The year was 1989 and a relatively unknown MC named Maestro Fresh-Wes released “Let Your Backbone Slide”, becoming the first Canadian rapper to receive a top 40 hit. Fast-forward 23 years later and a once wheelchair-bound Jimmy Brooks aka Aubrey ‘Drake’ Graham is arguably the hottest thing in the hip-hop game, both at home and aboard.
So what occurred between the late 80’s and the new Millennium that allowed for the mainstream/international success of such Canadian rappers as Drake, Kardinal Offishall and K-os. Moreover, what is the identity of Canadian hip hop when it’s constrained to the limitations of our own backyard. These are the questions that documentary filmmaker Joe Klymkiw explores in his latest project “Hip Hop Eh”.
In just under 90 minutes, Klymkiw interviews every influential actor in Canadian hip-hop, (sans Drake), with the hopes of discovering more about a genre he obviously cares so much about. No subject is left untouched, as he tackles everything from the influence of big market radio to the consequences of our countries vast geographical landscape. And while he never quite comes to a consensus on the identity of Canadian hip hop, as it obviously doesn’t exist, Klymkiw makes you appreciate the vast talent Canada has to offer.
posted by @clarkbs