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Jonathan welcomes rapper Bazooka Joe 204 to talk about his writing process, the challenge of rhyming, and the history of Manitoba’s hip-hop scene.
Bazooka Joe 204’s rap career began in earnest in 1999, when, known as John Smith, he started releasing music with stalwart Canadian indie rap label Peanuts & Corn Records. Initially a scrappy battle rapper, Joe quickly displayed a knack for detail driven community stories rooted in his unique upbringing, with one foot firmly planted in Winnipeg’s notorious North End and the other on the shores of the Hudson Bay in Churchill, Manitoba.
A pioneer and player in Canadian rap, Bazooka Joe 204 has remained relevant and active in the studio and in concert over decades, having shared the stage with a diverse group of artists including Propagandhi, Sean Paul, and Killer Mike. “Kinship Of The Down & Out”, from Joe’s critically acclaimed 2004 album Pinky’s Laundromat, recently made the Winnipeg Free Press’s list of Manitoba’s 150 Most Important Songs.
Bazoooka Joe 204’s album Prairie Nilsson is available from Peanuts & Corn Records!
Writing the Wrong Way is published by Stranger Fiction Inc.
Podcast production by Dan Vadeboncoeur
Opening song is “We Got the Poison” by Electric Candles
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