The Roots

Nation Ruckus: The Pre-Tape

Gotta admit, how many hip hop rap groups do you know from Canada? If you answered one or two or maybe none, then here's a great act to check out: Nation Ruckus. The trio is a hip hop collective made up of "rapper Milk-E Fresh, beat-maker Quality and DJ WiM." Taking a cue from groups like The Beastie Boys, Outkast and even The Roots; the boys spin their own rhymes while creating luscious and catchy beats that anyone can enjoy. The Pre-Tape contains 11-tracks that serve as a prelude to their upcoming album. It's available for free and meant for anyone interested in checking out their sound.

Tiny Danza: You Could Have It All…

It's not an understatement to call Tiny Danza's You Could Have it All... one of the most accessible and vibrant hip-hop album I've encountered in years. Hailing from Toronto, Ontario, this six-year old group traverses a variety of genres from hip-hop, dance to r&b. With musical influences like The Roots, Led Zeppelin, Donny Hathaway, Michael Jackson and The Beatles, it's not a surprise that the group's new album is a plethora of polished tunes and potent lyricism.

Kidd Russell: Backyard Heroes

Kidd Russell's Backyard Heroes is an interesting mix of alternative hip hop that you might want to check out. A college football player by day, Kip "Kidd" Russell turns into a rap star by night and creates an eclectic mix of hip hop music. Citing influences like Tupac, Common and 90s alternative bands like 311; it's no surprise you'll get a whole hodge podge of sound from this artist. Backyard Heroes is Kidd's 3rd album and in a short time he's found himself thrust in the limelight; opening for artists like The Roots, Common, Christ Webby, Uncle Kracker and The FLOBOTS just to name a few.