(Toronto) Hip Hop You’re the Love of My Life
With Valentine's day being forced down my throat. pause. upon us, I've been struggling to come up with an appropriate post to acknowledge the nauseating festive season. I couldn't write an Eff Valentine's Day post because I did that last year, but I couldn't really celebrate it either because it basically has no relevance to my life. And so it occurred to me that there is no better time than Valentine's Day for me to honour my one true love: Toronto hip hop.
Because the vast majority of my readers are from the
right other side of the border, I try to keep the blog as geographically agnostic as possible. But allow me just once to really rep for my adopted home town by presenting to you, my dear readers, the Top 10 Toronto Hip Hop songs you should know and probably don’t.
1. Saukrates & k-os – I Wish I Knew Natalie Portman
It’s not an overstatement for me to say that Sauks and k-os are two of the most gifted artists in Canada, let alone Toronto so it’s really no surprise that a collabo between them would be dope. Plus don’t we all wish we knew Natalie Portman? I know I do.
2. Marvel – Throw This Ball
Funny story: Although I have loved this song since the first time I heard it – that beat just kills me – I somehow managed to work with Marvel for an entire year without ever realizing who he was. I just kept thinking to myself, this dude’s voice is so familiar….
3. Saukrates – Father Time
A fucking classic. That’s all I can say. And it always works to cure my writer’s block.
4. Kardinall Offishall – Bakardi Slang
Those of you who love the expression panty meat have Kardi to thank for it. He has a gift for making up lingo that sticks and Bakardi Slang is full of them. Any of you who have ever spoken of chatted with me know that my speech is littered with Kardi-isms – now you can hear where they came from.
5. Maestro Fresh-Wes – Just Swinging
This is a pretty obscure pick, even for me. Maestro has a lot of way bigger songs than this. But I love this song for the following line:
“Torn between two lovers
Feeling like a fool.
I just fucked Judy’s mother
And Judy’s in night school.”
7. Page – I’m Still Fly Remix feat. Drake
Okay the video is corny as shit – I cannot even watch it. But I like this song. And it’s probably the only one on this list that was recorded after 2000 so there you go.
8. Big Black Lincoln – She Was
I’m pretty sure that at some point in time I’ve schooled you guys on BBL but if I haven’t, get caught up. This is one of my all-time favourite songs ever and Saukrates’ falsetto cannot be beat.
9. Michie Mee – Jamaican Funk
The gear and hairstyles alone in this video kill me dead
and remind me of the scary girls who used to pull my hair and threaten to fight me in club bathrooms but the song itself showcases perfectly the link between reggae and hip hop that is the cornerstone of Toronto hip hop as far as I’m concerned.
10. Rascalz – Northern Touch
This is slightly questionable because the Rascalz are not from Toronto. But they did turn down a Juno and basically accused the Junos of being racist so they’re okay in my book. Plus the song includes almost all my favourite Toronto artists and there’s even a Melyssa Ford sighting so can we really go wrong?
Honourable Mention: Masta Ace Top 10 List
Okay yes technically Masta Ace is not from Toronto but the song is produced by Saukrates and production is what makes a song right? Besides which, this is one of the greatest diss tracks ever and I can’t really in good conscience make a top ten hip hop anything list without including it.
So there we have it. A quick 101 on Toronto hip hop – consider that my Valentine’s Day gift to you. Am I missing any hidden musical gems from your home towns? Share with me in the comments.
Oh and since we’re talking about the t.dot today, Toronto people come out to 30 Elephant’s Family Fun Day at E-zone (120 North Queen Street). It’s hosted by Kardi and featuring music by Starting from Scratch so it’s sure to be a good time even if you don’t have a family. You can get the details and ish right here.
Also – if you’re looking for some primo baby-making music for tonight, check out the homie DJ Agile’s mixtape Lov Lane Pt. II. Don’t blame him if you wind up pregnant though.