Tuesday, 30 September 2014

3 n' Pass

Amidst all the madness of the Grasshopper happenings, I was spending all of my free time working on my passion... My rap group "3 n' Pass" with Mike C. and Mike Myre. As much as I was loving being in a band, rap music was my true passion at the time. I believe Derek felt somewhat threatened by this fact, as he always seemed uneasy when I spoke of what we were up to. Perhaps because I had so much fire in me when it came to this project... It was my baby... my brainchild... Regardless, I was pumped to be apart of two bands, one that was on the uprise, and one that was starting at the bottom.

Myself and the two Mike's had a few songs under our belt now. We had started off with "The Immigrant Rhyme" our track using Led Zeppelin's "Immigrant Song" and it was quite a success. We ended up shooting a video for it even, and it was one of the most fun experiences I had partaken in during the year of 1992.

We had also made a few more songs using our same recipe of me looping beats on my dad's JVC tape deck, Myre providing keyboard and synth riffs via a cheap Casio keyboard as well as drum hits compliments of his cheesy little drum machine, and Mike C. cutting up records on the "wheels of plastic" yes, we had a shitty old plastic turntable. We actually had to tape pennies on the needle cartridge to prevent it from skipping when Mike was scratching vinyl. Since we were doing everything on Derek's four track recorder, we had to run multiple channels into a mixer, then run the mixer into the four track, enabling us to mix four separate tracks down to one track.

As far as microphones went, we were pretty ghetto in that department too, as we made due with a small plastic mic from a 1970's cassette recorder and "the rap mic" The rap mic was actually a novelty kids toy we found at Toys R Us. It had pre programmed beats you could rap over, or you could rap acapella. It also had a jack on it giving one the ability to plug it into anything. Since we only had two microphones we actually had to pass the mic off after we finished spitting a line, which meant two mics in rotation between three guys when recording vocals.

Our second song we did was called "Fry-Day" and as you can imagine it was all related to marijuana. We sampled music from The Jackson Five's "Enjoy Yourself" which was a happy, up tempo funky track. The lyrics were comedically playful, and we just had a whole lot of fun with this track. I'd say it was collectively the fave amongst the group.

Eventually Myre decided to try his hand at producing a track, and he came to us with a song that went on to be titled "3 n' Pass" named after our band of course. Mike used samples from Celtic Frost and RUN D.M.C. to put together this little ditty. In our first two tracks we attempted to emulate the Beastie Boys style of passing the mic, but for this song we decided to each do our own verse, which gave some nice separation and range to the track.

The song turned out so well that Mike decided to take another stab at production. Once again he used yet another RUN D.M.C. beat accompanied by some heavy synths. The track had a happy and positive fun party vibe, so we decided to write lyrics depicting a fictional party we attended together. This song came to be known as "Fryday the 13th" and I always got so pumped up and energized whenever I heard it or whenever we jammed it.

As our musical tastes expanded it began to show through in our music. For our next song we stepped out of the box and sampled a song from noise legends Sonic Youth. We incorporated it with a break beat from a song that escapes me now, but it gave the track some nice separation going from slow and low to fast and furious. We ended up dubbing this one "Weird n' Willy" a chorus that we came up with after the song had been completed.

We now had five songs and we we're excited to share them amongst our friends. Myres through together a little intro and outro, and we had enough material to make our very own homemade demo. As I compiled it all via Derek's four track, I decided to add on a bonus track. I still had live jams from the early days of our inception, one of which was a jam of Cypress Hill's "Real-estate" so I dumped the music into the four track, wrote some quick lyrics, then recorded them. Needless to say the guys were a bit surprised.

We ended up making a few more music videos as well with Mike's trusted camcorder. We shot vids for Fry-Day, 3 n' Pass, and Weird n' Willy. It seemed like each video we made just got better, as we were learning tricks to edit more smoothly as well as getting more creative in our cinematography. Eventually we aired all of our videos at our buddy John Waller's place one weekend, since he was having a party and coincidentally had a huge tv that was probably about 50-60 inches. Everyone got a kick out of the videos, and as insecure as I felt, I was happy that our friends appreciated what we had done.

We were always trying to do something different with our music, and even though we were inspired by the Beastie Boys, we strived to have our own sound and not come off as a complete and total rip off.  We had used samples of heavy music before, but this time we decided to get even heavier. We ended up using a loop from Slayer's "Seasons In The Abyss" for our next track, and it was heavy as hell. As per usual, we needed an uptempo breakbeat, so we threw in a loop from a SCHOOLLY D track. It felt like every new song we did got better, and naturally became our personal new favourite. This hit came to be known as "Straight Outta The Abyss".

We ended up doing a cassette single for the song, the original Slayer version, and a second version with just the simple beat from the rap mic with a bit of live guitar noise provided by Mike C. I even went as far as to create covers for our demos and to come up with our independent label "Weed Of Wisdom Inc" and "Bot-Spot Records" in ode to our session spot at Lester B. Pearson school, the birth place of our rhymes and ideas. Looking back at this stuff, the audio quality was terrible, a lot of our rhymes were corny, and we were lacking in rhythm for most of our lyrical deliveries. None of that mattered. We were doing what we loved with a fiery passion and we were having a hella fun time doing it.

I was curious to see where the road was going to lead this rap-tastic endeavor...

Monday, 29 September 2014


Grasshopper's bass player, Mike C, the linebacker of basslines, was still working every Sunday morning at CIAO radio in Brampton, a multi cultural radio station. Mike didn't necessarily enjoy the type of music he had to spin, but he loved the job for the simple fact that he was getting hands on experience in radio broadcasting. Grasshopper had done a few interviews now on "college radio" stations like 88.1 CKLN, 105.5 CHRY, and 89.5, and we were catching up to speed with Mike, in regards to how the inner workings of a radio station operated.

Our hosts were always gracious, they gave us the liberty to pick the music we wanted to hear, and some of them even let us smoke dope right in the control room. One time in particular at CHRY, security guards came knocking on the door of the radio station, as they could smell the pot in the hallways of the university. The host of the show quickly dismissed them, stating we were "live on the air" and they couldn't interfere with the broadcast. It felt nice to get that royal treatment.

Meanwhile back at CIAO radio, Mike had a friend and coworker named Stuart, who coincidentally happened to be friends with a gifted young film maker named Owen Roberts, the same Owen Roberts who had produced the amazing Epileptic Brain Surgeons music video for "Cows" a year or two prior to this timeframe.

Stuart informed Mike that Owen was starting up his own show on Rogers cable 10 television in Brampton, with Stu as his trusted sidekick and sound engineer. The show would be called "Fusion" and the premise of it was to showcase local artists, wether they be involved in music, art, poetry, or any other type of expressive art form. Needless to say, we thought it was an incredible idea and we were more than happy to oblige when Owen asked us to perform on the show.

We ended up going into cable 10 studios after business hours. Asides from us, Owen, and Stu, nobody else was in the building. Once again we were shown great hospitality behind those closed doors. Carte blanch to snoop around, smoke weed, and have our run of the place, as Owen set up a stage for us to perform on while Stuart hooked up all of the audio equipment. We pretty much had an empty area of a room to perform in, with nothing more than a black curtain behind us and some lighting. It seemed a bit bland and boring, so we went around ransacking all of the offices for any plants we could find. From there we set all the plants up around our gear, and a little bit of life was injected into the stage setup.

We played through a few songs while Owen filmed and Stu worked the soundboard. It was a total trip being in that building. After what seemed like the longest night ever, we busted out of there not long before sunrise. I imagine the people who worked there were probably en route with their morning coffees to start the day as we were heading home to bed to end our day.

Shortly after that experience, Owen invited us back in to view the footage with him. The audio recording wasn't as polished as we'd hoped, but visually we were happy with what the guys had put together. We picked the two songs that we thought sounded the best and left it in Owen's hands. It wouldn't be long until the first episode of Fusion aired on cable 10, and we anticipated it with great excitement.

The day, or night, finally came for the premier episode of Fusion, and it was awesome. Owen had done a great job editing, arranging, and producing a solid little independent television show. It felt pretty cool seeing myself on tv, and I wondered how many other Bramptonians had witnessed the show. If people had at all been wondering what I had been up to, they now had an answer. The show was on fairly late, and had a scheduled time slot, but somehow Fusion was being aired quite frequently. It was almost as if cable10 was playing it anytime they needed to fill an empty time slot, and we sure as hell weren't complaining about it.

Sure enough, Fusion started causing a buzz. People I hadn't spoken with since high school were contacting me to say they had seen me on television. Whenever I ran into people I hadn't seen in awhile, they too would mention the fact they had seen Fusion. It was almost as if all the bugs were coming out of the woodwork, as some very unlikely people went out of their way to contact myself, Mike, or Derek.

I really admired and appreciated what Owen was doing. One one hand he was trying to establish a name for himself as a film maker, and on the other hand he was going out of his way to help promote local artists and make the public aware of them. I had nothing but the utmost respect for him.

I was definitely interested to see what Owen would bring forth in the next episode...

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Tribes of the Moon

Good day readers! I am just checking in for a quick post in regards to current events, or should I say future events? I'm always one to have multiple projects on the go, and I've recently had another brain fart to add to the list. I've decided to start working on yet another full length LP. I know, you're probably saying "But Kabal, you're already working on a full length LP" which is true "What's Below Remains Below" is my most recent full length I've been working on for the past year and a half. It is close to complete, but I've still got a few tracks to do after suffering some setbacks earlier this year.

For my new project however I've decided to try something a little different. I've always been proud of the fact that I compose and produce all of my own music, so this time around I thought I'd get other people to produce music for me. Playing in numerous bands over the years I've always found it easier to write lyrics when I'm given a song that has already been written. The music literally talks to me and tells me what to say, how to say it, and where to say it. The name of this release will be "Tribes Of The Moon"

I'm accepting submissions from friends, djs, producers, amateur beat makers, and just about anyone who is interested in working with me. I've already received a few ideas from people, and just as I suspected, their songs are giving me my words and my voice. I think this is going to be a very interesting project, both fun and diverse, considering each song will be from a different persons perspectives and tastes. 

Normally I tend to post songs online as I create them, but for this project I've decided to keep it a bit more hush hush for a change. I may mention in passing I did a song with so and so, but I will be keeping every track on the downlow until the project is complete. I'm really looking forward to seeing what kinds of creations come from this collaborative effort. If you wish to be apart of this, send me your best tracks in any format, or links to your tracks. You can contact me directly via email at:

Let the games begin!

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

RU Down With The Goats?

Christmas definitely did come early in 1992. I was gifted with the discoveries of many new hot bands, I got to see my beloved Beastie Boys in concert again, NOW Magazine had featured us, Grasshopper was getting a lot of great opportunities, and to top it all off I was going to get to witness a live performance by The Goats, who had quickly become my new favourite rap group at the time. They were opening up for Consolidated, so that was an extra added bonus treat as well. I had lots of B.T.s and high fives waiting for Santa!

was super stoked for this concert, mainly because The Goats were still so new to the scene and virtually unknown, this made a guarantee of a small, intimate show, the kind I liked the best. I had been listening to their LP "Tricks of the Shade" non stop since Derek returned from CMJ with it back in October, and in that short period of time I had already memorized practically all of the lyrics. I always liked thoroughly knowing the music of a band I was going to see in concert, as it always made for a more ultimate experience.

The night of the gig arrived and we got to the Opera House fashionably early for a change. I wasn't surprised at all by the lack of people there. Consolidated were a fairly established band, but nobody knew who The Goats were. I assumed Consolidated fans would show up later in the evening, and I wasn't complaining about that at all, as I managed to secure a spot dead centre at the front of the stage. The crowd was thin and loose, and the dance floor was practically empty.

The Goats hit the stage in a rage with high energy, wailing mics, and pounding beats. They put on an amazing performance and I'm pretty sure I was the only kid in the crowd rapping along to every song word for word. The three MCs, Oatie, MADD, and Swayzack, made eye contact with me numerous times, and they were even shaking their heads in disbelief over the fact I knew all of their material. They even went as far as to shove their microphones into my face from time to time. I imagine they were slightly impressed considering their album hadn't even been out for two months. The rest of the crowd was grooving along, but it was apparent they weren't familiar with The Goats, they were just going with the flow.

By the time their set was over, I turned around to head to the bar. I was shocked to see the Opera House was now fully packed with people from one end of the club to the other. Clearly I was right in assuming Consolidated fans would skip out on the opening act. I squeezed my way through the sea of people and grabbed a cold one. I looked to my left and realized MADD from The Goats was beside me at the bar getting drinks. I immediately gave him props for an amazing show and he went on to give me props for knowing all of their lyrics. He was totally blown away and mentioned how crazy it was that I was so familiar with them. We had a great little pow wow, then MA double D returned to the backstage area.

After what felt like an eternity, Consolidated finally hit the stage. They had a giant video screen set up behind them that played imagery to coincide with every song. A lot of the imagery was very graphic, and it reminded me of the Mal Havoc days. Consolidated put on a really solid show as well, and it was a very interesting and diverse crowd to say the least considering he band were advocated of women's rights, animal rights, gay rights, and racial rights. There was a song on their album that contained a bunch of audience members debating issues, so I was curious to see if anything like that would unfold.

Sure enough, after a solid hour or so of musical performance, Consolidated cut the music and declared it was debate time. People from the audience were welcome to hit the stage and discuss issues regarding, politics, government, sexual preference, racism, and animal cruelty, just to name a few. It was fairly interesting to say the least and definitely was something special that you don't see at concerts on a regular basis. It did get a bit stale and boring after awhile, so we decided to dip out and call it a night.

All in all it was an amazing night and another incredible concert experience under my belt. Plus I got to meet and talk with one of my new rap heroes. My only disappointment was the fact that The Goats had absolutely NO merchandise for sale. I would of loved to have gotten a T-Shirt at least to add to my collection.

It had been one hell of a year, perhaps better than the previous year, which had been absolutely mind blowing. I could only wonder in amazement what 1993 was going to be like...

Wednesday, 10 September 2014


Not long after the second Beastie Boys concert went down, we received the call we had been hoping and waiting for: NOW Magazine wanted us to be featured in their "spotlight" article. Spotlight was usually about half of a page, displaying a nice band photo and a small blurb of information. Things had been going great for Grasshopper, and we assumed this would only help us reach more people and gain more exposure.

The people at Now even gave us a choice as to where we wanted to do the photo shoot, so naturally we picked our favourite record store "Rotate This" I can still remember the weather was warm considering we were transitioning from Fall to Winter. We showed up in our Sunday bests and met up with the crew from Now Magazine.

It was slightly awkward being catered to by the small group of people with cameras, lights, and makeup? Yes, correct. We were told we had to have our faces powdered to make the photo turn out better. Being the dirtbags we were, with the exception of Mike C., we protested as much as we could, but they wouldn't budge. We felt like a bunch of pretty boys having makeup applied by a young lady. After we got past that hump it was time to take some photos.

Rotate This had a few couches in the front of the store, so we figured that was as good of a spot as any to shoot the pictures. Once again we were faced with awkwardness, as the photographer posed us oddly and even went as far as to pile us on top of each other like we were some lovey-dovey boy band. We couldn't help but feel stupid, but we made light of the situation and busted their balls a bit. Especially Mike, who was by far the comedian of the band, always tongue lashing out some witty sarcasm and/or dry humour. I could tell we were making the Now crew uncomfortable, and rightfully so seeing as how they had made us feel uncomfortable. 

After the photos were done, we sat down and answered a few questions that would be apart of the article. They were fairly basic ones: band name, band members names, what instruments we played, type of music, weirdest moment on the job, and upcoming gigs.
All in all it was fun and slightly painstaking at the same time, but we got through it without incident. Our only concern was were we going to look stupid when this came to print?

The magazine finally came out, and naturally we grabbed an abundance of them. Inside the first page we were surprised to see a small photo of us informing the readers that our spotlight was on page 31. We skipped right to page 31 and there we were in all of our glory. As lame as we felt posing in makeup, the photo wasn't all that bad we collectively agreed. I can't speak for the other two guys, but I definitely felt like we were moving up in the scene. Our "upcoming" gig listed was a show where we would be opening for "WOOL" a rough yet melodic hard rock/punk band from Washington.

The following night the gig arrived, and I was overwhelmed by the amount of people who showed up. Wool were fairly big, but were still an Indy underground band. I truly didn't know if the crowd was there to see them or us. I recently learned that our pals in Yet Another Posse also played the show, so I imagine there was probably quite a few people that came out to see them as well. We headed to the "backstage" area, which was actually a small, yet long and narrow enclosed corridor at the side of the stage.

As we partook in our usual pre-show activities of drinking free beer and smoking dope, Peter Stahl, vocalist of Wool, entered the room and took a particular interest in studying the bottle toke I was preparing. After staring long and hard with an intense look in his eyes, he blurted out "Are you cooking up heroin?" I explained to him it was hashish and what I was doing was known as a "B.T." Peter was in utter amazement stating he had never seen this being done before. Sheltered Americans I thought to myself. He asked if he could try one and of course I obliged. His face went red, his eyes bulged, and then he coughed up a storm. Peter thanked me and left the backstage area.

After the session, I went to the bar to get a beer, where I saw Peter standing, looking somewhat disheveled. He asked club owner Willie New, who was running the bar, if he could have a glass of water. His voice sounded like he had a throat full of gravel and wood chips.
I chuckled to myself and hoped it didn't compromise his performance abilities. Peter proved me wrong, and Wool rocked the house down. I really have no recollection of our performance that night, but I do remember getting great embracement from the crowd.

On the way home that night I was in a blissful state. We had made it in Now magazine. We had just played in front of one of our biggest crowds to date, AND we had played with what one might consider a "bigger" band than we were accustomed to opening for. Things seemed to keep rolling for us, and once again I wondered just how far the Grasshopper would jump...

Friday, 5 September 2014

Return of the Beasties

October 1992 had been a very eventful month for myself, my band mates, and my friends. Asides from all the Grasshopper happenings, CMJ, and discovering new music, I learned that my beloved Beastie Boys were coming back to play Toronto on the second day of November. Needless to say it was apparent November was going to be just as good, if not better than October.

The show was scheduled to take place at Varsity Arena in Toronto, a venue I had never been to before. It was bigger than The Concert Hall, so I feared it wouldn't be as intimate as the show back in the spring. The opening acts were Rollins Band and Da Lench Mob, protégés of rapper Ice Cube. We were all quite excited for the show and Mike C. had but only one mission: to successfully bootleg the show after his first attempt was thwarted by security at the previous concert.  

The night of the gig arrived and we were all pumped up. It was a cold night but we didn't let that interfere in our fun. The huge lineup of people were finally granted entry and I got my first look at the inside of Varsity Arena. It was your typical sports complex, very similar to Maple Leaf Gardens. I was a little overwhelmed by the amount of people in attendance, as I wasn't used to crowds this large at live concert, with the exception of Lollapalooza.

We decided to grab some seats to the left of the stage a few rows up for the time being. Mike C figured this was as good of a spot as any for him to safely bootleg the show. We fired up some ganja and sat back to enjoy the gig. Both openers were solid, but somewhat forgettable due to the piss poor job the sound man was doing. His lack of skills combined with the size of the venue led to a very hollow and echoey sound being delivered. I was so used to small clubs and tight sound, that the echo was driving me absolutely crazy. I painstakingly sat through both Rollins Band and Da Lench Mob, patiently waiting for the Beasties to bless us with their presence. I could only hope that the sound man would get his shit together by the time they hit the stage.

That time finally arrived, and I made my way down to the floor. As much as Mike liked to boogie, he stuck to his word and remained seated safely for stealth bootlegging purposes.
Finally the Boys stepped out on stage and broke into the first song on their new album "Jimmy James" The sound didn't seem any better, so I started working my way through the crowd to get closer to the action. Once I passed the soundboard it seemed like the echo lessened a bit, so I inched my way closer to the stage and sure enough the sound quality was much more tolerable. As the Beasties reached the end of the first verse in Jimmy James that leads into the sample "I'm rockin" they surprisingly replaced it with "I'm grasshop, grasshop, grasshopping!" Did my ears deceive me? Had the B-Boys listened to the demo I threw to them on stage a mere 8 months ago? Were they actually giving props to us? I was convinced they were, but I'd have to review Mike's recording at a later time to confirm.

All in all, the Beasties killed it once again, but I didn't like the show as much as I did as the previous one. Perhaps better sound and less people made it a much more enjoyable concert, even though they had just belted out numerous classics with conviction. The show finally came to a close so I went and regrouped with my posse. Alex the journalist had a backstage pass and got to interview the Beasties. After that he was kind enough to give us his backstage pass so we could each a have a chance to meet our heroes. When my turn finally arrived I made my way back to find a large group of fanboys, groupies, and dick riders surrounding the boys. I didn't want to be one of them, so I humbly made my way back out to meet up with the guys.

Mike C had been successful in recording the entire performance without incident. We got our gears in motion and headed out to the parking lot. When we got to the van we were shocked to see broken glass on the ground and a missing window. Someone had broken into the van. We were all stunned, and fearful that our gear had been stolen, as we had some of our instruments in the back. Thankfully everything was still there. Derek had two cases of cassette tapes in the van, but noticed one of them was gone. He opened he other one to find his usual assortment of mix-tapes, then he declared "They took our fucking demos!" 

Yes, some idiot had broken into a van full of valuable stuff and only stole a case of Grasshopper demos. It was strangely surreal and almost flattering, yet they probably didn't even intentionally set out to steal just our tapes. It was a messed up scene to say the least. 
We popped the Beasties bootleg into the tape deck and headed back to Brampton. Sadly the recording was just as echoey as the concert had sounded, but we all collectively agreed they were saying "Grasshopping" during Jimmy James, and that alone made up for the poor audio quality. I told Mike I'd need to make a dub of this ASAP.

We also collectively agreed how fucked up it was that someone jacked all of our demo tapes. One thing was for sure, we'd be keeping an eye open for anyone and everyone selling black market Grasshopper demos...and it was going to be a cold ride home with no window...

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Updates 09/02/2014

Greetings readers, I hope you've all had an amazing summer, I know I sure did. I got to spend 5 days a week with my son practically every week for the last two months, so that has been an amazing pleasure. We got up to a lot of fun and creative things, went to many interesting places, and enjoyed our time together with each other and our friends and family. I'm sad to see summer come to an end now, and my boy back to school, but such is life.

Musically this year started out with a bang for me, but then after a hard drive crash and laptop malfunctions, it was brought to a screeching halt. I'm glad to say that I have finally picked the ball back up to play, metaphorically speaking, and I have been brewing up some new creations. My collaboration with Mach Spitz known as "Street Trash" was put on hold for the past few months, but I'm happy to say we are going to hammer out 2-3 more songs that will complete the project, so keep your eyes and ears open for that,

I've also been in cahoots once again with my former Black Belt Jones brother Prince Paully. Awhile back I did some lyrics over a track he had produced for his upcoming mixtape "The Man They Couldn't Hang" which resulted in the song "Still Be Gettin' It On" I decided to include it on my latest full length solo effort I'm working on entitled "What's Below Remains  Below" I recently went over to Paul's to re-record the lyrics for the version that will appear on his mixtape, and I also dropped some more golden verses on a second song which is the title track. There might be a bit more collaborations for this mixtape, so be sure to keep your heads up for that as well.

I've also recently produced a new track that will be on my new album. The song is called "Diseased" and I'm quite happy with how it turned out. I was fed up of the musical slump I'd been in, so I sat down and made a new song from scratch and wrote the vocals in one day, then eagerly recorded it. You can stream the song for free by clicking the link below:


also started working on a quick little ditty for a contest being held by underground rap legend R.A. The Rugged Man, which is a hot verse over an instrumental from his latest album "Legends Never Die" My track will only be available through my soundcloud page, so I'll be sure to post a link by the weeks end hopefully. I will more than likely use the verse for a track on "Tales From The Mixtape Vol.2" which I'm also currently working on.

In personal news, I met a fantastic woman just over a month ago, and I'm happy to say things are going great between us. Part of me feels she is the reason I've finally gotten back on the production tip, as she inspires me and has re-lit my creative flame. Needless to say you can expect more songs in the coming weeks and months.

For those of you that are back in school...I pity you! Ha! All jokes aside I wish you the best of luck in your educational endeavors. That about wraps things up for me, thanks for your continued support and keep on rocking in the free world!