STEREoTYPES: WHITE GIRLS WHO DATE BLACK GUYS CD release party with MC COllizhun and guests DJ Law and DJ MERCILess at Revival (783 College), Tuesday (February 22). Free. Mix CD free to anyone arriving before 11:30 pm. Rating: NNNNN
After a long absence from the stage, MC Collizhun (aka Toronto-based hiphop producer Tristan Graham) has suddenly reappeared with a new mix disc containing what could be his most controversial recordings yet.
The self-produced and independently released Stereotypes: White Girls Who Date Black Guys finds the former Nefarius rapper playing dual gender roles on the title track as he riffs on mixed-race relationships. It apparently all began as a bit of studio foolery during a break in a recording session.
"Originally, it wasn't even meant to be a skit," explains Collizhun. "We were joking around in the studio, and I started doing this thing where I play two characters rapping back and forth in Jamaican patois and English. When I threw in a third character, the girl, everyone started laughing, so we decided to turn it into a song that deals with certain stereotypes."
It was a jumping-off point for the rest of the tracks on the disc, each of which focuses on a different stereotype.
"Like the track Domino," Collizhun offers, "which is about how people who come from the Caribbean to live in Canada are perceived to be living some kind of Lifestyles Of The Rich And Famous fantasy by the relatives back home who keep calling to ask for money and DVD players."
Perhaps the most discussed track on the mix disc will be the truth-telling Hiphop 101, on which Collizhun breaks down the Canadian rap industry for aspiring artists with dreams of big-time bling.
"A lot of kids in Toronto are trying to be like the artists they see on BET. They hear the rhymes and figure, 'I could do that, too, and make lots of money.' So they cut a track that gets played on FLOW and they think they're gonna blow up huge. But the reality is, even if you get a buzz happening, that doesn't mean you'll be drinking champagne in hot tubs any time soon.
"I've been a rapper and a producer for a few years now, and my main source of income has always been through making beats. If you're involved in Canadian hiphop, that's the reality of the situation, and that's what Hiphop 101 is all about."
In fact, the whole reason that MC Collizhun put down his microphone was to concentrate on his production work, cultivate connections with artists and labels in New York and develop his innovative Web site, www.toughdumplinbeats.com, which gives rappers quick access to downloadable beats they can use to create their own tracks in the privacy of their bedroom.
"For the past year I've been selling beats online, and it's cool," says Collizhun. "I don't need to meet with anyone - people can just go to the site, e-mail me for an account number and then select the beats they want. I get paid and they get their snare, hi-hat and kick drum parts right away. It's working out really well.
"Instead of making a beat and thinking, 'I've got to figure out how to get this to Jay-Z' in the hopes he might want to use it, I just put it up on my site and whoever likes it can rhyme over it."
Of course, there's no way Collizhun can tell whether the person who buys beats from his Web site can actually flow. Whether it's William Hung or Ed Broadbent using his beats, Collizhun doesn't seem to mind as long as he's getting paid.
"I don't really care whether they can rap or not. It's a business where I provide the beats and put them out there for sale. If somebody likes my work enough to buy it, then I'm happy.
"In the long run, it doesn't really matter who uses my stuff. If 50 Cent hits big with one of my tracks tomorrow, I'd be the hottest producer in the world, no matter how many wack MCs have spit over my beats in the past."