Mark Campbell explores the history of Toronto's hip-hop culture in new photo exhibition

Curator Mark Campbell joins us live in the q studio to shed some light on what Toronto hip-hop looked like before Drake.
Mark Campbell and Tom Power in the q studio in Toronto, Ont. (Vivian Rashotte/CBC)

Long before Drake was "running through the six" there was a group of artists who were instrumental in creating the hip-hop scene in Toronto.

Artists like Michie Mee and Maestro Fresh Wes came to prominence in the early '90s and created a blueprint for generations to follow, inspiring the hip-hop and R&B culture that Toronto is now known for all over the world.

But it wasn't just the artists that put Canadian hip-hop on the map, it was also the people who documented and photographed Canadian hip-hop in its early years. A feature exhibition at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection is giving due to those photographers and bringing home the importance of hip-hop to the Canadian art scene. It's called Everything Remains Raw: Photographing Toronto's Hip-Hop Culture from Analogue to Digital.

Mark Campbell is the curator of the exhibit and one of Canada's leading hip-hop experts. He joins Tom Power live in the q studio to talk about why it's not only significant that this exhibit exists, but also where it exists. 

Everything Remains Raw is on now at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection in Kleinburg Ont., until October. Campbell's book of the same title that accompanies the exhibition is out now. 

Produced by Cora Nijhawan

Patrick Nichols (born 1965). 10013 Michie Mee, 1993. 40 x 40 in. 120 mm colour transparency. Digital chromogenic print. (Courtesy of the artist )
Craig Boyko. Director X, 2003. 48 x 60 in. Digital file. Digital chromogenic print. (Courtesy of the artist)
Patrick Nichols (born 1965). 10363 Ghetto Concept, 1994. 34 3/4 x 50 in. 35 mm B/W negative film. Digital chromogenic print. (Courtesy of the artist)
Patrick Nichols (born 1965). 11112 Dream Warriors, 1996. 40 x 40 in. 120 mm colour transparency. Digital chromogenic print. (Courtesy of the artist)


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