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G&B: Apologies to Sting

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Monday, June 28, 2010

the moment i waited all week for..

Good friend of the blog, D-Sisive recently did up a nice article for the National Post about growing up a Canadian Hip Hop head in the city. Thought I would share it here. Reading it brought back many memories of taping local underground hip hop shows, watching the shows on Much Music and calling your friends about going to the record store on the weekend to pick up the latest mixtapes. The culture still lives on.

Read on for D-Sisive's article.

My weekend began with the same routine.

Friday. 3:10pm: Replace the walkman hidden in my knapsack with text/notebooks. Headphones on. Volume up. Press play. Speedwalk through the hallways of York Memorial Collegiate Institute to the Keele and Eglinton exit. Hop on the Eglinton bus, east. Hop off at Dufferin. Enter Pat’s Gift & Variety on the S/W corner to purchase two blank, 90 minute Maxell Cassette Tapes. Fake laugh at the cashier’s weekly joke about my sagging denim.

“I wear a belt. That’s how they stay up!”

Treach wears his pants like this, so you can f*** yourself! Inside my head, of course.

Race home. Hopewell Avenue. Straight to my room. Shrinkwrap torn off the cassettes before my jacket off myself. Neatly print tomorrow’s date on the cassette’s blank stickers I would later apply.

Then wait.

Saturday.12:45pm: Stereo on. CKLN 88.1fm. Do a few test dubs of the tapes to make sure everything was smooth. Thumbs up. Rewind side A to it’s beginning. Check my watch every 30 seconds.

12:59pm: Press record.

The Power Move show with DJ X.

The moment I waited all week for. It was this time slot that gave birth to my dreams. Not the confidence to live them, just the idea. From 1pm to 4pm I was invisible to the world. My mother knew not to disturb.

Mom, hold my calls.

“Oh, Derek’s listening to his little show. He’ll call you back, Anova.”

4:01pm: Call Chad and discuss that day’s playlist.

It was this little show that would eventually turn me into the artist I am today.

The music.

Ghetto Concept. Saukrates. Choclair. Kardinal Offishall. Maestro. Michie Mee. Thrust. Citizen Kane. Rascalz. Howie-Tee. Cypher. Monolith. Nefarius. Concrete Mob. K-Os. Infinite. Mathematik. Down Ta Erf. Black-I. Red Life. Madlocks. GCP. st8ofmind. Tara Chase. Marvel.
Frankenstein. Da Grassroots.

These were the people I worshipped. They created the art that I was fascinated with and couldn’t get enough of. The composers of the music I would rewind and replay until my next dose in 7 days. The soundtrack to my life.

There was no internet. Nothing leaked. No downloading it later. If you missed the Power Move Show, you missed out. And I never did.

I was a fan. I bought the Father Time/21 Years cassette single. I bought Cash Crop, as well as the Northern Touch re-release. I cheered proud at the Mic Check awards when Choclair announced his signing with Virgin and Russ Hergert presented him with a Virgin Hockey Jersey. I raced home after school to record Rap City. I stayed up until 1am on school nights to dub the Mastermind Street Jam. Memorized every lyric.

Got autographs when my heroes were spotted at the Eaton Center. I lived for Canadian Hip-Hop.

These were the artists that paved the way for me. The ones that made it possible for me to do what I do now. These were the people I looked up to. Future success cannot open a door for me. That door has been open. It’s up to me to walk through it.