PUBLISHED IN THE HAMILTON SPECTATOR DECEMBER 1, 1997

 

 

BY NICK KREWEN

 

When they were two, they introduced the jazz influence into rap music and the word "boombastic" into the jargon of hip-hop.

Now Toronto trendsetters DREAM WARRIORS have returned with a new album -- Subliminal Simulation; two additional members and bizarre identities: The Philosopher, The Enforcer, The Traveller, and The Unknown.

Co-founder LOU ROBINSON, a.k.a. KING LOU, is now identified simply as "LU," The Philosopher.

The other co-founder, FRANK ALLERT, a.k.a. CAPITAL Q, goes by the handle these days of "Q," The Unknown.

"LUV" used to spin full-time for MICHIE MEE as DJ L.A. LUV, another artist in the Beat Factory posse that also includes Dream Warriors. He's also been with the Warriors since day one, but has now been elevated to equal billing as The Enforcer.

The newest kid on the block is "SPEK," The Traveller, a 19-year-old Montrealer of Sri Lankan descent who first ran into his rap brethren four years ago, and brings a bhangra influence into the mix.

"It was destiny," states Spek from Winnipeg, just prior to departing for a grueling road trip to Windsor for the next Dream Warriors gig.

"I stole a copy of their first album (...And Now The Legacy Begins), and linked up with them at an autograph session. We started talking, really connected, and stayed in contact."

Eventually, Spek's vibe convinced Lu and Q to become regular visitors to Montreal, as they began producing his tapes. When Island Records released Dream Warriors from their contract last year after hearing a preliminary version of Subliminal Simulation, the duo issued Spek the invitation to join.

Known as the only rap artist to have a hit with a game show theme ("My Definition"), Spek says Dream Warriors do not sermonize.

"I don't feel like we're preaching," says Spek, who first started rhyming when he was 14."We're just telling you where we're at at that particular time in our life. We're into expanding your mind. If we can bring you down to a deeper state of mind -- like JIMI HENDRIX and BOB MARLEY did for me -- that's cool. If a brother comes up to me and says he's vibed on the music and what we're saying, that is much more of a compliment to me. We're trying to make music that people can relate to."

'"You're a warrior of your dreams. The strength comes from inside yourself. Our power comes from inside the group. That's why our new album is called Subliminal Simulation."

With gold records in Canada and the U.K. for ...And Now The Legacy Begins, and a handful of hits including "Ludi", "Wash Your Face In My Sink" and the current"Day In Day Out", Spek says a European tour is the next order of business in January, as Subliminal Simulation is released there in early '95.

Currently touring Canada with track accompaniment, Spek says people should be looking to Dream Warriors for satisfaction, and somewhere else for salvation.

"You've gotta look inside yourself," Spek says. "People don't like to take responsibility for their own actions. You are a product of your soul."

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DISCOGRAPHY

 

1991 -- ...And Now The Legacy Begins -- Island, 4th & Broadway

1995 -- Subliminal Stimulation -- EMI

1998 -- Anthology: A Decade Of Hits 1988 - 1998

 

COLLABORATIONS

1992 -- Various Artists, Rebirth Of The Cool -- The Spirit of The Drum (with             Gang Starr)

1992 -- Various Artists, Juno Celebrations

1996 -- Various Artists, Soundtrack -- A Tribute To Hard Core Logo

 

AWARDS

1992 -- Juno, Rap Recording Of The Year -- "My Definition Of A Boombastic Jazz Style"


©1997, 1999 Nick Krewen, Octopus Media Ink

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