Top 5 Canadian Rap Tracks of the 90s

Posted: June 21, 2016 in 90s Music, Canadian Music, Hip-Hop, Rap
Tags: , , , ,

This may come as a surprise to some of you, but Drake isn’t the only Canadian rapper out there. He is preceded by a long-ish line of solid performers who pioneered the Canadian rap scene. Here are some of the best.

5. “Stick to Your Vision” by Maestro Fresh Wes, 1998

I had to include Toronto-based Maestro Fresh Wes, because his 80s hit “Let Your Backbone Slide” really put Canadian rap on the map. “Stick to Your Vision” may not have had as much global success, but it still took over everyone’s radio stations in the 90s. He also sampled The Guess Who on this track, so it really doesn’t get any more Canadian than that.

 

4. “Let’s Ride” by Choclair, 1999

Okay, come on. Admit it. Each and everyone of you knows this track inside and out. That infectious beat, Choclair’s rhymes, his outfits, not to mention his fancy cars. Most of all though, it’s reminiscent of cruising around in your car, top/windows down, feeling pretty darn cool. Also, the video features other Canadian rappers Saukrates and Kardinal Offishall.

 

3. “Lady Venom” by Swollen Members, 1999

You can’t forget these guys, because their name definitely made you giggle back in the day. Hailing out of B.C., they were one of the earlier Canadian rap-group players, who came onto the scene strong with this track. It has that Middle Eastern vibe to it that was all the rage back then. Group members include Madchild, Prevail and good ol’ Moka Only. Throwback much?

 

2. “Northern Touch” by Rascalz, 1997

Another B.C. rap ensemble who were the epitome of Canadian rap. This track alone features Canadian big wigs Kardinal Offishall, Choclair, Thrust and Checkmate. Each rapper (or group of) spits their rhymes in front of different coloured backdrops; there are also a lot of puffy winter jackets being spotted (because Northern Touch, obviously.) Trust me, you at least one of these verses.

 

1. “My Definition of a Boombastic Jazz Style” by Dream Warriors, 1991

This duo’s track was the first rap track I’d ever heard as a kid (I even stole the album from my brother.) It features samples from Quincy Jones’ “Soul Bossa Nova” and has that 80s-synth feel to it, making it a little more playful and friendly (ie Canadian) and a little less hard core. It’s just so quintessentially 90s, you can’t not love it. Furthermore, they top this list because it was pretty well their only hit, so they can only be associated with the 90s.

 

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