nonstophiphop :: DJ Hunnicutt reveals Winnipeg’s rap roots


by Harrison Samphir

Most Winnipeggers know DJ Hunnicutt (Tyler Sneesby) as the local mixmaster whose choice cuts punctuate events and parties across the city. But the Brandon-born crate digger is also a hip hop pioneer, club owner, marketing and promotions professional and cofounder of one of the Peg’s first rap crews, Farm Fresh.

The group, consisting of mcenroe (Rod Bailey) and Pip Skid (Pat Skene), released two albums in the mid-1990s – The Space EP in 1994 and Crazy Fiction one year later – on Peanuts & Corn Records. The imprint would go on to release over 40 records from local artists like Birdapres, Yy, Fermented Reptile, Frek Sho and others, and remains one of Canada’s most successful and recognized independent labels. Stylus caught up with Hunnicutt to discuss the origins of the local hip hop community, its many players, and the important legacy it engraved on Winnipeg’s cultural identity. Continue reading “nonstophiphop :: DJ Hunnicutt reveals Winnipeg’s rap roots”

Nonstophiphop :: Open Mike Eagle and the LA sound


by Harrison Samphir

In 2008, Ava DuVernay’s documentary film This Is the Life chronicled the rise of LA’s alternative hip hop community from the vantage point of the Good Life Health Food Centre’s weekly open-mic night. Founded in 1989, the event attracted emcees, poets and heads alike. It was a place to freestyle (cuss-free), practise the art of rap and celebrate hip hop culture with the serious disposition of an aspiring artist. Jurassic 5, Del tha Funkee Homosapien, Skee-Lo and the Pharcyde were all schooled at Good Life. Continue reading “Nonstophiphop :: Open Mike Eagle and the LA sound”

Heavy fOnk and high vibrations :: Finding peace with Dudley Perkins

 Dudley Perkins 2

by Harrison Samphir

Before I spoke with Dudley Perkins (aka Declaime), the emcee from Oxnard, CA, I was half expecting the sort of humdrum discussion a music journalist typically shares with an interviewee: those unambiguous conversations about new records, inspirations and touring schedules. After all, I thought, Dudley’s been in the rap game for nearly twenty years. He helped solidify a West Coast hip hop resurgence with neighborhood friends Madlib, Oh No, DJ Romes and Kankick. There can’t be a question he hasn’t heard before.

As it turned out, however, the interview – like Dudley – was anything but ordinary. Over the course of an hour we talked about his unique style, the universe and how sonic vibrations influence the way listeners think and behave. Together with his wife, soul singer and songwriter Georgia Anne Muldrow, Dudley operates SomeOthaShip Connect, a California-based independent record label. His latest release is called Dr. Stokley, an 18-track, funk-infused album released through the Mellow Music Group. Continue reading “Heavy fOnk and high vibrations :: Finding peace with Dudley Perkins”

NONSTOPHIPHOP – What ever happened to the hip hop duo?

Gang Starr

by Harrison Samphir


“It takes two to make a thing go right / It takes two to make it out of sight / Hit it!”

-Rob Base & DJ E-Z Rock

If we take literally the adage “Hip Hop Is Dead,” what might rap’s epitaph look like? (I tend to imagine a large crypt sitting atop a hill somewhere in Queens.) Would it bemoan the cheapening of production methods in the late-1990s? Might it lament the decline of “conscious” lyricism and Afrocentricity through waves of commercialization after the new millennium? Should it outline, at least in partial detail, the changing image of the rap artist, now relegated to either solo or supergroup status? Continue reading “NONSTOPHIPHOP – What ever happened to the hip hop duo?”

Vancouver’s Cityreal keeping a close to ear to the pavement

by Harrison Samphir
When Stylus asked Remi Huot, otherwise known as Cityreal, how he began making hip hop music in his early twenties, the answer was not unusual.“I fell into it accidentally,” he recalls, speaking with Stylus on the phone from Vancouver BC. “I had some knowledge of music from playing in high school bands, and later on started messing around with beats. I just stuck with it as a hobby.”Now 26 years old, Huot is among Canada’s most prolific rising emcees, boasting two records, three Western Canadian Music Award nominations, and a substantive list of associated acts including Swollen Members, Sweatshop Union, D-Sisive and even Leslie Feist. Continue reading “Vancouver’s Cityreal keeping a close to ear to the pavement”