Gordon Lightfoot Book, Music and More!

The home of music journalist Nicholas Jennings, author of Lightfoot, the definitive new Gordon Lightfoot biography from Penguin Random House.
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k-os and the changing sound of hip-hop

Pigeonholing is an act of laziness, while stereotyping stems from ignorance and prejudice. Either way, for those targeted, it’s a cultural straitjacket—something that Kevin Brereton knows all too well. Growing up black in middle-class Whitby, Ontario, Brereton discovered that corner-store owners only suspected him of shoplifting, never his white friends. As k-os, Brereton learned that narrow musical definitions would restrict him from singing as well as rapping, and from adding acoustic guitar and piano to hip-hop’s usual soundscape. But he did it anyway. “It’s just how I express myself,” says Brereton modestly. “It doesn’t make me a revolutionary.” Modesty aside, k-os is in the vanguard of ...
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Maestro leads the big rap attack

It begins with one of the most recognizable riffs in Canadian music: a simple piano intro that goes “dum, da-da-dadum, da-dum, da-da-da-dum.” Written by CanRock legends Randy Bachman and Burton Cummings, it’s the introduction to “These Eyes,” the Guess Who’s massive international hit of 1969. But then a sliding guitar cuts in, followed by some thumping bass and drums. By the time a voice starts rapping about being “in this game a long, long time,” the song has been transformed into something entirely different. “It’s Stick to Your Vision,” the new hit by Maestro, the Canadian artist formerly known as Maestro Fresh Wes. “I’ve seen a lot of valleys, I’ve seen a lot of peaks,” he reminisces in ...
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