Photo by Kelly Best
“If my last name was Goudie, I’d be on NTV / If I lived in a gazebo, I’d be a sheltered G / If I had a big ego, I’d be Great Big Sea / And if I lied to the people I’d be ODC.”
That’s the chorus of local rapper Johnny Hardcore’s latest track, “No Vaseline 2010”, released a few weeks ago. It’s a diss track aimed at local media, the general public, and at a particular rap promotion company.
ODC were the promoters behind a show earlier this year where international rap star Nas failed to show, claiming he wasn’t paid in full. ODC, in turn, claim they were short-changed by another entertainment company, which was dealing directly with the rapper.
The show left both ticket holders and ODC empty-handed—out of money and out of luck.
Hardcore—also known as John Young—has says he decided to make the track after he created the Facebook group “I want my money back from ODC productions”, where he argued that since ODC’s name was on the ticket, they should be the ones to refund money to people who paid to see Nas.
After creating the group Young says he was verbally attacked—people called him washed up and in a rut—and the twice ECMA-nominated rapper didn’t take kindly to it.
“[This track] is obviously a taunt on my part. If I’m so ‘untalented’ then get someone who’s a better rapper than me from Newfoundland to respond back,” says Young. “We can have a war of words and let the people decide who won or if I am washed up.”
While attention for the local scene is growing slowly, says Young, it’s too slow for many of the performers in town who are frustrated by low show turnouts and lack of media attention to non-parody rap acts. He says fans also feel put out by the recent string of cancelled or delayed shows by international rap stars.
“The hip hop scene here is stale,” says Young. “The guys who bring in out of town shows don’t care about local hip hop. There are very few DJs who even know how to scratch. The breakdancers, rappers, and DJs don’t communicate, and a lot of mediocre talents are getting their egos stroked.”
Young’s track, called “No Vaseline 2010”, was inspired by the diss track made by controversial rapper Ice Cube in 1991 “No Vaseline” which had a similarly angry and broad target.
Will there be a response? Stay tuned…
You can hear the track on Young’s myspace page at www.myspace.com/therealjohnnyhardcore