It’s not surprising that hip hop has taken root in Canada, since it’s the birthplace of the genre. Even though it’s been popular here for decades, its roots haven’t been so visible in the streets or out of town.
And while music is no longer confined to the confines of the U.S. or Europe, Canadian rapper Drake is no stranger to the genre. Back in 2011, Drake said, “I like to call it one of [Canada’s] most underrated genres [and] one of the fastest growing. Hip hop is cool in Canada because there’s enough opportunity within the community and there’s a need for more people to learn the lyrics. It’s a trend that’s going to continue.”
What do Canadians want?
For years, Canadians have been demanding more access to their music. From the CBC, Canada’s public broadcaster that has a huge local footprint, the country’s public broadcaster, the CBC, is doing what it can to spread hip hop and rock out to the kids in their community. With the recent increase of high school students’ interest in music, even the CBC’s current affairs shows, As It Happens and The National, are becoming more popular.
The CBC is also leading the way on creating an international audience for the genre within Canada. Last year, the CBC launched the Canada First Awards, which celebrate the music of Canadian artists, and this year, the CBC introduced the Canada First Hip Hop Awards, the top Canadian hip hop awards. With the rising popularity and growing awareness for hip hop, Canadians are demanding to be a part of this musical revolution.
What’s hip about this?
Hip hop has a lot to offer to the Canadian youth, from its influence on popular music, to the art forms being inspired and taught in its communities. The variety of hip hop songs, the cultural references, the imagery surrounding the music, and the diverse sounds all bring a lot of excitement to the streets today. From the first hip hop song made when the first Canadian rap duo, the Wu-Tang Clan emerged in the early 1990s, to the latest music styles coming out of Toronto and Winnipeg, to the hip hop bands and artists that have appeared from Toronto to the Vancouver Island and beyond, the music is definitely part of the scene.
From the first record released by local hip hop group, the Vibe, to the latest compilation releases for the country’s two major hip hop festivals (the Hip Hop Conference, Canada’s premiere hip hop
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