I LOVE WHEN I COME ACROSS A “GEM”, when I’m not expecting it! And better yet when it’s from my city, Toronto. I heard this song before I saw the video, and loved it!
The Hip Hop group, NOTES TO SELF, features rappers Swamp Donkey and Roshin, producer/rapper Bronze One, world renowned DJ/turntablist DJ Dopey and writer/illustrator Elicser. For several years NOTES TO SELF has successfully created a group dynamic reminiscent of artists like De La Soul and Little Brother.
NOTES TO SELF hails from Toronto, the capital of Canadian Hip Hop. A collective as mature and talented as NOTES is rare, especially in a genre often limited by trends lacking in originality. Their musical diversity is broad and exciting; their vibe captivates – the group has a solid regional fan base and both Dopey and Bronze’s reps span the globe.
NOTES TO SELF released their debut full-length work ‘A SHOT IN THE DARK’ worldwide 4th quarter 2009 with UK tastemakers BBE Music, shortly after their critically-acclaimed EP ‘WARNING SHOTS’. The project featured collaborations with US artists Evidence as well as Dilated Peoples, Def Jux affiliate Vast Aire of Cannibal Ox, and close friend and collaborator Book.
NOTES TO SELF climbed the rap charts to #1 with their lead single ‘Yellow & Grey Remix” with Dilated Peoples across North America on College Radio (on both Rap Attack & Record Breakers). 2009 also saw the group embark on ‘The Lick Shots Tour’ which featured NOTES TO SELF & affiliate DJ Babu of Dilated Peoples, and traveled across Canada. Since then, the group has embarked on smaller Canadian tours with Dilated Peoples, Fashawn, and Blu. They’ve also headlined festivals such as NXNE, CMW and Barking Tuna, opened for Brooklyn staple Talib Kweli, Big K.R.I.T., and De La Soul for their 3 Feet High & Rising 20th Anniversary Tour.
Since 2003, which marked the release of Bronze One’s solo EP “Just Add Water” as well as DJ Dopey’s world DMC championship win, NOTES has been steadily building their resume – their 2006 tribute release “Timbits” commemorating the late great J Dilla, realized over 10,000 downloads online, and their 2007 collaboration with Abdominal “T-Ode” was the runner-up in Toronto’s 175th Anniversary City anthem contest. In the meantime, Dopey still finds time to jet set internationally, entertaining crowds from New York to Tokyo while maintaining a DJ residency on television’s MTV LIVE. Elicser finds time to showcase work from San Francisco to Buenos Aires with branding co. Amoeba Corp. and Upper Playground. He has done contract work with companies ranging from Cuppa Coffee to Nike Canada. Bronze One’s growing production credits include songs with the likes of Grammy Award winners Estelle and Brandy. As a group, NOTES TO SELF has collaborated with such international innovators as Evidence & Alchemist (Step Brothers), DJ Babu, Fashawn, Emilio Rojas, Supa Dave West (of De La Soul fame), Young RJ (of Slum Village), D-Sisive, and Rittz (Strange Music/ Slumerican).
2011 saw the birth of Notes to Self’s “When I First Heard” campaign, beginning with a lone t-shirt design, which turned De La Soul’s “Stakes is High” to “Notes to Self” in identical font. After an overly encouraging response from De La themselves, the group went on to create 5 more designs and partner with New Era 59/FIFTY to create their own custom line of fitted caps for retail. The result has seen Notes to Self on the shirts and heads of fans throughout the country as well as on taste-makers like T-Rexxx (Host of Much Music’s Rap City), and Future the Prince (Drake’s DJ). This past winter, NOTES expanded their portfolio, pushing the boundaries visually with a series of forward-thinking music videos and commercials. The group’s single “Nobody” with Evidence saw 50,000 views in under 1 month as well as a prestigious Vimeo Award nomination. The follow-up “All of the Above” garnered steady rotation on both Canadian and International television. Their recent music and videos have been touted by several notable hip-hop blogs, including Nahright, 2DopeBoyz, OkayPlayer and DJBooth.
In 2013, NOTES TO SELF announced their signing with indy powerhouse DECON Records. Their new project, “Target Market [Recoil]” drops February 26th. With each ‘cutting-edge’ step, they ready themselves for more worldly distribution. Fans can expect the same attention to detail they’ve come to appreciate from the group. Hip Hop has come full circle with NOTES TO SELF.
** CANCON stands for Canadian Content – The music/video must have either a Canadian artist, producer, or created in the country of Canada **