Maestro Fresh Wes with Karim Kanji

I met Maestro Fresh Wes: the Godfather of Canadian Rap

If you grew up in the 1980s and listened to rap music from that time (or any top 40 radio station in North America – if not the world) then you probably heard artists such as Grandmaster Flash, Public Enemy, Run DMC, LL Cool J and the Beastie Boys. As the 1980s started to close out one Canadian rapper from Toronto hit the charts with a bang: Maestro Fresh Wes with his chart-topping single, Let Your Backbone Slide.

Since then, Wes has been known as the Godfather of Canadian Rap. He’s continued to release amazing music and now also spends his time mentoring kids around the country.

I recently ran into Wes in the city. We had a great 15-20 minute conversation. Just me and him. He actually motioned for me to come over when we passed. He was very generous with his time and was very polite and engaging.

When it was time for us to separate, he obliged me by taking a selfie. (Please don’t ask what I’m wearing…)

Maestro Fresh Wes with Karim Kanji

Check out his new single, I Can’t Breathe: