Monday, December 26, 2005

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CANADA EUPHRATES - Stereotypes Incorporated
Iraqi-Canadian crew

This Montreal based crew is made up of UAE born children of Iraqi immigrants, though unfortunately one of the members Nofy Fanaan, also of the production duo SandHill, was injured in a freak traffic accident, went into a coma & sadly passed away in Nov 2004. The emcee of the crew Narcicyst wrote an excellent memorial dedicated to his friend & crew member here. Habbilis is the other member of the crew, as well as the remaining half of SandHill. They released their debut album A Bend in the River in 2003.

Their 2nd album was this years Stereotypes Incorporated & it’s a thought provoking album that definitely has a Canadian feel, but lyrically it is loaded with content that naturally comments on their lives as Arab-North Americans. You know it’s going to explore issues of race, prejudice, war as soon as you hear the rather sketchy racial identifying dialogue from the 1998 nuclear war paranoia film Deterrence at the end of the intro track. Production wise Adam Sampler provides a beat, while Pako throws down 2 tracks, including Aim At Rebuilding in which he also appears vocally with his mate Loe Peshi. This leaves the rest of the music in the hands of Sandhill. They did a fantastic job with some of the samples having been cultivated from their parent’s record collections, used mostly for the appropriately themed songs that would require that particular vibe. They also produced a few tracks for Boston emcee, Virtuoso's upcoming 2006 album WW3:The Final Conflict. Always one to spit anti-govt verses, Virt appears on the track Flow Addicts with Rugged Intellect. The only other guest emcee is fellow Canuck D-Shade.

They should be looked at as a crew that just makes excellent hip hop, I think it would be a disservice to compartmentalize them as a politically minded outfit. Yes, this is what gives them depth, but just like most people they are not one dimensional, so Narcicyst doesn’t go the whole hog & bombard the listener with intense lyrics, he does spread out his views on life in general. I think by default Narcicyst will be looked upon as a spokesperson & definitely a role model for younger Iraqi-Canadians/Americans to look up they should. He's intelligent, insightful & a pretty damn good emcee as well. He keeps a reasonable temperament when exposing his thoughts on the way that his parent’s homeland has been treated. Read his article on their Myspace page. Nice little bio here. They also provided songs for the soundtrack to a documentary called Voices of Iraq as well as contributing a song to the Palestinian themed compilation Free the P. I hope they manage to get a higher profile for they would enrich many people’s lives with their words & be a source of inspiration for others with similar backgrounds.

Definitely one of my fave albums of the year.
It's supposed to be available via thier website, but doesn't look like it at the moment.

MP3: EUPHRATES - Haliburton
MP3: EUPHRATES - Aim At Rebuilding (Featuring Pako & Pesh)
LINK: Interview - Hip Hop Canada


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