If you wanted to sound something like John Smith, you would have to work at it. You would have to grow up broke in Winnipeg's gritty north end. You would have to spend time in Churchill, Manitoba, on the frigid shores of the Hudson Bay. You would love rap as a young teen, skip school, smoke weed, and get into trouble. You would have to spend time with Farm Fresh and fermented reptile, and acquire that legendary do-it-yourself ethic from Peanuts & Corn head mcenroe. You would have to enter battles and win them, again and again. You would have to read Dostoyevsky. You would have to have a chip on your shoulder and a huge belief in yourself. You would have to tour Canada back and forth for gas money. You would have to release solo albums (Blunderbus - 2001, Pinky's Laundromat - 2004, Growing Pains - 2006), as well as group LPs as Park-Like Setting (with mcenroe and Yy), Break Bread, Hip-Hop Wieners (with Pip Skid), and more.
Even if you did all that, I doubt you would be as good as John Smith. You can't write like he does.
His new album, "Ol' Man Winter", is where he finds that balance. The balance between intellect and street, sensitive and hardcore. The balance between raw skill and great songwriting. Its 14 tracks, produced entirely by mcenroe, feature a maturity and wit 30 years in the making. The album features guests Pip Skid, Yy, and Birdapres, and continues the tradition of excellence that fans have come to expect from Peanuts & Corn.
The first single, "Ol' Man WInter", is available in music video form on youtube.
"Ol' Man Winter" will be released on July 24, 2012, on Peanuts & Corn Records and distributed by URBNET.