Charlie Black
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Charlie Black

Band Hip Hop


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Dat D.E.S.T.A Dude Mixtape



With his father, a percussionist in an African drumming Troupe, and his mother, an avid singer of Gospel Choir, it’s no surprise that their son shared the same passion and talent for music. Joel Holder, more commonly known as Charlie Black, was raised in a household inclined towards a love of (particularly Christian) music.

Charlie’s mother sparked his musical career at a young age by enrolling him into a children's choir. While he did not enjoy it at the time, looking back, Charlie wishes he had the appreciation for singing he carries with him now. His first love, though, was hip-hop, stating that it was Jay-Z who first captured his attention as a young listener. And while his parents refused any type of rap music played around the house, Charlie’s captivation with hip-hop brought him to any means for an opportunity to listen to it.

“The only place I could listen to it was in the bathroom. I used to take my brother’s discman and just sit in the bathroom for hours listening to all the songs, because my parents didn’t really want it around the house.” Even though rap music was frowned upon by his parents, they often encouraged poetry, and it is here where he learned the art of rhyme and rhythm. Using his newly developed skill set, Black used his writing as an outlet for frustration and anger; as a way to escape reality. “When I used to get really upset, I would grab a pen and a pad, get on the subway at Kipling Station, and take the train all the way to Kennedy and back, writing lyrics the entire time.”

As his talent progressed, he joined his brother’s Christian hip-hop group, The Red Wolves, and started using his gift as a means to spread a positive message to whoever was willing to listen. Heavily influenced by Jay-Z, along with other favourites such as DMX, Black continued to maintain positive lyrics as he began to develop his own style and take his music to the next level.

At age 17, fully aware of the risks involved, Charlie left high school to pursue his ambition in the music business. And while he has received heavy criticism for what others believe to be an impulsive and reckless decision, Charlie is confident that his hard work and dedication will pay off. Believing that it is not only how hard you work, but who you associate yourself with, Black has surrounded himself with only those whom he feels are truly as dedicated at achieving their goals as he is, including R&B recording artist Obie, who placed amongst Canadian Idol's top thirty-two, toured briefly with Bedouin Soundclash, and collaborates with Charlie frequently. On top of this, Charlie has worked with some of Toronto`s best, including producers Cola, Pro-Logic, Boi-1da, Rich Kidd, and Soze. He produced his first mix tape, Dat D.E.S.T.A. Dude, released in October of 2006 and is currently working on an EP featuring production from local up-and-coming artist Kid MK. Charlie describes himself as a future leader in Canadian hip-hop and as someone who is about to make a lot of noise in the industry.