Nation Ruckus known to cause sonic commotions
The new album from the Montreal-based collective – comprised of emcee Milk-E Fresh, Quality, an instrumentalist of many faces, and the self-explanatory DJ WiM – Boombox Manifesto just goes to show what three people with completely different musical mindsets can manifest.
Speaking with the trio about the album proved quite interesting, not only because it was a four-way conference call, but mostly because of their insight on the recent release – a topic they speak on with both nostalgia and anticipation.
“We’re really excited the album is out, it’s been quite a journey for us,” said Milk-E Fresh. “Doing our thing on our own and being out there in stores is huge.”
The trio’s music takes a completely new stance on hip-hop, combining the classic elements of the genre from the 70s, 80s and 90s, and transforming it into a mash-up of new and old styles, all with their own unique spin on things.
“Our goal with this album was to display the diversity of hip-hop,” said he, “and bringing back the roots of old school hip-hop”
From the first video release a year back of “Funky Sneakers” to their latest single “Stupid in Yo Area,” they’ve been establishing a name from themselves and stirring the hip-hop melting pot. Underground Canadian hip-hop is a binding agent for talent coast to coast, which shows on the track “Ruckus” that features Vancouver emcee SonReal.
“We wanted to hook up the east and west, after hearing [SonReal] and his mixtape, we reached out and he killed his verse for us,” said Fresh. “We love the vibe in Toronto too, and we want to make more collaborations with Canadian artists,” added DJ WiM, “to make sure Canada is well represented on the scene.”
The group has set the stage for names in the game like Ludacris, Down with Webster, Talib Kweli and Big Boi of Outkast. Nation Ruckus have also made a name for themselves with shows ranging from the Montreal Jazz Festival to Canadian Music Fest and North By Northeast, and have several up-and-coming Canadian tour dates from now into the new year.
Travelling around in the “Ruckus Van,” the band bring its music wherever the guys travel. When not in conventional venues hitting stages, they are creating block parties with their 1000-watt sound-system built into the back of their Chevy box van. Quality said it’s been getting solid feedback.
“One cool initiative we took to be creative was to tour with the van. We’ve been doing it for two months now, and we’re always surprised by how many people come out.”
“It’s easier than booking venues, we just put the keys in the ignition and go and there’s a Ruckus block party,” said WiM.
Story by Devin Size