In the past years, Canada, and specifically Toronto, has birthed some pretty strong star talent. But bubbling below the surface is an equally powerful – and fast rising – underground scene, and it has become The Real Frequency collective's mission to shine a light on that talent, and it's something they've been doing exceptionally well with their recently released album, The New North.
The latest single from the album is "Burn" from Toronto rapper Tona, a track replete with slick talk and witty wordplay ("A lotta squares trying to form circles out here/ We was forced to try angles that you ain't never thought of or seen") that does well to put on for the city.
Lyve produced the beat, flipping a wobbly procession of bass-driven synth blips and ambient noise, and cleanly layers it all atop a staggered mix of pounding drum kicks and crackling claps. And the beat is a perfect fit for Tona; no surprise, considering their extensive history working together. "Lyve is like my brother so he understands what kind of sound I'm looking for without me even having to ask," says Tona. "He whipped up 'Burn' within a few hours. He's one of the most talented producers I know."
Joining the single is a video for fans to get a better feel for who Tona is as an artist as he touches on everything from where Canadian hip-hop stands in 2011 to what Real Frequency means to him, and more, including what he thinks The New North album represents. "The significance of The New North album," exclaims Tona, "is to provide that platform for real hip-hop artists, to expose it to the masses. Not just in Toronto, but to the masses now."
For those of you that may not have heard about this talented urban songwriter and performer, let us take this opportunity to tell you about the man they call West. After getting into music at a very early age, West started performing by the age of five winning talent competitions and being picked for star roles in his school plays. As he naturally matured he began to decipher what styles of music he liked getting into various urban music sounds such as R'n'B, Hip-Hop & Jungle. It was this influx of inspiration that led to West picking up the pen, writing rap verses and sung hooks. Before long West went onto record a mixtapes worth of material on well known beats which led to him being asked to perform at open mic nights and get his name out locally.
In 2003 West auditioned for a singer/songwriting competition in Reading where me met the keyboard player who played on D'Angelo's 'Voodoo' album. He started working with him and wrote his first commercial song 'Take My Life'. He came second in the competition and went on to perform the song in various UK clubs including London's 'Popshow Party' in Soho supporting a girl group called 'Clea'. After this triumph, he worked with a few local producers and learnt how to play a few chords on the guitar and taught himself how to use programs such as Cubase & Reason. West then entered the BBC's talent show 'Pop Idol' getting through to the second round before entering the X-Factor to be told by Louis Walsh he 'should and could be a star'.
Since then it's been non-stop for West as he joined local reggae band Mighty Upfront as a singer and gained valuable experience playing live, as well as having a massive local following. Now teamed up with brand new record label and management company Fam Records, as well as enlisting the production skills of 'David The Producer', West is set for big things. There is no doubting that West has the raw talent, the vision and the skills to make a real impact and the fact that his material is refreshingly uplifting and positive, makes this artist a man to watch.
R.I.P. Mr. Nick Ashford (May 4, 1941 – August 22, 2011)
Legends, Ashford & Simpson were a powerful team, just as well husband & wife. Sincere blessings to Miss Valerie & family during this time. On 8-22-11, the world and music industry lost a brilliant songwriter, producer & recording artists in Nick Ashford.
I want to show my appreciation for what they gave to the world with their art by doing this mix. I spinned some of my favorite joints by Ashford & Simpson plus a few joints they had penned for other artists like the legendary Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell plus Chaka Khan. Their body of work is powerful, legendary and soulful. It was SOLID! To the Preserving The Culture true supporters, ride with us as we celebrate Nick’s life through his music.
DJ JaySki & Shae La V Presents: Aaliyah - A Special Tribute
August 25th 2011 - Philadelphia, PA:
Philadelphia songstress, Shae La V releases her first short project for the masses, a special tribute to her favorite artist Aaliyah, as we celebrate her life and death on this day. Shae La V resonates the sound of the late singer, along with legendary hip hop DJ, DJ JaySki, creating a timeless mix. Shae has been working hard in the studio over the past few months, so listen to this in the meantime and be on the lookout for her next project, coming soon!
DMXjust proved, "Groundhog Day" is more than a movie -- it's a lifestyle for scofflaws.
Law enforcement tells TMZ ... the rapper was arrested again, after being pulled over last night in Arizona for driving 102 mph in a 65 zone. And for good measure, Mr. X was driving on a suspended license ... so cops arrested him.
He was booked for speeding, reckless driving, and the suspended license -- and has since been released on bond.
FYI -- DMX has now been busted 10 times in Maricopa County, AZ. Back in 2008, Sheriff Joe Arpaio famously made the rapper -- along with his fellow Tent City Jail inmates -- sport a pink jumpsuit .