- Sweatshop Union
Infobox musical artist
Name = Sweatshop Union
Img_capt = Sweatshop Union's logo
Landscape = yes
Background = group_or_band
Origin = flagicon|CAN
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Canadian hip hop
Years_active = 2000 – present
Battleaxe Records(2002 - present)
Kyprios Mr. Marmalade DJ Itchy Ron Metty the Dert Merchant
Conscience Sweatshop Union is a Canadian hip hop collective formed in 2000 when four politically-minded rap acts –
Dirty Circus, Creative Minds, Innocent Bystanders, and solo artist Kyprios– came together "to create a powerful, distinctive voice"cite web| title = Sweatshop Union - Artist Bio| publisher = MuchMusic| url = http://www.muchmusic.com/music/artists/bio.asp?artist=584| accessdate = 2007-06-19 ] , and to produce their first album,cite web| last = Klausener| first = Rolf| title = Sweatshop Union| publisher = Dig Your Roots| url = http://www.digyourroots.ca/dyr.php?sect=artists&act=view&id=82| accessdate = 2007-06-19 ] which was published in 2001.
Known for an inventive and socially-conscious sound,Citation| last =Hollis| first = Susan| title = Sweatshop Union hits the wall| newspaper = Whistler Question| year = 2007] Sweatshop Union's music focuses on being "honest" — commenting on issues ranging from the War in Iraq, the plight of the poor and working-class, to the negativity and
misogynyof mainstream hip-hop.cite web| last = Berry| first = David| title = There is strength in a Union| publisher = Vue Weekly| url = http://www.vueweekly.com/articles/default.aspx?i=2208| accessdate = 2007-06-19 ] Speaking for the group, Mos Eisley put it as:
[T] o me, politics aren’t a choice you make; they’re just a way of life. [...] In that sense, I am trying to be more positive than political, because I’m already political to begin with...
I think that, at the same time as there’s a lot of money being put into hip hop that could be deemed negative or misogynistic or self-destructive, by the same token there’s a lot of guys who are coming up trying to be positive and rebel against that, [and] putting their careers on the line.
Battleaxe Recordsin 2002, their self-titled debut album was re-released as " Local 604". The group also began touring North America with a number of other rapand hip-hop artists, including their label-mates Swollen Members.
Their 2004 album "
Natural Progression" led to a Juno nominationcite web| last = Lounge| first = Cherry| title = Juno what I’m saying?| publisher = FFWD:Weekly| date = 2006-04-01| url = http://www.ffwdweekly.com/Issues/2004/0401/mus5.htm| accessdate = 2007-06-19 ] and three Western Canadian Music Awardnominations.cite web| last = Rozenhart| first = Adam| title = Looking for the Union Label| publisher = Vue Weekly| url = http://www.vueweekly.com/articles/default.aspx?i=961| accessdate = 2007-06-19] cite web| title = 2004 Artistic Awards| publisher = Western Canadian Music Awards| url = http://www.westerncanadianmusicawards.ca/awards/2004_artistic.html| accessdate = 2007-06-19 ] They have been called part of "Vancouver's hip-hop renaissance"cite web| last = Turenne| first = Martin | title = Rising In the West | publisher = Exclaim| date = 2002-07| url = http://www.exclaim.ca/articles/research.aspx?csid1=36| accessdate = 2007-06-19 ] , and had their music featured in CBC Radio's "Make Some Noise" documentary.cite web| title = Make Some Noise |publisher = CBC Radio| url = http://www.cbc.ca/makesomenoise/music/ep13/| accessdate = 2007-06-19] They have expanded their touring to the east coast, hoping to increase awareness about their music. [cite web| title = Sweatshop Union Aren't Big Blinging It| publisher = Chart | date = 2005-06-08| url = http://www.chartattack.com/damn/2005/06/0807.cfm| accessdate = 2007-06-19 ]
The band's most recent album, "Water Street", was released in 2008.
Current members of the group include Kyprios, Metty the DertMerchant, Mos Eisley, DJ Itchy Ron, Mr. Marmalade, Conscience, and Dusty Melodica. Like other hip-hop collectives such as the
Wu-Tang Clan, the members of Sweatshop Union continue to work, perform and produce separately in addition to their work with the band.
* "Sweatshop Union" (
Local 604" ( 2002)" (re-release)
Natural Progression" ( 2004)
United We Fall" ( 2005)
* "Water Street" (
* [http://www.sweatshopunion.com/ Sweatshop Union's official site]
* [http://www.myspace.com/sweatshopunion7 Sweatshop Union's official myspace page]
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