Classified / Ghettosocks / Muzz Marshall & More... Baronet Room, Delta Halifax, Halifax NS - February 16

Classified / Ghettosocks / Muzz Marshall & More... Baronet Room, Delta Halifax, Halifax NS - February 16
Photo: Kelly Clark
Asked recently which Halifax hip-hop artists are most likely to get with major labels in 2007, scene veteran Jorun answered, "Other than Classified? Nobody.” But as Jorun went on to explain, and as the first night of the East Coast Music Association’s On the Grind Urban Music Series made abundantly clear, it isn’t for a lack of talent. Classified was the main event, but the under card was stacked. The night opened with a characteristically strong set from Jesse Dangerously, still Halifax’s hip-hop conscience, appearing with Uncle Fester on the ones and twos for the last time. Their set reached its vertex with the ECMA-nominated, peace-loving battle rap "Outfox’d (When Pacifists Attack).” Next, Spesh K and the rest of the Fax 4 swaggered through hot material from Media Coverage and Inklinked before Trobiz and Muzz Marshall took to the stage, ably backed by the Mellotones et al, with Patrick Riley on bass and Jody S. Lyne on trumpet standing out among the fine players. Muzz Marshall has a rich, soulful voice and an immediate charisma, but Trobiz’s smooth but superficial R&B-inflected hip-hop largely lost the crowd. The night was back in full swing, though, when Ghettosocks of the Alpha Flight crew got on the mic and absolutely ripped it up. Between sets local champ DJ Y-Rush kept the beats banging while the b-boys representing the Lokdown, Koala-Corp and Halifornia crews were breaking. All of this set the stage for Enfield’s ever-ready Classified, Nova Scotia’s hottest hip-hop prospect since Buck 65. The Trailer Park Boys were on hand to award Classified the ECMA for Rap/Hip-Hop Single of the Year for "Find Out,” and while the crowd welcomed the Boys, they went absolutely mad for Class. More love than the Trailer Park Boys? In this city, that doesn’t happen everyday.