Welcome to Toronto aka The Screwface Capital

The Screwface Capital of the world, this name that was given to our city of Toronto by MC Theology 3 back in 2000.
To some its worn with pride and for others it’s considered a damn shame.

Torontonians are known for being tough on musicians trying to make it in the city. Let me rephrase that. It is EXTREMELY tough to receive the praise you deserve from us if you’re a singer and especially if you’re a rapper from Toronto. Even past radio personality DJ Arcee, host of FLOW 93.5’s The Real Frequency was known for saying: “Welcome to Toronto, where we’ll pay $20 to boo you!”

You may disagree and say “no I hear them on the radio and tingss! that’s supporting them!” but be real. Some of you, actually a lot of you will hear a Canadian rapper and think oh god and change the station looking for that southern comfort that is American music.

I was very guilty of doing it in the past. Until one night I was up late cleaning my room and OTA Live hosted by Ty Harper and Rez Digital was on Flow 9.35FM and I heard all Toronto artists that I really liked including Daniel Daley, Andreena Mill, K-Os, Saukrates, JDiggz and the list could on forever. Essentially I realized that there was so much talent in Toronto that were giving us everything and it still wasn’t good enough for “the Screwface capital”. I had never gone to a concert, a show, never bought a cd, shoot I didn’t even cop a mixtape simply because it was put in our mind that a rapper out of Toronto sucked and were either copying the states or too unique for our liking “too Canadian” if that made any sense.

Drake was a victim of this too believe it or not my friends south of the border. His music was on the radio often, he opened for other artists visiting Canada, he released countless mixtapes but didn’t really get so much as a second glance from us Torontonians until he got together with Lil Wayne and gained international success. Even when he had the song replacement girl featuring Trey Songz, many didn’t know his name, people would refer to the song as “the one with Trey Songz and some guy from Toronto”. Or even the song by Jimmy from Degrassi. Shortly after the murmur created after replacement girl dropped, I saw drake strolling in Yorkdale Mall. I got so excited and ran up and said hi while my friends looked on confused about who this light skin guy was and why they should care. Lol well I guess they know now.

Recently there’s been a burst of Canadian talent taking over the American airwaves and it’s a good look. Now if only we could keep this up and support all the goods  that Toronto musicians have to offer instead of waiting for people from the states to give it the stamp of approval before we claim our own. I guess in a sense our screwface attitude makes Toronto rappers push themselves further to prove themselves, making them some of the best unrecognized talent out now. With that said here are some of my favorites playing on the radio lately. Give them a listen and go out and support your local talent!


6 thoughts on “Welcome to Toronto aka The Screwface Capital

  1. I don’t know I just watched all these videos and I don’t really see anything different going on than what’s going on here in the states. From the totally bitten chorus on Theo3’s How I Flow, to the egotistical club-centric One Night. Perhaps the self criticism comes from the guilt of knowing ya’ll are just copying shit that’s already been done to death. It’s kind of the same reason why DnB and Dubstep sucks in the USA. Do your own thing and you will get the respect you deserve….

  2. These Toronto kids never want to acknowledge the talent that comes out of their areas… until the Americans say it’s good. It’s time for Canadians to stop looking to the Americans as taste makers, a start looking in you city for dope music. Support Classified, K’naan, Shad, Swollen Members (except for their last album), k-Os, D-Sisive, Moka Only… the WHOLE URBNet label should be supported.

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