Dead Celebrity Status
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Dead Celebrity Status

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Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


Sound Check
Ian Nathanson

PUBLISHED DECEMBER 8, 2004

Dead Celebrity Status will play Lee’s Palace on Saturday night.
Nothing like getting an international celebrity to put in a few good words for burgeoning Canadian artists. Case in point: Dead Celebrity Status.
The Toronto hip-hopsters received both a plug from U.K. soul sensation Joss Stone in Rolling Stone this past September, but also a request that the 17-year-old contribute vocals on Erica, from the group’s newly released debut, Blood Music, on Bif Naked’s Her Royal Majesty’s Records label.
"I met them when they came to one of my Toronto gigs and they were so cool, really nice," Stone told Metro in a phone interview from Los Angeles. "Then I listened to some of their stuff and it seemed really cool, too. So that’s when I decided to hook up with them."
To DCS MC Yassen "Yas" Taalat, Stone’s non-paying contribution was nothing short of mind-blowing.
"For people like her to not only appreciate my music, but want to work with us, it’d have to be for the love of the music and not for the money," says Yas as he, co-MC Bobby McIntosh and turntablist DJ Dopey prep for a Lee’s Palace show Saturday night. "What that does to us is it keeps us strong, motivated and hungry to impress these people more the next time around."
Leaving a good impression means more now to DCS than when Yas fronted former hip hop/alt-rock outfit Project Wyze.
"We were very naïve to the whole game," Yas says of the Wyze years before their 2002 split. "We got signed up to 13 years by a major label and when you’re kids and you get dumped into a situation like that, you don’t know the ins and outs, what’s right or wrong or how you should best approach things. A lot of stuff happened that shouldn’t have happened but we just didn’t understand it at the time."
What DCS does understand is that they’ve attracted some big-name guest stars for Blood Music – Stone, Bif Naked, Dave Navarro and Stephen Perkins (ex of Jane’s Addiction), Jeordie "Twiggy Ramirez" White (Marilyn Manson, A Perfect Circle), DJ Lethal (Limp Bizkit) – largely due to L.A. producer Danny Saber (Busta Rhymes, Public Enemy).
"But it wasn’t about seeing how many stars we can get on the album," Yas says. "Honestly, we didn’t want to ask someone like Twiggy, because we didn’t want to impose on someone who’s a friend of Danny’s, while he’s hanging out with him on his own time.
"But one day Twiggy picks up a bass guitar, starts playing this riff for what would become In This Day And Age. Next thing I knew Danny’s laying down some drums, and we wrote a song right on the spot."


- Toronto Metro News


Former Londoner MC Yas is enjoying a new rock life with Dead Celebrity Status.
Yas, the performing name of former Yassen Talaat, and his fellow Project Wyze MC Bobby (Bobby McIntosh) are two-thirds of the Toronto band known to its fans by the initials DCS. Toronto's DJ Dopey, the 2003 Technics World DMC champ as a turntablist, completes the front line. Dead Celebrity Status plays Call the Office on Monday night. A drummer and pianist join the three DCS stars on stage as the band tours to support its CD, Blood Music.
As members of Project Wyze, Yas and Bobby had a major-label deal and toured until 2002. After one final tour in 2002, the band broke up. "Basically, when we got back, Bobby and myself wanted to go our separate ways," Yas says. "For me and Bobby, it's down to music and it always has been."
The pair have been hip-hop partners since the late 1980s, when they were teenage performers in Sudbury. Yas moved to London in the late 1990s and attended Beal secondary school for a year before Fanshawe and Western studies. Yas's parents now live in London and he often visits.
"London is my safe haven," Yas says.
Bobby also moved to London and the two provided the words and rhymes for Project Wyze, a metal-rap band that sold about 50,000 recordings. After the breakup, Yas has stayed in touch with former bandmates, including its two guitarists -- Sasha Kosovic of London and Adam Arsenault, formerly of Woodstock, and now a Torontonian.
While dealing with the aftermath of Wyze, Yas says he and Bobby "went underground" to prepare for Dead Celebrity Status. This year, they emerged with Blood Music on Bif Naked's label Her Majesty's Records, which is distributed by Warner. During the summer of 2004, Dead Celebrity Status split time between Los Angeles, Toronto and Vancouver to record the album with producer Danny Saber. Blood Music features guest appearances by Joss Stone, Dave Navarro and Steve Perkins of Jane's Addiction, Twiggy of A Perfect Circle and the divine Ms Bif herself.
Jane's Addiction and Dead Celebrity Status became friends by sharing NBA fandom. The Jane's Addiction rockers were fans of the L.A. Lakers, while Yas lives and dies with the Indiana Pacers. Recently, his Pacers have been hit by suspensions because of a brawl involving fans, but Yas remains loyal, proud of the way Indiana's makeshift lineup is out-performing the Toronto Raptors.
"We bonded over basketball. When they heard our music, they were totally down with it. They were totally stoked," Yas says of Navarro and Perkins, who play on DCS's hit single We Fall, We Fall.
Like the other guest stars, Navarro and Perkins were not paid. That's unusual in music today, but when it came to Yas, Bobby and DJ Dopey, the guests all wanted to show their support for free, not a fee.
Blood Music is a jump ahead from Bobby and Yas's rhymes and lines with Project Wyze taking in politics, stardom, loneliness and endless pop culture references to everything from Michael Jackson to anorexia to Maxim and FHM magazines to Axl Rose.
There are more serious lyrical encounters on Blood Music, too. With anger, Yas, whose father came to Canada from Morocco, shouts out what it's like to be a Muslim in the world since Sept. 11, 2001. One song talks about the treatment his brother Mohamed (Mo) Talaat faces at airports even now, including prolonged bouts of questioning. Mo Talaat managed Project Wyze and now works with Dead Celebrity Status and its street team.
"I can tell some stories that would shock you. I've been put in the interrogation room," Yas says of his own dealings with overly zealous anti-terrorist investigators.
One track, Erica, is repeated from the Project Wyze CD. It has Bobby and Yas trading insults in their efforts to impress the elusive Erica. This time, the insults are even nastier and funnier than before.
Yas and Bobby had always regretted that the song was not a hit for Project Wyze, but didn't plan on Erica being part of Blood Music. It was guest vocalist Stone, the British teen with the voice of an R&B diva, who insisted the two MCs feud over Erica one more time. Stone sings on the track.
That is the price of having such live celebrities join in the music.
"When Joss Stone wants it, there's not much you do about it, but resurrect it from the dead," Yas smiles. "I guarantee there will not be another Erica after this album. Erica will be put to rest."
- London Free Press


Discography

Dead Celebrity Status - Blood Music
Released Oct 19, 2004 on HRM Records

Lead off Single "We Fall, We Fall" featuring guitar parts by Dave Navarro of Janes Addiction.
after 3 weeks the single is #38 on the CHR Charts

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

Yas & Bobby the explosive front men from Canadian gold status recording artist “Project Wyze” (Sony), have gone into the darkness of the urban jungle and now they have resurfaced, coming back at you retooled, reworked, and revamped with the incredible “Blood Music”.
These two primal maniacs have teamed up with the #1 DJ on earth – that’s right “DJ Dopey” world champion in 2004.
Blood Music which was released in stores on Oct 19, 2004, is Produced by Danny Saber.
Guest appearances by: Joss Stone, Dave Navarro (Jane’s Addiction), Steven Perkins (Jane’s Addiction), Bif Naked, Twiggy (Formerly of Marilyn Manson), DJ Lethal (Limp Bizkit, House of Pain).