Review: NESTOR WYNRUSH // Trinnipeg !78

November 3, 2009

Trinidad + Winnipeg = Great Hip Hop

In the past 10 years, Winnipeg-made art and music about Winnipeg has become increasingly prevalent.  From the notable records of The Weakerthans to Guy Maddin’s films, the mainstream has been treated to some of our finest exports.  But the consciousness of this city pervades many more artists who fly a bit further under the radar – though hopefully not for long.

Nestor Wynrush has made one of the most poignant Winnipeg albums ever.  A fitting first local review for our new blog!

Trinnipeg !78 features hints of Trinidad, roots in Toronto and a final landing place (takeoff place?) in South Winnipeg.  It is an album about the roles and situations immigrants find themselves in Canada – particularly when pressed against mainstream culture, and the ignorance which can sometimes come with that.   Our country does a really great job of marketing itself as a great haven for the world’s troubled – but there remains an us/them barrier – a quiet racism that pervades our cities.  Nestor tackles these issues firsthand.

There is a lot of intelligent discourse in these lyrics.  Too much to totally dissect in this space, so we strongly encourage you to go and buy this album right now.

Coprock – top-shelf discourse about personal engagement with Winnipeg’s “finest”.  (And by finest, we mean racist, short-sighted, violence-prone motherfuckers.)

So High – “I have to confess.  I’ve read diaries before.”  One of the many off-hand, irreverent and comically personal lyrics.  Also check out the outro to Winnipeg South Blues.

Ole Mine Town – A K’Naan-worthy torch song, a manifesto, and the thematic core of Trinnipeg.

Musically, the beats feel a bit amateur.  The album’s sonics say “Winnipeg” – and though we understand the literalism of that, the mid-fi production doesn’t really support the content of the music or lyrics.  Nestor has some great hooks, brit-pop-esque melodies, and gritty topics – fusing these into a cohesive production is the next step.  And I look forward to it anxiously.

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