Maestro Fresh Wes: "Skyscrapers- feat. Kool Keith" (WWE/Fontana North): Can it really be 28 years since Wes Williams burst onto the scene with "Let Your Backbone Slide" and claimed the title of 'Canada's first major hip-hop star'?
In recent years, Wes has devoted most of his energy to acting, including a long-running role as Paul Dwyer on the award-winning series Mr. D on CBC Television. Coach Fresh is his long-overdue return to music; in fact, it's his first album since 2013's Orchestrated Noise.
"Skyscrapers," the lead single and video is a collaboration with noted US artist Kool Keith of the Ultra Magnetic MC's. The track proves that, on the cusp of 50, the Maestro can still deliver wordplay as crisp and fluent as any of his younger rivals, while Kool Keith, another veteran, adds a potent contribution.
The pair throws down the gauntlet on younger pretenders. "I got no time for you tapioca-pudding eating hybrids," disses Wes, adding "I'm looking for the Leaders, but all I see is followers, followers turn into borrowers, borrowers turn into swallowers." The symphonic-inflected production flourishes, apparent in much of Maestro Fresh-Wes' previous work, also make a welcome return. He really does scale the heights on "Skyscrapers."