Roots, Rhymes, Resistance, Richmond

3 12 2010

When I moved to Vancouver in 2003 after a 6 and a half year stint in the Bay Area, California I had lost my interest in hip hop music.  I was a Reggae/Punk/Ska kid with The Clash and Sublime ringing out in my ears.  Prior to moving to California in ’97 I was a HUGE hiphop head, making mixtapes for friends on a cheap wood grain mixer with 2 tape decks.  But as time progressed… Hip Hop for me became shallow and empty with emcees rapping about cars and plastic women with plastic body parts.  Although the beats were dope and the flows were dope… the lyrics weren’t doing it for me.  HipHop became a dark void in my life…

In 2005 that all changed for me.  I was introduced to the Blue Scholars and HipHop once again changed my life.  I began searching and yearning for music that was progressive and Revolutionary.  From 2005 until present I was able to connect with both Geo and Sabzi of the Scholars through the community work we did here in Vancouver and the community work they did in Seattle.  They catapulted my interest in Revolutionary HipHop and since found Bambu and Kiwi, and the whole Mass Line crew outta the 206.  I was introduced to Khingz, Gabriel Teodros and Nam out of Seattle as well and their music has since been on constant rotation on my iPhone. 

Now Vancouver hiphop at the time for me was a bit out of wack.  I went to local hiphop shows and realized that Vancity hiphop was diluted with Middle Class white emcees rapping about shit I didn’t care about.  So I was subject to listening to HipHop that was coming out of Washington.  Once the On Point Collective graced my ears I was finally happy to say that Vancouver HipHop had some gain with getting Vancity on the Progressive HipHop map!  Once Dags, one half of OPC, left to go back to Toronto… I was on the search once again.  Until 2 guys walked into the Kalayaan Centre and we found out they were emcees.

I met RTwo and KB in 2007 and was able to cop their 1st album.  When I heard the album I was amazed at the potential that these two had and was hopeful that it would just get better and better.  It’s now close to the end of 2010 and both RTwo and KB with the Toxic Slime Clique has brought Progressive Vancouver HipHop to the next level.  These two Emcees have brought truth and knowledge to hiphop that I believe this city has been lacking bigtime!   Who would’ve known that Richmond was housing such talented musicians.  They recently held a show last month called “The Dopeness” and let me tell you how much I was blown away.  Not only was the venue a packed house… but the support of their community and the Richmond youth left me dumbfounded.  DelaDope was introduced as the opening act, He’s performed for UKPC before at Roots, Rhymes, and Resistance… but after just a few short months, watching him perform @ The Dopeness show proved to me that the talent at this moment in time.. was coming out of Richmond, BC.

RTwo and KB recently released both of their mixtapes “Voice of the People” and “I Had To Do It”, which both can be downloaded for free from  I believe in my opinion these two mixtapes is a coming of age for both Emcees.  These albums define their true talents and their passion for the revolutionary movement both here and the Philippines.  I was blessed to be able to participate in the making of the “Fists Up” music video that will be on the upcoming Toxic Slime Album – Dope Product.  It was a learning experience and proved the work ethic these two Emcees and the whole Toxic Slime Clique had. They wanted members of the Kalayaan Centre in the music video and ofcourse we were not going to pass up the oppurtunity to support them in this venture.  In all honesty, they represent the Kalayaan Centre like we all do.  Our community is the Kalayaan Centre which is a part of all of us in everything we do.  We are grassroots organizing at its best which is evident in the work ethic these kats have.   In true Do It Yourself manner, these guys have released amazing music, created their own clothing line, setup shows and most importantly integrating with the community and organizing our filipino youth for genuine social change. 

I believe Toxic Slime has sparked a music movement like our Kasamas in Seattle and LA.  They’re not only putting out dope progressive music for the masses, their also educating those who have been mis-educated by the current state of our Society.  These militant brothers are bringing it hard…





One response

3 12 2010
Raff aka R.Two

WoW Jon… You keep wowing me.!… each post gets better and better… This one really touched my heart and inspires me to do more work for our community. It’s amazing how we can inspire each other by being open to things and solving problems together. You also perform music for the struggle.. i truely enjoy your songs.. please do more…You are a true kasama!


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