Gig Seeker Pro


Ottawa, Ontario, Canada | SELF

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada | SELF
Band Hip Hop Pop


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"That’s a rap: Ottawa boy rhymes good"

Devin Atherton is a white boy from the Ottawa ‘burbs. He’s pushing 30 and is preoccupied with human foibles — his and others’ — and the big question of how to make his impact on the world. He works it all out in rhyme as he has done for nearly a decade through the albums released on his imprint, Vinyl Tap Records.

The rapper’s newest album is called No Threat (an anagram of his last name) and is a warts-and-all confessional of fine rhymes delivered with dry wit and a bit of an aw-shucks softness.

He’s created his own brand of sorts. The album art for No Threat is a drawing of a toothless lion, and over the past few weeks, Atherton has photographed nearly everyone he’s encountered wearing the faux-fur lion head shown in this picture. It’s an exercise in hype-building. Atherton has been plastering the internet with the lion photos, promotional videos, and advance tracks, such as this one:

Atherton’s sculpted sentences are funny, referential, brutally honest, and in places, vulgar. Overall, No Threat is an album full of humming, perceptive tracks that paint a portrait of a guy who’s self-deprecating, sweet, mean, confused, forward-looking, and reflective. Here’s someone who shows his dimensions.

I think the word verisimilitude works here. Now rhyme that with something: attitude, amplitude, complicated dude — they all apply when you’re trying to paint a picture of someone who is deeply affected by all the in-betweens of existence — and weed.

Atherton gave up the spliff when he was 20 and spent four months in rehab. He told me so. He’ll tell you, too, when he performs the track “Kid on the Corner” ( at his CD release show this weekend. That song is a four-minute biography about smoking his first joint, finding his rap chops (“the fake funk” of MC Hammer lit a fire), and his upbringing in Orleans (middle of three, “child of Tony and Maureeeeeeeeen!”).

Happy beats and shout-outs to the parents give way to a darker side on “Hate Her Face,” an ugly, misogynistic song.

“It’s where I spit some verses saying women are horrible, I’ve been hurt, and [therefore] should treat them all as sex objects,” Atherton says. “I went through that and spent some time doing that.”

So, do you feel like a pig saying that?

“It was something I’ve thought — to put it in a song doesn’t mean it’s my everything,” he says. “I never convinced myself that women were that thing, it was just that love was not going to happen and the concept was broken for me,” he says. “There was a long period of running around and sowing my wild oats. I spent a year of celibacy after that. It didn’t really change much. I don’t think I became a better person for it. And it was easy, because I was living in my parents’ basement.”

He’s still working the whole love thing out. “I don’t know where I stand now in terms of relationships and what the future will hold.”

He’s also combing through the trials and tribulations of the music industry in the song “Jacob’s Ladder.” Says Atherton, “You always think you’re getting somewhere and you fall back to the bottom.”

So is there value in working all this stuff out aloud? Is it a question of uniting humanity by airing things other people might be thinking, or are these songs pure self-indulgence?

For Atherton, brutal self-honesty is a mirror — or to put it in rap speak: “You’ve got to half convince yourself, you’re not bluffing and ask yourself what you know about nothing.”

That’s how he says it down on the title track. Translation: don’t lie to yourself and get your problems off your chest, that way they become No Threat. - Ottawa Magazine

"Atherton - No Threat (Album Review)"

Four years ago when I first met Atherton, I knew less than I would have liked to about him, even though I'm a self-confessed fan of most things Canadian ranging from hockey to hip-hop. To be fair though it seems to be one of my foibles to be a "grass is greener on the other side" kind of guy, as I've long believed that Japanese animation is more intriguing than its American counterpart, and if you gave me a choice between a German beer and one from here there's a good chance I'd take the former first. The older I get the more I recognize this is a fairly common human failing - the desire to seek out that which is different from what we know, what we are, what we're accustomed to in daily life. It's easy to overrate something than what you know as better, just because the sheer difference is itself enjoyable. It's only through experience that you learn to appreciate the subtle differences. There's thousands of hours of anime out there, but some are clearly better to watch than others. There are hundreds of German beers, but some clearly exceed others in the quality of flavor or alcoholic potency when consumed.

In that same fashion I've come to appreciate that although Atherton can be defined as "a Canadian rapper," that there's an incredibly deep and wide variation in what a rapper from Canada can be. A first time listener might simply be impressed that dopeness springs forth from his beats and rhymes, but upon deeper inspection and comparing him to his peers, it's clear that he's something special. If Canadian hip-hop is Oettinger, then Atherton is Paulaner. If Canadian hip-hop is Speed Racer, then Atherton is Chobits. It's not just enough that Atherton dares to be different than what you know, it's that among what's different he is EXCEPTIONAL. He's from the same rare breed as D-Sisive, a Canadian rapper who may culturally reflect the place that he's from, but whose artistic choices speak to a much larger human condition. The title "No Threat" is an intentional middle finger to a world filled with hip-hop stereotypes, and the humorous song finds the protagonist exposing himself as a fraud.

"I tamed that lion for all to see
They clapped and cheered 'Oh revere me!'
'What courage!' they'd say on their feet all applauding
But behind the scenes the beast had false teeth
Hip dysplasia, and two bum knees
A tad bit more fierce than the house cat breed
The gig was too sweet to give up foor simple truth
I was three ring circus headlining Babe Ruth
Young men were moved, inspired by my bravery
And young women swooned when I glanced at 'em aimlessly
Place no blame on me for puttin on a show
Taking nothing from nobody no threat - oh
I'll stick with the fiction ride it out 'til the death
Place my head in his jaws and only fear bad breath
Knowing clear in my head it's all a white lie
How could it be be wrong when it feels so right?"

The song also flips the script on the truth, claiming that cigarettes don't cause cancer and "this economy's flawless, everybody's getting richer." The technique of saying the opposite of what's true might seem obvious at first, but in a world of rap albums which brag about excessive conspicuous consumption of material goods, it's an actual threat to the status quo to suggest that everything you see is built on a lie - and telling you that what you can't believe what you see could put a lot of rappers who are nothing more than the Bentley they drive out of business. Atherton's ability to provoke thought doesn't come at the expense of delivery - the flow and diction are crystalline and the music is easy to enjoy. Even though he relishes the ironic twist, the sentiments Atherton spits on "Paul Simon Songs" are surprising and daringly sincere:

"Sound of silence took on the tone of noise
On the Earth's surface where they birthed, girls and boys
Little pearls of joy, a bundle of lovely
Sometimes I cannot see the beauty right in front of me
I don't wanna be another apathetic asshole
No -

"Hip-Hop With A Twist Of Lime"

MC Atherton and DJ Sire call their debut album A Different Way of Doing the Same Old Thing, though they don't make any grand pronouncements about elevating the rap canon or saving hip hop.

"We're doing the standard thing with an MC and a DJ playing sample-based beats," says Sire (Adam Schmidt when off stage). "It's a classic formula in this scene, but we're snowflakes (lingo for "individuals").

If you put your voice on anything it's going to sound different from anything else." Atherton (first name Devin) sums it up as "hip hop with a twist of lime." He has the MC's wit, made up of that fine mix of tone, timing and turn of phrase.

Looking for a smart metaphor? Just pick up a hip-hop record -- and no one gets as many points as MCs for the economical use of words. Atherton succeeds over 18 tracks that include a sendup of the big bling money track (ATM), a salute to early supporters when the duo performed with third member LS (Dave Ellis) as Periodic Trends (Fans and Friends), a tribute to smokes (Cigarettes and Comic Books) and a musing on the frustration of creating original material (Past Tense).

Pa Atherton (Citizen senior writer Tony Atherton) and two members of his Blackburn Chorus (basses Gary Yates and Rob Robin) provide the haunting hook on the latter track: "Time after time, I'm trying to find a rhyme or line providing peace of mind." They're in good company with other collaborators, such as FlipKuma, Patience and Adabow, all of whom will make appearances at Atherton & Sire's CD release party tomorrow.

Sire's beats are sometimes stark and other times warm and rich. He samples from old records in a host of styles, including rock, funk and jazz. Some of Atherton's best lines -- "It's hard pushing the envelope with arthritis in your fingers" comes to mind -- can be heard loud and clear, while at other times words are couched in the typically quick MC delivery. When MCs perform with substance (here there's little name-dropping and none of the puffed-chest boasting found in mainstream hip hop), you want to get the message.

Atherton realizes it's a limitation of the genre. "At hip-hop shows, I pick up only 60 per cent of what an MC says. As a performer, if I can get half of that across to the crowd, I'm happy." - The Ottawa Citizen

"CD Review"

Canada's Atherton & Sire first came to my attention when I heard one of their tracks which sounded like someone rapping over an old 1980's console game. How pleased I was to hear that it was added onto the end of this album, it's belting!

The beats on this album are brilliant, pure and simple. Sire's way of switching up numerous styles for Atherton to rap over is superb on this record, with Everything starting the proceedings off on some fantasy-strings vibe and haunting backing vocals before flipping the script to bring some honky tonk piano into the melody on ATM, where Atherton delivers his knowledge on money and lack thereof. Another standout track, Past Tense, is another floaty sampled beat with high strums and a simple piano beat and Three Simple Words, the duo's love song, has some Spanish guitars twiddling under Atherton who hits the listener with original take on those three magic words - "headtrips and mindgames" as he puts it in the chorus.

This is a great album which varies in tempo and style but always maintains a high level of sound. Definitely one to check out!"
- - UK website

"Hip hop act takes centre stage"

“I am Ottawa hip hop.�

The boast was said half-jokingly, but it demonstrates the Algonquin grad Devin Atherton’s well-developed knack for self-promotion.

Indie artists face many obstacles to keep their careers alive, but Atherton, 25, cites the low profiles of Canadian rappers versus those of rock musicians as an indicator of the difficulties of pursuing a career in hip hop.

“Hip hop is hard to break into a) in general and b) in the indie circuit,� said Atherton in an interview before his Oct. 1 show at The Ob. “It’s hard to find someone who believes in you as much as you.�

Atherton enrolled in introduction to music industry at Algonquin in 2004 where he set about building the skills needed to pursue a career in hip hop. His time at the college also gave him the opportunity to network with other students.

 One friend taking the animation program created the graffiti artwork for the cover and insert on Atherton’s 2006 collaboration with Sire, A Different Way of Doing the Same Old Thing.  Another friend, Isabelle Pouliot, was taking graphic design and provided layout duties.

“Devin hired me to design the album cover for the first Atherton and Sire album, as well as some promotional posters and flyers for shows,� said Pouliot. “Working on the album cover was an experience that I'm greatly appreciative to have afforded a great deal of experience in both client relations, and printer preparation. Those are both invaluable skills to maintain as a designer.�

The connections that began at Algonquin have since grown into the self-described “music-and-arts collective� Vinyl Tap, a record label and promotional outlet for the artists involved.

Atherton’s debut earned him a four star review in the Ottawa Citizen and he was named top Ottawa hip hop act in 2005 and 2006 by Ottawa Xpress.

After 20 years in Ottawa and four spent actively working to build his profile within the city, Atherton felt he needed to leave the area if his career was going to continue to grow. He packed up and moved to Toronto, where he enrolled in Seneca’s independent music program. With more shows, and better promotion for them, Atherton likens the T.O. scene as closer to New York City, the birthplace of hip hop.

It was a potentially risky move that meant starting over from scratch and re-establishing himself as an artist in new territory. While still his favourite place to perform, he felt that the Ottawa hip hop community was too exclusive, something he became aware of after often seeing the same people attending his shows. Toronto, with its’ larger population and more active hip hop underground, would provide more opportunities to broaden his fan base.

“It’s like you’re always running an election. You’re always campaigning,� he said of his career.

The move paid off, earning him heightened press coverage, including the cover of NOW magazine after a performance at North by Northwest in 2007.

Ultimately, Atherton felt Toronto wasn’t best suited to what he was doing. This past September, he packed his bags once again and moved to Montreal.

The current home to Canada’s, and maybe the world’s, indie music scene, Atherton sees Montreal as a more arts-based, do-it-yourself community, the type of work ethic that has defined his career. He writes, performs and produces his own CDs, prints his own shirts, does his own bookings, sells his own merchandise and provides his own travel.

Despite the added work, he embraces the benefits as an artist free of music labels. He has complete control over his career, but more importantly there is no middle man profiting from his hard work. He owns the publishing rights and song writing credits of his songs, a potentially lucrative asset that many signed bands are denied.

“If I sell 500 records, I can make as much as other people make off 5000 records, depending on their deal,� he said.

Calling Montreal home doesn’t mean turning his back on Ottawa, though. Atherton still makes regular trips back to the nation’s capital to perform and regularly draws capacity crowds at Babylon.

“Ottawa never really has a chance to miss me,� he said.

Atherton has been working on the follow up to his first album for the last two years, and plans to have No Threat out in January 2009.

He will be back in Ottawa Nov. 5 at NIXNE opening for Prince Po.

Find Atherton online at and

By Quinn Damery - The Algonquin Times

"Fame Game"

Toronto-via-Ottawa MC Atherton gets all self-deprecating when I ask about his comedic live show.

"I try to make jokes," he says from his crib.

What, do they fail?

"They backfire sometimes, yeah."

Fortunately, the hiphopper's got a solid-gold set of songs to fall back on when he hears crickets in the crowd. His self-mocking style carries over into tracks like ATM, where he spits over a manic, bluesy piano loop about how broke he is.

Other times he's just intensely clever, as when, on a track about smoking, he likens the Belmont Milds brand to a butler with a double life.

But Atherton, who once humbly rapped that his fans were his friends and vice versa, is starting to see the crowds building, a relief after playing a few near-empty rooms.

"For sure, the audience is growing," says the MC, who last year dropped his debut album, A Different Way Of Doing The Same Old Thing, with ex-producer Sire.

"I've signed about 10 autographs for strangers," he says. "It's always an awkward experience."

At this rate, he may have to start wearing sunglasses and a baseball cap in the street especially after his NXNE show, in which he'll be backed by a live four-piece band with a sax player.

What's so uncomfortable about it?

"It's a whole ball of stuff, you know? I'm like, "Are you sure you want my autograph?' My penmanship is pretty sketchy," says Atherton. "I write like I'm in Grade 4. I think it actually lowers the value of the CD."

By- Jason Richards

NOW | JUNE 7 - 13, 2007 | VOL. 26 NO. 40 - Now Magazine

"A Different Way Of Doing The Same Old Thing?"

“This burger is HUGE.� An hour before he walked onstage for one of his last shows as a Toronto resident, Devin Francis Atherton made a long-distance call from a College street diner. Over ginger ale (with a side of large Angus beef burger with onion, barbeque sauce and melted cheese), Atherton shared with me some of the highs and lows of life as an independent hip hop artist.

On this particular July evening, the 25 year-old Ottawa-raised rapper is Toronto-based, soon to be transplanted to our beloved Montreal in hopes of making it big like those Arcade Fire guys. This is not entirely true, as fame and fortune are not the be-all and end-all for 6’3 Atherton, but to say he doesn’t hope to be struck by some fresh creative lightning bolts in our fair city would be a lie. Besides, there’s always bartending as his tried and true backup.

From high school coffee houses to downtown rap battles, Atherton (or “MC Devin� as he was nick-named by his grade one teacher) went on to pursue hip hop most seriously in the past five years, finding a friend in the genre after he quit drugs and drinking in 2003. His debut, A Different Way of Doing the Same Old Thing (produced with DJ Sire in early 2006) was released on self-run Vinyl Tap Music, the same label that will launch his sophomore effort No Threat in January 2009. Since parting ways with Sire, Atherton has performed as front-man for a live band (Atherton and the Throw-ups), as half of a dynamic rap duo (The Leathers), and often by himself in the company of his trusty laptop. (At press time, he was having trouble getting it to turn on in an attempt to read my final draft.) He puts on a good show but Devin’s passion for hip hop lingers beyond live performance; he seemed to truly enjoy reflecting on his creative process.

When Devin was 12, he started smoking weed and discovered a hidden talent for freestyling. He could never remember the lyrics to songs so he made up his own and got a rush from the laughter that inevitably surrounded his improvisations. Furthermore, he couldn’t sing and had a knack for rhythm. Musing over what got him into hip-hop, Devin half-joked, “Smoking pot and the ability to not sing drew me to my art form.�

The stigma associated with rap music does not go unnoted. Devin is the first to admit, “When I tell people what I do, they cringe. And I love that!� What compels him is that “it’s still a performance art�, noting that he “always liked acting, drama, comedy…and onstage, you can incorporate it all into a live show.�

His creative process has evolved considerably since he started out. What was once a regimented initiative has become more light-hearted. Starting out, he would never write to beats and needed perfect silence and solitude to produce anything; seemingly impossible before midnight. Mellowed out and with less structure to the hunt for “creative juices�, they come pouring in with relative ease as long as his mind is open (and it usually is.) Ideas will come to him at work, or he’ll write in his head while walking down the street. Devin considers the transition, “Before, I needed everything to be silent but now it’s like I have to complicate things more.� A lot of the writing is very personal; bits and pieces of relationships and above all, emotion. Devin’s goal? “Put as much humanity in it as possible. The stuff I love most is stuff that makes me go ‘Wow, I’d really get along with this person’.� He considers Sage Francis a role model, and Louis Logic a mentor, as well as a dear friend.

His ideas come from a variety of sources, “Basically, personal experience and observation.� Some are really planned out songs he’s been “working on for three years.� Others, less so. “I’ll get a funny word in my head (like ‘asparagus’) and run with that.�

When asked how he knows a good idea from bad, Devin responded candidly, “Fuck, that’s a good question…� He reasoned that intuition guides him more than anything. “Definitely just a feeling. Sometimes it’s ‘fuck this is garbage, fuck this is garbage’ but when it feels like something I’d want to share or show off, then I know it’s good. I guess there is an emotion, that’s like ‘Yes. I have done it.’ And that’s one of the reasons I continue doing it.� Devin allows that over time, you “build up a tolerance to creative joy� as there is “always a desire to do better than last time�, quick to add that he’s “not a perfectionist by any means�.

For Devin, nothing is ever finished until it’s on the CD and he cites getting an album done as the hardest part of what he does. “Shows are always satisfying as fuck but they’re not definite. You could have a great show or a shitty show but after that you might have a great show. An album is indelible, there’s no taking it back so you put more into it.�

It may sound rash, but Devin insists, “If something doesn’t motivate after four lines, if nothing magical hits then I scratch it and go with a new thought.� He’d abandon a song if it would truly upset someone, but would be more likely to rework it to less blunt effect; disguise it, in a sense. He has yet to directly address his battle with addiction on an album, but time has allowed for guilt over “upsetting the framework of an otherwise perfect family� to be all but overshadowed by a relief and appreciation for the relationships he was able to salvage. At this point, “Nothing is taboo.� It took a certain amount of distance and perspective for Devin to believe that, which has come to benefit his writing.

In a close-knit underground community, it’s easy to be discouraged when some who are less driven seem to move forward by chance. Barriers once past can re-appear in the distance. When a strong performance at Toronto’s North by Northeast festival garnered great press and a picture on the cover of NOW magazine last summer, Devin was surprised when he wasn’t even shortlisted for 2008, owing to a change in administration he was alerted to by the promoters, who were equally surprised at his absence on the shortlist. Jealousy is inevitable, even among friends and collaborators, in a tight but competitive scene that sadly awards “tons of rejection�. Heavily involved in all aspects of his musical vehicle, if one part of it lets him down, there is always something else to work on that will provide distance without total disconnect, be it “making t-shirts or designing flyers for an upcoming show.�

A voicemail left the day after our interview said it all.

“Last night we had a FANTASTIC show. Ohmygod it was great, you should’ve been there. I would’ve totally crowd-surfed you, on my own, it was that great. I had the strength to crowd surf you alone, with just my two arms. And probably crowdsurf like, ten of your friends, one for each finger. You know, that’s the kind of power that was surging through Paul and I and the rest of us.�

Nights like these make it all worthwhile for an underground rapper that’s just trying to make rent like everyone else. The clincher?

“When it pays off, it’s fucking gorgeous�.

BY: Nicola Jane Young - WHAM/BAM MAGAZINE Fall 2008

"Nothing new under the (Ottawa) sun."

Fame and fortune has a way of convincing most people that they can be the original gangster. So every now and then it's refreshing to find an artist who has a realistic sense of self.

Case in point is the local duo Atherton and Sire.

From the title of their debut, A Different Way of Doing the Same Old Thing, to album track "Past Tense," on which Atherton lays down his skeptical take on originality ("I stay critical of so-called individuals"), the duo make it clear they aren't out to reinvent the wheel.

"The fact is that you can't get that unique sound or come up with anything individualistic because it's already been done before. You write a verse and you go and listen to others' tapes and discover that someone already has the exact same line," Devin Atherton tells 3am.

"That said, ADWODTSOT has little hints of originality. I think we have our own unique sound, but we're not delivering anything that mind blowing."

In all fairness, Atherton is being modest, because producer Adam Schmidt Sire, a.k.a. Sire, has built an artful blend of melodic compositions around Atherton's fluid and pragmatic rhymes. Their zoo of sounds that include classical violin, honky-tonk piano, guitar noodling, flutes, horns and organs and sampling oddities with solid breakbeat production places them in the same company as other eclectic artists from cities considered to be on the fringe of hip-hop culture. For instance, Atherton cites Rhode Island's Sage Francis and Minnesota's Brother
Ali as influences.

Six years in the making, ADWODTSOT includes older Periodic Trends material - a decision that created a split with former Trends member LS, who wanted the album to be all new material, according to Atherton.

Regardless, LS still had a hand in production, as did the other members of Ottawa's VinylTap crew, a collective of artists, musicians, MCs and producers of which Atherton and Sire are members.

-Matthew Harrison - Ottawa Xpress

"CD REVIEW: a different way of doing the same old thing."

Atherton & Sire - A Different Way of Doing the Same Old Thing

Location: Ottawa, ON / Toronto, ON

The sonic landscapes painted by Atherton & Sire's debut album exceed those of even some seasoned beatmakers drawing on diverse percussion and well-placed samples. Atherton brings a nice energy to his lyrics, with sing-songy choruses. Most refreshing is how he represents the true underground Ottawa scene by featuring verses from Ottawa heavyweights the likes of Addaboe, Flip Kuma, Bender and Patience.

Standouts include the horn laced 'Fans & Friends,' 'Mean Miss Treater' is a soulful melancholy flash back to the blues days of the past. 'Hall Pass Policy' is a rapid-fire ode to paying your dues in the scene.

Overall, the beats provide a solid underground sound, while Atherton brings an thoughtful artsy side to his lyricism. All the while guest verses prove he's in touch with the scene giving the album an authentic feel often lacking in hip-hop today. -

"CD REVIEW: a different way of doing the same old thing."

Humility isn't always such an easy thing to come by in hip hop, which makes Atherton And Sire refreshing before you even hear what they sound like.

The Ottawa pair's debut album, A Different Way Of Doing The Same Old Thing, is blatantly honest from the get-go. Atherton and Sire are realistic in admitting, before even making a noise, that they aren't doing anything groundbreaking; but they don't use that as an excuse to be boring, as the duo's approach is novel and keeps a listener on their toes, not knowing whether to expect a rollicking big-band piano or a whining klezmer violin.

Lyrically, it's okay if you want to just sit back and enjoy the music without worrying about catching the words: Atherton's flow comes across naturally, with the ability to smoothly dissolve into just another layer of Sire's beat. But that doesn't mean there aren't lyrical gems to be found. Seriously, how many hip hop acts can reference 80's synth pop and get away with it?

And despite what their album-title may claim, they do possess some pure originality: the four prominent words making up the delicious hook of ATM have never been uttered in the history of mankind... or something. -

"Above ground pools versus underground hip-hop"

Rapper Atherton talks shop over breakfast

by Nicola Jane Young

At 25 years old, Devin Francis Atherton stands at six-foot three inches, prefers RC Cola to any other soft drink, and if he’s late for an interview, he’ll offer to pay for your coffee and buy you a Spin Doctors tape for 25 cents. Unless you prefer Boyz II Men.

On a brisk Thursday morning, Atherton, a rapper from Ottawa relocated to Montreal, strolls into Bagels, Etc. 17 minutes after he was supposed to. He lives a block and a half away and claims he’s been up for two hours making music. Which is hard to believe, considering I could tell he hadn’t brushed his teeth yet.

Our waitress informs him that eggs florentine with hollandaise sauce is only available on weekends and Atherton joins the ranks of high-strung divas before him—in an embarrassing scene that involves flying ketchup and an outrage over the fact that tap water deserved a place at our booth.


Truth is, Atherton was happy to settle for the classic; eggs over medium with rye toast.

“Breakfast is my favourite meal,” he says. “If I always had the same thing, I’d get tired of breakfast. It’s the same with hip-hop. I never just stick with one style of writing, or one sound. It might work against me, but I don’t like staying in one place. You want weed-smoking music? Cypress Hill. You want to get amped up? MOP. If you’re not sure what you want, you might like my music.”

He asks how many flavours Baskin Robbins started out with, and when I tell him 31 flavours he hits me with real talk: “[My music is] like Baskin Robbins. I’ll give you 31 little spoons and you can try it all!”

I’m not sure what to say because I just ordered coffee and it’s kind of lukewarm. So I tell him that I woke up to Tears for Fears’ “Everybody Wants to Rule the World.” He agrees that’s a great way to start the day, “Tears for Fears are cool. They have poppy songs and then they have Mad World. There needs to be more room to move around like that in hip-hop. The general public perceives it as all about glimmer.

“You’d think by now [hip-hop] would stop selling, at least not at the same rate that it does. It’s part of what I like about hip-hop, though. That broad perception is a motivator for me, it means there’s room for change, which makes it worth being involved in.”

These days, Atherton is more involved than ever, as he embarks on his biggest rap tour to date, hitting 25 cities across Canada and the United States, including Montreal this Thursday. He’ll be opening for the legendary Prince Po, best known as half of Organized Konfusion (the other half being Pharaohe Monch), a duo that changed underground hip-hop in the early 90s, and reinvigorated it into its golden age.

Despite his previous outrage at the lack of eggs florentine, Atherton was quick to praise the kitchen of Bagels, Etc. “I like it when I say over-medium and people know what I mean. A lot of people fuck up over-medium.”

Atherton will be rapping at Alize (900 Ontario Street E.) at 9:30 p.m. Tickets cost $8 in advance and $10 at the door. - The Link


Periodic Trends- sampler (2004)
MumblesHipHop.Com - compilation (2004)
Periodic Trends- EP (2005)
Atherton & Sire - a different way of doing the same old thing LP (2006)
Melodious Drones - Some Like It Rough EP (2007)
Independent Music Production-Compilation (2007)
Heads Connect-Complation (2007)
Supertoke 2-Compilation (2007)
Atherton - Oddz&Endz, (upcoming, unreleased, remixes and rarities) (2008)
The Leathers (self-titled) (2009)

Atherton - NO THREAT (2012)



Atherton is a Hip-Hop musician from Ottawa, ON. who draws influences from all genres. Priding himself on an energetic even theatrical live performance his persona on stage borders on the absurd providing comic relief to the thoughtful and sobering themes in his music. His career includes two full length studio albums that paved the way for, regular festival showcases at Canadian Music Week & North By Northeast, several CBC and college radio features and a handful of North American and Asian tours. Atherton is currently focused on his third and most ambitious release to date, a full length LP entitled 'No Threat.'