Undisputed Heavyweight of Canadian Hip Hop
2011 Western Canadian Music Award
Winner for Best Rap/Hip Hop Recording of the Year!
If we spend so much of our youth fighting for our rights, we don’t get a chance to party until we’re older.
Sweatshop Union are heavyweights of North Western hip-hop, and have earned a reputation as the hardest working collective in the region. Having performed over five hundred shows internationally, they have changed the perception of what live hip-hop can achieve.
In 2002, a concept album was recorded called: Sweatshop Union. The record was released internationally on Battle Axe Records and the new group began their relentless touring schedule that has proven to be a key catalyst in their success.
The next three records solidified Sweatshop Union‘s presence in rap music. The group co-signed to EMI and went out on the road touring with the Hilltop Hoods, Black Eyed Peas, Swollen Members and the Living Legends as well as opening shows for Snoop Dogg, The Roots and the Childish Gambino. Both college and commercial radio gave the albums substantial airtime and soon after came nominations for Juno Awards, a Canadian Radio Music Award, Much Music Video Awards and more. By 2006 Sweatshop Union had begun headlining shows in the U.S. and appearing at major festivals across North America.
Canadian hip-hop heavyweights Sweatshop Union, one of the hardest working ensembles to ever emerge from British Columbia, have been making righteous, politically charged music for over a decade but on their newest album Infinite (released May 28, 2013), they’re ready to really enjoy themselves.
The 6-member crew took their time with this album, spending a year to gather sounds and lyrics, whereas previous records have been completed in mere months. It bridges the gap between conscious music and fun party jams, exploring heavy themes but it’s also built for kicking back and vibing. The group believes that the record’s strength lies in this dichotomy.
Infinite follows 2011’s Bill Murray EP, which won the Western Canadian Music Award for Hip-Hop Album of the Year and raised their profile beyond their grassroots following. The new LP contains a range of sounds, combining old-school hip-hop with futuristic, electro headbangers, not to mention some ballads and spoken word interludes. It accomplishes the tricky task of reflecting the outfit’s individual tastes, as they inform SSU’s collective vision.
The group is prolific and moves quickly but as of this moment, Infinite stands as the most eclectic record in the Sweatshop Union catalogue. Listeners will find it tricky to categorize but it’s clear the collective had a lot of fun making this music and they hope it’s contagious. After all, despite its title, Infinite reflects a group of men who know that life is short and that they need to savor all the joyful moments that making music together provides.
Recently, URB Magazine featured them in their next top 100. They’re not alone in thinking that Sweatshop Union is a band worth keeping an eye on. Their consistently fresh and poignant music continues to become more relevant daily and the group shows no signs of slowing down.
“Soulful, conscientious hip hop.”
- Vue Weekly
“Substance and style working in perfect equilibrium. 4 out of 5.”
- NOW Magazine