Arguments on both sides of the file-sharing divide persist, but one thing is clear: The Internet has brought black music to white people. From white grad students in Afrobeat bands to indie hipsters rocking gangsta hip hop, diversity is in.
Yet despite the recent explosion of local live talent, Toronto shows have not seen much cross-pollination between the genres. The programmers atWavelength, the Sunday night Sneaky Dee’s gig that is ground zero for local indie rock, have been trying to change this lately by reaching out to artists from the African and hip hop communities. MC Abdominal is one such artist – an MC who appeals to both the urban music crowd and the indie hipster.
2007 saw him dropping his solo debut after years of guest appearances and touring with Jurassic Five, and his time in the trenches has paid off. A regular gig hosting Supermarkets’ weekly Do Right Saturdays keeps his local profile up, but it’s his killer flow, sense of humour and unconventional lyrics that set him aside from the pretenders.
He even scored a shout-out from Mayor David Miller, who introduces his Toronto anthem T Ode, in which Abdominal raps about Kensington Market and Suspect Video before inviting fans to visit “before the Leafs win the Cup and we tear the place down.”
Abdominal headlines the Exclaim! Beats & Rhymes Showcase at Canadian Music Week tonight, featuring a killer lineup of Canadian MCs. See for yourself if a white Jewish rapper from Greektown can help break Canadian hip hop into the big time.
What could be more Toronto than that?