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Marvel plays as part of the The Academy: Hometown Heroes series put on by, happening every three months and showcasing accomplished local hip-hop artists and musicians. Show your support Friday (May 2) at the El Mocambo. $10. 19+. Doors 9:30 pm. 416-777-1777.

What resto do you like to eat at before a gig?

A couple of hours before a show, I need that back-home goodness of Ali’s West Indian Roti Shop (1446 Queen West, 416-532-7701) for the mixed-vegetable paratha with stew fish gravy. That shit is murder one.

Where do you go after a gig?

After the show, I need to hit up my psycho/hypno/acu/physio/cryogenic/reiki/Ayurvedic sativa supplier/therapist. Really, I go there cuz I gotta smoke good, so I make sure I hit him up before the gig, too.

Who is your favorite artist?

The ones who have been holding it down with me all these years. And the only ones I feel who can still make classics out of this city. Big up yourself, Kardinal Offishall, Saukrates, k-os, myself. I’m really feeling what Hero is putting together right now, too – E-Dot and Darp, ya large!

What do you love most about T.O.?

Let’s start with the radical social programming. Could a program like Fresh Arts have happened anywhere outside T.O.? Could Motion, a female emcee, have sparked the careers of so many others any other place?

Queen West is in my heart, too. It’s a microcosm of our city’s entire population. You’ll see people from all walks of life at Bathurst and Queen, which is my stomping ground.

What do you hate about the city?

Not enough 24-hour services. TTC, what are you charging us $2.75 for? Another issue is homelessness. Social Services is failing those without addresses. Ain’t T.O. a world-class city? Queen West alone reveals a lot about this situation.

Hotel of choice and why?

I really enjoyed the Comfort Suites my last time there. I had my first one-on-one with a beautiful lesbian there. She showed me how it’s supposed to be done. I suggest you get some pointers from one, too. I miss her for real.

How do you spend your day off?

I usually find myself in Kensington Market or at my stomping ground (Queen/Bathurst). I really enjoy hitting up A Different Booklist and Seekers, my two fave bookstores. In the summer I go to Harbourfront for those festivals.

What is the biggest misconception about T.O.?

That foreign-born professionals can get work once they touch down here. We’ve been lying to our families back home in the islands about how easy life is up here.

Wildest time you ever had in T.O.?

That’s easy. August 24, 2003. The blackout was the best day I ever had here. I remember walking the streets beaming, thinking that Babylon had fallen for real, ya know? I don’t know, I always see the promise of something better and the fall of something terrible in the midst of commotion and destruction.

People were dancing on top of streetcars, setting up generators at Queen and Spadina. Some DJs even brought out their wheels and speakers and were rinsing the jams for the people.

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