Known for an inventive and socially-conscious sound, Sweatshop Union’s music focuses on being “honest”, commenting on material ranging from the War in Iraq, the plight of the poor and working-class, to the negativity and misogyny of mainstream hip-hop. Speaking for the group, Mos Eisley put it as:
‘To me, politics aren’t a choice you make; they’re just a way of life. […] In that sense, I am trying to be more positive than political, because I’m already political to begin with…
I think that, at the same time as there’s a lot of money being put into hip hop that could be deemed negative or misogynistic or self-destructive, by the same token there’s a lot of guys who are coming up trying to be positive and rebel against that, [and] putting their careers on the line.’
After signing with Battleaxe Records in 2002, their self-titled debut album was re-released as ‘Local 604. The group also began touring North America with a number of other rap and hip-hop artists, including their label-mates Swollen Members.
Their 2004 album ‘Natural Progression’ led to a Juno Awards nomination and three Western Canadian Music Award nominations. They have been called part of “Vancouver’s hip-hop Renaissance”, and had their music featured in CBC Radio’s “Make Some Noise” documentary. Their most recent album, ‘United We Fall’ (released in 2005) is the group’s favorite, reflecting the increasing maturity of their collaboration. They look to use it as a springboard to expand their touring to the east coast, and increase awareness about their music.
Current members of the group include Metty the DertMerchant, Mos Eisley, DJ Itchy Ron, Mr. Marmalade, Conscience, and Dusty Melodica. The members of the collective continue to work, and produce separately, similar to other hip-hop organizations like the Wu-tang clan.
Sweatshop Union was recently on tour in Vernon with the up and coming underground rap crew ‘The Sinthetik Beingz’. The SB’z members are DJ Extremidiz, Kash Dub and Seekz One.
* Sweatshop Union 2001
* Local 604 2002
* Natural Progression 2004
* United We Fall 2005
* Water Street 2008
Edited by CumBlizzard on 4 Jul 2013, 18:02
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