You probably don't know the name Boi-1da, but maybe you should. Drake's producer "since day one," and the person behind jams like Rhianna's "WORK" and Nicki Minaj's "High School," there's more than a chance his boundary-pushing take on hip-hop has slipped into your Spotify history.
Now the Jamaican-born, Toronto-based hitmaker is leaving his 416 area code and coming east for a special Canada Day concert. Titled Views from the 9, it's going to be a night of heavy hip-hop at The Marquee, with the local talents of producer Matty Galaxy and rapper Ben Francis rounding out the bill.
If the name Ben Francis seems familiar, it should, too. The teenage Halifax MC has been busy making a name for himself throughout 2016, hitting such marks as releasing his first music video, the York Redoubt-filmed "That Something," in March.
"I'm big Kanye West fan because he's always innovating," Francis says, before adding his sound has a mix of influences, including "old-school guys like A Tribe Called Quest." Much like West, Francis considers himself an innovator, blending sub-genres into his sound. "I always had a jazz influence but didn't take it seriously," Francis says, explaining that these jazzy elements have begun weaving their way into his more trap style.
To him, having one of his first major concert appearances with Boi-1da feels "on track," as he's a huge fan of the producer's work. "All he's produced to date is on the wave," Francis explains, meaning to him Boi-1da belongs in the league of innovators, too.
As for the concert? Francis says he's excited for the party. "They know what's good in Halifax," he says. "Everybody's just tryin' to turn up."