TORONTO – The Good, The Bad And The Screwface

toronto

Tdot a.k.a The Screwface Capital

Canada has so much talent that it’s bursting out the seams. Artists all over in the hip hop and urban scene hear that Toronto is like the equivalent to NY for exposure. And, perhaps it is. But another thing that Toronto is known all too well for is that it’s The Screwface Capital. Some of us just have this oppressive mind state when it comes to our urban music culture. Why is that? Could it also be that some remain so Americanized that they’ve lost interest in their local Canadian talent? Could it also be a marketing issue?

k-os

K-OS

I’ve seen it happen too many times. A new artist, gets their CD pressed and distributed to music stores, and it just stops there. Because all the money went into recording, mastering and distributing the CD. No commercial spots, radio and marketing. So the CD gets lost on store shelves and unnoticed by an already unresponsive city. “We’ve obviously got forces to deal with that keep pounding down on us, just random instances of the daily grind – agency jobs where you’re working at minimum wage, wack TTC drivers giving you hassles about dropping change,” says Theology 3, a Toronto rapper who coined the term screwface capital back in 2000.

a2632kardinal-offishall

Kardinal Offishall

Has this really become our identity? It was even reported that 50 Cent walked off the stage at Circa nightclub complaining that, Screwface City crowd wasn’t into it enough. How sad. 50 Cent is one of hip hops best selling artists to date. But, then again fiddy’s music today is all about marketing. A far cry from his first album. On second thought, maybe our screwface title isn’t always a bad thing.

As gloomy as our urban music landscape may seem, I’ve noticed some changes. The artists are reaching out to each other more as well as encouraging fans to get to know them and their music through the likes of Facebook and other social websites. The

fans and people in general in Toronto are

Block Basics Productions BBP

Block Basics Productions BBP

seemingly showing a lot more support to local up and coming talent. This oppressive mind state seems to be lifting…A little. With artists like K-OS, K’naan, Drake, Theology 3 and Kardinal Offishall and so many others paving the way for other hip hop artists from Canada, things are certainly changing for the better. Block Basics Productions BBP is a company that is also seeking to do just that, as well as strengthening the Canadian market through the multimedia/telecommunications industry. So if we find that we’re stuck with this screwface stigma then I leave you these words of President Obama, “Yes, we can change.”

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