Published Apr 17, 2007If youve been tied into the Canadian music scene in recent years, youve heard disheartened gripes about Canuck artists, particularly in hip-hop, having to leave these tepid lands to find commercial success. While those complaints may be true, the reasons behind that reality are hardly cut and dry and, as the recent seismic explosion of hip-hop producer Marco Polo shows, sometimes its a case of moving closer to the fire to catch the most heat.
Since relocating to Brooklyn, NY in 2003, the Toronto native has been tagging his growing reputation for classic East coast beats all over the underground, parlaying a teeth-cutting gopher gig at Cutting Room Studios into a steady relationship with Masta Ace, Boot Camp Click, and an ever-expanding host of the citys finest. Now with only five years in the game, Polo is set to unleash his Rawkus-distributed Port Authority LP, a beastly collection of meaty grade-A cuts featuring the cream of the underground, from Large Professor, Kool G. Rap and Ed O.G. to O.C. and Wordsworth. Thats one quick sprint to star status, and as Polo attests, being in the city was the key.
"I think any producer thats trying to do hip-hop especially the type that Im into aspires to work with people in New York, he says. "New Yorks just that place. You can be in a random Starbucks or in a shoe store and someone will walk in youre always running into artists. Yet this expat beatsmith isnt forgetting his roots. Kardinal Offishall gets the call on lead single "War, a booming track built around a tough beat, ascending vocal arpeggio, and subtle orchestral snippet. Of giving Kardi the nod, Marco says succinctly, "hes the only person on the album whos from Canada, so I really just wanted to let it be known [and] send a statement out that we can do this as good as anybody else.