ACEYALONE at the Opera House (735 Queen East), Friday (March 3O), midnight. $35/wristband or $22.50/door. 416-466-0313.
One artist who won't be taking business cards from eager label reps at Canadian Music Week is Los Angeles hiphop icon Aceyalone. Since Capitol fumbled his solo debut, 95's All Balls Don't Bounce, following a disappointing liaison with Island's 4th & Broadway subsidiary as a member of the highly influential Freestyle Fellowship, Aceyalone has learned the advantages of working independently.
Although history has shown that his greatest artistic achievements have arisen from smaller, self-financed projects -- from Freestyle Fellowship's jazz-flavoured 91 debut, To Whom It May Concern (Sun Music), to 99's adventurously funky Haiku D'etat (Pure Hiphop) right through to his bold new Accepted Eclectic (Project Blowed) -- he doesn't seem the least bit bitter about his past career choices. Right now he's more concerned with mixing Freestyle Fellowship's hotly anticipated comeback album, Temptations, than with pondering what might have been.
"For me, getting signed to 4th and Broadway was a good situation," insists Aceyalone from San Francisco. "I didn't have a record deal and I got one. You know, record execs, cheques... it was an accomplishment. The Capitol situation was cool, too.
"They were all small steps that got me to this point and helped me to see how, by working independently, I could cut out a lot of the middlemen in the process of making music and getting it out to people. I could keep complete creative control, and at the end of the day everything I make is mine to keep forever -- that's a good thing."