Jelani | 28 Moments of Black Canadian History | Maestro Fresh Wes & Rap in Canada

(relaxing music) – So my name is Jelani. I’m 27 years old, I live in Ottawa. I am the CEO and owner of Smallworld LIVE. So we’re a production company that brings an artist and
produce concerts here in Ottawa. So some of the names that we’ve brought include Jazz Cartier, Roy Woods, Killy. So what we really trying do next is build on those smaller concerts and start doing some
bigger ones in Ottawa. Little bit about me. My dad is from Trinidad and Tobago and my mom is white from Ottawa, Canada. I grew up in Kemptville
which is about an hour away outside of Ottawa. Growing up in Kemptville, it’s
a predominately white town. So, I wasn’t really exposed
to a lot of Black culture or even diversity in general until I moved to Ottawa for school. Living in Ottawa really taught me and exposed the diversity
that Ottawa has to offer from all the different cultures. And by people sharing their
experiences in stories, I was able to learn
more about their culture and their backgrounds. Yeah, I’d just like shout out to people that are a part of this project. I feel like it’s super
important for younger people to engage in such an initiative as important as Black History Month. So yeah, I’d really like to shout out to people who are involved, Fitch, Anne. and everybody else behind
the scenes as well. (soft music) (upbeat music) All right, so today I’m
going be talking about the Canadian history of hip hop. So thanks to figures such as K’naan, Kardinal Offishall, Tory
Lanez and of course Drake. Rap scene in Canada has exploded. Increasing in popularity
within our own borders and worldwide. But did you know that
rap in Canada emerged at around the same time
that it did in the US? In the 1970s, black people, most of them were West Indian background. Were the ones who
forefronted this movement. Introducing the subculture genre to the wider Canadian population. However, major Canadian
recording companies had no interest in music
created by black people. (mumbles) on rap. It was not until the release
of Maestro Fresh-Wes’s 1989 single, Let Your Backbone Slide, that rap and Canada, really
began to ascend in popularity. Receiving continuous plays on MuchMusic. The song went on to become
the first rap single certified gold in Canada. And Maestro Fresh-Wes was crowned godfather of Canadian hip hop. There is music. Maestro Fresh-Wes was
born in Toronto in 1968. Revolutionized the rap scene, forcing major recording
labels to pay attention and promoting the adoption of the style among non-black folks. Rap wasn’t only a Toronto thing, it was also in Quebec. With groups such as Muzion, which emerged in the 1990s. If you’d like to hear
the popular 1989 single Let Your Backbone Slide, and you like to read more on
the history of rap in Canada. Click on the links in the description. (upbeat music)

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