A Toronto, Ontario-based rapper and producer with an ear for music (classically trained in the violin and cello) and a head for business, Saukrates was fed on the late-'80s and early-'90s rap styles of Special Ed
, De La Soul
, and the Native Tongues movement.
He freestyled rhymes and based his lyrics on personal experiences and dreams. Once he started putting his rhymes to paper in 1989, the young MC began to seriously fine-tune his skills. Saukrates hit pay dirt with his debut, "Still Caught Up," a 1994 single that was subsequently nominated for a Juno award. At the age of 18, he followed with "Brick House" on the Slammin' label. In 1997, a mixtape release hit the streets and Saukrates became well-known in college radio circles for the tracks "Father Time" and "Play Dis." Just when success was all but guaranteed, Warner Bros., his then-label, essentially shut down its rap music division, which left Saukrates with recorded material but no method of distribution. He joined creative and financial forces with his manager, Chase Parsons, and created Capitol Hill Music. In 1999, they released Saukrates: The Underground Tapes in the U.S. under the Serious Entertainment label. Later that year, it was re-released in Canada via Capitol Hill with six additional tracks. A stream of productions for and collaborations with the likes of Redman, Method Man, Nas, k-os, and Nelly Furtado
followed throughout the next several years. Saukrates' second proper album, Season One, was released through eOne in 2012. An EP, Amani, arrived in 2014. ~ Roxanne Blanford, Rovi