Saturday, August 18, 2007

Various Artists - Heads Connect Vol. 1
Location: Toronto, ON

An interviewer recently asked me, "do you think rap is killing hip-hop?". This caught me off guard, and then I thought of projects like Heads Connect that are spreading from its Toronto roots to cities like Ottawa & Montreal. This monthly event is a grassroots hip-hop show that brings together underground hip-hop heads from all over. Clearly my answer was 'no.'

Heads Connect vol. 1 brings niceness from many indie like-minded emcees. It provides a mix of new tracks and previously released albums tracks. In some cases, the re-issue of older tracks seemingly breathes new life into them like Wordburglar's "Cream of Wheat," but not so much in cases like Shad K's "I Get Down" & More Or Les's "Everybody Outside".

Cale Sampson's "Never Had a Choice" stands out as one of my favourite tracks, as he unfolds the story of the struggle often faced by emcees trying to establish themselves. David Hodges's "Online Radio Star" is another favourite, as he pokes fun at those emcees who rise to online fame without ever hitting the stage.

The always political Dope Poet Society stick with their strong views and provide a catchy chorus on "Devils in your Government." The organic beat on Vandal's "Mongolia" also impresses. The lounge vibe of Lameck Williams' "In the form of Hip-Hop" goes to show the diversity of Heads Connect artists.

Heads Connect Vol. 1 is what hip-hop should really be all about. Real messages combined with respect for diverse views, sounds and approaches to rap. It's about community and bringing like minded folks together.

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