OPINION: Toronto hip hop represented everywhere but Toronto radio

by | Dec 3, 2017 | City News, Opinion

Elvin George
News Editor

On Tuesday, the Grammys released their list of nominations with seven for Toronto hip-hop artists. This number is nothing compared to last year’s 16 nominations.

Toronto talents have been emerging left and right since Drake’s rise in the industry. However, it appears local Toronto radio stations aren’t showing their appreciation for the current Toronto hip-hop music scene. Drake’s “CN Tower” covered album Views sold 1.04 million sales in April 2016. What other rapper would put the signature monument of their city on the cover of their album and dedicate their album to the city?

The multi-platinum selling Scarborough artist, The Weeknd, shows his appreciation to Toronto by hosting a free listening party for all of his album releases in secret locations in the city.

Toronto is a multicultural city with a unique sound that can’t be cloned by artists below the border. There are plenty of artists in America that attempt to replicate the Toronto sound, but they can’t master the grimy quick bar for bar flow.

The Move 93.5, formerly known as Flow, carries the heavy dosage of hip-hop, rap and a mix of pop which served the craving the city needed. Last year in early March, it rebranded and has become a 1990s and 2000s throwback station. There’s a reason why Throwback Thursday is only once a week because hearing the same throwbacks every day gets annoying too quickly.

Pop stations are playing the same singles from Toronto artists that are becoming annoying. The region needs one radio station that plays records from Drake, The Weeknd, Tory Lanez, PartyNextDoor, Daniel Caesar, Roy Woods, NAV, and the list goes on. The hip hop ears from Brampton all they down to Toronto need more varieties of music.

All these Toronto artists have collections of songs that are far better than what the radio plays. It’s just that the radio only as access to the singles. Get You by Daniel Caesar, Blem by Drake, King of the Fall by the Weekend and Recognize by PartyNextDoor are all great Toronto tracks that charted on the American charts, but never got the air-time in this city.

It’s understandable that opening up a new radio station is fairly expensive. It’s difficult to fund a station myself. At the end of the day, Toronto music has never been so huge and the hometown fans just want to enjoy it some more.

Besides the heavyweights, there are so many underground Toronto rappers who need the radio exposure to build their fan bases.

A large number of hip-hop fans in “The Six” need this kind of radio station and the local artists need the radio exposure to succeed around the world need it as well.