Ever since rap landed in Canada …ever since the first rap Juno Award …ever since the first MuchMusic Rap Video Award …Ever Since: that’s how long MAESTRO’s been at this hip-hop game. EVER SINCE is the new album from Canada’s pioneering rapper, MAESTRO.
This is a new book in the encyclopedia of Canada’s biggest selling hip-hop artist; one of new beginnings and new challenges as the Renaissance man of Canadian rap pushes the envelope even further. Not content to rest on his hip-hop laurels after releasing the debut single, “U Got Da Best”, MAESTRO wants the world to know that new ground is being broken.
MAESTRO is firm in his resolve to look at each chapter as a lesson he can carry on into the next, and has much to draw from as the first Canadian urban artist to drop five albums: “SYMPHONY IN EFFECT” (1990), “BLACK TIE AFFAIR” (1991), “NAAAH, DIS KID CAN’T BE FROM CANADA?!!” (1994), “BUILT TO LAST” (1998) and now, EVER SINCE (2000).
In 1989, MAESTRO (then called Maestro Fresh-Wes) released the landmark single and video, “Let Your Backbone Slide.” More than a decade later, in a genre that rarely spawns careers of that length, “Let Your Backbone Slide” is still the biggest selling Canadian rap track in history, earning MAESTRO a gold single. Based on “Backbone’s” success, along with other tracks that garnered substantial attention, SYMPHONY IN EFFECT was certified platinum; still the biggest selling rap album in Canadian music history. “Let Your Backbone Slide” is ranked in the top 15 of the best Canadian songs ever released.
As important as it is to understand where he comes from, MAESTRO is clear about what the future holds for him. By including talented local musicians, vocalists and producers from his own hometown (Toronto), MAESTRO makes sure to water the seeds of the upcoming generation.
“I listened to suggestions from the younger cats and understood what they were saying, so the production is definitely tighter than the last album. This is, without a doubt, my best work to date.” With production from Saukrates, Kardinal Offishal, Solitaire, Jay-Rome, Frankenstein, K-Cut and Tyson, MAESTRO has delivered his most focused album yet.
If there’s a thread that permeates MAESTRO’s recorded work, it’s his lyrical mastery. His words and music connect with people on a universal level across the nation. His 1999 hit single, “Stick To Your Vision,” based around a sample of the Guess Who’s classic “These Eyes,” has become an anthem for personal triumph, courage and tenacity. It has been featured during closing ceremony footage for The Grey Cup, and most recently, as the theme song for a posthumous documentary on the life of the late Prime Minister, Pierre Elliot Trudeau.
MAESTRO tells it like it is and people get it. It’s intended to reflect the realities of life in the black community, good and bad, while trying to bring about a positive change,
“I thank God for breathing – I know I’m here for a reason. I’m trying to save a life and stop my people from bleeding While my ancestors ride with me – I know they died for me And I can hear it when they cry with me. Knowledge, Wisdom, Over-standing made me open my eyes Perseverance gonna keep me alive.” (“Perseverence”)
Anyone who has lost or celebrated a moment in life will relate to what MAESTRO has to say, because these are the musical notes to accompany the score of our lives.
Copyright The SONG Corporation 2001.