From Sept. 18 to Sept. 25, CBC Music is streaming the Black Tuxedo EP, the first new release by Maestro Fresh Wes in 12 years. Though he’s acknowledged as the godfather/king of Canadian hip-hop, the Maestro sounds hungry on his new songs – proud to remind fans about his accomplishments, but also out to show and prove skills that have only gotten sharper as he closes in on 2013 and 25 years in the biz.
Have a listen for yourself:
BT Black Tuxedo (full EP stream)
Maestro Fresh Wes
We caught up with Maestro on a sunny Monday in Toronto and he shed some light on where he’s at right now, as he gears up for a new LP called Orchestrated Noise, due out next year. He also spoke about Black Tuxedo and its excellent songs, like “Reach the Sky,” which features an unlikely sample of “Try” by Blue Rodeo.
“I was blessed to work with Classified one more time,” Maestro said. “I like to sample Canadian rock records and he played me this Blue Rodeo joint. I was like, ‘Let’s chop it up and see what we can do with it’ and we got this song ‘Reach for the Sky.’ I played it for Jim Cuddy and he loved it man. He said, ‘Maestro, welcome back.’”
While he has released music only sporadically over the past decade, Maestro hasn’t been sitting back, doing nothing. He’s been a busy Gemini Award-nominated actor, most recently appearing on the CBC comedy Mr. D, and his motivational book Stick to Your Vision was just nominated for the Ontario Library Association's White Pine Award. Looking forward, though, Maestro does seem to be on a musical mission and is as inspiring as ever.
“My whole thing is, I tell these kids coming up, ‘Try not to make records, try to make history,’” he said. “Anybody can make a record and we sell ourselves short a lot of times, y’know? I just think kids should take a break from BET for a hot minute, y’know, especially outta Toronto. Just take a break. I’m not saying turn it off completely, y’know?
“A lot of MCs from Toronto sound like they from Texas when they rhyme now, y’know?” he added. “We supposed to be leaders, not followers. We supposed to be leaders.”
Watch this entire interview with Maestro Fresh Wes:
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on Sep 18, 2012