Within a week's time, we realized we saw something we'd never seen before: five bands/artists (beginning with this show on Apr. 19), and not a traditional guitar-bass-drum combo among them. Not that we have anything against guitar-bass-drum combos, we love plenty of them. But change is good and something D-Sisively different was welcome.
Full disclosure-- "We usually have guitar and bass," said MC Jacob Bergsma of My Son the Hurricane, a brasshop group from St. Catharine's. A big group, 14 in all, that includes trumpets, trombones, saxophones and the dreadlocked Danno O'Shea on drums. Although there were "only" eight of them at the Phog Lounge on Apr. 26 opening for rapper D-Sisive, they made a big impression with their energy, stage presence and of course, their music. Who knew big band, funk and rap went together so well? We do now.
If you've only been exposed to hip hop and rap on U.S. commercial radio, and like us didn't care for most of what you've heard, try the Canadian version. K'Naan, Shad, Cadence Weapon, More or Les, Buck 65, My Son the Hurricane...and Toronto-based D-Sisive and his good friend Muneshine. Yes, it was buy one rapper get one free that night, two turntables, two microphones and a whole lotta of smart hip hop. D-Sisive's raps are very incisive, with an amazing range of cultural references and samples. You can download his latest album, Jonestown 2: Jimmy Go Bye Bye (produced by Muneshine) at Bandcamp for free. Here's a sample of what you'll hear:
If Kanye, strutted on stage
Suited like Chaplain, in a plague mask
You'd applaud artsome; the Louis Vuitton Don
so beyond his grandfather clock, so avant garde huh?
If Ivory Grand, dropped a jam
about the clothes in his laundry hamper
and shot a video in a laundromat he'd
have teen girls tossin they dirty spandex at him
If Snoop Dogg spit 'West Coast' verbatim
Every top 40 radio station would play it
And every socialite on California sands
would start dancin to the Schwartzman sample
If Jay-Z sampled a Daniel Johnston tune
You'd download Daniel's catalogue of music
Don't, try to deny it, it's probably true
Cause whatever Jigga say you gon' follow, dude
If Akon sang on 'Brian Wilson'
I would've got the whole world to listen
Co-sign will change your whole life, so absurd
I would have won the fuckin Juno I deserved
... OOPS~! If Asher Roth, slapped his palms
against the caps of his knees and rapped for free
Wait, on second thought, it would change nothin
The same shit different country, fuck it
If Gucci Mane wore a toque and glasses
and paid more attention to his music than fashion
Kids would dress for winter
And rock rims with prescription lens in them
IF!! Eminem dropped Mathers, and went 'Jonestown'
the concept would blow
and send fans racin to newspaper stands
to see his Rolling Stone cover with the Kool-Aid Man
If Rick Ross, released 'Ken Park'
Puffy would put up the ducats and pay Harmony Corinne
to direct a, video with hobos on heroin
Midgets on a merry-go-round, bet you would air it then
If 50 Cent wrote 'Boom Baba Boom'
The second verse would be on every blog dispute
An emcee shit talkin Big and 'Pac? No way
Yet every rapper thinks they clever when they shit on Cobain
If Lil Wayne, 'Let the Children Die'
over a million children alive would line up
at midnight with signs at Best Buy to buy
the record Pitchfork rated a 9 - right?!
If Jay Electronica, Jay Elec-KAN-ica
wrote 'Nobody With a Notepad'
You'd go mental over every reference, from Bon Jovi to R. Crumb
From Hussein Folk to John Lennon
If T.I. quoted Hunter S. Thompson's suicide note
Both you and I know
Spin would praise the brillaince of Cliff Harris
But nobody gives a shit when Derek from Canada
does all of the above, at a quality above
not all of the above, but all of the above
but four give or take, dependin on production
While y'all tend to rate, dependin on the country
an emcee resides in, and if I resided in the states
I'd be signed and paid
We all can't be co-signed by Jay, Wayne or Dre
to Wayne Brady choke suffocate the game
I wish I could change somethin to be just like them
To make the whole world love me, just like them
But, if I change, I'll be just like them
And I would no longer be...
Photos: Russ Gordon