Brockway Biggs ditches 'Pimp Tea'

-- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 3:45 AM ET

Troy Neilson arrived in Ottawa two years ago, already a known quantity on the hip-hop scene in his native New Brunswick. As the notorious Pimp Tea, Neilson had taken his ribald raps as far as endorsements, Ed the Sock and an East Coast Music Award.

Yet as he prepares to unveil a new CD (In Awe of Simplicity) and a relatively new identity (Brockway Biggs), Neilson claims his performance at Heaven Nightclub tomorrow will be perhaps only his third local gig since relocating to Capital City.

"I've been laying low," Neilson explains. "I didn't know very many people here and I wanted to meet people first. I didn't want to come across as stepping on toes. It was really like starting fresh."

That extended to Neilson's stage name and persona. Pimp Tea is all right for lounging in a hot tub with Ed the Sock and sexy ladies, the emcee, producer and promoter reasoned. But a more mature approach to music, as can be heard on In Awe of Simplicity, calls for a more mature moniker.

"I was becoming more and more self-aware and felt the whole 'Pimp' name was taking away from what I was doing," Neilson says. "I'd met with VideoFact to discuss funding and they said, 'Your niche is a Weird Al wannabe, right?' I said, 'Is that how people see me?' "

In Awe of Simplicity, with its original beats courtesy of local fave DJ Ducats and original rhymes courtesy of Brockway Biggs, should help to change that perception.

As for his integration into the local hip-hop scene, Neilson observes Ottawa would appear to have "a missing infrastructure," but he's working to change that too.

"It's a challenge," he notes. "But I like challenges."

He also likes what he's heard from local emcees like Boz Faramone, the self-described 'Jamadian' (as in Jamaican-Canadian) rapper who will be sharing the bill with Neilson at tomorrow's show, and again next Friday at the Glue Pot Pub.

Faramone, an alumnus of the great lost local collective Nextraterrestrials, will be introducing a CD of his own, Bad Man Skankin'.

"It works out really well," Neilson says of the joint CD-release parties, "because my friends and fans will be exposed to him and vice versa."

And what Brockway Biggs' fans will be exposed to is a promising performer who draws from rap as well as reggae roots, to great effect on numbers such as the CD's title track and the infectious International Erbaliss. And who takes local hip hop to a new, incendiary level with the unsettling Frenzy, a tale of being on the wrong side of police action in the Byward Market.

"It's based on true events," Faramone says of the track. "But I used my imagination. I used to write little stories as a kid, so I made it like that. I don't really write a lot of story tracks, but I'll be writing more."

And, as Faramone continues to find his true Jamadian voice, he will undoubtedly be making more friends in the local scene. And, together with friends like Brockway Biggs, working to build a solid local hip-hop infrastructure.


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