When it comes to Hip Hop all across the great nation of Canada, fans are almost certainly aware that the city of Toronto is riddled with some of the most prolific rappers from the east, the west, and even the north and then south of the country. The entire province of Ontario is rigged with a diverse array of talents. By “talents” I’m referring to a breed of MCs who come from many corners of the globe that because of a difficult to penetrate mainstream music industry, are forced to take matters into their own hands by independently launching, managing and even promoting their own music careers. In Toronto, you will find artists who have said to hell with not being “discovered” by a big-time record company and who now financially backed their own breathtaking journey towards stardom in a full arena of independent prominence.
Outside of Canada, many from the international community who are in for entertainment may not be aware of this “true to Canada effect.” Nor do they realize that this is one of the core reasons why among the hundreds of real talents in Canada they are mostly only familiar with rappers such as Kardinal Official and Drake who also used this rare independent prowess to well deserving rise to such heights where the international community took notice of them. When it comes to careers in rap music, in general, you will discover that such a rise is seldom seen but often coveted by artists all over the world. One such rising star with an immense prowess, extensive repertoire, media recognition and impressive catalog is none other than the artist known as FAMOUS
FAMOUS hails from the French-speaking city of Montreal which is located in the province of Quebec in Canada. While there, he graduated from high school and thus realizing his raw talents in music and acting, his mother encouraged him to enroll in a progressive music school called ‘Trebas Institute’ where he garners a post-secondary education. As destiny would have it, one of Famous’ teachers knew Mr. Randy Lennox, the president of Universal Music Canada, and she oversaw FAMOUS in his quest to present a resume to the music mogul for an internship position.
FAMOUS boldly relocated to Toronto after his interview with Mr. Lennox while his family was vacationing in the city. He interned at Universal/Def Jam during the six (6) months that followed and then procured a second internship at Sony/BMG where he worked for another year and yet again was able to secure a third internship at Canada’s leading Urban radio station, FLOW 93.5 FM. This time around the well trained FAMOUS was hired as a part-time DJ at the radio station after that creating and working with several street team coordinators before venturing into a rap career. By 2008 he had walked away from the radio station knowing that he had a better understanding of the inside business of the music industry and FAMOUS went on to launch a full-scale music campaign for his passion.
Writer/columnist Chris Shaban describes him by saying: “In the overcrowded world of Hip Hop, FAMOUS’ desire to be the best stands out like the neon shirt at a black tie affair.” He also went on to state that – “To draw a parallel, he’s best described as what would happen if you mixed Kanye West with Eminem, coordinated by Fabolous’ stylist, adding in the mind state of Puffy in the 90’s topped off with the determination of Ashton Bishop (aka FAMOUS).” So to launch his music career fully, he released his very first single entitled “4th Best City” and subsequently released his widely known “The I Rap Now EP.” The 2008 EP spawned four hit singles – Big Man Tings,” Ain’t No Use,” “Kid Tryna Make It,” and “Ain’t No Use Part 2.” and was promoted with a slew of official music videos which can be viewed on:
The following year FAMOUS released the ‘I Rap Now Remixes EP” to his highly successful first musical offering. Fortunately, Canadian media and radio have a zest to support the very best of their own, and that gives them a stepping stone in their entertainment careers. Before long FAMOUS was the hottest rap topic on City News TV, the National Post Newspaper, the Toronto Star and before long he was representing Canada in featured interviews on some of the most widely read hip-hop websites in North America and the United States:
3) HIPHOP Weekly magazine,
magazine (alongside Kardinal Official) and opening at concerts headlining the likes of LL Cool J and Method Man to name a few. (He has also worked with several artists and been featured in several more media outlets not mentioned here.) FAMOUS also had released mixtapes, notably, his ‘Wannabe Rapper mixtape.’ Canadian media is highly censored, and so many rappers with explicit materials are never featured which leaves the stage open for talents whose lyrics are centered around very clever wordplay about popular rap mythologies as opposed to a bold proclamation of a gangster/thug phenomenon.
FAMOUS – went on to garner two big nominations for his hard work; one at the JUNO Awards and another at the MUCHMUSIC Awards which are two of the leading platforms for mainstream music recognition in Canada. FAMOUS has even gone as far as creating his own iPhone app as seen in the photo below:
Independent music may not bring massive fortunes for artists in Canada, but it certainly brings them fame within Canada, and it generally sets artist on the stage to be seen on a worldwide scale. Global recognition is the ultimate goal, selling millions of albums and internet downloads are the final destination for many independent artists who would rather have a lucrative record contract with a bigwig. For FAMOUS, as his name already suggests, he is the breath of fresh air that the nation of Canada encourages in its slew of “internationally undiscovered talents” backed by share determination and willpower. And after gaining valuable knowledge on the inside business of how to manage and promote a career in music the one thing that most artists in Canada would love to see is an appreciation of their efforts not only within Canada but also in the United States of America, Europe and The United Kingdom, Asia, and across the globe from Australia to Africa.
In October of 2009 FAMOUS stunned the scene yet again with his new Short Film entitled “Goodness Girl” starring himself and indie actress Tassja Dawn and he released it independently along with its own soundtrack titled ‘The Goodness Girl Soundtrack.” The soundtrack also featured three radio-friendly hits: “The Declaration,” “I Wanna Know Your Name,” and “How It’s Gotta Be.” and some well-produced official music videos. This kind of independent ambition is not uncommon in Toronto but succeeding to complete and release and then promote your projects and then watching it blossom is an accomplishment that requires good coordination by someone who knows what they are doing. If you should ever visit the independent music scene in Canada, you will find many pocket deals between independent labels and some significant labels as independent rappers are slowly but surely gaining respect on the mainstream spectrum. You will see many like me who demonstrate an array of talents. Multi-talented models, actresses, dancers, rappers who are CEOs and entrepreneurs like myself, for example, an author and an artist with several successful releases and publications. To learn more about FAMOUS and his “ROAD TO CENTER STAGE” ventures, please visit: