Annakin Slayd
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Annakin Slayd


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"Rap homage to Habs scores with fans"

Some fans fly their Habs flags on their cars, bikes, fire trucks, police cars and, in at least a couple of cases, their construction hard hats.
Others drape themselves, their homes and, when the mayor's not looking, their fire stations in bleu, blanc et rouge. But Montrealer Annakin Slayd has gone where few Habs fans could ever glide: He's composed a hip-hop homage to the team, 25 Feels a Little Like 93.
Since being released last Friday, the tune has been climbing local radio charts, if not like a bullet, certainly like a blazing Kovalev slapshot from the point.

And for good reason - fans can sing along to the catchy lyrics: "I believe that it's meant to be, and it feels a little like '93. With failing hands, we hold it high, and raise number 25 to the sky. I believe we're right in the mix and it feels a little like '86. With failing hands we hold it high, and raise number 25 to the sky ..." Fans can also bop to its rap beat without looking like a dancing fool.
The "25," of course, refers to Canadiens' pursuit of their 25th Stanley Cup. The "93" is a reference to their last Cup 15 years ago. And "86," as some of us fossils can recall, represents their second-last Cup 22 years back.
Annakin Slayd was all of six in '86, but still recalls the pandemonium brought on by that win as well as the one in '93. That's such ancient history, though, that Annakin Slayd was actually a schoolboy then called Andrew Farrar, growing up in Chomedey.
Annakin Slayd is the rappin' alter ego of Farrar, an accomplished actor, playwright and director. Regardless of the split personalities, both have come together to bleed bleu, blanc et rouge.
"You can just feel the energy in the air," he says. "Everyone is just so pumped in town.
"But I had been listening to the radio and the stations were playing believer songs like Journey's Don't Stop Believing.
"So I thought to myself we should have our own song that captures the local spirit in a more literal way, rather than have them play old songs from the '80s that have nothing to do with the team."
So he hunkered down for a couple of days to write the song, then hit the studio to mix and produce it.
He sent the finished product last Friday afternoon to Team 990's Mitch Melnick - who has a finely honed sense of the surreal both in sport and song. Following its debut on Team 990, the song has since resonated with listeners on Mix 96, Q92, CJAD and CBC - which should be sufficient enough to make Don Cherry whine.
"The song has been spreading like a disease," marvels Slayd.
A good disease, he is quick to add. "It's even moved over to French radio stations like CKOI. I've been walking down the street and hearing my song blaring out of people's cars and trucks.
"A high school teacher friend of mine said he heard students singing it in the hallway. Wow! It doesn't get much better, being the bearer of such civic pride."
In the interests of civic pride, Slayd offers a download of the tune at - for free.
When the Slayd part of his personality is not singing or composing rap tunes - his first disc, Stalwart Empire, came out two years ago and his second, Once More We Survive, will be released this summer - the Farrar part of his personality takes over on a more sombre theatrical note. Farrar is the founder and director of the Untimely Ripped Entertainment troupe.
He wrote, directed and played the lead in Tecumseh as a Doorstop, which played Théâtre Ste. Catherine two years ago to packed houses and critical acclaim. He also wrote and produced Killing Jar Jar, which played off-off-Broadway in New York as well as the Montreal and Vancouver Fringe fests.
Wish we could report that Killing Jar Jar related to the quick demise of that annoying Star Wars character. Rather, it is a piece about Star Wars fans waiting in line for the premiere of the last instalment of the series.
It also reveals Farrar's fascination with the films - so much so that he took a derivation of the name Anakin Skywalker, the young Darth Vader, for his hip-hop alias, Annakin Slayd.
Farrar is currently in the midst of developing Strippers, a sitcom pilot for CTV. No, not about professional peelers but rather West Island strip malls and the folks that inhabit them.
"I'm waiting for the day when all my personalities can merge and I can win a Juno, Genie and a Gemini all in the same year," he cracks. "But I'd be just as happy for a Habs' Stanley Cup win this year. Actually, every year."

- National Post

"Stats and Nominations"


COMM: Virgin Radio, 95.9 FM, (Montreal, QC). 32 plays, audience: 0.72 M
COMM: The Hawk, 101.5 FM, (Port Hawkesbury's, NS). 73 plays
COMM: CKOI, 96.9 FM (Montreal, QC)
COMM: Hits FM, 94.7 FM, (Montreal, QC)
Radio Centre-Ville, 102.3 FM, (Montreal, QC).
CKUT, 90.3 FM, (Montreal, QC).
The Team 990, 990 AM, (Montreal, QC).
Q92, 92.5 FM, (Montreal, QC).
K103, 103.7 FM, (Montreal, QC).
CJLO, 1690 AM, (Montreal, QC).
CJAD, 800 AM, (Montreal, QC).
CKOI, 96.9 FM, (Montreal, QC).
MIKE, 105.1 FM, (Montreal, QC).
CFRU, 93.3 FM, (Guelf, ON).
CFMH, 107.3 FM, (St-John, NB).
CHMA, 106.9 FM, (Sackville, NB).
SPUD, 102.1 FM, (Summerside, PEI).
KISS, 98.8 FM, (Berlin, Germany)

Radio Interviews:
CJLO, Franchise Radio Show: October 17th, 2008
CKUT, Off The Hook: July 18th, 2008
The MIX 96, The Mark Bergman Show: May 2nd, 2008.
The Team 990, Melnick in the Afternoun: April 25th, 2008.
CJAD, The Rick Peterson Show: April 23rd, 2008.
The Team 990, Melnick in the Afternoun: April 6th, 2007.
MIKE FM, The Maria Show: September 2007.
CKUT, Masters at Work: July 2006.

RDS L'Anti-Chambre: March, 2009 (Video for "La 25ieme" aired 7 times)
CTV Entertainment Spotlight: December, 2007
TVA: Video "25ieme" aired
Global TV: Interview "Hellas Spectrum"

Online Podcasts:
DaSource Radio
Bougie Black Show
Black Jam Radio
Unsung Hero
Elements Online
DaDooDirty Show
Planet Music
The Soupy Gato Show

Nominations and Notes:
Nomination for 2009 "Just Plain Folks Award": Best Rap Song
Nomination for 2009 "JNFE Canada": Best Rap Artist
Montreal Mirror "Best of Montreal Readers Poll": Top Solo Hip Hop Artist (2009), 2008), #2 (2007)
My Space, Top Ten (unsigned artist canada Hip Hop): 7 months, 960,000 plays
Music featured in Award winning Documentary "Throttle Trauma 2"
#49 on Pure Tracks Top 100 (week of March 15th, '09)
"Chanson Bon Bon De La Semaine" on
#14 on CKUT Radio Top 25 of 2008, Top Ten (Hip Hop): march 2008, (Comedy): #3 of all time. : 473,787 views
Independant Artists Community: 10 stations
-'LOUD' peeked at #30
-'Locomotive Overthrow' peeked at #39
950 Fans/Group Members on Facebook

'25 (Feels Like '93)' & 'Loud' - HMV Megastore, (Montreal, QC). Listening Post
(Awaiting results of sales of 1st quarter/2009)
'Stalwart Empire' - 1,937 LPs (includes floor Sales)
'American Bitch' - 431 Singles
'Warning Tracks' - 412 Mix CD

- Annakin Sayd

"The Morning Skate: Skating With Shakespeare, and Songs"

A king enacts a law and that law comes back to dethrone the king — or at least bite him on the derrière. One of Shakespeare’s tragedies surely must contain this plot, but no one at the Morning Skate reads great literature. We read only the sports pages. Sometimes we only look at the pictures. Still, it’s the story of the dethroned Stanley Cup champs.

“Duck Season Ends Today,” read the sign a fan held last night at the Ducks-Stars game in Dallas and, for the fifth straight year, the defending Stanley Cup champs didn’t make it to the second round. Is there now a Stanley Cup curse?

Let us not be ignorant for “ignorance is the curse of God,” as Shakespeare wrote (Henry VI, Part II, Act IV, Scene 7, but you knew that), and “knowledge is the wing wherewith we fly to heaven.” Ya’ see, Shakespeare was a great prep school All-Star leftwinger for Stratford-Upon-Avon Old Farms and he’s worth heeding. So forget the Curse. What do we know about the Ducks’ defeat?

Well, if there’s not a curse, there’s certainly a Cup hangover and in today’s Los Angeles Times, Helene Elliott gets Teemu Selanne to describe the Ducks’ version (it’s family reading and there’s no vomiting involved). But Helene also has some knowledge and she pins the donkey tail on GM Brian Burke for his decision to deal last year’s top playoff scorer and a key face-off specialist, Andy McDonald, rather than Mathieu Schneider, to fit returning Scott Niedermayer under the salary cap. Fair point. But, Helene, don’t stop there. What of the Oilers’ cap-fueled raid to grab Dustin Penner as a restricted free agent, breaking up the Penner-Perry-Getzlaf line, which was a force last year?

Sure, we can add the fact that Corey Perry was hurt at the start of the round, when the Ducks lost the first two games, making it easier for Dallas’ checkers to focus on Ryan Getzlaf. We can add a great series by Marty Turco and the Stars’ kid defense and Stephane Robidas’s nose and, bingo, dead Ducks.

Yep, Anaheim’s demise, as all teams’ demises are, is multi-faceted. But one fact stands out: The salary cap — which Burke, among many others, vigorously endorsed — played the leading role in their roster turnover, and as long as the cap remains, chances of teams’ repeating as champs will be diminished. Which may or may not be a bad thing, but that’s a Shakespearean comedy for another day.

It’s gonna be a tragedy tonight in Montreal if the Habs lose Game 7 to the Bruins. Or at least a heartache, and on the Team 990 Morning Show in Montreal, they nervously cued up the Eagles hit and announced someone, yes, someone (they didn’t say who) is gonna be hurtin’ after it’s over at the Bell Centre.

They’ll be pumping out all those great new pro-Habs tunes on the Team 990 today. There’s Annakin Slayd’s “25 Feels a Little Like 93?, and Speedhair’s “Go Habs Go”, and Chris Pennington’s identically titled “Go Habs Go,” (la version française on the Team 990’s download page), and Bob Olivier and Sylvie Choquette’s Ghosts of the Forum.

“Panic Gets You Nowhere” reads the headline on Dave Stubbs’s Gazette story and everyone is wondering what has become of MIA Alex Kovalev? Perhaps, following up on Part 1, this new installment of the Kovy story below (courtesy again of The Gazette’s Habs Inside/Out blog) may help explain what has happened to the Habs. - New York Times


Once More We Survive (TBR 2009)
Stalwart Empire (2007)
Warning Tracks: the Annakin Slayd Mix Cd (2005)
American Bitch Single (2005)
The Truth is God EP (2004)



Fresh off his nomination for the JPF award and the enormous success of his most recent track, "25 (Feels like '93)", which received national media attention and heavy airplay on regional Top 40 Radio, Annakin is securing himself as a top tier canadian hip hop artist.
Annakin was inspired at a young age by many genres, including Soul/R&B, Heavy Metal and Hip Hop. He has artists such as Stevie Wonder, Suicidal Tendencies and Nas to thank for the fusion of lyrical aggression, unbelievably catchy hooks and heavy musicianship that created his distinctive style, not unlike a merging of Linkin Park & K-Os. Even though he has only been making music since 2003, Annakin has been in the entertainment business since the age of 20. Trained as an actor and playwright, he started his own theatre company called Untimely Ripped Entertainment . He soon found himself living poor in Brooklyn, New York doing Off-Off-Broadway theatre. It was in Jamaica, Queens where he was so desperate for work that he auditioned for an upstart label called Full Blaze Records. With only the experience of rapping for kicks with friends back home, Anni nevertheless auditioned and Full Blaze signed him. However, the company failed to flourish and Anni came back to Montreal to start rocking shows with some of the city's best including Offsides, Butta Babees, D-Shade and ICM. That was when releasing his first single became the next logical step.

The controversial American Bitch was a comedic romp with heavy political undertones that stirred up buzz across the country. Then, Warning Tracks: The Annakin Slayd Mix CD, thick with biting satire (Bell Mobility Ballad) and assaults on issues in the news (Red Light District of Columbia) became an overnight street success that shook up Montreal Hip Hop.

Annakin Slayd's first LP, Stalwart Empire is a groundbreaking and visionary work of progressive rap music. Unlike any album ever released, the incomparable fifteen track epic explores imagery based on the works of Spaghetti Western director Sergio Leone and bridges the gap between numerous genres by calling on the spirits of Pink Floyd, Johnny Cash, Donny Hathaway, Izaac Pearlman, Public Enemy and Gil Scott Heron. With guest appearances from Wu-Tang's Killah Priest, Montreal rock duo the Damn Truth, folkster Nir Bloo, British MC the Twin Lizard and Montreal rappers Eye 2 Eye, the album has already been showcased by the National Film Board for their Citizen Shift project citing the song 'Wigger' as a work promoting social change. With a flurry of gut wrenching, head turning bangers such as 'Afraid', 'Lies' and 'This Piece That Peace', the recognition and acclaim for Stalwart Empire are bound to be a plenty.

Not to omit his seven piece band Blue Collar Hubris, Slayd fuses rap, funk and rock, involving keys, strings and female vocals making them the Arcade Fire of Hip Hop. They have played high profile Montreal venues such as Metropolis, Cafe Campus, Bourbon Street West and Le Swimming.