Wesley Williams, better known as Maestro Fresh-Wes, is often referred to as the Godfather of Canadian hip hop. But despite everything he’s accomplished, Williams is still as passionate about his music today as the day he started.
Canadian Hip Hop Icon Releases New Album 30 Years After Debut
Making History with 1989 Debut Single
It was back in 1989 when Williams released his debut single “Let Your Backbone Slide.” The single sold over 50,000 copies and gave Williams the distinction of being the first rapper from Canada to have a gold single to his name.
“I knew that when we first released the song back in 1989 that it was something special because the song was dope,” said Williams. “I’ve always had a slogan that ‘we don’t make records, we make history’ and it was great that ‘Let Your Backbone Slide’ made history.”
Williams has enjoyed a number of hits following his successful debut single, including Drop the Needle, Stick to Your Vision, and 416/905 (T.O. Party Anthem).
Inspiring a Generation of Canadian Rappers
According to up-and-coming Toronto rapper iLLvibe, Williams’ breakthrough success in the late ’80s and early ’90s has inspired a generation of rappers – including himself.
“What comes to mind when I think of Maestro is that he was Canada’s first real rap superstar and he’s a Canadian hip hop icon. He was that guy who inspired us and showed us that it was possible for a Canadian to get to that level,” he said about Williams.
“Over the years, I’ve had a chance to get to know him and work with him; and I can say that he’s truly one of the classiest guys that I’ve met in the industry.”
Another Toronto area rapper, D.O. Gibson, also speaks highly about Williams’ character.
“Maestro’s someone who’s always willing to help you out and share his knowledge. He’s given me a lot of advice over the years that has really helped me and I’m grateful to be able to call him a friend and a mentor,” said Gibson.
New Album ‘Champagne Campaign’ released
Williams recently released his new album entitled Champagne Campaign and held an album release party during Juno Weekend in London, Ontario.
“It’s 2019 and it’s 30 years since the release of ‘Let Your Backbone Slide’ and we’re here in London and the city is hosting its first Junos ever so there’s a lot of significance and history as to what’s happening here today,” said Williams at his album release party in downtown London.
“It’s great to have so many people I’ve worked with over the years come to this event to show their support of my music.”
Williams says he’s received a lot of positive feedback about his new album from his fans and peers both in Canada and the United States. When asked for his own thoughts on his Champagne Campaign album, Williams replied simply: “It’s just a really dope album.”
Last Word from Hip Hop Legend on What’s Next
Besides his music, Williams – who celebrates his 51st birthday later this month – is also an actor on a popular Canadian sitcom, a motivational speaker, and a published author. With so much accomplished to this point, he says he’s still hungry for more success.
“Music’s always been my passion so as I look towards the future I just want to continue to make music and continue to put out albums,” said the Canadian hip hop legend.
“But I don’t want to look too far ahead because right now I really just want to enjoy the release of this new album.”