Monday, June 11, 2012

Artist: Maestro Fresh-Wes, Album: Naaah, Dis Kid Can't Be From Canada?!!, Song: Certs Wid Out Da Retsyn

"Fresh Wes without a rhyme is like Certs wid out da retsyn."  Maestro Fresh-Wes is a hip hop artist from Toronto, Ontario.  He is the most celebrated artist within the hip hop genre that our country has ever produced.  His debut album in 1989 entitled, Symphony In Effect, has probably achieved double platinum sales status by now.  The lead single off this release, Let Your Backbone Slide, was the first Canadian hip hop song to ever crack the Top 40.  He won 2 Junos in 1991 as a result of this landmark release.  He has released 7 albums over his more than two decades of recording and is set to release a new album this year.  He has been nominated for a Juno on 12 different occasions.  Maestro has managed to do what few artists are able to accomplish which is remain current within an ever changing industry.  He is now more than just a music icon but an actor and author. However, with all this success within his homeland, being heard beyond the borders of Canada remained a difficult task.  He certainly wasn't the first or last artist to experience this.  His album from 1993, entitled, Naaah, Dis Kid Can't Be From Canada?!!, was a deliberate attempt to crack the elusive US market.  He teamed up with well known hip hop artist, Showbiz, from New York who produced a few tracks on the album and guested on his single, Fine Tune Da Mic.  Showbiz was one half of the well known duo, Showbiz and A.G. and had worked with artists like Black Sheep ("Without A Doubt"), Fat Joe, Big L ("Deadly Combination") and KRS-One ("Outta Here").  His recording engineer for this album was also an interesting fellow by the name of Anton Pukshansky.  Anton was a classically trained Russian musician who emigrated to New York as a boy.  Anton has worked with everyone from Mick Jagger to Queen Latifah ("Come Into My House") and won a Grammy for his work on Santana's Supernatural album.  He happened to be working at Power Play Studios in New York when Maestro was recording this album.  This particular Maestro release isn't one that people talk a lot about but it had some great songs on it and this particular track, Certs Wid Out Da Retsyn, is wonderful.  You can check it out at  The album was nominated for the Juno for Best Rap Recording in 1995 along with The Freaks Of Reality (see blog 1/11/11), The Rascalz as well as The Dream Warriors (see blog 7/27/10) but lost out to The Ghetto Concept (see blog 11/12/10).  You can catch Maestro on the CBC show, Mr.D, every week and you can follow him at  You can purchase the album, Naaah, Dis Kid Can't Be From Canada?!!, from Itunes.  Thanks for reading and enjoy!