When a member of veteran hip-hop group, The Roots, re-emerges with a new project it can only mean one thing, at least in the case of DJ Scratch: legendary beat-boxing for the new generation. 40oz Heroes hosted a party for Grammy- award winner, Scratch inside Measure Bar in Toronto to celebrate his recently released mixtape, #TUFFACT2FOLLOW. Not only did Scratch showcase his own ability to be a human DJ, he shared the stage with local acts including Fresh Kils, Made Wade, Mic Gutz and the Freedom Writers.
“I’m also showing that people should be more into this art form – because the talent, has a lot to deliver,” says Scratch, before creating sounds on stage that could have easily been mistaken for a machine or recording. “This release is to create awareness, you have to constantly create content and deliver something that is different. I want people to hear it and say, ‘I want to see this, see if this guy is doing this for real.’” And he really is. His hands scratched invisible air decks while he gave the crowd a performance to admire.
“This release is to create awareness, you have to constantly create content and deliver something that is different. I want people to hear it and say, ‘I want to see this, see if this guy is doing this for real.’” – Scratch
Scratch wasn’t the only one either. DJ Fresh Kils tore up the stage with some electronic infused mash-ups on tracks that featured artists like Adele. And MADE WADE hit the stage with some spoken word, rap and intricate lyricism. “I grew up listening to Things Fall Apart and Illadeph Half Life, you know, albums [Scratch] was on, and it just means a lot to me that he’s been embraced by this Toronto community and the same people embracing him are pushing me forward; to share the stage with him means a lot. It means that I am moving in the right direction,” says MADE
The release party, in tribute to such a legendary artist, infused old school hip-hop culture and the emerging sounds of the modern day music scene. There was passion, inspiration, motivation and excitement in the room. Toronto’s Freedom Writers hit the stage with a lot of energy, walking through the bar, performing in the audience at times. “The Roots are a part of my core inspiration to get me into this craft, I’ve been to many live shows. I’ve seen Scratch perform a number of times, he’s a very talented performer, it’s an honour to share a stage with him,” says Progress, one sixth of the musical group.
“I’m excited, I appreciate everybody in Toronto who came out to support, this is my first release party ever,” explains a humble Scratch, who has been building a Toronto fan base for quite some time. After seeing the growth and artists from this city, he wants to continue creating sound, “create something like-minded.” Not to mention his important connection to Canada: “My wife is from Toronto and my son has been born here, and I want to pay homage to them as well.”
The project took roughly five months to complete, including putting together the marketing campaign. “I wanted to do something that was what I do at every performance – a rendition of population tracks... I didn’t just want it to be a record, it is the “re-introduction of Scratch.’”
Words By. Dinusha Wijemanne + Photos By. Samantha O’Connor
Please Note: This was originally published via Urbanology Magazine.