Saturday, July 21, 2007

Review of Wordz From Tha Underground

XYL and his Dancers
ABORT Magazine was on hand on July 13 to cover my recent show at the Media Club, Wordz From Tha Underground.

Here is the review:

Live Review - Wordz from Tha Underground,
Friday July 13th - The Media Club
Vancouver, BC

SPM Music presented the fifth installment of WFTU’s profile of local talent featuring host XYL (pronounced Exile), Son Real, DJ Vinnie the Squid, the Now or Never breakdance Crew, and Erthtonez.

Kicking off the evening and featuring beats by EV, XYL’s style is an even mix of party rap and philosophy, first hyping the crowd up with drinking’ rhymes and then hitting us with “the code of the samurai”. He’s all about Asia in fact, says he’s planning on going there soon with a mix of rap and Asian pop, and not coming back until he’s a major superstar over there, – He can even rap in Korean! The skinny white girl dancers on either side of him showed how serious he is about this pop star shit (all right, it was entertaining…), and the Japanese hotties in the front row sure loved it.

Son Real was walking around handing out CD’s for free and he gave me one without even knowing I’m Aborted. Kid must have money and CD’s to burn. Anyway, he started out strong, he really did, good voice and all, but it’s a bit hard to believe his whole street hustling shtick (a bit J-Roc) - and then when his buddy came out with the guitar…well, it was bold, and worked for a minute. But listen Son – a hook is just that, a hook, not a five minute chant (Son Real got you so hot or whatever…), and just because your five loogan buddies in the front row are singin’ along doesn’t mean you’re moving the crowd.

Which brings us to….Erthtonez All fresh for the video shoot like they just walked outta Metrotown. Dudes were pretty cool smoking weed and freestyling on the steps, so I was definitely interested in their live styles. Thunderous beats provided by Vinnie the Squid had me anticipating greatness, but when Mishap started rapping I was underwhelmed…him and Explicit have obviously been working on their craft together for some time, and have good interplay, beats and song concepts. It’s just that, well, it reminds me of hippie drum circles where that guy has to play faster and louder than anyone and sounds like some kinda toy machine gun…in musical terms it’s called relentless quarter notes without syncopation –aka: funkless.

Non Phixion can pull it off ‘cause they’re from NYC and their voices naturally swing…really it’s not how fast you say it, listen to some Sean Price for chrissakes.

The highlight of the evening was definitely the Now or Never Crew, who stood anonymously unassuming on the sidelines until the breakbeats dropped and then exhibited the dopest display of b-boying I’ve seen in years! Headslides, handwalks, windmills and insane freezes, fuck man I was pretty drunk by this point and I think I actually drooled in stupefaction. Check out the movies on their site. They teach classes too!

We took off after Erthtonez so I don’t know if the freestyle battle happened or what, we were too intent on pizza and Fireball. Granville on a Friday night is one big Vice Mag.

Fortunately, I arrived home to East Van to beer and barbecued meat ‘till the birds woke up…

By Dave” Corvid” McCallum

Wordz From Tha Underground comes to the Lamplighter next month on Aug 17th featuring Violative Cause, Sketch Bros, and (shameless plug) Abort Magazines’ own Corvid and his crew 49th Peril, hosted by XYL and DJ Antihero.
Support Vancouver Underground music!!! Much respect to XYL for organizing, big up to all the performers for doing your thing and keeping Hip Hop alive.

Back to Blogging

Been really busy with other things and have begun to wonder if it is worth blogging. Anyways, here are some updates:

Performing at Anime Evolution:
I will be performing at a huge Anime convention at SFU in Vancouver. Check the Anime Evolution website for more details about the event.

Featured on the cover of Chinese magazine:
I have been featured on the cover of a Chinese lifestyle and entertainment magazine produced by Pharos Media. To check out my interview inside, CLICK HERE

Recording new Chinese single:
I have finished writing my first single for China. The song will feature the vocal talents of D'arcy Zi Han who will be singing in Mandarin.

First Japanese single complete:
My first Japanese single, 'Dreams', is now complete. The song features production by ZISK from Kumamoto Japan and also Japanese vocals by Tiffa Lei. You can listen to the track on my Myspace profile.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Addicted to Asian Pop Music

Koda Kumi
It's official I am now completely addicted to Asian pop music. I can't stop listening to it all day. I find it really inspiring in regards to my own compositions and also it really gives me an idea what people in Asia love in terms of music style. I'm going to be working with more Asian pop singers now, not simply because it's a big thing is Asia but because I absolutely love this music and I want to absorb some of its flavor into my own recordings.

In my opinion, the two greatest artists in Asian pop are Koda Kumi from Japan and BoA from Korea. One of my goals is to work with both of them.

Next time on Planet XYL, my new Japanese collaboration!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The End of Drinking...

XYL loves beer
Goodbye sweet beer... I must leave your cool, refreshing and intoxicating goodness behind for now. But I know we will meet again someday in a dusky pub or an upbeat Korean nightclub. I will once again imbibe your inebriating toxicity in the future but for now we must part ways.

Hangovers, blacking out, wasting money, acting stupid, I won't really miss those things. Big laughs, one-shotting pints, getting wasted with my friends, these things I will miss. But to get to my goal I have to give this vice up for now. Once I hit Asia then it's all the beer, Soju and Sake I can drink! Nonde!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Wordz From Tha Underground in Review

XYL Live!
It went down on Saturday June 16th at the Lamplighter and what a show it was. And I'm not just saying that because it was my show. No, seriously. Anyways, here's a recap of the night for those who couldn't make it:

I was the host of the evening as well as the first performer. This was my first time performing with the XYL dancers, Juile and Leanne. They dressed really hot in some dope black outfits and completely killed it. Their choreography is excellent and it feels amazing to have dancers who have actually taken the time to carefully choreograph dances for my songs! I feel that overall, this was my best performance yet. My crowd came out in full force, once again being 99% Asian students. They crowded the front of the stage and went nuts it was awesome!

Barrons S
This girl put on a hell of a show! With support from a guitar player and a local rapper from the Sketch Bros., Charz, she had the crowd totally into her set. Her voice is very skilled and she has some great songs. Definitely a talent to watch out for.

Stepping in for Violative Cause, who were unable to make it, was the always cheerful North Vancouver rapper Euneverse. He hit the stage next with his unique style that combines classical music with hip-hop. He says his music sounds like "Beetoven and Bach having beers with Biggie and Atmosphere". Cool. The always entertaining MC laid down a set of tunes from his CD 'Infinite Music' and at one point, had a random hot chick from the audience grinding with him on stage! Can't say anything bad about that!

Damn! A-Slam crushed! One of the members, E.V., is my co-producer and studio engineer for all of my recordings so I'd already heard his material and enjoyed it. However, these guys live is a whole different thing. They had a singer, E.V. rapping and also a really awesome drummer playing a unique East Indian instrument which I believe is called a 'Dhol'. Their energy level was sky-high and they impressed everyone with their unique fusion of sounds.

Keep 6ix
What can I say? Keep 6ix rules live each and every time. This is the third time I've booked them for a Wordz From Tha Underground show and their skill and energy live is unsurpassed. From the more emotional tracks like 'Nowhere 2 Hide'(my favorite) to more fun songs about getting hammered and high, these guys(and gal) rocked the set and then some. At this point the beers were flying about and we were getting completely inebriated. Dope.

The next Wordz From Tha Underground is a big one! It's the Erthtonez video shoot! More details to follow...

Tuesday, June 19, 2007


I just got laid off my 'regular' job of Vitamin Sales Clerk which is sweet and also sucks. The sweet part is I now have every opportunity to work on my career all day long which is what I'm doing, putting in 12-14 hours a day.

The part that sucks is that I'm broke and Employment Insurance will take 5 friggin' weeks to kick in. Damn it! I'll have to start selling cocaine I suppose. Well, that and ringtones. I have some available for purchase, CLICK HERE.

You can grab a couple of wallpapers for free too.

In other news, I'm going to start blogging more and quit being so damn formal with my posts. This is supposed to be about the day-to-day struggle of a now broke musician not just adspace. I also read a book about blogging for business and I am now an expert. I've basically become the equivalent of a ninja blogger with throwing stars.

Oh, and I quit drinking. But that's another blog post.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

The Make Way EP is Released

XYL Make Way
After much toil and handship my brand new EP 'Make Way' is unleashed upon the world! I have created a special webpage where you can download the CD plus change the language options. The page is translated into Japanese, Korean and Chinese. Check it out!

This is a really innovative website in that it is basically an online CD. You can access all sorts of cool options such as 'Join the XYL Newsletter', 'Tell a friend' and 'Send XYL a Message'. You can also access all my social networking site profiles. It's a completely integrated all-in-one site!

So go ahead, download my music and share it with all your friends. It's free and totally legal to share with anyone! Thanks for your support =D