Volume 91, Issue 87

Friday, March 13, 1998

Bottoms up


The Priminister is in town and he's burnin'

By Sebastian Kowalik and Jeff Borsato
Gazette Writers

Choclair was born to shine and is well aware of it.

"I've always wanted to do something different, not work the usual 9-to-5. I would like to have some variety in my life, different people and places," he says over the phone from his crib in Scarborough. Choclair continues by saying that his major influences and music stem from everyday life and especially his family.

A native of Toronto's East end, Choclair is a major player in the Canadian hip-hop scene. He's been dropping his characteristically smooth vocal stylings and intelligent lyrics with a variety of Canadian artists for some time now. Working on tracks with fellow heavy-hitters Saukrates, Thrust, The Rascalz and Kardinal Offishal have helped this Juno Award winner aquire the respect and praise he deserves.

With Canadian hip-hop on the rise, Choclair provides many insights into his impact on the hip-hop culture internationally. "Canadian hip-hop is respected as dope music, fans look to the music and don't dwell on where it's from." Choclair points out that the Beat Factory Label has helped put urban music in the spotlight, but he adds "the big push is coming from independent labels." He points to Canada's and especially Toronto's ethnic diversity as lending a distinct flavour to his and other artists' music.

"Where I grew up a lot of people were first generation of West-Indian origin and they listened to a variety of music which comes out in their creative efforts."

Choclair has not only been embraced by the hip-hop community, but the growing jungle scene in Toronto has been able to check his lyrical style thanks to remixes by DJ Freaky Flow. He has also made two MC appearances at local Toronto Raves; Liquid Adrenaline and Good Vibes.

Though Choclair has yet to release an album, it is sure to be one of the most anticipated Canadian hip-hop releases in the last few years. Often called the "Priminister of Hip-Hop," Choclair shys away from such labels, claiming "My friends be doggin' me about that stuff."

The Priminista is eagerly awaiting his second visit to London, the first being a show with Saukrates. But for tomorrow's show at the Wave, Choclair didn't want to let the cat out of the bag regarding the special guests he is bringing along.

To Contact The Arts and Entertainment Department: gazent@julian.uwo.ca

Copyright The Gazette 1998