New Jack Swing Hall Of Fame:
Maestro Fresh Wes
This Ontario-bred rapped took the Canadian music world by storm with his debut album, Symphony In Effect circa 1990. Beginning with the 1989 “Let Your Backbone Slide” single, Maestro emerged as Canada’s first official rap superstar. His second single “Drop the Needle” was just as good, and both of his songs were hip hop/dance classics to the fullest, which would be sure to rock a hip-hop club even today. To get a feeling of just how “hype” Maestro’s music was, just think of Rob Base & DJ EZ Rock’s “It Takes Two.” On one of the albums songs ("Just Swingin") which is a deliciously mischevious take on hip-hop, Maestro name checks Levert and Keith Sweat, acknowledging his New Jack Era peers.
Maestro’s third single and title track introduced a rapper with the ability to get soft and smooth like Big Daddy Kane. In the fall of 1991, Maestro returned with the Conductin Thangs album, and has continued throughout the 90s and on, dropping two releases in 1998 and 2002, followed by an album in 2005. Maestro remains a fixture in Canadian music and has lasted well beyond his initial "era."