December 6, 2004

SJP


Artist: Maestro




Born: 1968 as Wesley Williams

Wes Williams is the son of Guyanese parents who grew up in the former City of North York, Ontario. At age seven he was writing poetry and at age eleven he was rapping with influences from New York rap acts like Grandmaster Flash and Kurtis Blow. As Melody MC in 1979, Williams entered a rap festival sponsored by radio station CKLN in 1983. With fellow rapper Ebony MC (Marlon Bruce) they formed the Vision Crew and played around Toronto until 1987. 1988 Williams adopted the name Maestro Fresh Wes and recorded his independent demo 'You Can't Stop Us Now'. This was followed by 'I'm Showin' You' with DJ LTD (Alva Swaby). With the addition of Farley Flex, Wes and DJ LTD recorded "Let Your Backbone Slide" in 1989. Wes invaded the annual New Music Seminar in New York City and walked away with a record deal through the independent label LMR Records (Lefrak-Moelis). Upon his return to Toronto, Attic Records agreed to distribute the label in Canada. His debut album, 'Symphony In Effect', sold in excess of 200,000 copies in Canada. Wes's appearance on the scene helped break down the doors for other rap artists especially with his appearance as the first rapper to ever perform on the annual Juno Awards. In 1991 he won two Juno Awards including Rap Recording Of The Year. Three MuchMusic Video Awards soon followed. He was named most popular performer of the year in 1991 over Young MC and Hammer by the Toronto Student Councils and became their role model in Toronto Mayor Art Eggleton's Task Force Against Drugs. Following 1991's 'The Black Tie Affair', the Maestro realized that the debilitating restrictions of Canadian radio was preventing him from reaching the masses and so, with a reciprocal distribution deal via Polydor in the US he began tackling the US market in 1992 and eventually moving to Brooklyn, New York to push his 'Naaah, Dis Kid Can't Be From Canada?!!' After the commercial failure of that album, he laid low for the better part of four years, finally returning in late 1998 with the well-received "Built To Last". The album featured a slew of guest artists, including Ghetto Concept, Michie Mee, Snow, Carla Marshal, and Glenn Lewis. The lead-off single, "Stick To Your Vision", was built around a clever sample from the old Guess Who hit, "These Eyes".


Singles
1989 Let Your Backbone Slide [12"] (independent) 1990 Drop The Needle (LMR/Attic) 1990 Private Symphony (LMR/Attic) 1990 Let Your Backbone Slide [remix] (LMR/Attic) 1990 Don't Play SHARE-AIDS [with D-SHAN] (LMR/Attic) 1991 Conductin' Thangs (LMR/Attic) 1991 Nothing At All (LMR/Attic) 1992 Another Funky Break (LMR/Attic) 1993 It's On The Mike Mechanism (Attic/A & M) 1993 Fine Tune Da Mic (Attic/A & M) 1994 Certs Wid Out Da Retsyn (Attic/A & M) 1998 Stick To Your Vision (Attic/Universal) 1999 416/905 (Toronto Party Anthem) (Oasis)

Albums
1988 You Can't Stop Us Now (independent) 1989 Symphony In Effect (LMR/Attic) 1991 The Black Tie Affair (LMR/Attic) 1992 Maestro Zone [EP] (LMR/Attic) 1994 Naaah, Dis Kid Can't Be From Canada?!! (Attic/A & M) 1998 Built To Last (Attic/Universal)

Video


Compilation Tracks






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