Custom Search 1

Drake overload

Boogie Man: Canadian rapper Mic Boogie

CANADA HAS not been known for consistently producing international hip-hop talents. Often overshadowed by the US, its neighbour to the south, Canada has failed to make a mark on the world of rap, until recently.

Artists like Drake and K’naan have changed the perceptions of the country and the talent therein, but for Toronto-born rapper Mic Boogie the success and dominance of Drake can be a detriment to other Canadian acts.

“Drake has opened a lot of eyes to what is going on in Canada,” said the 39-year-old. “But his dominance in the industry doesn’t give anyone else a shot at being played on radio stations across the country and there are only a few that actually play hip-hop.”

Radio stations in Canada operate under the Music, Artists, Performance and Lyrics system (MAPL) which is designed to increase the exposure of Canadian musicians by ensuring that 40 per cent of all music played on a radio station is Canadian music- a void that Mic Boogie believes has been completely filled by Drake.

“In Canada regular radio stations are pretty much all (playing) Drake. Props to him for doing his thing. I like some of his beats, but when I listen to the lyrical content, I think ‘really, can’t we move on?’

Still, the rapper admits that Drake has revolutionised the Canadian hip-hop scene like no other artist before.

“There is more of a scene in Canada because of Drake and people like him. One thing that Drake did was let everybody know that there are good artists here.”

Representation is very important to the rapper, because not only is he an entertainer he is also a father who has to rap responsibly. Drawing on life experiences for his tracks, Mic Boogie admitted that he never portrays a fake situation in his music.

“I’m a full time father, I take my son to school everyday and I still do my music. You will never catch me rapping about big fancy cars, and that stuff, because that’s not what my life is about. I’m never driving a car in any of my videos, because it’s something I don’t do. I ride transit (public transport) in the city, it just makes more sense and I live in a downtown area with mass transit and subway.”

Wanting to maintain what he calls the true essence of hip-hop the rapper has recently released a track called Catch Wreck, which draws on his childhood heroes Ice T, Run DMC and Grandmaster Flash.

“I wanted my album to sound more mature. It’s still hip-hop and still a lot of fun, but it’s not like a lot of the new stuff the kids are coming out with now. I wanted to represent hip-hop and what it was as a culture. I wanted to recreate what it was when I was a kid.”

The only thing that may hinder the Canadian emcee from achieving his dream of representing hip-hop on an international level is his skin colour. Whilst there have been white rappers who have been as successful as their black counterparts, Mic Boogie said that people still regularly judge him on his appearance.

“I know a lot of times people look at me and they think that I’m a biker or that I’ve just got out of jail doing 25 years, but I’m just who I am and hip-hop is a part of me. That’s why I called my first album That’s Me, because people would hear my music and say, ‘Who is that?’ I would say, ‘that’s me.’

He added: “It makes me laugh, having people look at me and say, ‘what’s that white boy doing here?’ I don’t feel like I have anything to prove, I know what I’m capable of and what my musical talents are, and I try to bring it to an audience that will appreciate it. I still want to represent myself as someone who has something to offer the hip-hop culture.”

For more information on Mic Boogie visit www.micboogiemusic.com

Facebook Comments