BBRC Push Canadian Hip-Hop in The Next Direction

If you love music then you should be aware that there has been a slow but perceptible change in the global music scene. Canada has pushed its head above the parapet to challenge the US with some of the freshest most innovative acts across genres like R&B and hip-hop.

To that effect BBRC are the multi-talented hip-hop creatives: Arowbe (rapper), Bronze (rapper, designer, creative director), Roshin (rapper) and DJ Dopey (former DMC Champion) who are helping push the Canadian hip-hop scene another step further.

BBRC are not new to the game having been around in an earlier incarnation known as Notes To Self but a few years later and with a re-assessment of what they wanted to achieve and create musically, Notes To Self became BBRC.

While the hard edged hip-hop beats, lyrical dexterity and killer verses remain, BBRC in the spirit of this Canadian movement are pushing creativity, innovation and challenging the supposed natural order. Consequently BBRC have stepped into a new phase where they are not making music because of an overwhelming feeling that they need a record deal – on the contrary BBRC are making music that feels ‘right’ ‘fun’ and indeed makes ‘them’ happy

Nation got some time with two of the guys from the group and the chance to drop a track exclusively from BBRC. Arowbe and Bronze talk about the; Canadian music scene, disillusionment and that thing called – perfect imperfection.

Canada finally has its own music identity. 

Arowbe – “I think Canada finally does have its own musical identity. Of course there has been a lot of stuff coming out from Canada with; Justin Bieber, the Weeknd and Drake who really pushes the musical name of Canada in so much he does. It is a weird perspective. When we were at school and stuff we had lessons which would ask; ‘does Canada have its own identity?’ Back then maybe not however now from a music, cultural perspective Canada is in a different place to the US.”

Bronze – “Now the Canadian identity is more clearly defined; it has its own pop culture/music culture which is distinct from America. Looking at hip-hop specifically there has definitely been a wave of artists from Canada who do things with a little more Canadian politeness for want of a better way to describe it.”

Canada – a breath of fresh musical sound…..

Arowbe – “The Canadian sound is more refreshing in comparison (I think) to some of the music from America. In particular Toronto which has this clearly defined R&B and hip-hop scene now. Canada and Toronto in particular just feels like a really buzzing and positive place for not just music but creativity in general.”

Bronze – “That’s right. I think the possibilities (in terms of creativity) are limitless in Toronto. Internationally people are swooping into Toronto and investing in the creative industries from music to film. Right now as Arowbe mentioned we have great commercial artists like Justin Bieber and the Weeknd but a lot of writers and visual artists are coming out of Toronto and having their moment – there is an excitement in the city and people are feeding off that.”

Drake brings momentum to the Canadian scene…..

Bronze – “When an artist like Drake makes a splash and supports Canada and Toronto like he does then it generates excitement and buzz and it motivates others people to also jump onto that creative journey.”

Arowbe – “It is just a momentum thing and Drake has brought that to our scene.  If you look at places like Houston or Atlanta it was all about momentum. It took a bunch of artists to come out for people to take notice of Crunk music. Once there were enough people it started putting the music on the map and then people started to latch onto it and then that pushed the culture even further – I think that is what is happening in Canada.”

The genesis of BBRC.

Arowbe – “Bronze and I initially made contact a few years ago when Bronze hit me up. I started to meet up with him like on a weekly basis at the studio and I just remember thinking there was just such a good energy between us where we just kept making songs really quickly but in a fun way and so because I was on all of those tracks I kind of just became part of the group.”

Bronze – “We all individually have a pretty rich history as a group called Notes To Self. We were on a label called BBE for four years straight and released our debut record with them. We then changed to BBRC but that transition was just so natural. Rather than announcing it to the world we just started making music as a different group.”

Re-invigorating ‘your’ music mojo.

Arowbe – “At the studio it’s like a boy’s night – we’re just making tracks in this really organic but fun way and I think that you hear that element of fun in all the music that we put out as a group. We did not necessarily have that real element of fun previously as Notes To Self. You could hear elements of ‘fun’ because there was always a playfulness and we never really took ourselves too seriously but this idea of ‘fun’ is now the bottom line with the music we do-it’s all about party records.”

Bronze – “It’s like in the best tradition of say the; Beastie Boys, Slick Rick and Eazy E. Don’t get me wrong there are a lot of virtues to deliberately creating something and having I expect some kind of message but there is also something beautiful about just creating so the listener can actually hear that the person or people are in a moment.”

Arowbe – “That is generally the response we have been getting when we have been putting out the new music at the moment-when we have general listening sessions people are saying they can hear we are having fun.”

Re-invigoration from disillusion.

Bronze – “I did music full-time with my partner for a solid four to five years making commercial top-forty records, it was my day job and I did that every single day – I was constantly writing demos for others. When it specifically becomes your job and you start looking at your own music differently to the music you create day to day for others – you don’t ever look at things the same way. I think that is what happened when Arowbe came into the studio with me and I said I wanted to create music for myself – we did not have to agree what this was we just did it. The ideas that were coming out were solely there for us to enjoy.”

Arowbe – “We didn’t look at it like we need a record deal – we were and are making music for ourselves and I think that is when it started to click. It is selfish music in a way – the only metric we follow now is ‘do we like it’? In that process to deciding whether we like it we try as much as possible to not over think the creative process we just let it ‘be’.”

Perfect imperfections with ‘your’ forth coming release.

Arowbe – “On the Peach Sessions LP imperfection is embraced – so things do not have to be exactly right but you can hear the talent of the person.”

Bronze – “That was exactly the energy and so the emphasis was carefree which is lacking from some of the current music right now. I don’t think that any of us have ever had a time where we heard our music or verses and were ok with the slight imperfections – it’s actually brave to do that. We would be in sessions and I may hear something and want to change it and Arowbe will be like ‘leave it like that’. I will have a reaction because I am used to fine tuning things to this ‘perfect’ level but then I just roll with it. It takes us out of being entirely aware of what we are doing and more interested with how it makes us feel rather than being calculating.”

The London connect – Ruff Mercy. 

Bronze -“Well he actually worked on the current video we put out recently ‘Back Seat Freestyle’. Ruff Mercy is my boy and we have been collaborating for the last four years together. Ruff’s involvement on the video was purely accidental. He was asked to complete a video to Kendrick Lamar’s ‘Back Street Freestyle’ and he did but unfortunately his version did not make the final cut. So he wanted to show me what he had done and my immediate reaction was to flip the beat and add the video part to the track. It worked really well and the product is what you see. Ruff is ultra-creative and always brings an edge to any video that he works on – he’s our go to London connect!”

Check out the exclusive track ‘Somewhere’ from BBRC featuring Beatface.