Pioneer. That’s the best way I can describe this man… Growing up in Canada living the Hip-Hop culture, it don’t get much bigger than Master T.
Master T was it – especially if you grew up outside of Toronto. Michael Williams was the man for a little while but Master T held it down for a decade plus. There was no radio, so Muchmusic was the source for Hip-Hop in the country.
Since Master T stepped out of the spotlight 8 years ago, I wondered what was happening with him. But more than that, I recognized that there hadn’t been anyone to fill his shoes. So I picked up the book to see more about the man and the struggles to get Urban music heard North of the border.
It’s a good quick read… at about 200 pages you can breeze thru it easy. One of my favorite parts is when T is breaking down Roxy – for those that don’t know, Roxy was the keyboard that acted as T’s assistant – I never realized the part was played by T’s wife. Another interesting part is when T is talking about being attached to a Dance music compilation from Muchmusic. These were huge releases that went platinum in Canada. They were marketed with T’s name attached to it, but for his involement he was paid peanuts – a reminder of how shady the game is up North! Finally, Master T breaks down some of his favorite interviews. He’s got his favorites fa sho – Mary J is high up there – but its also cool to see how he was crossing over and interviewing Madonna and the Backstreet Boys.
In the midst of reading the book, I was sent a Facebook message about mentoring young boys. I didn’t realize that the message was sent out to about 8 other men, and when one replied, all of us got the message. The first person to reply was Tony Young – aka Master T. Since I was right in the middle of reading the book I had to follow up with the brother!
He hit me back later that day. We’d met a few times, but the best time was when he interviewed me the day I set the record. His response was cool. In true Master T/interview fashion, he asked what I was up to. To me, thats always that sign of someone I respect. You are showing the person love, and they aren’t just taking it – they are asking about what YOU are up to!
Other cats that have been like that are Gure, Chuck D, KRS-ONE… I guess its not that surprising from that list… you’d kind of expect those guys to be cool… but thats not always the case! I ain’t going to say no names!
But anyways…if you looking to brush up on some Canadian Hip-Hop history pick this one up fa sho!