E
11 Polson Street
Sunday 7 Nathan Phillips Square 100 Queen St. W
3 52 McCaul Street
783 College St. W
722 College St. W
Still from The Freshest Kids
+ WED SEPT
Manifesto Film Festival
Acacia Centre 186 Spadina Ave.
$5 advance 6pm - 12am
Join us as we get Manifesto rolling with an excellent doublefeature lineup and a series of shorts, performances, djs, red carpet, flashing lights... all that biz.
The Freshest Kids
The Freshest Kids is a movie that demonstrates everything that is good about hip hop. Directed by Israel and released in 2002, the film is a must for anyone wanting to explore the roots of hip hop, especially breakin’. The film unfolds fantastically and magnifies an element of hip hop culture that many are aware of but few know a lot about: the b-boy movement. The Freshest Kids is a wonderful reminder of how young hip hop is and how quickly key elements can be forgotten or discarded for commercial interests.
Dj Agile (Brassmunk | Bbl | MORE) Boogeymen (Ota Live | MORE) Droppin Dimez (Mel Boogie & JJ Rock) Spoken Word Kamau Diana Floss + Live painting by Skam + Shorts + Playstation®3 & PSP® Raffle 15
Well respected and greatly acclaimed director/producer Jon Reiss presents a worldwide feast of messages. Filmed on five continents, Reiss uses areas containing graffiti and street art to display greater global issues such as free will, community control, and poor living standards. Even genius criminologist George Kelling was interviewed to speak on his “Broken Windows” theory. Clearly, the film goes beyond hip hop, and dives into the inevitable aftermath and consequences of hip hop culture. Look out for popular graffiti artists TAKI 183, Os Gêmeos, as well as famous illustrator Shepard Fairey.
Canada Pro 2009 Bboy Championship Sound Academy 11 Polson Street | $15 advance
8pm - 2am | 19+
The best bboys from across the continent throw down in Toronto for their chance at the CANADA PRO CUP and the grand prize of $5,000! Featuring head to head bboy battles and the hottest international judging lineup Toronto has ever seen. Not to be missed!
Canada Pro Judges
J Hak TG BREAKERS - Korea BZ Broox Mighty Zulu Kingz - Ohio Cuso Mind180 - Florida Bgirl YAYA Domestic Apes - New York Buckingham Flexible Flave Sacramento
Supernaturalz (Toronto) Rude Boi Posse (Toronto) Omega Stepz (NY) Dynamic Rockers (NY) Flexible Flave (Sacramento) Ground Illusionz (Toronto) Albino Zebra (London/Toronto)
Tona & Drops Supernaturalz With DJs
DJ Dopey Tom Wrecks Riccachet
$5000 Grand Prize!
+ Special performance by
Swaquar + Playstation®3 & PSP® Raffle
2009 B-boy Championship by eA
reakin’ and dance competitions are hidden gems in the GTA, but this isn’t the case anymore. Manifesto and Back to the Underground (B2DU) are hitting Toronto with the first annual Canada Pro 2009 B-boy Championship, an all-out elimination styled battle between the best crews in North America with hopes of winning $5000. Between a handful of crews, such as New York veterans the Dynamic Rockers, these breakers are representing all parts of the U.S., Canada and the GTA inclusively. As Dance Director Jon Reid says, “this event is gonna pull people from all over the States, and up the game in Toronto’s competitive b-boying scene.” Breakers, battle hard!
Friday, September 18
Chapter 3-Floor Art Exhibition
52 McCaul Street PWYC | 8pm - 2am | 19+
GALLERY HOURS: Sept 20-Oct 3 / Tues. to Sat. 1:00pm to 7:30pm
Building on the massive success of last year, join us as we literally raise the roof with the opening of our three floor exhibition featuring Canadian talent, artist residencies, new installations and special guests.
Rise Auction For Youthlink by Well and Good 100% of proceeds go to Youthlink - a charity devoted to underserved youth in Toronto. Curated by Steve Ferrara and Lisa Martin of Well and Good.
A constantly evolving collaboration of installations, youth workshops and artists at work. Curated / Managed by Joshua Brandt of Whippersnapper.
This Is An Art Show
A voyeuristic look into the minds of artists -- through process based and interactive works. Curated by Teresa Aversa and Charlie Irani of Charlie’s Gallery.
Sept 17th @ 5:30 pm City Hall Rotunda Artmap is a collaborative art piece by artists from each of Toronto’s 44 wards. Much like a giant puzzle, each artist or arts organization was given a ward shaped piece of an 8x17’ wooden map of Toronto to work with. Following the exhibition, the work will be disassembled and given to each corresponding councillor’s office as a reminder of the vibrancy and unity of artists across Toronto.
+ + 17
Rise Auction Reception: October 3rd 4:00pm Start
Nuit Blanche Closing Party: October 3rd 7:00pm
Nunca Roadsworth (Brazil) In association with Schools Without Borders
Alexa Hatanaka Ben Weeks Carlos Weisz Case Charlie Irani Che Kothari Chor Boogie Chris Dyer Claudio Bianchi Derrick Hodgson Edward Maloney Elicser Fathom Felicia Mings Gabriel Graham Gene Starship Horus Joseph Tisiga Joshua Barndt Juliana Neufeld Kaitlyn Till-Landry Labrona Music by
DJ Mensa Peter Project Chris Quotes
Lease Lizzie Vickery Luna Simic Mediah Musa Nicholas Fox Nikki Ormerod Norman Yeung Omen Parishil Patrick Kerney Evoke Paul Aloisi Piotr Adas RP Ryan Mackeen Siloette Talia Shipman Teresa Aversa Tobias Wang Uber We Kill You
Fresh Kils Subliminal DJ Irate
Jason Palma DJ Ariel
Closing party music by
Marinda & Solari
Fathom Bang Son of S.O.U.L. The Party Mixtape Massacre
Nunca, Tate Modern 2008
unca is part of a vanguard of artists from São Paulo that are leading street art to unsurpassed levels of innovation and aesthetic definition on the global stage. Nunca’s work focuses a post-colonial lens on the uncomfortable chasm between modernity and ancient roots, the mixing of cultures and the struggles of indigenous peoples. “I believe because of mixing, Brazil is culturally rich, but we don’t value that cultural richness, we don’t respect ourselves […] The images I use of Indians are a way to depict that this rich culture is alive within each Brazilian, but the foreign exploitation in the country, diminishes Brazil’s self-esteem,” says Nunca. Recently, Nunca headlined the blockbuster ‘Street Art’ at the Tate Modern in London UK. Continuing Manifesto Festival’s commitment to Latin America, Nunca will be painting a mural on 52 McCaul St. for ‘Chapter 3’ from September 18-27th as well as doing a youth workshop in collaboration with Schools without Borders.
he hallmark of modern capital and empire is the externalization of costs – resource wars are pushed to the periphery and what does not fit on the balance sheet is not accounted for. By subverting the dominate form of the city, Roadsworth folds the hidden costs of our culture back into sight. In 2004, Roadsworth was arrested for 53 counts of mischief, had his apartment tossed and was facing fines up $250 000 – however due to an outpouring of public support most charges were dropped. Highlighting Manifesto Festival’s commitment to the public realm, Roadsworth will be in Toronto September 11-18th doing a work residency for ‘Chapter 3’ at 52 McCaul St. On September 18th join Roadsworth and Director Alan Kohl for an intimate film screening of ‘Roadsworth: Crossing the Line’ at the Drake Hotel, 4:30pm (Free). Roadsworth does not wait for the city to slowly designate bike lanes, he get out there and paints them himself. In a city where over 2000 people die from smog related ailments every year Toronto needs more Roadsworth.
Join Roadsworth and Director Alan Kohl for an intimate film screening of
‘Roadsworth: Crossing the Line’ September 18th at the Drake Hotel, 4:30pm (Free)
Parkdale Youth Festival FREE
| 12pm - 7pm Queen St W & Cowan St
A day of family entertainment to raise awareness for various Parkdale youth service organizations.
Queen & Cowan
Parkdale Public Library
DJ’s Double K & Anousheh The Remix Project Sketch Scotty Dynamo J-Man TheReaLVoyce Supreme Being Unit Kae Sun of The Parkdale Funk Show
Library Stage Smart Sckool - Kidzone St. Christopher House Youth Art Zone Parkdale Poster Lady Poster Making Workshop Tovaco Productions/ Parkdale Project Read Parkdale Street Writers
Workshops Jewellry Making Poster Making Flower Making Salsa Lessons Yoga For Youth
Parkette Stage Sketch Skits Permaculture Project Greenest City Shakespeare Sampler Classical Theatre Project Pia Boumann School for Ballet Literacy Through Hip Hop Akwaba Cultural Exchange
Youth + Outdoor Dance Party
( 7-11pm )
Interactive All Day Fun
Smart Sckool Kidzone – Presented by Smart Sckool
$10 | 5pm - 10pm Toronto Centre For The Arts 5040 Yonge St. - Recital Hall
106 & York is a multi-disciplinary urban arts festival that will showcase some of Toronto’s finest young talent in music, fashion, dance and spoken word and more. Featuring:
Kim Davis Rich Kidd Rated X Redway
106 & York Urban Arts Festival
A-Game Daniel Daley Northbuck YShaws S.Davis Kyauna Touchless Style Wize Krymez Priceless T. Ana Cole Wolf J
A.B.S. Lola Bunz Scott Jackson Keepin It Real Omega Mighty AO3 Raheem Verse-a-tyle Troy Black Vertigo Balu Ballistic K Tyse
Get tickets for 106 & York online at
The Kid Famous Press Play Lifestyle Group Public Enemy Nyse Touch No Dayz Off Yung Wunz Caliente (Latin Drum & Dance) Roc The Runway Fashion Show Featuring NISE Clothing, Royalz Wear, Big it Up, Mad Face Apparel, CC, Krystal Miller & Sirens Host DJ
Fire Kid Steenie Hosted by
Master T Brooklyn Femi
Hip Hop Love $20 advanced Doors at 10pm | 19+
Premium Rhythm Bar
173 Eglinton Avenue East (at Mount Pleasant)
Real Good + Manifesto team up to present legendary super-producer 9th Wonder for Manifestoâ€™s Official Saturday Night Party.
9th Wonder True School / Jamla / Academy (North Carolina)
9th Wonder is a hip hop producer from Raleigh, North Carolina, U.S.. He began his career as the main producer for the hip hop group Little Brother, and has also worked with Nas, Mary J. Blige, Jean Grae, Wale, Jay-Z, MURS, Buckshot, and Destinyâ€™s Child. As part of Little Brother he gained widespread recognition and critical acclaim for his production on their debut release, The Listening.
DJ Surreal Sound RealGood (Toronto)
DJs Cuzzin B + Jay Clipp True School (Baltimore, Dallas)
Sole Purpose (Toronto)
The Main Event
12pm - 10pm Nathan Phillips Square
100 Queen St W .
A FREE family-friendly day of arts & music that escalates into an epic outdoor concert, featuring The Freshest Goods market where young designers and collectives sell their creations and gain exposure; Know Your Craft workshops in breaking,
hand drumming, screen vprinting, DJing and a variety of artforms; a 70-foot mural painted live throughout the day by Toronto’s cream of the crop, an open collaborative mural and community dance floor, and much more.
Talib Kweli & HiTek REFLECTION ETERNAL are
Colin Munroe Scratch Bajah + The Dry Eye Crew from
Art Of Fresh Solitair Tona Sage Covert Ops Saidah Baba Talibah Grand Analog Richie Sosa Empire
Miles Jones Jahvon Mantis & Justis The Lytics Cale Sampson KJ, Lelani Dee & Brendan Phillips Gurpreet Chana & M-Rock
Dj P-Plus Kae Wonder Dj L’oqenz Grand Groove (Big Jacks & Royale) 21
Dance Performances By
Simply Swagg Canada Pro Cup Battle Winner
Garvia Bailey Real Frequency (Arcee / Musiklee Inzane) Big Norm & Wan Luv
Shing Shing Regime Lameck Williams Helen Yohannes I.James.Jones & Lyrical Chemist Rayhaan Capeech Pg
+ Freshest Goods Market
As part of the Manifesto Festival’s main event at Nathan Phillips Square, young entrepreneurs and organizations are given subsidized booth space and the opportunity to reach a big audience, to showcase themselves and sell products and services, and to connect with cultural industry reps and other artists and entrepreneurs.
Your Craft + Know Workshops
Manifesto’s Know Your Craft workshop series connects young participants with seasoned practitioners to learn the fundamentals of a range of disciplines straight from the source. From the transformative hip hop arts of deejaying, emceeing, breaking, and graffiti, to other potent art forms such as photography, drumming, capoeira, design, screenprinting and more. See page 24 for workshop schedule.
+ Open Dancefloor
Graffiti Wall + 70’ BeautifulCity.ca Jam Case Omen Cear
EGR Ronie Peru Uber Art Child
& special guests.
+ Open Canvas Project
FRESHEST GOODS MARKET
PLAYSTATION LOUNGE OPEN DANCE FLOOR
INFO ARTIST MERCH
PEACE TENT TYC TIMERAISER AGO
WARCHILD FLOW 93.5
BARBER SHOP THE BAIT SHOP TSHIRT STATION WORKSHOPS
QUEEN STREET WEST
SET TIMES 12:00 12:10 12:30 12:40 12:50 12:55 1:10 1:25
Peace Ceremony Dj Kae Wonder Pg Lameck Williams Capeech Shing Shing Regime Cale Sampson Kj + Brendan Phillips + Leilani Dee
Rayhaan Mantis & Justis Miles Jones Gurpreet Chana + M-Rock The Lytics Empire Grand Analog Covert Ops (Arcee & Marvel) Richie Sosa Sage Lyrical Chemist + I.James.Jones 5:00 Helen Yohannes 1:50 2:05 2:25 2:50 3:05 3:25 3:45 4:05 4:25 4:35 4:50
5:10 5:40 6:00 6:15 6:25 6:35 7:00 7:20 7:45 8:00 8:40 8:45
Bajah + The Dry Eye Crew Art Of Fresh Jahvon Simply Swagg Canada Pro Bboy Championship Winners Saidah Baba Talibah Tona Solitair Mayor Miller Address Colin Munroe Scratch From The Roots Reflection Eternal
FREE WORKSHOPS SEPT 20TH 1PM-6PM | Nathan Phillips Square
DJING 101 WITH STEPTONE WHEN: 1:00-2:00PM & 5:00-6:00PM WHERE: WORKSHOP TENT As one half of widely acclaimed turntable band iNSiDEaMiND and founder of Toronto’s Off Centre DJ School, Erik Laar (aka Steptone) has performed at Warped Tour, Nuit Blanche and collaborated with Kid Koala, D-Styles, and DJ Food among others. www.offcentredj.com
SIP PRESENTS GRAFFITI FUNDAMENTALS WITH DURO3 WHEN: 2:00-3:00PM WHERE: OPEN CANVAS Infamous graffiti artist Duro3 has been painting since 1989. Having painted over 400 murals throughout his career, he has become most famous for having Canada’s most renowned 3D lettering style. www.durothethird.com
MUY THAI WORKSHOP WITH POO CHOI MIKEY WHEN: 2:00-3:00PM WHERE: WORKSHOP TENT With 12 years and 10 muy thai bouts under his belt, Poo Choi Mikey trained under Kru Paul learning the fundamentals of this martial art form. Mikey teaches the importance of decision making, intelligence in the ring, timing and proper stance foundation.
SILKSCREENING WITH THE BAIT SHOP WHEN: 2:00-3:00PM WHERE: THE BAITSHOP TENT Founded in 2007, the Baitshop’s core business lies in custom, detail oriented small run screen printing, but extends as far as design, production, marketing campaign development and execution. Our clients include independent clothing lines, marketing agencies, retailers, artists, as well as fashion majors looking for limited edition collaborations.
DRUMMING WITH MOHAMED DIABY
FRESH CUTS WITH MAD ONE WHEN: 4:00PM-5:00pm WHERE: BARBERSHOP TENT Manifesto 2008 barber shop finalist, Mad One is not only an infamous barber but also b-boy, entrepreneur, father, and graffiti artist. Mad One has cut for the Blue Jays, Argonauts and others and runs a barbershop at Black Market at 256A Queen Street West.
HIP HOP DANCE WITH TATIANA AND ADDY WHEN: 4:00PM – 5:00PM WHERE: WORKSHOP TENT Dancers and choreographers Tatiana Parker and Addy Chan are well-versed in hip hop dance. Addy has danced in music videos commercials, on TV and in films for Thunderheist, So You Think You Can Dance, Much Music, Kickin it Old School and more. Tatiana, most recently a part of So You Think You Can Dance Canada’s Top 20, has worked with artists including Hillary Duff, Akon, Kardinal Offishall, Shawn Desmand, Kim Davis, Eva Avila, Thunderheist and Jully Black to name a few.
BBOYING/ BGIRLING WITH DROPS WHEN: 5:00PM-6:00PM WHERE: DANCEFLOOR Jon Reid aka Bboy Drops (Supernaturalz Crew/ Drunken Monkz) ranks amongst the top bboys in Canada. Whether performing in Wembley Arena in London England for 20,000 fans, at The Apollo in Harlem, or teaching students at Toronto schools, Drops shows passion for this artform. As a partner in Back to the Underground, Canada’s largest bboy event promotions company, and as Artistic Director of Break it Down, a not-for-profit bboy youth inspiration organization, Drops gives back to his culture through the creation of events and youth programming for young people from high priority neighbourhoods, and by growing the vibrant dance community in Toronto.
THEBAITSHOP LOGO 2009
WHEN: 3:00-4:00PM WHERE: WORKSHOP TENT Mohamed Diaby began playing the djembe at age seven and by fifteen, Mohamed joined Africa Djole, led by Fode Yulla. Mohamed later joined Les Merveilles de Guinea as lead drummer, touring all over West Africa. Kemoko Sano, Artistic Director of the world famous troupe Les Ballet Africains, requested Mohamed to join his troupe. In April of 1995 Mohamed arrived in America to play at New York City’s Symphony Space. Today, Mohamed travels around the world teaching and performing. www.myspace.com/wonlande
The Official Afterparty Revival 783 College St. W Mod Club 722 College St. W
$20 advance | Doors at 10pm | 19+ Topping the mayhem of the ‘07 and ‘08 jams is a tall order, so we’re throwing a dual venue banger with some of the best DJs in the game! Featuring Philadelphia’s versatile dancefloor king dropping smooth and eclectic blends of hip hop, funk, soul, disco and afrobeat - and Hi-Tek rocking Revival to close out the night following Reflection Eternal’s headlining show at Nathan Phillips Square. Not to be missed!
Hi-Tek Skratch Bastid
DJ Mercilless Rich Kidd & Friends Hosted by
Saukrates & special guest
at Mod Club
Rich Medina Starting From Scratch The Footprints DJs Son Of S.O.U.L. Hosted by
Sol Guy (4REAL)
Notes To Self themanifesto.ca 26
Keys Art Of Fresh
f you were a young male or female raised in New York during the late 80’s to mid 90’s, chances are, you wanted to be involved in music. Whether you wanted to be a writer, a teacher, a promoter, an agent, a singer, or an emcee, there was a great possibility that in the Big Apple, it was more than plausible and accessible. Sadly, the same can’t be said for Toronto youths. For the longest time, our greatest source of mainstream urban radio was an American station (93.7 WBLK), our music classes were limited in resources and guidance, and the distribution of Canadian content was mediocre at best. Recently, however, there has been a recent surge of interest in Northern music. The young talent, even when faced with adversity and barriers, broke through any preconceived notions of what it is to be a new artist. New Toronto talent,
combined with the expertise and rolodex of savvy Canadian music veterans, is making waves throughout headphones across the globe. However, the key to success on this side of the border (to ensure success elsewhere) seems to be unity. Being, and staying, united is essential to the success of Toronto duo Art of Fresh. Consisting of Guinness World Record holder, D.O. (Defy the Odds – Longest Freestyle, clocking in at almost 9 hours), and BBE Records member, Slakah the Beatchild, the two have certainly embraced their worldwide success and recognize the need for a festival such as Manifesto. “It’s a beautiful event because it unites the city. There’s so many generations of hip hop coming out to be a part of [Manifesto],” claims the group’s primary rhymer, D.O. Nevertheless, Slakah, producer extraordinare, feels like being from Toronto shouldn’t limit an artist, “The strategic plan is just different. With the amount of communication
wait for the first person to dance before they go and dance, even though they wanted to all along.” Regardless, her style is special, it is soul, but her roots in Canada have allowed her to encompass a variety of flavours, cultures, and genres into the mix. She makes it remarkably hard to keep that “Screwface.”
For Sage, female singer/rapper/ who once lived in Brooklyn, it’s this laid back vibe that proves valuable to an artist. “Toronto is a really good training ground for what you want to do.” Thus, musicians could benefit. “[Toronto] allows you freedom that a lot of other places do not. […] It gives you a little bit of time to experiment.” Compared to New York? “The hustle in New York is a lot [faster], here, you get a chance to sit and think,” but Sage feels both cities make efforts to contribute to the hip hop culture, “they make it accessible to the community,” which is exactly what festivals such as Manifesto or the Brooklyn Hip Hop festival do. Manifesto, for Sage is unique because “it’s about giving a voice to people who have something to say,” which to her is what hip hop is all about; providing a vehicle for voices that may otherwise not be heard. All four of these personalities have certainly earned the right to grace the cover of Manifesto’s 3rd Edition Guidebook, if not for their talent, then for their drive. If not for their drive, then for their inspiration. If not for their inspiration, then for their hunger to find inspiration. What better place to find inspiration than within these new, fresh, bright, and indulging artists, amongst the many others that are on display here at the Manifesto Festival of Community & Culture.
by Sean Deezill photos Che Kothari
technology at our disposal, you can be anywhere and become known if you do it right.” Being from Toronto should also allow for a creative edge, “It is a creative city,” says Slakah, “it is culturally and artistically aware.” So, why is there so much hostility? In a city known as the “Screwface Capital,” singer/ songwriter/producer Saidah believes that, at times, the title goes beyond music. “It’s so hard because I have not only been in the music scene, I’ve been on the dance scene and the theatre scene as well,” says Saidah, who’s full stage name is Saidah Baba Talibah, “Yes, there is support, and no there isn’t support. People have to market it a certain way in order for people to ‘get that’ and ‘be on that bandwagon.’” She uses familiar imagery to describe the general T Dot crowds: “There are a lot of wallflowers. They’ll stand on the side and
Manifesto Talent Spotlight
Don’t miss these amazing artists and more during the Manifesto Festival
Visual Artists Joshua Barndt www.joshuabarndt.com Joshua Barndt is a Toronto-based painter, installation artist, and curator. Born in Toronto, he completed his BFA in 2008 in Interdisciplinary Fine Arts at Concordia University in Montreal. Barndt’s highly multidisciplinary exhibitions weave together hyperrealist figurative paintings, raw painted animations, and large-scale sculpture into immersive installations. Barndt has exhibited extensively in Montreal and Toronto.
www.elicser.com With a gritty-soft pallet of distorted figures, teetering tree houses, jumbled skylines, and even infamous hug-me trees, Elicser Elliot is arguably Toronto’s most loved graffiti artist. A graduate of the Illustration program at Sheridan College, he has been producing and showing work in Toronto for almost twelve years. His prolific output has also been featured and reviewed in publications such as Mix Magazine, The Globe and Mail, Spacing and NOW Magazine.
CASE case.them.ca Case was born Ryan Mackeen in Belleville in 1977 and educated in the Animation program at Sheridan College. Currently, Case is directing shorts and music videos for a variety of recording artists, but always returns to graffiti art. Notable collaborations of his include Eminem, Arcade Fire, and Megadeth. Arcade Fire’s video, “Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)” won video of the year at the Juno Awards and charted high around the globe.
Lease/ Lisa Mansfield surfacephotographydesign.blogspot.com/ Lease is a stencil artist and photographer based in Toronto, best known as a cofounder, curator, and organizer of the late, great, Press Pause Collective, and for her highly refined stencil work and commercial photography. Merging traditional and digital processes, she has used her photographic and design background to become Toronto’s reigning ‘Stencil Queen.’
Joseph Tisiga Joseph Tisiga is a multidisciplinary artist of Kaska Dene heritage. His interests in medium range from drawing, painting and carving to writing, performance, and film work. Tisiga explains that he is “less concerned with medium, and more with the process and story” that lays within his work. Joseph has exhibited his work in Canada and France, has presented performance work with Nakai Theatre and Native Earth, and is currently a semi-finalist in the Royal Bank of Canada painting competition. Tisiga currently lives and works in Whitehorse Yukon where he explores his newest obsession “Indian Brand Corporation”.
Musicians Colin Munroe blog.unsunghero.tv Probably best known for his rendition of Kanye West’s “Flashing Lights,” Colin garnered attention from Dallas Austin, who in turn encouraged him towards Universal Motown. After dropping a very successful mixtape, The Unsung Hero, writing for Ray Robinson, appearing on tracks with Black Milk and Wale, and now, currently touring with The Roots, Common, and K’naan, Colin has evidently shot up his way to stardom. Look out for his upcoming debut LP, Don’t Think Less of Me.
KJ www.airkj.com Compared to the likes of Common, Andre 3000 and Mos Def, this young man is fitted for the Hip Hop history books. KJ is a credited recording engineer and mix engineer, evidently mixing in the best sounds of hip hop, R&B, and dance into one. Raised in England and relocating to Canada at 11, now 21, “A Breath of Fresh Heir” is what music needs and is what you will get.
Bajah + The Dry Eye Crew (Sierra Leone) www.planetbajah.com After packing the national stadium for performances in their home country of Sierra Leone and contributing music to the Academy Award–nominated film Blood Diamond, African superstars Bajah + the Dry Eye Crew are poised to conquer the global airwaves with their international debut album (due out in spring 2010 with an impressive lineup of A-listers) and their unique sound, which blends the swagger and funk of hip hop, the passion and energy of dancehall, and the socially conscious vibe of reggae.
Redway www.myspace.com/redwaymusic Born in Toronto, Redway boldly stepped forward in the hip hop genre, and has opened for JR Writer, Chamillionaire and Juelz Santana. He has even ghostwritten verses for many of the who’s who in the hip hop industry. In 2008, Redway recorded the much anticipated mixed tape entitled The Fly Guy Volume 1, hosted by DJ Malicious. Look out for the next single “Facebook Broads,” and the follow up, “Pick Me Up,” featuring Darnell.
Richie Sosa www.myspace.com/richiesosa Having grown up in Scarborough, Richie Sosa has continued to represent the GTA proudly as an Americanrecognized mixtape genius. Sosa is responsible for creating the Count Money Cartel group - a group of ambitious artists and entrepreneurs. After having been featured on over 150 mixtapes, Richie Sosa is now working on his first solo album.
The Lytics www.thelytics.com Based out of Winnipeg, this hip hop trio recently dropped their self-titled, selfreleased EP in December 2008, gracing the Canadian music scene with refreshing music and humble attitudes. Influenced by everyone from A Tribe Called Quest to Andrea Bocelli, The Lytics’ have defiantly taken a front-running place within Canadian hip hop.
Diana Floss aka Angelica LeMinh Diana Floss reps the 5141604 as a ubiquitous word and sound enthusiast. She writes for print, web, and journal in arts, sex, and hip hop. She loves the TTC and the public library, and started the www.metrotextual.wordpress.com initiative this summer. She also has a photojournalism project called “Your Cat Didn’t Run Away, S/he’s Just Not That Into You”. She has performed with the KalmUnity Vibe Collective and is also known as Angelica LeMinh.
Dance Crews Supernaturalz www.supernaturalz.com Not only renowned as Canada’s top crew, but also one of the top crew’s in the world. Supernaturalz’ impressive resume of international championships speaks for itself and shows the consistency and dedication this crew has for the dance. Chosen to represent Canada in Korea at one of the biggest international events of the year, R-16, this crew has been highlighted as the crew to beat amongst the international competitors.
Rude Bwoi Posse The RBP is comprised of two major crews from the Toronto area, Maximum Efficiency crew and the F.A.M. Known for killing cyphers across Toronto, these two crews come together to create a powerful squad of raw b-boys. They are the reigning Harbourfront Pop, Lock, & Load champions, so expect this crew to represent at Canada Pro in a major way.
Freshest Goods Market 2008
Freshest Goods Spotlight by Chantle Beeso
oronto is the heartbeat of Canada, known for its culture and diversity. The city’s distinctiveness can undoubtedly be seen through our fashion sense. With a countless amount of clothing lines on the come up in Toronto, below are some of the freshest and most recognized the city has to offer. Be sure to check out the hundreds of clothing lines that will be available at the market this year!
Fort Apparel fortapparel.com Literally one of the ‘freshest’ clothing lines to be featured this year, FORTApparel began its reign in early 2008. Spearheaded by Trevor Cane, the Toronto-based clothing line highlights the city’s unique identity while showcasing simple yet unprecedented pieces. The intricate designs and close attention paid to detail allow FORTApparel to stand out amongst the countless amounts of clothing lines Toronto has to offer. With an array of affordable men’s and women’s tees, FORTApparel will be available at this year’s market, surely with many years to follow.
Afrodelik Designs afrodelik.com. Funky and fresh, Afrodelik Designs is one of Toronto’s most cultured clothing lines. Embracing the African energy and spirit, Afrodelik Designs is a collection of hand-drawn artwork. Active since 2006, Desiree Marshall, founder and artist of AD, celebrates black culture through her work. The three current collections, Afrocity, Afrika, and Ikons portray everything from bouncy afros and curvaceous bodies to spiritual musicians such as Jimmy Hendrix and Bob Marley. This line is one of a kind as it has become a form of both fashion and education through its artwork. Afrodelik Designs also does custom designs.
Stolen From Africa stolenfromafrica.com Stolen From Africa is a Toronto-based movement, known heavily for its cultural awareness based on Afrocentric entertainment and issues both domestically and globally. The fashion aspect of their movement includes both ladies’ and men’s tees and tanks with the Stolen From Africa logo. Available in various colours and sizes, Stolen From Africa clothing can be seen all over the city, worn by males and females from all demographics and backgrounds. In conjunction with Stolen From Africa is RGG Beadz – a company offering custom necklaces and hand-carved pendants. SFA focuses on empowering society through media, fashion and community outreach.
Ideall Clothing thelegendsleague.com The official clothing line of The Legends League, Ideall Clothing is an extraordinary representation of what Toronto-based clothing lines have to offer. Inimitable in the nature of its designs and concepts, Ideall Clothing offers a wide range of apparel including T-shirts, sweaters, and toques. The newly introduced ladies’ line includes witty phrases and fun summer colours displayed on comfortably fitting shirts. Well known around the city, the men’s line is always fresh, displaying the creativity of the mastermind behind the line, Bryan Espiritu. Ideall Clothing offers an artistic and innovative twist on clothing, separating itself from generic brands within the city.
Royalz Wear myspace.com/royalz06 Vibrant colours, unique concepts, and illuminating designs are the makings of Royalz Wear clothing. Based in Toronto, but recently taken internationally, Royalz Wear has captivated males and females alike with its collection of T-shirts, tanks, cardigans and jeans. Began with the help of ArtReach Toronto, Royalz Wear has been featured in magazines such as Urbanology and BeSo and is a veteran at Manifesto’s Freshest Good Market. Continuously producing hot designs and new apparel, Royalz Wear is a one of a kind line within Toronto.
Up In Your Business with
Jonathan Ramos availability against venue availability, create marketing plan, confirm artist and venue via contracts, execute contract, send artist deposit, announce show, put tickets on sale, execute marketing plan, apply for work permits, advance technical part of show with tour manager, create schedule, execute schedule on day-of, pay balance of fee to artist. Showtime! DJG: Can you take us back to when your company was just lifting off? What were some of the rewards and challenges of producing events like the 416 Graf Expo?
romotion is a lost art in hip hop culture. Stenciled, hand-drawn flyers eventually graduated to jpegs and html banners, while e-blasts and Facebook groups have replaced the street team and the litter of flyers that use to decorate the exit of most events. Despite all of these changes, one thing remains the same: The bizness. If event companies and promoters didn’t execute their business plans, it would be more than CDs not selling right now; the genre would be hidden. Manifesto got a chance to catch up with REMG’s founder and President, Jonathan Ramos, to break down the details of one of the hardest jobs in hip hop. The man even more behind the scenes… DJG: What is one thing most hip hop fans do not know about being a promotions company in the hip hop/urban music industry?
JR: That this is a business and in structure, it favours the artist over the promoter. It’s a tough game and not for the faint of heart. DJG: What was your first show/event in which your decision to form a promotions company was sealed? JR: My very first show; The Pharcyde, Bass Is Base & Russell Peters, June 23rd 1993 @ The Opera House. Music by The Soul Controllers and hosted by Johnbronski. DJG: Can you explain the fine details of what must be done before the fans see the artist on stage? JR: Too many fine details to list but these are the basics of putting together a show: create budget, send artist offer, match artist
JR: I hadn’t put much thought into forming REMG. Instead I focused on each show and what it would take to make it a success. Only after I had a string of successful shows did I give thought to making it long-term. When I started, I did almost everything including flyers. Although trying at times, I enjoyed the actually process of executing a show; meeting people in the industry, spending time at college radio shows – everyone was on their grind and there was a sense of community. As far as the 416 Graffiti Expo; although spearheaded by Matt Robinson and myself, the Expo was a true community event. Assembled and attended by people who had a genuine love for hip hop culture – similar to what I see with Manifesto. DJG: What are some of the unique aspects of working within hip hop culture as opposed to say an investment company?
by DJ Grumps photo Meghan Janushewski
ability to properly produce a show you can step up to working with larger artists (international or domestic). As far as skill sets required for success; 1) Organization – the ability to multi-task and stay focused on the job at hand. 2) Communication – your ability to effectively deal with others (agents, suppliers, media, etc) will determine how easy or difficult your job will be, now and in the future. This business is built on relationships – nurture these and they will serve you well. DJG: Where do you want to see REMG in 2010 and beyond? Is it important for a business to continuously set goals, and challenge itself, or should a company find its niche and stick to it? JR: REMG has grown continuously yearon-year. From a one-man shop in 1993, I now have two partners and a staff of five. I started the company as an urban-music entity, but we now do shows across many genres and in many cities and I’d like to see us continue that growth. It is very important for a company to continuously set goals. We serve our audience so it is important that we evolve and grow with them.
TOP 10 REMG SHOWS The Pharcyde, Bass Is Base & Russell Peters June 23 1993 @ The Opera House The Roots, The Dream Warriors & guests August 23 1996 @ CNE Bandshell
JR: Like most cultures based in art, people are drawn to hip hop out of a love for the culture. Hip hop has become a business – much like the investment world but it’s the love of culture that separates it from any other business and what drives it at its roots.
A Tribe Called Quest & De La Soul March 05 1994 @ The Palladium
DJG: For the young promoter who is interested in branching out to event planning and working with international artists, what advise would you give them? What kind of skills do you feel are essential and what skill sets do you think can be developed along the way?
The Roots, Rascalz & Saukrates March 23 1995 @ The Opera House
JR: If you are just starting out, cut your teeth on doing small shows with local artists. Get a feel for the market and develop your reputation with venues, media and suppliers. Once you feel confident in your
Jamiroquai November 07 1993 @ The Opera House Ill-a-mental featuring Slum Village July 14 1999 @ The Comfort Zone
Outkast October 16 1996 @ The Opera House Amy Winehouse May 12 & 13 2007 @ The Mod Club Mos Def November 14 2007 @ The Phoenix D’Angelo October 20 1995 @ The Opera House
Reflecting on the Making of
“Let Your Backbone Slide”
hile the Manifesto Festival of Community & Culture has always showcased the present and the promising future of creative youthful expression in a myriad of disciplines, it has also sought to forge and highlight links with the past. For example, the inaugural festival’s Legendary Live Mixtape Show at the Main Event at Nathan Phillips Square was an aural and visual trip through this city’s hip hop archive. Last year, at the Main Event at the second year of Manifesto, the Rascalz celebrated the 10th anniversary of their groundbreaking posse-cut track “Northern Touch.”. 2009 marks the anniversary of another important Canadian hip hop single -- arguably the most important one of them all. Maestro Fresh Wes’ “Let Your Backbone Slide” is now 20 years old and is still the best-selling Canadian hip hop single of all-time. The song’s importance is significant because it was a landmark in underlining the potency and legitimizing the existence of hip hop music and culture in this country. In retrospect, its influence has undoubtedly helped to develop the foundation that would allow the space for festivals like Manifesto to exist and thrive in Toronto. Maestro’s performance at the aforementioned Legendary Live Mixtape Show helped to bring this cultural link full circle. The recent Gemini-Award nominated Maestro (born Wes Williams) took some time out from his very busy schedule to take a look back at the groundbreaking song’s creation and legacy. “To me it’s a blessing that people check for you 20 years later,” says Maestro. “Especially in an era right now, a lot of times people put out music and it’s forgotten about 20 days after it comes out, [or] 20 minutes, y’know. It’s like we’re bombarded with so much music. So to create something, to have something that people embrace in that capacity for that length of time means a lot to me.”
On the inspiration behind “Let Your Backbone Slide” “I’m a rock fan. I like rock music. So [80’s rock artist] Billy Squier, he had a song called ‘The Big Beat.’ It was a popular break that every MC back in the ‘80s used. [Maestro imitates the percussion of the song.] So Billy Squier had another song called “The Stroke.” [Maestro sings the song’s chorus, “OK, so stroke me, stroke me.”] I think it’s on the same album. That’s [the song] where I got the lyric “Let Your Backbone Slide” from. I heard Billy Squier say that [line] and it was so ill. The song title came first that’s what it was and then I told my producers Peter and Anthony Davis aka First Offence, I told them about that. [I said] “That’s gonna be the jam, ‘Let your Backbone Slide.’”[I asked them] ‘What does that mean to you?’ They came up with a beat that said that within it. The one that everybody knows is the remix. The original “Backbone” is a different break altogether. We performed that on [CityTV’s] Electric Circus. We had a chance to do a remix and because [I was] a big Public Enemy fan I wanted to have some noises and sounds on it like ‘Rebel without a Cause.’ So I told the producers that, so that’s what they came
by Del F. Cowie Illustration by Kagan McLeod
It’s a blessing that people check for you 20 years later.
Especially in an era right now, people put out music and it’s forgotten about 20 days after it comes out. with. We had the opportunity because I had already been signed on the original but it was the remix that popped it off because we were like ‘You know what? We got to this level right now, if we got the chance to revisit this song right now what would we do?’ So we just pulled out all the stops.”
On his lyrical approach to writing the song “What I was thinking when I was writing the song was, I mean, it was just about Toronto, really. My world was just Toronto. So my whole thing was ‘We’re trying to blow up out of Toronto. All we really had back then was really [Ivan Berry’s] Beat Factory, all the artists on there and myself. So my thing was, ‘I’m doing this by myself I’m not really with a whole team behind me like that and I really can’t wait to get behind it and I feel like I’m just as good as anybody so let me do my own thing. My whole vibe is I’m coming out and I’m saying something and it’s just as good as or better than anyone in my city. You’re gonna hear me. That was my mentality back then.”
On the concept and imagery of “Let Your Backbone Slide” “I came with the whole tuxedo concept. I had the whole orchestration concept what have you. It wasn’t just a song. It was a song and a video, ‘cos when the video hit with the song it was another whole thing altogether because it was one of the first official rap videos out of Canada…And it’s important to me that I mention some musical notes and stuff like that – music talk. I said this ain’t forte, I’m coming double f because musically the symbol for loud is f, the symbol for very loud is ff. so I go, ‘This ain’t forte / I’m coming double f / Fortissimo / FF for funky fresh.’ You know what I’m saying? Conceptually, there was a lot of science put behind that record, ‘cos I’m coming with the Maestro concept, so it was important that last verse was there to bring it home.”
On the song’s ongoing relevance “We just knew this [was] a movement and this was like ‘we don’t make records we make history.’ That was the whole thing. Did I think people would still be checking for it 20 years later and what have you? Nah, I just knew it was gonna be a hot riddim and [that] people liked it. People love that song.”
Recognizing The Dot
Manifesto’s writing team takes a detailed glimpse into some of Toronto’s most treasured tracks by some of the city’s most loyal artists.
“I’m coming straight out of Canada / Far from an amateur / LT’s my DJ, Flex is my manager” After ‘89, it was clear Maestro was no amateur talent. In Wes’ early career he was managed by Farley Flex - the same Flex who was key to helping the creation of Toronto’s first urban music station Flow 93.5 and also of Canadian Idol fame.
“I’m harder than a hockey stick / Exciting ni**as like Italian’s in a ‘Rocky’ flick” The sport of hockey is crucial to the formation of Canadian identity, as it’s the national symbol of community, unity, and certainly competition.
Maestro Fresh Wes
“Certs Wid Out the Retsyn”
eleased in 1994, Maestro Fresh Wes’ Naaah, Dis Kid Can’t Be From Canada?!! produced a T-dot anthem: ‘Certs Wid Out the Retsyn.’ Within the first verse, Wes makes reference to the Toronto (and Canadian) hip hop scene being viewed as ‘amateur,’ and his identity being uniform to a hockey stick, In a similar fashion, Wes speaks of the city’s diversity and an indefinite relationship to the ageold celebration of Caribana. Wesley doesn’t directly adhere to the potent lyrics; still the subtlety in his references truly grasps Toronto’s spirit.
“I got more rhymes than Brits in a cathedral / My cerebral is lethal” The irony behind this line is that Canada is still a part of the British monarchy.
“I’m funkier than a group of Jamaicans after sun splash” The Jamaican population in Toronto is over 150,000 people, and the West Indian culture continues to flourish in the city as seen most by the success of the annual Caribana Festival, North America’s largest street festival.
“When I said the mic’s my piece I really meant it / So just like the Blue Jays, I’m Out to win the pennant” Having released this song in 1994, Toronto was still relishing in the spectacular Blue Jays 1992/1993 back-to-back World Series wins. Recently, the 92/93 World Champs reunited at the [now known as] Rogers Center field to celebrate the memories.
“I miss Caribana, Beat Junkie, days gone...” We all know about Caribana, but what about Beat Junkie? BJ was a club located in entertainment district at 306 Richmond Street that catered to the hip hop crowd. To Eternia it holds a special place in Toronto’s hip hop history. “I used to go there literally every weekend to party; it was like my home away from home… It was the go to spot for the BEST raw hip hop ... It represented an era, not just a night.” Unfortunately, Beat Junkie is no more- having closed its doors in 2003.
by Neil Acharya
ometimes all you need is a little time away to appreciate where you come from. Prior to her move to New York in 2005 – Eternia’s permanent home was in and around the GTA. While at a friend’s house in New Jersey in 2007, E recorded her “ode to Toronto,” entitled “The Mega.” It is a comparison of life between the two mega cities which Eternia has split time in. “There was probably a two year adjustment period, when I moved to NYC, where all I could think of every minute of every day were Canada to U.S. comparisons. So that’s when I wrote ‘The Mega.’ ... I found it hard getting used to the differences, and that’s all I saw - especially when it came to race, class & gender issues.” She says.
“Screwface is a place where it’s all Love” Screwface is a term that has become synonymous with the Toronto hip hop. It describes hip hop fans in Toronto, whom can often be hard on artists in two ways: boisterously (see J Davey) and by sheer apathy in not acknowledging or attending the shows of national and local acts. Here Eternia avows this acidic Toronto trait but to her, the attitude that is at the heart of Screwface does not outweigh the overarching positive energy of T-dot.
The snakes got skin that’s tougher than even mine / If that’s not a sign of the times, than what is?! / Rattle and hiss your way up in this biz!? / So I chute my way up north, like, ‘Can I live?!’ For any Canadian, chasing your dreams in the entertainment industry often involves attempting to take a bite out of the Big Apple, it is no different in the rap world – see Marco Polo, Maestro, and so on. Even the toughest of cookies find that it is even harder than they first thought to break into the NYC scene. In the last bar of this verse, Eternia explains how coming to back home can be a breath of fresh air as the people are “generally straightforward and honest with no hidden agenda.”
“This Megacity got girls by the plenty / but not too much of them girls friendly.” This depressing observation unites two of Toronto’s most enduring phenomenons: breathtakingly beautiful women, who often won’t give Toronto’s men the time of day. Oh, Canada.
“So I followed her all the way to Queen / I stopped her, asked her why she act so mean” The “stush attitude” is a bonafied potential fashion accessory in some Toronto women’s repertoires. We blame New York.
“I grabbed her lightly by the wrist and then I began to say / Hit off the body language, broke off Vipwalay”
“Bye D’Plenty” by Addi “Mindbender” Stewart
n the early 90’s, Scarborough unleashed a crazy dope crew called Monolith. As their bio states: “Their debut release in 1998 (on their own label, One Rock Records), “The Long Awaited...” EP cassette and subsequent 12” single (featuring the gems, “Bye D’Plenty”, “At The T.O.P.” and “Plan Eh”) helped the crew garner the respect of a nation. From the fresh, Caribana-ish flavored funk of the bubbly, rubbery bassline, to the turn-of-thecentury East Coast percussion play, the beat is humbly T-Dot vibes in a nutshell.
We can make up our own slang too! You have to be from Scarborough, and part of Monolith to know what Vipwalay means. Or maybe be a beautiful woman.
“And asked her why she acting like she too good for me / She didn’t even say no words, she just kissed her teeth” Pure Toronto. How many well-intentioned gentlemen have been hit with the cold shoulder and cut eye combo? Too many to count. The crown jewel of the song might be hidden in Wio’s line: “because these bad mind schemes will turn a man’s face screwed”. It’s a pioneering precursor to Theology 3’s famous, trademarked “Screwface Capital” name for Toronto, a city-wide diagnosis of our populace’s default attitude. Toronto repeatedly being named the number one city to live in the world by the United Nations sometimes doesn’t matter. On the other hand, the long winter and short summer doesn’t matter either. Because, whether it’s 1989, 1998, or 2009, this Megacity got girls by the plenty. Monolove to Monolith.
“From track to track/ we wanted back to back classics/ now Brass on the map / just imagine that / all from the One, 2 check ya’ll / yes yes ya’ll / this all poured from my life in a song / it’s on”
Tone Mason f. BrassMunk, G Stokes & Graph Nobel “The Throwback”
by Craig Cal
he Throwback” by Toronto Superproducer team Tone Mason is arguably one of the best Toronto hip hop tracks and videos of the past decade – however, most people have no clue where the track came from. It’s like a hip hop version of the Loch Ness Monster – it came out of nowhere, made some noise and then disappeared, only to live again on YouTube. Released in 2003, the song emerged from a documentary that RT! (of The NE) was directing about the creative process of making hip hop music strictly for the love of it - no money, no contracts and no record company.
Clip from BrassMunk reminisces about their first single “Stop, Look, Listen” and “One, 2” which got a lot of love from the foundation of Toronto hip hop – aka college radio shows such as The Master Plan show on 89.5, The Real Frequency (then broadcasting on 105.5), The Power Move show on 88.1, Soundcheck on 105.5 and Mastermind’s Street Jams on Energy 108.
“Black noise runs/through these veins / however I may change / still remain / Graph Nobel /you never heard this before? / s*#^ I’ve been trying to get my foot in the door” One of Toronto’s most talented artists, Graph Nobel is a member of Idle Warship (with Manifesto headliner Talib Kweli and singer Res) and is working on tracks with Pharrell. In the video, Graph plays a killer version of a young Mary J. Blige, who herself wore gear from Toronto’s “Too Black Guys” (now known as TBG) in her original 1993 “Real Love” video.
“Stop / we bump and rock / through your block / in the form of hip hop / and why not? / if you can’t feel that / you in a pine box” S-Roc’s block in this case is Scarborough – one of a handful of neighborhoods with a national reputation. This relatively small area has produced some of Canada’s most talented actors, athletes and musicians – Jim Carrey, John Candy, Mike Myers, Jamaal Magloire, Anson Carter, Julian DeGuzman, Dwayne De Rosario, Choclair, Saukrates, Tona, IRS, King Reign, Maestro FreshWes and BrassMunk, among others.
Want the track? Agile of BrassMunk has offered an mp3 of “The Throwback” to anyone who hits him up at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Recession Proof? by Freddie C
s easy as it looks, making quality hip hop isn’t the get-rich-quick scheme that it’s made out to be. For every Jay-Z rocks-to-Rocafella story, there’s 10 Coolio’s taking that fantastic voyage to rehab or the unemployment line. Hell, Ol’ Dirty Bastard picked up a welfare check in a limo at the height of his fame, and this was during the economic boom of the mid-90’s! Granted, it was more publicity stunt than necessity, but the irony isn’t lost on hip hop heads, who are more than familiar with the image of the rapper who makes it big and yet, still manages to get stuck in some hood activity that only makes them look ignorant. Fast forward a decade from ODB picking up his Eat Better Tonight card, and the world is stuck in an economic rut. Jobs are getting cut left and right and unemployment hovers around the 10% mark. Hip hop as an industry is not immune to the meltdown. Cam’ron is making recession anthems like “My Job,” the average posse size has plummeted, and, in all seriousness, jobs are disappearing. Hip hop journalism is taking the brunt of it, as Vibe closed its doors (albeit, recently “resurrected”) while XXL and The Source offset their dwindling circulation and decreased ad revenue by laying off seasoned veterans and knowledgeable heads. At the end of the day, it’s business. Love of the game doesn’t always keep the electricity on, as your favorite hip hop blogger can tell you. As for the rappers themselves, they’ll be quick to point to the rented ice and rented cars in their videos and make you believe that they’re eating. A good number of them are telling the truth, the super-producers like Dr. Dre and the megastars like Jay-Z, guys who’ve been doing it for a decade-plus and have platinum plaques covering their walls from their
extensive bodies of work. They got rich off of the love of the game and being the best at that game, but they got wealthy off their business endeavors like clothing lines, movie roles, headphones, cologne, and various endorsements. The generations that have come after, however, seem to want to bypass the “love of the game” part and go straight to the “rich” part. Dr. Dre helped tell the world how bad a war zone Los Angeles had become over his legendary beats. Jigga painted a vivid picture of the Mafioso, equal parts Michael Corleone and Tony Montana. These were monumental contributions to the hip hop game, which they loved, and were rewarded handsomely. Nowadays, many of the rappers getting paid are the ones who haven’t adequately shown their love of the game and have contributed nothing but a simple, catchy hook and accompanying dances that make the cabbage patch look like a ballroom dance. Silly? Yes. The death of hip hop? Maybe. A gold mine if you work it right? Absolutely. But like all things, hip hop works in cycles. As the layoffs keep coming, the excess portrayed on MTV Jams will sour the hip hop consumer who now spends his days unemployed on the couch watching some 17-year-old dance his way to a platinum ringtone. The musings of regular guys like Shad, Slug, or Brother Ali or the anger at the system of vintage Ice Cube resonate stronger with the hip hop head, and it’s our duty to shell out that $15 for the album or $20 for a concert ticket to support them and let the industry know that it’s these artists that deserve the shine; the ones we can relate to, not the ones that we see dancing around with medallions bigger than they are. Economists see a recovery in the near future, and I can only hope that the same can be said for hip hop.
Nowadays, many of the rappers getting paid are the ones who haven’t adequately shown their love of the game.
Hip Hop’s Locomotive by Freddie C
Want a successful music career? It’s pretty simple. Get your stuff heard!
timeline: hip hop & technology Here is a quick timeline of the technological progression that not only helped develop hip hop, but developed with the help of hip hop.
Reinvention of turntablism by Grandmaster Flash & Grand Wizard Theodore (spawned Breakin’ as a form of communication)
The Music Video (Re-invented how we see hip hop; Whodini – “Magic’s Wand”)
1980s The proliferation of the 12” record 1973
‘Party Tapes’ aka The Mixtape.
Sony invents the Walkman
The invention of the Compact Disc (CD) / The Synthesizer
r om slinging albums from the trunk of your car and (allegedly) forcing people to buy your music à la N.W.A. to hustling mixtapes at the barber shop, hip hop has seen an evolution in how artists endorse themselves. It’s quite electric. The biggest part of this evolution is the internet. Getting material out is as easy as going to Myspace.com, uploading tracks, and sending a message to their fans that says: “Download this hot fire from ya boy!” When the artist gets a bigger buzz, they start building relationships with the current #1 marketing tool for rappers: blogs. Gone are the days when artists send material to The Source in slim hopes of landing in Unsigned Hype. Now, it’s all about sending material to the hundreds of hip hop sites. Usually they are more than happy to jump on the next big thing or show support to truly deserving cats. Many blogs even host contests, which become excellent resume builders and can generate huge buzz for the winning artist. “What better way to interact with the audience than give them a chance to prove themselves,” says producer Remot, who’s won numerous high-profile online contests and has become a staple on Mick Boogie’s
mixtapes. “In my opinion, the best thing about blogging and the internet in general is that it gives everyone a chance to get heard. That means you’re inevitably gonna run into trash artists, but you’re also discovering the future entertainers of the world.” In addition to the promotional aspects, blogs hold the advantage of immediacy. “We live in a world where people want it now, no matter what it is,” says Kevin Nottingham, who runs the award winning blog, KevinNottingham.com. “We’ve gotten spoiled on technology. If you can get your fix now, why wait a month later to read it in XXL?” Indeed, in today’s culture of instant gratification and our insatiable need to be constantly informed, information travels at light speed. Ironically enough, it was the invention of Gutenberg’s Printing Press that gave way to the spread of information and text, but our world is becoming more and more like a vision Ray Bradbury had when writing Fahrenheit 451; a world where books are banned and burnt. Just ask Vibe how right Bradbury could be.
video sites (YouTube)
Yo! MTV Raps (First ‘popular’ rap dedicated show)
1990s The rise/distribution of CDs & CD players 1999-2001 Napster (Peer to Peer file sharing)
Social Networking Websites (Facebook, MySpace, Twitter).
Know Your Craft:
5 Steps To Creating Your Own Blog by Josue Salazar
1 2 3
Pick your Platform (Fast or Custom)
Fast: Take a look at services like blogger.com, tumblr. com, WordPress.com and posterous.com. These blogging platforms are easy to use and will get you a URL, a blogging system and a host (they keep your blog up and running). They come with pre-set themes (play around to see which one you like best). Custom: You have complete control over the design and functionality of your blog; check out WordPress.org, MoveableType.com, or ExpressionEngine.com (among many). Pick one and download it...
Find a host (or not) If you went the fast blogging route you’re in the clear, but if you want a custom blog you need a host. There are many affordable and reliable hosting solutions out there such as Dreamhost.com, FusedNetwork.com and Thiswebhost.com that make the process quite quick and easy. Follow their instructions and set up your server.
Note: Because the theme possibilities are endless, you are able to make it remarkably personal and unique.
Get your URL When setting up your hosting account you can register a domain name in the process --if you can’t, hit up godaddy.com and get yourself one for $10/year (You’ll have to update the name-servers later to make it point to your host. Look for instructions on how to do this when you buy either the hosting or the domain). A domain name is just geek speak for a URL, i.e. themanifesto.ca.
Set up your new blog! You should now have a hosting account, domain, and a whole bunch of files that you need to put on your server (or a blog already working if you took the easy way). Each of the blogging platforms mentioned include instructions on how to set them up, so our instructions are to read their instructions! One basic thing you will need to get the files on the server is an FTP program, and there are lots of free ones available! (Type in “FTP Program” in a search engine and watch the countless results pop up). Most blogging platforms have support forums heavily used by experienced and friendly people should you run into any problems. Forums are great to learn more about any technological difficulties – use them!
Post! When writing a post you have the option of using a visual editor or straight up code, aka html. A visual editor works like if you were to use Microsoft Word, but don’t let that deceive you, while it seems easy as pie, it often creates errors in your layout, especially if you copy and paste text from Word. Try avoiding this at all costs. Writing your post in html is generally a better move (especially when you are working with big posts). Check out yourhtmlsource.com for great tips and articles to get you started!
By now you should have a blog up and running! Big up!
TD Canada Trust is proud to celebrate the Manifesto Festival of Community & Culture.
10 Tips for Building
A Successful (and Respected) Blog
by Sean Deezill
Do NOT Repost Without Linking to the Original Source If there is a piece of news, a song, or an article on another website that you would like to post on your own blog, it is imperative that you not only say where you found it, but also what the original source was. i.e. “Saw this over at X.com, via Y.com).
Give Credit Where Credit is Due
Value Context and Get the Full Story
Give the name of the author of an article, the photographer of a photo, etc. Just give the proper credit (if possible, sometimes it is not always crystal clear).
Reading the first 3 lines of something, and not reading the other 12 could cause a post to translate something that isn’t true. It could turn sarcasm into something serious, and could turn an exaggerated line into a statement. Don’t only read the whole story, give the whole story.
Do Your Research
8 9 10
Keep the blog visually pleasing It needs to look good and be organized (this is how first time visitors become hooked). Use high quality images, use clean graphics, and have a nice layout.
Audience participation The number of comments is not the most important thing, but it is key to showing the activity of the site. It’s always great to get a discussion going. At the same time, the readers deserve something for coming to the site. A contest, a giveaway, or even a great compilation could be a prize.
Free Downloads but NO FULL ALBUM LINKS If you post full album links, you are definitely a part of the problem. Sure, offer free downloads: mixtapes, unique compilations, sample sets, etc, but the moment you post a full album link is the moment your blog becomes contradictory to the goal of having a hip hop site (supporting hip hop? Not really!). Unless you have permission of course.
Not only is it slightly embarrassing, it can heavily damage the credibility of a blog and the people running it if original news, articles, or information pieces are not accurate.
Respect Other Blogs Not only could this be beneficial (getting on a Blog Roll is always great, getting exclusives), but it always helps to have support, as opposed to being black listed. Just play nice.
Love > Money
Correct grammar and textual etiquette
Expect very little financial profit. There are ways to make some cash: advertising, promo, and donations. Still, this is for the love, not the money.
Courtesy of the homie HustleGrl: “d0 n0t typ3 l1k3 d1zz.” And treat posts like you would any academic assignment; you lose marks for grammar in school, you lose them online with particular readers as well.
Toronto/Canada Based Blogs
Other Relevant Hip Hop and R&B Blogs
1loveto.com hustlegrl.com cityonmyback.com lostinthewilderness.com blogto.com therealfrequency.com eighteensixtyseven.com northerntouchblog.com thecyberkrib.com toflo.com
kevinnottingham.com potholesinmyblog.com themeaningofdope.com 2dopeboyz.com gowherehiphop.com hiphopisread.com keepittrill.com illroots.com rapradar.com smokingsection.com
Northern Lights by Sean Deezill
n the last two years, Canadian hip hop and R&B music has taken a step in the right direction. As opposed to sticking to the everlasting stereotype of trying to sound “American,” Canadian artists have evidently remained true to their Northern roots. Because of that, the world has paid attention and noticed the unique attributes of the maple syrup making, hockey loving, mullet rocking nay “eh”-ers. No, but really, forget any prejudice regarding CanCon (Canadian Content), the fact is that this country’s sound is universal, beautiful, poetic, and truly nothin’ to mess with. Take a closer look at some of these success stories, both statistically and critically, in their respected categories.
Hip Hop Albums Canadian hip hop inevitably prides itself on being able to be a lot more “international” than that of our southern neighbours. Evidently so, our bread and butter won big this year with successes from K’naan and K-os, dropping Troubadour and Yes! respectively. Due for a larger American release this year, Shad’s The Old Prince has not stopped getting critical acclaim since its original release in 2007, and Shad continued to sprout his fan base as he traveled continent wide with the 2009 Warped Tour. Classified’s SelfExplanatory, yet another solid release from the Canadian hip hop vet, proves that the Nova Scotia native still has hip hop bubbling in his blood. Even with its undoubtedly dark content, D-sisive’s Let the Children Die has welcomed critical success and a growing fan base along with Tona and Lyve’s
Direct Deposit. One of the most well received albums of 2009 has been Toronto producer Marco Polo’s project with Brooklyn MC Torae, entitled Double Barrel. It revisits the classic boom bap sound heavily lacking in the genre today. With all of this great material, it’s safe to say the last two years Canada has put out some tremendous hip hop projects.
Canadian Emcees What would this conversation be without the ultimate golden boy of hip hop at the moment, Drake? He’s obviously opening ignorant ears and allowing people to at least take a glimpse into what Canada can offer. Even before Direct Deposit, Tona was making moves and getting his name into regular hip hop conversations. Someone who has reemerged recently is the jack-of-all-trades, Toronto’s own Saukrates. Whether he drops a show stealing chorus, produces a banger, or revisits his “Hate Runs Deep” caliber in rhyme, Big Sauks has been dominating tracks left and right. The aforementioned K’naan continues to work with some of the biggest names in music, while Classified’s and K-os’ country wide tours never fail to be a success. On a worldwide scale, Masia One recently toured with Tanya Morgan and has toured all over Asia. In 2008, she released the critically acclaimed Pulau, and up next, she is set to release an album with Dr. Dre affiliate, Che Vicious.
R&B/Soul Albums Surely, “Give it to Me Right” and “Bang Bang” have taken over your radio this summer, and for that we have Melanie Fiona to thank. Undoubtedly, one of the best albums to come out this year, The Bridge, is loaded with soulful flavour and a
variety of joints perfect for any mood or occasion. Labeled a “mixtape,” but built like an album, Colin Munroe’s The Unsung Hero features Wale, Drake, Joell Ortiz, and Skyzoo, amongst others, as well as production from Black Milk and Colin himself. Also making waves, one half of Art of Fresh, Slakah The Beatchild, dropped the highly acclaimed Soul Movement Vol. 1 on well-respect label BBE Music. He’ll continue to work with some big name talent, as his Q-tip/ Raphael Saadiq type of production can’t be missed.
Singers Of course, Melanie, Colin, and Slakah are all making moves globally, but we can’t forget about the very talented Ayah. After appearing on Elzhi’s “The Leak,” she started getting more and more attention not only around the R&B community, but also the hip hop community. Her live performances speak for themselves, and the same can be said for star-on-the-rise, Andreena Mill. After dropping the Ready to Fly mixtape with DJ Lissa Monet, a wide array of audiences were able to witness the show stopping voice. Not to be outdone of course, Saukrates makes an appearance on this list for his show stealing drops on Redman & Method Man’s “A-Yo,” JD Era’s “Take Off,” K-os’ “I Wish I Knew Natalie Portman,” and Andreena Mill’s “You and Tomorrow.” Zaki Ibrahim’s most recent project, Eclectica, displayed the best of the best from this multi-talented artist. Touring with the Roots, Mos Def, and Erykah Badu surely should say something about her caliber as well.
Producers Even more impressive than the men and women on the microphone coming out of Canada have been the people behind the boards. Boi 1da is destroying airwaves with singles like “Best I Ever Had” and “I’m Still Fly,” not to mention getting Andre 3000 back on the mic with “Lookin’ 4 Ya.” The aforementioned Saukrates remains a force behind the boards, and may have even passed some words of wisdom onto the most recent Canadian juggernaut, Rich Kidd. Producing the smash hit, “I Wish I Knew Natalie Portman,” as well as joints for Drake, Andreena Mill, Shad, and JD Era on his most recent We On Some Rich Kidd Sh*t mixtape, Rich Kidd is on a tear. Marco Polo is emerging as a powerhouse within the NY hip hop circuit with his gritty, hard hitting production, while Think Twice out of Montreal is making
heavy moves out in Japan, a country with a very in depth and prominent hip hop scene.
Fast Rising Toronto’s own super-group, Empire, brought a feeling of much needed nostalgia with the Big Sproxx produced, trunk rattling “Boom and Pound,” and they continue to make a name for themselves amongst Canada’s hip hop elite. Covert Ops, consisting of Arcee (Flow 93.5’s The Real Frequency host), Mr. Attic, and Marvel, turned some heads after an entertaining opening performance at the Raekwon show. Their debut album will feature production from Jake One, Rich Kidd and MoSS, amongst others. Backed by the talented production of Bronze One, Toronto hip hop group Notes to Self recently dropped their debut, A Shot in the Dark, on BBE Music and are sure to make more noise as they get more notice. Canada’s current elite female mc, Eternia, is getting ready to drop her album with the DJ Premier (Works of Mart) signed producer, MoSS, entitled “At Last.” Of course, not leaving out the DJs, Skratch Bastid (Nova Scotia) and A-Trak (Montréal) have emerged as two of the most prominent DJs in the country. Both have put out numerous mixes and blends that not only helped hail them as great DJs, but as respected producers. Considering that Drake’s highly anticipated Thank Me Later LP is set to be, quite possibly, the biggest release in Canadian hip hop history, Boi 1da is working with Dr. Dre on Detox, Melanie Fiona’s The Bridge has yet to be released in the US and is still garnering attention, and Colin Munroe is stirring a buzz amongst the hip hop community as a singer more so than others we’ve seen in the past, it is evident that heads will start looking North for quality product.
Be sure to check out other great CanCon: King Reign myspace.com/reignmusic Wio K (of Monolith) earwaks.com/72-wio-k Kamau myspace.com/iankamau Ghettosocks ghettosocks.com Brendahn Philip myspace.com/brendahnphilip Tanika Charles aka Mz. Chawlz myspace.com/tanikacharles Jessica Kaya myspace.com/kayasmusic Smash Brovaz myspace.com/smashbrovas Thunderheist thunderheist.com
o g A e T h Ro g R a m P h t u Yo R ns Ten ! ! tu
The Art Gallery of Ontario’s groundbreaking Youth Program, TEENS BEHIND THE SCENES, is celebrating a landmark anniversary this year. With the help of committed artists, community partners and youth participants, TBTS has played a signiﬁcant role in shaping the youth art scene in Toronto over the past decade. Join us for a retrospective exhibition, workshops, a town hall meeting and more…. This fall at the AGO! For more information and a full calendar of events, visit
w w w. a g o . n e t / t e n t h - a n n i v e r s a r y - p a r t y Lead Sponsor: TEENS BEHIND THE SCENES is generously supported by: Tippet Foundation • Lloyd Carr-Harris Foundation
FREE AFTER 3 47
317 Dundas St West Toronto Ontario Canada M5T 1G4
High School students get FREE admission to the AGO Tuesday through Friday, from 3 to 5:30 pm. A little curiosity and a valid school ID is all it takes to access more than 4,000 works of art in 110 galleries.
WHAT'S UP WITH
TYC FALL 2009 The Identify ‘N’ Impact Awards Wed October 28th, 2009 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Lula Lounge 1585 Dundas St West
Here’s your chance to honour, recognize and reward the valuable contributions of a few dedicated young people, youth leaders and organizations who are making a noticeable difference in our communities. Think you deserve an I’N’I Award or know somebody who does? Apply now! There are 9 categories to choose from. The nomination deadline is on September 25th, 2009. Visit www.thetyc.ca for more info.
TheCAUSE November 2009 Location to be determined
Now in its 8th year, TheCAUSE is dedicated to celebrating youth voice and action. This annual TYC event features several talented performers, youth workshops, guest speakers and valuable networking opportunities. Check out our website for details.
TYC Elections November 2009
Do you want work with other young leaders to make change in your community? Get involved with the TYC! Elections for 2010 Toronto Youth Cabinet are happening this fall! You’ll make amazing connections, build your resume, and get a head start on your future. Visit us online to find the right position for you.
Call 416- 392-8492, visit www.thetyc.ca , or email email@example.com
FESTIVAL MAGAZINE VOL.3
Festival of Community & Culture F E AT U R I N G
TALIB KWELI & HI-TEK ARE
NUNCA, ROADSWORTH, COLIN MUNROE, 9TH WONDER, RICH MEDINA, ART OF FRESH, SAIDAH BABA TALIBAH, SAGE, 3-FLOOR ART SHOW, CANADA PRO BBOY CHAMPIONSHIP, FILM FEST, +MORE. 5 DAYS. 8 EVENTS. 120+ ARTISTS. ONE CITY.
Published on Sep 15, 2009
The Festival guidebook and magzine for the 3rd Annual Manifesto of Community & Culture. Go to www.manifesto.ca for more information!