Published in UR [September 2008]
Toronto's Hip Hop Prince Ain't No Gangsta
Regal titles are nothing new in hip-hop - Jay-Z and Nas famously fought for the "King of New York" crown a few years back - but it's rare for a Canadian to hold such a prestigious honorific. So, when a young rapper from Scarborough was christened "The Prince of the Dot," people took notice.
He now shies away from the moniker, but Luu Breeze still carries large expectations on his shoulders. He first gained attention rapping on the underground Rap Sheets DVD, and now he's topping urban radio charts with "Million Dollar Dreams" and "Break 'em Off." He's currently wrapping up his third mixtape, Topic of Discussion. He chose the title, "because I'm literally wondering what's next."
While Canadian rappers like Kardinal and k-os have shied away from the guns-and-bling sound that permeates American radio, Breeze has instead followed in the street rap tradition created by the likes of Ice Cube, Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac Shakur. Although some would classify the genre as gangsta rap, it's a term Breeze rejects. "I like to say that I'm a real person," he says. "You don't have to be a gangsta to be real. It's a matter of how you live and certain things that you live by."
And one of those codes that Breeze lives by is that of hard work, which is starting to pay off. Rumours have linked the independent Breeze with Ludacris' acclaimed label, Disturbing Tha Peace.
Although his Rolodex is filling up, Breeze had a few guest spots to fill on Topic of Discussion, so he asked fellow Torontonian Richie Sosa and other members of his Champagne Gang crew to help. "I like working with guys who are as hungry as I am," he says. "I feel like I can make a song as good as the next artist, and I'm not going to throw money at big artists just for a verse."
Link to copy of story in UR here.