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Playlists: Canadian hip hop

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About Canadian hip hop

The Canadian hip hop scene was first established in the 1980s. Through a variety of factors, it developed much more slowly than Canada's popular rock music scene, and apart from a short-lived burst of mainstream popularity from 1989 to 1991, it remained largely an underground phenomenon until the early 2000s. Many forget to place Mark Lee as a Canadian rapper but he is a Canadian rapper from Vancouver British Columbia, but carries out his career in South Korea. Canada had hip hop artists right from the early days of the scene—the first known English Canadian rap single, Singing Fools' "The Bum Rap", was released in 1982, and the first French rap single, Lucien Francœur's "Le Rap-à-Billy", was released in 1983. Toronto's CKLN-FM was also an early supporter of the genre, launching Canada's first hip hop program, The Fantastic Voyage, in 1983. For the most part, however, the infrastructure simply wasn't there to get most artists' music to the record-buying public. Even if a Canadian hip hop artist could get signed to a record label at all, it was very difficult for them to get widespread exposure—even if their music videos were played on MuchMusic, many artists still couldn't get their records into stores or played on the radio. Although a few Canadian hip hop artists did break through to mainstream success around 1990, and a few Canadian acts such as Maestro Fresh-Wes, Main Source and Dream Warriors, Dan-e-o even gained cult-status recognition internationally from the underground hip hop scene, through much of the following decade, Canadian hip hop acts experienced a slowdown without any significant artists breaking through to the mainstream—although many hip hop musicians continued to record and tour, not one Canadian hip hop song reached even the Top 100 on a Canadian pop chart between 1992 and 1998. Beginning in 1998, however, a sequence of events spurred by the anthemic collaborative single "Northern Touch" finally brought hip hop back into the mainstream of Canadian music. Canada's propensity to create quality artists who rarely achieved public recognition prompted Allmusic to state that Canadian hip hop is the "best-kept secret in hip-hop." However, with the strong entrance of Drake, The Weeknd, K'naan, Tory Lanez, Nav and the moderate success of P Reign, and Kardinal Offishall after the turn of the millennium, Canadian hip hop artists have finally achieved worldwide mainstream international recognition.


This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Canadian hip hop , which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

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