Tag Archives: Music

The Ave Podcast – Remembering Prodigy

The Ave Podcast with Cal Cee. Episode 26: Remembering Prodigy

Today on The Ave Podcast, we remember the career of Mobb Deep’s Prodigy. Simple as that.

I invited DJ Chris Nice (Grooves & Rhythms Mixshow, Fridays from 2 – 4PM on MyLime Radio)DJ G-Sharp (WTF Throwback Mix, Fridays 8 – 8:30AM on WPGC’s 95.5FM in Washington, D.C.), PressBasketball.Com’s own Will Strickland (The Open Run; Host/Organizer of Full Court 21 Canada), and past contributor to South Shore Ave Shawn Adonis (25th Anniversary of Juice, The MVPs of 2016) to discuss our favorite songs, the impact Prodigy made on Hip Hop, his star turn on Shook Ones Pt II, plus more.

*** Thanks for tuning in, and don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast and the blog below. The podcasts are now available for download. ***

The Ave Podcast with Cal Cee // Episode 26

 

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The Ave Podcast – Remembering Prodigy 

 

BONUS

DJ Chris Nice’s Tribute to Prodigy from Grooves & Rhythms Mixshow 06.23.2017

** Click Here For Link To Mixshow **

 

 

Cal Cee // South Shore Ave

To subscribe to South Shore Ave, click onto the Follow button, and enter your email address, or click onto the RSS Feed. Very special thanks to DJ Chris Nice, DJ G Sharp, Will Strickland, & Shawn Adonis for their guest appearances on this podcast.

 

Podcast & Chill….. All Episodes of Season One of #TheStoop: A Mini(Podcast)-Series

#TheStoop: A Mini(Podcast)-Series.

Thanks for tuning into Season One of our summer Podcast series #TheStoop. I would like to thank everyone who participated to the podcast series in some way, shape, or form with their ideas, guest appearances, contributions, and inspiration. I would love to thank my guests on #TheStoop this summer, in order: Big Brother Curt, Team Canada’s Lizanne Murphy, Headley, Vidal Chavannes, Shawn A., DJ Chris Nice, & Soca artist Ricardo Drue. Thanks to all of you for coming through!

Here are all the episodes of #TheStoop from this summer:

Episode 1 – The Great Tim Duncan

Big Brother Curt joins me on the premiere episode as we discuss Tim Duncan’s career after he retired this summer, comparing his career to Kobe Bryant in a unique way, and reviewing his impact overall on the NBA. https://southshoreave.com/2016/07/25/thestoop-a-minipodcast-series/

Episode 2 – Team Canada’s Lizanne Murphy shoots for Gold

Lizanne Murphy from Team Canada’s Woman’s Olympic Basketball team sits with me as we discuss her basketball beginnings, the renaissance of Canadian Woman’s hoops, her fantasy BBall skills and her love of Soca music. https://southshoreave.com/2016/07/26/thestoop-team-canadas-lizanne-murphy-shoots-for-gold/

Episode 3 – The Caribana Rundown

A How-To guide to having a successful Caribana Weekend. https://southshoreave.com/2016/07/28/thestoop-the-caribana-rundown/

Episode 4 – Shitty Shoe War Stories

Friend of South Shore Ave Headley joins me on an extended version of the Podcast as we trade war stories of the childhood days when wearing no-named sneakers was a way of life, when we got our first named brand shoes, if it’s possible to put out a great shoe at a bargain price, plus more. https://southshoreave.com/2016/08/26/thestoop-shitty-shoe-war-stories/

Episode 5 – The Socially Responsible Athlete Discussion

DJ Chris Nice (Grooves & Rhythms Mixshow of MyLime Radio) & Vidal Chavannes (Educational Consultant) joins me to discuss the importance of socially conscious athletes using their voice & platforms, our thoughts on Colin Kaepernick’s stance, plus more. https://southshoreave.com/2016/09/09/thestoop-the-socially-responsible-athlete-discussion/

Episode 6 – The Power Recap Episode

Shawn Adonis & Headley join me on the podcast as we breakdown the Season Finale of Power, as well as Season 3 overall, predictions for Season 4, plus more. https://southshoreave.com/2016/10/06/thestoop-the-power-recap-episode/

Episode 7 – The Ricardo Drue Interview

Soca Sensation Ricardo Drue joins us on the Season Finale as he discusses his musical path, the evolution of Soca music & where he sees it headed, the Impact of “Vagabond”,  how his song ended up on DJ Khaled’s “Nas Album Done” video/mini movie, plus more. https://southshoreave.com/2016/10/07/thestoop-the-ricardo-drue-interview/

*** Thanks for tuning in as always. Download current and past episodes and don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast and the blog below. ***

Podcast & Chill….. #PodcastandChill

 

Cal Cee // South Shore Ave

To subscribe to South Shore Ave, click onto the Follow button, and enter your email address, or click onto the RSS Feed. Very special thanks to all of you for lending me your ears.

#TheStoop: The Ricardo Drue Interview

Today on the season finale of #TheStoop: A Mini(Podcast) Series, Soca sensation Ricardo Drue joins myself & DJ Chris Nice as he discusses his path as a musician, the evolution of Soca Music, where he sees the genre going & how he plans to leave his mark, how his major hit “Vagabond” ended up on DJ Khaled’s latest music video, plus more.

*** Thanks for tuning in, and don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast and the blog below, and also, the podcasts are available for download. ***

#TheStoop: A Mini(Podcast)-Series // The Ricardo Drue Interview

 

To download the podcast, feel free to click the link below:

https://app.box.com/s/v7vsgejax56mj1rai4w1vssaqjtdhpqz

 

Cal Cee // South Shore Ave

To subscribe to South Shore Ave, click onto the Follow button, and enter your email address, or click onto the RSS Feed. Very special thanks to Ricardo Drue & DJ Chris Nice for their guest appearance on this podcast.

The Ave Podcast with Cal Cee – The Playoffs & The Trap

The Ave Podcast with Cal Cee. Episode 3: The Playoffs & The Trap

Welcome once again to The Ave Podcast. For Part I, we welcome O’Niel Kamaka (St. Mary’s College alumnist, Northen Kings AAU Basketball Coach), as we discuss our thoughts on the players who has both impressed & disappointed us from the 1st round of the NBA playoffs; recap our thoughts from the Pacers-Raptors series; & if San Antonio becomes the favorite to win it all with Steph Curry’s injuries mounting.

For Part II, we welcome our guest and past contributor Shawn Adonis (The Notorious B.I.G’s Ready to Die , Raekwon’s Only Built For Cuban Linx….., and a #FlashbackFriday Video discussion on Kardinal Offishall’s “Bakardi Slang”), as we discuss the phenomenon of Desiigner’s Panda, the dominance of Trap music, how the internet era has altered the balance of today’s Hip Hop music.

As always, thanks for tuning in. For you newcomers, don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast and the blog below….

The Ave Podcast with Cal Cee // Episode 3 – PART I “The Playoffs”

 

PART II “The Trap”

 

Cal Cee // South Shore Ave

To subscribe to The Baseline Blog, click onto the Follow button or by entering your email address. Very special thanks to O’Niel Kamaka & Shawn Adonis for their guest appearances on this podcast.

#FlashbackFridayVideos: Kanye West’s “Jesus Walks”

Ok, here’s the thing…..

……each and every last Friday of each month, we were supposed to be posting #FlashbackFridayVideos, a segment focusing on classic music videos, classic sports games and general signature pop culture moments from back in the day. While the spirit is there, I’ve changed the parameters a little. We will post at least one of these segments, once a month instead of the 4th Friday of each month. So in case the spirit hits me (or us when I tag-team the segment with someone), I don’t want to have to wait until the end of each month to post it. We’ll still have quick rundowns and explore all the angles that come to our minds on each video when it comes to sports moments and videos, cool? Cool. Phew! Now that we got that out the way, let’s walk with Jesus….

Before the spazzing-out episodes about getting deeper into the clothing industry, before the paparrazzi, before the Kardashians, the Yeezy kicks, the Adidas deal, even before Katrina, we had “College Dropout” Kanye. This version of Kanye used his first album to bring out some of the fallacies and pressures of college life, which was completely different from anything that was heard from Roc-A-Fella Records. He sounded different, looked different, dressed different, and acted different. This was a dude that would show up on the scene in a pink polo shirt, a blazer, and a backpack (usually Louis Vitton-affiliated, but still). He was as “clean cut” a rapper, as you were going to get out of the Roc. Kanye didn’t have a drug dealing background like Jay-Z, wasn’t from the Marcy projects like Memphis Bleek, wasn’t a Broad St. Bully like Beanie Sigal (who was the first rapper to use Kanye’s production), wasn’t about the grimy life like Freeway, and wasn’t hustling until the sun came up like State Property’s persona. For all intended purposes, Kanye seemed like a regular (if not cocky) guy that happened to be able to rap and produce. He had insecurities, flaws, & even if he loved to floss, he wasn’t afraid to deal with his issues in his raps. Then on the production side of things, he was building a catalogue that was helping to change the landscape of Hip Hop. Between him and Just Blaze, their production helped to extend the life of the Roc and even Hov in particular, in the early 2000’s.

Once Kanye stepped out, started rapping not with his labelmates, but with guys like Talib Kweli, Yaasin Bay (forever known as Mos Def), Common and Twista, & they co-signed his rhyming skills, he started to become official. He put out the videos to, Through the Wire” & All Falls Down”, but had a song bubbling on the low that was going to change everything in his career up to that point……

“Jesus Walks”, even at that time, was not only one of the most original songs that Roc-A-Fella ever put out, but was one of the more original records that we ever heard from an artist. We never saw someone talk about Jesus as blatantly as Kanye did in Hip Hop. It was thought-provoking, it sounded dope, it shed light on his relationship with the Lord without sounding preachy, it sounded dope, it was hella-artistic, and again, it sounded dope. A Hip Hop record speaking about religious beliefs doesn’t work unless it aces the test sonically. Let’s face it, people may love the Lord, but the masses don’t want to hear about it in 16 bars or more over a boom-bap beat. If that was the case, the Christian rap game would be huge right now. It’s probably one of the reasons why we haven’t heard a song like this since. With that said, this song & video represented the best examples of Kanye as an artist & where he was headed. In the video, he touches on many different kinds of people in different scenarios struggling through their lot in life. The white supremacist/clan member cutting down a tree to carve out a cross; the prisoners in a chain gang; the drug dealers fleeing from the feds with the stripper in the backseat; and the disenfranchised youth skipping, all share the common denominator that the Lord walks with them through thick & thin.

He represented all different facets, while showing his greatest strength, which is to never fear the opportunity to veer left when everyone is heading right. He wasn’t afraid to promote his message (he put out THREE different videos for Jesus Walks for goodness sakes!), wasn’t fearful of challenging the status quo (“So here go my single dog, radio needs this / they say you can rap about anything except for Jesus / That means guns, sex, lies, videotape / But If I talk about God my record won’t get played, huh?”), & it was expensive as hell (1st & 2nd versions costs $1.5M combined). No one in Hip Hop would have dared tried to make this song, much less his labelmates. They might have tried to sautée their Roc-A-Fella chains, & eat it with some pasta before they’d cut a record like this.

It’s a shame though, because personally, I miss “College Dropout” Yeezy. Someone who made his own soulful beats, shared his experiences of his college days & his desires of making it big (even if he was already at the time), & also shockingly holding his own with some of the heavyweight rappers that guest appeared on his album. This album dropped around the time my friends & I were still in University ourselves, so for a lot of us, this album was our personal soundtrack. Shit, one of my boys even had a customized Jesus Walks Blazer back when wearing a Blazer &/or Button-up with a fitted cap was the way to go. Like many of us that have moved on and matured from those days, Kanye has graduated from his talents back then, to be one of the biggest superstars the genre has seen to this day. So much so, that outside of Jesus Walks, he barely performs any of the tracks off the College Dropout in concerts or other live events. Considering some of the controversies that we’ve seen from him since this song dropped (his mom’s passing, fighting the ‘razzi, “Imma let you finish”, etc.), maybe this song was a prophetic affirmation that HE would continue to walk with him through all his trials & tribulations (self-inflicted or not). I mean, how else do you explain the fact that he still remains so hot to the masses, with all of his public missteps and large portions of the public hating his guts because of it? He still hasn’t cracked yet, and doesn’t seem to be slowing down. Maybe in some way, this song is the one from his debut album that is still relative to his life nowadays, who knows really. All we know is that a song about God sent him on his way. Considering how dark Hip Hop can sometimes get, that’s probably an underrated blessing in itself.

 

Cal Cee // South Shore Ave

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A Blurred Line

I feel as though I have to throw in my observation of Robin Thicke, especially in light of the fact that he & Pharrell had to give up $7.3M to Marvin Gaye’s estate. Can you remember a time where a song provided an artist with his greatest triumph & his worst nightmares all in one fell swoop like this? Blurred Lines has become Robin’s Gift and his Curse. I want to insert you, the reader, in Thicke’s shoes for a moment.

You’re the son of a famous 80’s actor who stepped out into a different avenue altogether to become an R&B singer. You marry your high school sweetheart (the beautiful Paula Patton) whose dream is to become an actress. Together you both embark upon a journey to make it in your respective fields. Your wife starts to acquire great roles that help her become somewhat of a movie star, acting alongside a variety of people, from Andre 3000 & Big Boi (Idlewild) to Denzel Washington (Deja Vu). You break into the R&B market as a white soul singer; casts your wife as your leading lady in your video “Lost Without You” which wins the approval and hearts of women everywhere. Your buzz starts to grow bigger. You do a couple of collabos with Lil’ Wayne, and put out a couple more hot singles & albums, & the black community continues to appreciate your work even further. You’ve basically become this generation’s Jon B. Everything goes a step further when you accept a role on your friend, Kevin Hart’s mock-reality TV show, “The Real Husbands of Hollywood.” Nobody sees the potential you have to hang with the other actors & comedians on the set. Not only do you hold your own, but you become one of the most favorite and memorable characters of Season 1.  On top of that, the frenemy dynamic with Kevin Hart at times takes the show to an whole other level than we ever imagined. The episode where you get so angry at Kevin for stealing your “Lost Without You” song and video, all the while continuing to make comments of him wanting to steal your wife, & instead of turning into The Hulk, turns into a big, buffed out angry Black man, is probably one of the funniest things seen on TV since The Chappelle Show. Even though your career has been pretty successful thus far, you still haven’t had that major hit that maybe one day would take you over the top.

Then Blurred Lines entered your life.

You collaborate with Pharrell & T.I., making a fun party record, sounding like everyone is having a good time while its being recorded. It’s a record that brought a different sound than what you would normally record. The song sounds great & you figure this could be the early-bird type of single that can start generating a buzz for your new album in the future. You release it, and within weeks, the buzz starts to mushroom. It takes over all the important music charts in the U.S., then Canada., then London, Spain, Italy, China, etc. It has not only become one of the hottest records in the world at the moment, but it might be the best R&B song that came out this decade. Every man, woman, and child, every race, every young teen demo, every senior citizen demo, and everyone in between LOVES your song. And just like that, you’ve finally obtained your major smash hit, and you’ve turned into a superstar.

Would you like to come back for Season 2 of RHOH? “Uhhhh, no thanks!”

Would you like to do exclusive interviews with people like Oprah Winfrey? “Uhhh, you mawfuckin’ riiiight!”

You went from watching these big time music award shows to now you and your wife are sitting front row, and you’re one of the performers the world tunes it to watch. It reaches its full apex when Miley Cyrus brings you on stage to perform Blurred Lines on the VMAs & decides to “Twerk” on you (if you want to call it that) while rubbing your genitals with a foam finger. The whole world goes “Andre is off his meds again” crazy…. & you’re just riding the tidal wave of fame and success. Now women (who know you have a beautiful wife at home) are throwing themselves, their bras, and their panties at your every step in every part of the world. Man, it’s getting hard to turn all this down. You start getting a lil’ handsy & comfortable at some of these after parties & the social media agents start taking & sending pictures. The wife who’s nowhere near you, keeps hearing these rumors and seeing these images & starts to flip out.

Now, no one really knows for sure what really happened between you & your wife, whether you cheated on her or not, but now your marriage is getting more blurry than your eyes after going hard in bottle service. Your wife, your friend & someone who’s been there for you for almost twenty years is about to leave. The one song that you’ve been waiting for your whole career is now cracking at your foundation. You start to panic. You start rushing an album basically begging your wife to come back….

*** Cue the Announcer **** 

“And that’s when ‘Keeping it Real’ goes wrong”

Let’s step out of his shoes for one second…..

What Robin Thicke did was a huge no-no as an R&B male singer. The demographic who support his craft (i.e. Women between the ages of 18-40) want to always feel like he’s singing to or about them, not someone else. It doesn’t matter if he’s married or not. Even if the material he’s singing about is about his wife, it has to be done in a way that feels like it could easily be about them too. Usher’s, Here I Stand” album was a peek into his progress as a husband, a father, and a family man……but no one was trying to hear about his stable family unit after Confessions.” That album was fun, drama-filled, and salacious, mixed with great production. It’s probably not a coincidence that he released “Papers” as his first track once the “Here I Stand” album cycle ran its course. He still wanted to air out his business, but to also pick momentum back up from where he left “Confessions.” It’s a slightly twisted view, sure, but it’s a reality. Once an artist reaches that high, no one wants to see them seem weak, especially immediately after that life-changing success of a song/album. Even if they just want their wife back. If it comes off looking desperate while doing it, it’s even worse. What does desperation & ignoring the fantasies of your fan base look like when you mix them together?

Look at him. Head down, all somber, looking like he’s going to weep as soon as he’s off-camera with all the colors following him like the trail of a wedding dress. I’m sure his management team must have spent weeks double-fisting bottles of Hennessey and Grey Goose. After all the goodwill Robin collected in the last 15 months, he basically punted it all away with a “Baby, Baby please!” album to your estranged wife (with her name on it to make sure there’s no mistake who it’s about) and their eroding relationship that’s been in the news for months, & essentially putting his shit-stained boxers dirty laundry all over the boulevard for the neighbors to see. He should be getting paid by Jerry Jones, not Jimmy Iovine.

Ok, let’s step back into his shoes again…..

Predictably, you release “Get Her Back” off of your dedication album. Surprisingly, it doesn’t go over so well. You then release “Paula”, and your album tanks hard (24,000 1st week sales) officially killing any leftover momentum of “Blurred Lines.” The fame from this song has started to become the bane of your existence. If this wasn’t bad enough, along comes the Gaye family with claims that your biggest song sounds a lot like their Father’s biggest song, & since you didn’t get proper permission, you “Got to Give It Up” to the estate. It doesn’t matter if you were influenced by the man and/or the legendary song itself, the family wants their money, their cut, and for you to never perform the song again. You try to fight it out in court, but eventually you lose the case (that you’re trying to appeal). Within the same time frame that your divorce is settled, you now have to kick out $7.3M, a number so startling that you start flirting with the idea of calling your Dad & Kirk Cameron to get together and do a remake of Growing Pains just to recoup the lost monies.

Now that you have some perspective & have taken a look back at your career leading up to  Blurred Lines, the incredible peaks that the song took your career to, the depressing valleys you slid down into that sacrificed your family, putting “Paula Patton” back on the market again, and your career is now as hot as an ice bucket challenge……

……. If you had the chance to do the Blurred Line experience over again, don’t you have to have yes?

**** Removing shoes ****

In any facet of life, how do you know how far you can go, and how far you can stretch your talents and abilities to unless you reach for the ceiling? Once you do, you have to deal with the hurdles, obstacles, &/or temptations that may come with that success sometimes, and then deal with them accordingly. Once this opportunity came and Blurred Lines became what it became, Robin had to exhaust all ways to maximize on it. Could Robin have better handled the success that came with the biggest song of his career? Sure. Could he have maybe cleared it somehow with the Gaye estate just to make absolute sure he had no issues going forward? Yes. Hindsight always comes with perfect vision, and everyone can master his moves after the fact, but as long as you understand that it would be a complete disservice to his career had he not gone through his Blurred experience. He could have continued on with his career hitting doubles and singles like some average light-hitting baseball player & stayed where he was. If that was as far as he wanted to take things, then fine. But what if he knew he could hit that home run? Once he got the right pitch (song) and he know it could be knocked out of the park, doesn’t he have to swing for it, knowing that he’s going to run on the bases of temptation, vices, and pressures before he reaches home? It’s the gift and the curse of success…. and it doesn’t always come with a blueprint to navigate through it. It might be a shame what happened to Robin after that song came and went, but unfortunately that’s the price that comes with taking that bat off your shoulders. Knowing how to jog on the bases sometimes is just as important as taking the swing, so it will be interesting to see how he bounces back from everything moving forward.

 

Cal Cee // South Shore Ave

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#FlashbackFridayVideos: Kardinal Offishall’s “Bakardi Slang”

Each and every last Friday of each month, we here at South Shore Ave will be releasing  #FlashbackFridayVideos, a segment focusing on music videos from back in the day, to something semi-recent (like a few months ago), & every once in a while, we might review a classic game or sports moment. We’ll have quick overall rundown on what was hot about them, how it helped moved its culture along, the ridiculousness of the videos, and everything else in between.

In our first monthly installment of #FlashbackFridayVideos, Shawn Adonis and I, will take you back to a pre-Drake Toronto where one of the signature artists from the T.Dot educated us on the city’s slang.

Cee: Before Drake & the OVO Team, there was The Circle led by Kardinal Offishall, Choclair, and Saukrates. These guys (along with help from The Rascalz) changed hip hop in Canada, taking it to higher level of respectability, and let’s face it, put out some good quality music (Northern Touch anyone?). When Kardinal dropped “Bakardi Slang“, at the time, it was one of the biggest Canadian hip hop tracks to hit the market & actually gain notoriety outside of this country. This song became Toronto’s version of Big L’s “Ebonics“, giving everyone outside of the Toronto a peek into the West Indian cultural pot that’s been simmering in this city for decades.

For me, as a Canadian who lived & breathed hip hop, I kinda wish this song came out a few years before, when I just moved to Toronto. Believe me when I tell you Shawn, when I moved here, I couldn’t really understand what anyone was saying. They may as well have been speaking Mandarin. You know when someone’s speaking to you in a different language & all you do is smile and nod? That was me the first two years here. In fact, I used to come home from school & with my cousin Brian, we used to try to break down what we learned in T-Dot ebonics like a periodics table. The only thing we were missing was the lab coats & the goggles around our necks. If this song dropped 3-4 years beforehand, I could have at least printed it out & kept the shit in my pocket anytime someone started speaking to me. I could have referred to it like a thesarus. How didn’t I get jacked for my lunch money more often?

Shawn: I hear you Cal, that T Dot slang did leave me scratching my head on a few occasions. When you’d be talking to one of the “gyal dem”, and you’d feel like a total square for not being able to participate in the slang-extravaganza.  The most I could offer to the conversation was a strategical placed “Guy” every few sentences (which Kardinal conveniently left out of the song. Go figure…), as I’d think, “She must think I’m cool, she’s clearly a girl and I’m calling her ‘Guy’. My act of deception is working perfectly”.

You know, thinking about it now, it’s a shame that Kardi didn’t come out with this song in today’s day and age.  He could have packaged the song with a “Bakardi Slang Translator App”, and gotten the honorable mayor Rob Ford to endorse it at the height of his infamous late night drunken patois rants.  You couldn’t dream of better promotion than that, it would be flying out the App Store. Think of how much easier this would make the lives of old white sugar daddies dying to spend their money to get a lil’ taste of chocolate,  and how ground breaking this would be for young gold digging sisters, no?

Cee: That translator app would be awesome. You think the commercial for the app would look as professional as the Game of War App game with Kate Upton in it, or would the quality be more cheesy like the Shamwow guy?

Speaking of “Guy”*, here’s another word he left out: Arms. This was the most confusing word I ever heard by far. It’s basically the equivalent of saying, “That’s messed up”. However, no one ever said that. They’d always say, “That’s arms!” or “That’s arms house!” (which always sounded like “Arms-Zus”) or simply “Arms!!”. During that period when I’d basically black out & start depending on my smile & nod defense mechanisms, in my head, I would have a mental interrogation about what that word meant. I’d be like, “Arms? Arms?? That’s arms??? Who’s arms?????……. ***thinking*** ….. My arms???? The fu**?!?!” If someone took a good look at me at that moment, you could probably see the faint smoke coming out of my ears trying to hold it all together. I even had to bring in my brother-in-law (who’s Jamaican) in on the case & the most he came up with was that it’s supposed to mean “House of Arms (Guns & ammo)”, but was still confused as to why it was used this way. That word still gives me a twitch to this day.

We forget now, but that song back then was huge in Toronto, and Canada overall. I remember it being on heavy rotation, you literally heard it everywhere. The video back then represented Toronto properly, showing off the requisite local stars, the Circle crew (ie. Saukrates), took you through some of the popular areas and streets, Kardi basically checked off a lot of boxes here. In the era where rappers were still proud to sound different from one another, he made a regional song that helped The North get even more awareness to the masses, similar to what the south was doing (especially in New Orleans. See No Limit & Cash Money records). Choclair was the first from The Circle to cross over to the Stateside, now Kardi was next in line. You were rooting for them to make it & put Canada on the map in hip hop just like Vince Carter did for basketball. The buzz from this song eventually made it across the border, & next thing you know 106 & Park was going to launch the video. This was the official “N**** We Made it!!” moment……

…….until AJ & Free stomped out the buzz by calling Kardinal “The Canadian Puffy” after they played the video. It was like hearing fingernails being dragged across a blackboard, but if the fingernails were connected to a microphone & was being scratched over a loud speaker. Listen, Puffy is a GREAT businessman. You may want to be compared to Puffy in a lot of ways. As an executive, an owner, a spokesperson, a marketer, a tastemaker, a baller…..but never a rapper. Not especially if you’re a legitimate one. It’s not like we got our hip hop knowledge from AJ & Free anyway, they weren’t exactly The Source or XXL. Nevertheless, they still had a huge platform, & to be more or less categorized with a guy who would tell you firsthand he’s not a rapper….. I mean, I can’t say for certain if it hurt his record sales in the States, but I’m sure it didn’t help. The only reason why there wasn’t more flack about this (at least from me) was…..well, Free wasn’t exactly hard on the eyes, and I enjoyed watching her, um, host the show (yeah, that’s it) on a daily basis. So for that they got a pass as a whole. But it still wasn’t the greatest of looks in Kardi’s sake.

Shawn: You know, they say that the true measure of a man is his ability to admit when he has made a mistake (According to an inspirational quote I read on a Facebook page, where the profile pic was a chick wearing just enough clothing so that her page doesn’t get shut down….. so basically a very reliable source).  With that said, Cal my good man, it pains me to admit that I may have not been giving the T-Dot slang innovators the full credit they deserve. I’ve said for years that young black Torontonians simply sprinkled bits and pieces of Jamaican patois into their conversations, and tried to pass off as their own lingo, like nobody would notice (which I think is still true 90% of the time).  But this whole use of the word “arms” has me completely flabbergasted.  You and your brother-in-law already spent enough time drinking coffee and chain smoking while you exchange theories, so I’m not gonna spend any more energy on it, that mystery is unsolvable.

After all this time has passed, and the members of the Circle have fallen from the limelight (Did I say fallen? I meant skydived, hit the ground, then put on a wet suit & oxygen mask to continue to descend to the bottom of the sea. Basically as far from the limelight as humanly possible), it’s easy to forget what kind of impact these guys, especially Kardi, had on Canadian hip hop fans as a whole.  Let’s be honest Cee, Canadian rap fans are generally US hip hop dick riders.  A club could be packed with dancing party goers until the DJ threw on some Canadian hip hop, and the crowd would suddenly look like they were waiting in line at the license bureau.  But with Kardi, it was different.  Dudes would drive down the block with the window rolled down and bump tunes from him and The Circle with pride.  I even copped Kardi’s first album (which was the first & last Canadian hip hop album I’ve ever bought. Sorry Drake, I’m a fan but thanks to the internet I can be one for free).  But that Kardi album was legit, that shit was certifiably & undeniably dope.  Call me a product of my “self hip hop hating” environment, but nothing would have made me happier than to say that slang translating rapper was trash…. but the dude was really talented, and forced you to enjoy the music for what it was.  Like you mentioned Cal, the fact that the Americans embraced it actually made us feel like we all made it. Of course to show our gratitude, we turned our backs on him as soon as he became lukewarm, in true Canadian fashion.

Cee: Man….. tell us how you really feel. I feel like I should send you a Hugagram, but upgrade it to the premium package where people group hug you for like 15-20 minutes straight while humming gospel hymns and everyone in the room fights back tears. Like Luscious said to his son in Empire this week (I’m paraphrasing here), it’s your music that’ll live on forever above all else….. & this song/video was evidence of the path that Kardi was taking towards making his mark on Canadian Hip Hop history. The song was innovative, and it shed light on the talent that Toronto (& this country for that matter) has. Bacardi Slang made an impact, otherwise, we wouldn’t be having this #FlashbackFriday moment…..still.

*“Guy” Translation: It’s like using “Yo” at the beginning of the sentence in slang speak. For example, “Guy, you won’t believe what happened to Mikey today”. Or you can use it as a statement if or when someone says something that you agree with. For example: “Did you see that game last night? Yo that shit was crazy!” Then all you have to say is, “GUUUY!” & everything’s understood. I’ve also added the lyrical meanings of this song off of Rap Genius here, so you should be at least 80% more educated on Toronto slang. I hope.

 

Cal Cee // South Shore Ave

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