Saukrates is a hip hop artist from Toronto who cut his first single at the tender age of 16. It led to his first of two Juno nominations for Best Rap Recording. He lost out to Ghetto Concept (see blog 11/12/10) in 1994 and then, Choclair, in 2000, when a track from this particular album was nominated as well. However, it did land him a deal with Warner Brothers which led to the recording of tracks for his debut, The Underground Tapes, in 1999. The album featured him trading rhymes with some major names in the business like Common, Xzibit, Heltah Skeltah, Pharoh Monch, O.C. and Masta Ace. Sadly though, the label dropped him before it could be released, forcing him to release it himself on his own label, Capital Hill. Bad luck would strike again when he decided to sign with Def Jam only to be dropped by that label as they focused on the up and coming career of Jay Z. However, he did maintain a crucial relationship with Redman's label, Gilla Records, and since, has collaborated and produced tracks with Redman and Method Man. Recently, he has appeared with Nelly Furtado on the Amercian Music Awards. He is probably one of the most talented artists to ever emerge from Canada's hip hop scene and has appeared on tracks and in videos with all of his Canadian peers like Kardinal Offishal, K-OS, Choclair, Ghetto Concept, Da Grassroots and The Rascalz. Despite the bad luck and lack of attention, he is still producing and recording and has just released singles from his upcoming sophomore release. His debut though, remains a difficult find today. At the time of this blog, there were copies trading on Ebay and Amazon for $30. You can follow him at http://www.biggsoxx.com/. You can hear the lead off track, Can't Touch Us, on You Tube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nsEHjz3Zuzo). Thanks for reading and enjoy!