DAVID STRICKLAND SHARES LVL UP AS FINAL PREVIEW AHEAD OF NEW ALBUM SPIRIT OF HIP HOP: ELEMENTS
PRE-SAVE SPIRIT OF HIP HOP: ELEMENTS OUT NEXT FRIDAY, AUGUST 26 VIA MNRK MUSIC GROUP
NEW ALBUM CONTINUES DAVID'S JOURNEY OF BRINGING
NORTH AMERICA'S INDIGENOUS MUSIC AND
HIP HOP COMMUNITIES TOGETHER WITH FEATURES FROM
ERICK SERMON, OUTLAW BY NATURE, SAUKRATES, CHOCLAIR, HELLNBACK, JULIAN TAYLOR, POOKY G, DIVINE BROWN, JRDN, BLESSED, QUE ROCK, DREZUS, ASPECTS, PROGNOSIS & MORE
TORONTO, ON – August 19, 2022 – As renowned Canadian-Indigenous artist, record producer and engineer, David Strickland, prepares to release his forthcoming album, Spirit Of Hip Hop: Elements, next Friday, August 26 (MNRK Music Group), he shares the final preview. LVL Up arrives as the motivator to keep pushing forward and progress with agility, determination and focus - be it your music career, personal life and beyond. Calgary-based Indigenous rapper and activist, Drezus, Ottawa artist and Outlaw By Nature member, Aspects, and Six Nations-based artist Prognosis come together to deliver fierce rhyme and verse as David gets behind the boards to bring forth a foundation of fluid, key-driven, bass-booming, brooding beats. Listen here and pre-save the album here.
“In life, there Are always stages and levels, and it’s always about levelling up to the next level! In order to be great, one must strive for greatness. And that’s what this song is about, along with getting high as a MF...Hahahah," adds Aspects. Drezus notes: "Level up is about celebrating life, family and natural medicine. Inspiration comes easy when working with this team, I’m blessed!
From his hustle in studios across North America, working with industry greats on Grammy and JUNO-winning projects, to exploration in the world of NFTs, and giving back to Indigenous communities through charitable endeavours, David blazes his own path.
Spirit Of Hip Hop: Elements continues the journey of 2020 acclaimed project, Spirit Of Hip Hop, and its 2021 counterpart, Spirit Of Hip Hop (Remixes) and is a comprehensive project highlighting North America’s most promising Indigenous rappers, and represents the connection between the Indigenous community and the Hip-Hop community. In addition to a powerful opener by David's long-time mentor and iconic photographer, Ernie Paniccioli, you can hear an incredible lineup of guests including: Artson, Stenn Jodi, J25, Wolf Castle, JRDN, Stump Gets, Skye Stoney, Jace Martin, Kalem Moses, Wolf Castle, Stun, Crystal Shawanda, Joey Stylez, Q052, & Tribe NO GANG, Violent Ground, Choclair, Kingcon and Julian Taylor. See the full tracklist below.
David's previous single, Firekeepers, features longtime collaborators, Toronto/New York Anishinaabe rapper and visual artist, Que Rock, and Toronto-based conscious reggae/dancehall artist, Blessed. The track is a massive summer jam that raises the bar and temperature with Que Rock's sharp rhymes, Blessed's signature lyrics and David's prose highlighted on the second verse, layered as the trio come together to carry a collective torch. In May, David released Beastmode, featuring JUNO Award-winning R&B/Soul singer and theatre performer, Divine Brown, and Alberta-based Indigenous artist, model and actress, Pooky G. The three come together to create a soundtrack piece to life's A-game moments and when you need an extra boost.
Last year, David and rap legend, Erick Sermon, released Messenger, a collaboration with Sermon, Toronto rap veteran, Saukrates, and Outlaw by Nature. To launch the track, they teamed up with The NFT Agency to release an official non-fungible token (NFT) collection celebrating the hip-hop luminary’s esteemed career. The six-piece collection featuring original artwork by Strickland — highlighting moments from Sermon’s career as a member of EPMD, the founder of Def Squad and as a solo artist— saw 291 NFTs sold within 24 hours as a curated drop at Crypto.com/NFT, the global cryptocurrency platform’s NFT marketplace. Erick and David donated $10K of the net sales to Indian Residential School Survivors Society.
A Grammy-winning engineer who has worked on projects by artists including Sermon, EPMD, Drake, Method Man, Redman, Pete Rock and Keith Murray as well as a who’s who of both the Toronto and Indigenous hip-hop communities, Strickland is also an accomplished visual artist who connects with his Mi'kmaq ancestry — as well as his passion for music and hip-hop culture — to create works that have been displayed at major galleries including the McMichael Canadian Art Collection. In 2021, Strickland won three International Indigenous Hip Hop Awards for his acclaimed 2020 album, Spirit Of Hip Hop. The album brought together artists from various North American hip-hop communities while continuing to champion Indigenous hip-hop artists.
Learn more about David's career below, and stay tuned for Spirit of Hip Hop: Elements next week!
Spirit Of Hip Hop: Elements - Tracklisting
1. Elements - David Strickland & Ernie Paniccioli
2. Firekeepers - David Strickland, Que Rock & Blessed
3. Messenger - David Strickland & Erick Sermon, Outlaw By Nature, feat. Saukrates
4. 2 The Stars - David Strickland & Artson
5. Blessings On Blessings - David Strickland, Stenn Jodi & J25
6.LVL Up -David Strickland, Drezus, Aspects & Prognosis
7.Payback - David Strickland & Wolf Castle
8.Beastmode - David Strickland, Pooky G & Divine Brown
9. Certainmans - David Strickland, JRDN, Stump Gets & Skye Stoney
10.East, West Or Southcoast - David Strickland
11. Stand Up - David Strickland, Jace Martin, Kalem Moses, Wolf Castle, Stun, Crystal Shawanda
12. Hope - David Strickland, Joey Stylez, Q052, & Tribe NO GANG
13.Violent Ground - David Strickland & Violent Ground
14.Brighter Dayz - David Strickland, Choclair, Kingcon & Julian Taylor
DOWNLOAD - LVL Up Art
About David Strickland
David "Gordo" Strickland is an Indigenous, Toronto born and based award-winning engineer, mixer, producer and DJ. Known for being behind the boards on iconic Hip-Hop and R&B records for over two decades, his work has graced seminal tracks by the likes of Pete Rock, Erick Sermon, EPMD, Keith Murray, Redman and Method Man, to records by ground-breaking Toronto hip-hop acts, including k-os, Ghetto Concept, Jelleestone, Kardinal Offishall, Jully Black, Choclair and Drake.
David's previous album, Spirit Of Hip Hop (June 29, 2020, Entertainment One), highlights some of North America's Hip Hop progenitors and innovative Indigenous artists alike to share an embodiment of the teachings, art, traditions, and music of the community, aligned with his Indigenous heritage. Spirit Of Hip Hop (Remixes) arrived on November 20, 2020 as a follow-up featuring fresh takes on the album tracks by Gordo himself, and some of his esteemed colleagues. From control room to canvas, David is also a prolific visual artist that has been featured at many galleries across Canada. He continues to be a positive force in music, the arts and an inspiration to First Nations Youth across North America.
About MNRK Music Group
MNRK Music Group is one of the largest independent music companies in the world, with recording, music publishing, and management divisions operating in every major music market. MNRK is committed to discovering and guiding top music creators and artists and works with some of the greatest musical talent including The Lumineers and Pitbull, the music publishing catalog of Chuck Berry, plus premier music companies Dualtone Music Group and Last Gang. The company’s music department services Academy Award and Emmy Award-winning producers. Its catalog across divisions consists of 54,000 music tracks, including multiple GRAMMY winners and platinum-selling hits. www.mnrk.com