A hip hop legend from the United States and an up-and-coming artist from Vancouver are performing at the Rod and Gun Pub March 8.
Masta Ace, originally from Brooklyn, New York, has been highly praised by Rolling Stone magazine and Eminem, who named him as one of his musical influences. He is starting his “Son of Yvonne” Canadian tour in Victoria, touring with a talented young hip hop artist originally from the Comox Valley, Chris Hamilton.
Hamilton, known as Ill Tone, just released his first official full length album on Feb. 27 called Bringin’ the Hope Back, and will be touring with Masta Ace across the country, ending in London, Ontario. Hamilton has opened for names like Maestro Fresh-Wes, Xzibit and Talib Kweli, and a mix tape he released in December, 2012 reached number five on the Canadian radio hip hop charts.
Hamilton started writing rhymes in his teens after falling in love with hip hop at a young age. But his journey hasn’t been an easy one, as he began drinking at age 10 and using drugs in his mid-teens.
Hamilton moved to Vancouver in his early 20s and became addicted to crack cocaine, which started his life on a downward spiral, he said.
In January, 2012 he was finally ready to give up alcohol, as well as drugs, and checked into rehab. He now has a full year of sobriety under his belt. Hamilton said being able to work on his music while in rehab really helped him get through it.
“It definitely gave me a focus, something else to focus the energy into,” he said. “And when I got out I hit the ground running and just started making as much music as possible and ended up releasing four projects within the last year. I’d rather be a workaholic than an alcoholic, I guess.”
On Hamilton’s new album, he worked with Jasmin Parkin of the group Mother Mother on a song and also collaborated with Canadian hip hop artist Kyprios.
Tickets to the March 8 show at the Rod and Gun are $15 in advance from the pub or $20 at the door.
For more on Hamilton, to buy his new album and to listen to music samples visit www.illtonemusic.com.