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Music

Montreal, Represent: 4DZ Showcase @ Theatre Plaza

Posted by Olivier / April 6, 2008

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Under the strange glass awnings of Plaza St. Hubert, the Theatre Plaza is just one more spectacular Montreal concert hall ignored by most. On Thursday night, local hip hop band 4DZ (pronounced “forties”, as in the ghetto juice) took advantage of this fine hall for their official public launch.

Other local acts could take lessons from 4DZ’s promotional abilities. Not only was the event well-advertised, but the set-up at the show was the most professional of any local band I’ve seen. We were even given access to the “press area”, a first for me as a Midnight Poutine writer, although as far as I could tell it consisted mostly of the band members’ mothers.

The band certainly has style. The full band on stage are excellent musicians, and are a welcome instrumental addition to a genre too often dominated by mechanical live shows, while frontman MC Rick is a charismatic and fluid performer. At the same time, the originality of some of their tracks needs some work. The band is at it’s best in songs like “Sin City”, where the Montreal content comes through clearly and seems to inspire the performers and audience alike. Other songs focusing on broader, traditional hip-hop themes ignore the potential this band has to create a truly Montreal sound.

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For starters, the evident bilingualism of the group should be heard more often in their lyrics. Songs like "N'abandonnes pas" are a great way of adding some Quebec flavour, but there doesn't seem to me as much as there could be. While it's understandable that a hip hop artist would prefer to rap in English considering the small hip-hop market in Quebec, an organic blend of French and English could both endear themselves to the Quebec audience and set them out as something unique in the broader global hip-hop market. As for content, more storytelling about Montreal as seen in "Sin City" would be another good way to set them apart from other Jay-Z derivatives. And as far as the music itself goes, the talented band members could be more utilized, especially the horns section.

There is no questioning the commitment of 4DZ to representing Montreal as this city’s top hip-hop band. With a greater focus on telling stories about this city and utilizing both of its languages to their creative advantage, this band has a chance to make a name for itself in this city, and ideally, beyond.

Discussion

8 Comments

Bill Bartmann / September 22, 2009 at 02:56 pm
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FYI.....Plaxico Burress The NFL Footbal Player Begins Prison Sentence Today!
Not that I have anything against the guy but finally these athletes might start to get it....You CAN'T just do anything you want and get away with it. If I get caught with a gun, I would have to do time too.

Just my 2 cents.....
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