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TOP SECRET INTERVIEW: BEFORE MAESTRO & MICHIE

WAS SUNSHINE SOUND CREW

WorldWide Entertainment TV always shows respect to the pioneers who paved the way. In the video above, we look at Michie Mee at her birthday bash in Toronto with a slew of artists and legends.

Click the play button above to watch.

BEFORE DRAKE & THE 6IX

 (WWETV) The history of hip hop goes back to the 1970’s with DJ Kool Herc as everyone knows, but rumblings on the street have chaos at times as there are others who claim to have been the forefathers (Cameron Flowers aka Grandmaster Flowers) of one of the most influencial art forms ever created.

 

Little do some people know that Toronto being right next to the birthplace of hip hop also had foundations in the 1970’s.  Today the world knows Toronto for having the Toronto Raptors global ambassador Drake being a key figure in the hip hop world. Toronto through the years acquired the name of Screwface Capital for various reasons of having crabs in the bucket mentality of fearing one artist leaving the nest for greener pastures leaving behind the rest of the city.
There was actually a time before this in the city that is not really talked about because of the unsung heroes who helped create hip hop across the border. One man is now returning to the scene he helped put foundations down for and he is doing so with new talent. Ryan Lord is indeed a founding father in the Toronto hip hop world who also bred some of the most iconic rappers such as The Smugglaz during their teenage stages. He was the video director for the classic “Street Rappers” music video that made Canadian hip history! The video was ranked #15 of all-time by on one of from one of our WWETV writers.

His daughter Little T is a teenager being groomed to carry on the family tradition for being a trailblazer for hip hop not only in Toronto, but all of Canada.

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 WWETV: Tell us what are your plans with your return to the Toronto hip hop scene?
RP aka Ryan Lord: What I am trying to do is build a bridge. We have free trade with USA, Then there is the music and movies. Movies come here, big stars are American, but lots of the cast members are Canadian. Now music…. Still thinking. No worthy collaborations to speak of. Why? Well Drake did not bust here. No grass roots movement here.
WWETV: So has this always been a problem with Toronto’s hip hop scene?
RP aka Ryan Lord aka Top Secret: We had more grass roots in 1979. In the 80’s Sunshine and yours truly ran Toronto. Dj’s and mc’s bowed down. RYAN LORD aka Rp Rap is my name….the other TONY CAINE aka Brother Tc we ran it here. Anyone want to dispute this? Ask your mom, dad, uncle or aunt. If they 45- 60, black and was from Scarborough (home base) they know us.

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WWETV: So has this always been a problem with Toronto’s hip hop scene?
RP aka Ryan Lord aka Top Secret: We had more grass roots in 1979. In the 80’s Sunshine and yours truly ran Toronto. Dj’s and mc’s bowed down. RYAN LORD aka Rp Rap is my name….the other TONY CAINE aka Brother Tc we ran it here. Anyone want to dispute this? Ask your mom, dad, uncle or aunt. If they 45- 60, black and was from Scarborough (home base) they know us.
TONY DUNCAN and JOHN FACEY as dj’s were foundation. Some may say who cares? Well after years of crying about Toronto lack of historic archives on our “reign” before Michie Mee & Maestro’s massive success in the late 80’s I can say that today thanks to facebook I was contacted by….ok all I’m saying is documentary coming. We got to represent for the ones who laid all this out for today’s stars like Drake. Michie Mee was the first signed urban artist out of Canada to an American label. She did songs with hip hop female pioneers such as MC Lyte and toured with Queen Latifah. Then Maestro Fresh Wes followed up with his classic album. A lot of people know that part of the history, but do not know about things like the Soundshine Soundcrew which contained legendary hip hop personalities such as Maestro’s manager Farley Flex and Butch Lee.

WWETV: Tell us about the making of the classic hip hop music “Street Rappers” which caught the attention of CBC National News & the legendary pioneer Doug E. Fresh?

Top Secret: Well, doing a music video like that back then was unheard of. Some majors would not touch the “Top Flight” album or music video with a ten foot pole although all the suits did agree the song was the hottest thing on the streets of Toronto for almost 2 years before that CBC National News Documentary aired. The video was shot with movie film unlike most Toronto videos today and had a $20,000 plus budget. It was my second video I directed after Rocstone ft. Smugglaz video “Norpo” and by that time I gained experienced through outlets working at big studio productions such as TSN, MuchMusic, and YTV.

WWETV: What were your thoughts on Doug E. Fresh’s comments about The Smugglaz?

Top Secret: I was there in the progression of hip hop that Doug E. Fresh helped create across the border. We were both pioneering the artform at the same time, so I did understand his viewpoint to some degree.  I started out as a guy collecting iron/scraps and living on the streets, so I understood that struggle and trying to not to forget that ever. It made me see their viewpoint and the difference was that I actually knew the teens at the time and being older the two wouldn’t see what kind of impact they could make if they had just tweaked a couple of things and been more marketable. However, then that probably wouldn’t have made them catch the eyes of the mainstream press and Doug E. Fresh. I wish CBC had let us actually sit down with Doug E. Fresh instead of doing separate interviews apart from each other.

WWETV: Any last words?
Top Secret: They say the devil makes me do it, thats flip willson, I’m just trying build this bridge, Like I’m Ron Nelson. Tap out this rap game with ah full Nelson. Class is over, Top secret ops , the lesson. I aint playing.