The Godfather of Canadian hip hop, Maestro Fresh Wes, celebrates 30 years of rap excellence with the release of his 9th studio album, Champagne Campaign. When you look at the body of work Maestro has released throughout the years, there is no denying the cultural impact this emcee has had on each generation of Canadian hip hop. Maestro’s debut, Symphony in Effect, dropped back in 1989. This classic album nearly went double platinum and still remains one of the best-selling Canadian Hip Hop albums of all time. The success of Maestro’s debut project opened boarders for Canadian Hip Hop, and proved to the world that emcees coming out of the North could stand toe to toe with the elite artists of the genre. Symphony in Effect was only just the beginning, as Maestro set out to put Canada on the map through his rhymes and creativity.
Three decades have passed since Maestro’s debut, and the emcee still hasn’t missed a beat, providing fans with a steady release of quality music, faithfully. Out of all the genres of music, Hip Hop is without a doubt the most competitive; catching a break with a hit record is one thing, but remaining consistent after success is a whole other battle. An artist can be on top of the game for one season, just to find themselves benched the following year when a new roster of talent arrives to the league. Add in the fact that hip hop is a genre that is based off innovation, the styles and sounds of Hip Hop are constantly changing, making it even more difficult for emcees to truly stand the test of time. Champagne Campaign is not only a tribute to Maestro’s longevity in the industry, but also bridges the gap between old school and new school waves of Hip Hop, creating a sonic montage of Hip Hop’s essence from past to present.
Hip Hop traditionalists will appreciate tracks such as “Somewhere Down the Line,” “You Don’t Know Me” and the title track, “Champagne Campaign”where Maestro flexes his word play over boom bap and soul sample inspired instrumentals. In contrast, tracks like “Waste Yute,” “Darker Than Blue” and “Die Empty” find Maestro dropping wavy hooks and abstract verses over heavy 808’s and trap hi hats, showcasing Maestro’s versatility on the mic and proves that Wes is still very much in tune to Hip Hop’s current sound and can cook up tunes the youth feen for. As far as guest appearances, Champagne Campaign, is filled with the who’s who in Canadian Hip Hop with artists like Tona, Saukrates, Adam Bomb and Rich Kidd (just to name a few) blessing the mic on this 12 track album. From front to back Champagne Campaign is a Hip Hop classic. Remember, your favorite artists in the game right now studied the pen of Coach Fresh. With that being said, be sure to check the latest from Maestro and show some love to the G.O.D emcee.