Catching up on publications I missed while on vacation, on Wednesday Yonge Street Media published my profile of Mississauga-raised hip-hop artist Besque. An excerpt:
He's toured with Grammy-winning reggae artist Sean Paul, opened for Wu-Tang Clan's Raekwon, and released albums on three continents. But as he gears up for a fall of singles releases, Juno-nominated hip-hop artist Besque (formerly known as Arabesque) is still happy to call the GTA home. "I know it's so cliche, but there's no place, really, like home," the Mississauga-based Besque says over the phone during a recent trip to New York City. "Touring, I'd visit all these homogenous societies. You come back to Toronto and you feel the mosaic -- there's nothing really like it."
Besque has been spending parts of his summer in the stark opposite of blingy, marquee-name environments: namely, nonprofit organizations serving the poor and homeless in New York, Washington and Toronto's own Moss Park. The aim is to create a video and brief documentary for "Not Enough Love," one of Besque's fall singles.
"[Not Enough Love] is basically looking at poverty and how people have become so desensitized to the homeless," he explains. He hopes the video and doc will show some of what's most impressed him in these places -- "the bond between the [shelter] volunteers and the folks that they're serving. They have strong relationships, even genuine friendships, which I've found pretty incredible."
To find out more about Besque's fusion of play and politics (including his fun tribute to 80s TV), read on at Yonge Street.
(Image of Besque by Ryan Couldrey via Yonge Street Media)
Monday, August 29, 2011
Posted by Leah Sandals at 4:40 PM