Dilemmanade
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Dilemmanade

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2011 | INDIE

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2011
Band Hip Hop Dubstep

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Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


Local rapper, Johnny Dilemma hits the stage, which wakes up a considerable percentage of the crowd, with a glass of Dilemmanade and hit metaphorical poetry of lyrics. Announced as the first of the two official openers by Clay, Johnny tosses free merchandise into the swarm on the dance floor, tossing t-shirts and CD’s like candy on Halloween. “If you got love, throw up your W’s” he says, Johnny was not born on the west coast, but he feels he was raised by the west from coming here after barely surviving major brain surgery. Now he’s promoting a hip hop career working with big names like Machine Gun Kelly, Snoop Dogg, and the Black Eyed Peas. Before leaving the stage, “before I go” he says, as he busts into some impressive free-styling as they casually packed up their set and left the stage. Keep an eye on Dilemmanade. - Abort Mag


> To put you on the spot right up front… Tell us about Johnny without using anything from your bio.
>
Damn that's all my good material. Just kidding. Outside of, above and before hip hop, I'm an inventor at heart. Songs just happen to be the thing I've invented the most of to fulfill my creative needs. I am constantly inventing things in my head. I will own several patents before I die. I also paint. On the flip side I'm quite business minded. I've owned my own business outside music for over 2 years. Ummm what else? I don't read books. I watch zero tv. I don't watch too many movies. Lots of classics people are shocked I've never seen. They get angry like "dude you've never seen....?!?!?" Should I add any of that to my bio? Hahaha
> Having spent the last few years sharing the stage with some of the great names in hip-hip (Snoop, cardinal, Nas, etc) is there a single life lesson learned from all those who have ‘made it’ to international acclaim?
>
They're all serious about their craft. It's a business. Blazing and partying and whatever is great but I guess the one common denominator is that the pros understand there is a time and place for everything. And it's not always fun and games. But when it is fun and games that business ish needs to f off.
> When you’re wearing two proverbial hats, tour manager and opening act, do you ever find yourself running yourself ragged, or has it become second nature to take things as they come?
>
It's been 2nd nature for quite some time. In fact even before I did music full time I was in this mode from the last job I worked before making the leap. I used to be a tour guide slash program director for grad trips in Cuba. So making sure 4-5 grown men have all their shit and get to where they need to be pales in comparison to being responsible for 700 high school grads at an all inclusive resort for the first time in their life. Run THAT week's itinerary and I think anyone could manage a rolling stones tour after haha.
> What’s the single craziest thing you’ve seen during this tour specifically?
>
Barricades snapped in half. Seriously. Bent like aluminum, stepped on and trampled. It happened in Winnipeg. I've never seen the likes of it. It was on some soccer hooligan fan tip. Madness. Slash amazing. It's controlled chaos.
> How does (above crazy thing) stack up against your best story from your touring past?
>
Well thankfully the barricade didn't happen to me haha. I don't even know where to begin. Late night sessions with legends telling me about their first hand experiences with biggie, tupac, eazy-e and eminem are things I'll never forget. I'll also never forget getting interrogated by border patrol for 3 hours while taking Warren G back to the states after we did a run up here. The running joke was the dj only bringing 3 pairs of drawers or some shit for the whole run. It was just a joke. But man they lined us up against a wall and screamed at us not to move or talk and that they were gonna bring in the dogs cuz they were sure we had weed on us. They told us the dog would find it. Well wouldn't you know it they let this German Sheppard out and it beelines straight for the djs ass and rifles his snout right up there and me and the rest of the boys lost it and burst out in laughter. We had nothing. They found nothing. But that dog really caught a wiff of something.
> Having just finished a cross Canada tour with Machine Gun Kelly, what can you say about the reception to MGK and the openers alike?
>
I gotta give props to my fellow openers on this one. Ghost from BC and M.O. Littles from Ontario both killed it on the shows we all did together. That's a first that I've been impressed with all the other supporting acts. Both those guys and myself know how to rock crowds and warm em up for the main act. There was never loss of momentum. Always climatic leading up to Dub-O and onto MGK. And Machine Gun Kelly is one of the greatest performers in the world today. It's a big statement but if you saw his show I'd challenge you to say who's better. You'd lose. There is nothing like it. It is the pinnacle of what a live show should be. Incredibly entertaining.
> How about your own hometown(s), what do Vancouver fans (of yours) have to offer that Ontario fans don’t and vice versa?
>
Cough cough, Love for the west coast. Hahaha. Weird how none of the shows/tours I did with Warren, Dogg Pound, or Bone Thugs ever had successful shows in Toronto. Either no booking/love altogether or else the show flopped/cancelled. Wuddup with that t-dot? My BC fans also have better weed to offer myself and other performers I roll with who appreciate that stuff. On the flip side when the shows do happen I guess Ontario fans offer larger crowds due to scene and population. Ontario fans are more live in general I'd say. People in BC are too faded at shows to throw their hands up for legends sometimes. They love it but they're more lax.
> What does Vancouver need to do to become a world class destination for hip-hop, and who in your mind is working hard to make it happen.
>
Straight up Vancouver and ALL other cities lacking a scene need to adopt the mentality of Austin Texas. Hence why people look to SXSW for break out artists. Let me break down scene sustainability for the kiddies. I'm sorry but it starts with the venues.
Austin Venue approach - Hey send us your demo cuz we book bands constantly. People come to our venue expecting to see good new music consistently. So don't be offended if we don't select you but keep trying. We keep our standards high cuz our customers (aka the dedicated scene) expect that from us. When ur ready we've got hungry fans ready to expose you to. And we'll gladly pay you for your services.
Vancouver Venue approach - Wait sorry how many people are YOU bringing? We need you to bring out 50 people. In fact I'm gonna book 5 groups who claim they can bring out 50 people each. I'm probably only gonna pay the bands in drink tickets.

Thanks Vancouver! Not only are you not helping build a scene but your narrow minded thinking and foresight hasn't even led to your venue having a consistent customer base for a full night let alone for future. Not only are the people that came to see band x not ever coming back to your venue when band x is not playing but they're also leaving immediately after band x is off stage. I've seen it a million times. You're an idiot if you book like this. Much like your customer base your job will not last long.

Venues need to help build the scene by consistently booking talented groups such that people would want to be involved in a scene not a friggin circle jerk of band's friends at local shows.

Radio in Vancouver is another gatekeeper that isn't too conducive to building a true scene but don't get me started.

Movers n shakers in Vancouver are Madchild, Sonreal, Snak, Emotionz and if Vancouver knew how many places I've gone and repped vancity all day everywhere then they'd put me in that list too. Otherwise I don't care to put myself in lists. We'd all have a better chance building a scene if we worked for the Vancouver tourism board than we would if we just stayed in Vancouver rapping.

> As a performer, what do you see when a large portion of the audience is holding up phones and cameras for most of the show?
>
I see people who want to save these moments forever and I cherish that. I love it. We're all content aggregaters in this social media wild west. If you can help spread my content then we're friends. Hashtag dilemmanade!
> Having read a few interviews you did previous, I really have to ask about heading under the knife for emergency brain surgery. How has your outlook on your future changed since then, and does it continue to affect you today?
>
Well it wasn't an immediate sense of urgency that was born after. If anything it stunted my growth. It took me some years to clear my head. It was like when you get knocked out. Takes you a minute before you're back in the fight. But when you are you ain't getting knocked down again. It continues to affect me today because people relate. Can people relate more to growing up having to slang crack and carry a gun or relate better to almost dying or losing a loved one. We relate more to artist's music that we seem to relate to the personal lives of more. I'm glad I don't relate to gun slinging crack dealers cuz that'd suck shmoozing after a show. What's realer than death?
> Do you have anyone under your wing, so to speak? An upcoming talent who you’re confident will make waves?
>
I'm sad to report no. I've offered help to so many people over the years. You can lead a horse to water but you can't make em drink swim or even look at it. Nobody under my wing per say however I work with these cats I went to high school with...Sick Tricks, Aeon Crux and SBonage who will 100% make waves. We've all been doing it too long not to. Other than that I'm confident in David Versis outta Toronto. The only other Canadian MC I mess with is Aspire of KOTD battle fame. And then on the producer tip these guys will 100% make waves...Good Lawd Lashad, Stroker Deluca, Andrew Triple A, and Justin Frew. All super talented people you're probably hearing of for the first time. Go look em up!
> Do you work with any local charities or projects in Vancouver (or other) that you can tell us about? How important is it to give back?
>
I've worked with BC Cancer Foundation before and hope to in future. I'd like to work with big brothers of Canada because I had one as a kid and it made a huge difference in my life. The last thing a kid with a half ass dad needs tho is a half ass big brother and unfortunately 1/4 ass is all I can commit most times just due to touring or scheduling. But I will work with them in future. Sick Kids in Toronto is one I'd build a wing in if I could to give back when I can afford it. They did save my life after all. Needless to say giving back is huge to me. It's how I was raised by my single mother who I owe everything to.
> What does 2014 hold for JD?
>
I'm taking it to the states. Grinding radio my damn self. My goals include getting on some festivals and getting back to Europe for another tour as well but either way mark my words I'm making a splash in the states in 2014. I'm callin in favors from some friends I've made over the years.
> Is there anything you’d like to add?
>
Never give up. Most people give up right before they're about to make it. Don't do that. - Abort Magazine


20 QUESTIONS: JOHNNY DILEMMA

1. What is your profession?

- I am a Recording Artist

2. Where are you from?

- Originally born and raised in Scarborough, Ontario until age 18, and then I've lived out here for quite sometime on the West coast. Vancouver is my home.

3. What first inspired you to become a Recording Artist?

- Well as a kid I was always involved in rapping, and then when I got out here it came to fruition when I met producers. Thats when things kinda changed from just rapping over little mix-tape stuff or whatever. And then I put together a demo and we won a trip to the Playboy Mansion. We went and partied with Ja Rule for his CD release party, and partied with Hugh Hefner, Jamie Foxx, Cedric the Entertainer, a bunch of different people and it was obviously an eye opening experience. I was like ok, fuck, I want to do this you know? I will be back, tell Hugh!

4. Name your three favourite Albums:

- Smif-N-Wessun, Dah Shinin' (1995)
- A Tribe Called Quest, Midnight Marauders (1993)
- The Notorious B.I.G., Life After Death (1997)

5. Whats on your playlist right now?

- Right now… I'm not going to lie, it's only my own shit for the tour. (Laughs) I got to keep it straight, its only my own shit.

6. How do you like touring with MGK?

- Its been wicked so far. He is the best performer I have ever seen, so when I heard about the show I was stoked. I pride myself on being pretty high energy, so to be attached something like this, you know, people are going to leave here tonight having the best time of the year. This is going to be the best tour, the best concert that they saw of the year. So to be attached to that in each city, to be attached to peoples memories is a wicked experience.

7. Who's the better rapper, you or MGK?

- MGK hands down. Better rapper, better performer. Better metaphors? (Pfff) I'll take on anyone. I'll put my metaphors and my rhymes against anyone! But he is the better rapper.

8. What is your best road experience?

- Being on the road with Bone Thugs n' Harmony. We did a 46 stop tour in the (United) States, and just the adventures… There was like maybe 9 states that we didn't hit. You know? So it was epic! One of the best experiences of my life. You don't see too many tours that big anymore.

9. Are you an entertainer, writer, or studio dweller?

- Entertainer, and a writer. I'm working on the studio game.

10. Who would you like to share the stage with most?

- Right now a big one for me is Talib Kweli. We did do a show with him before, I didn't get a chance to meet him, and then we were supposed to do another show with him… I was coming back from Cuba, my flight got delayed and I fucking missed the show by like two hours! I was so choked, and he's one of my favourite artists I would say. I would definitely like to do a tour with him in the future.

11. What is one place you could play at, that you haven't already?

- I need to go to Sweden! Thats the new Amsterdam apparently!

12. In 5 years where do you want to be?

- (I want to) Have the top Canadian hip-hop label that is also a household name in the States but run out of Canada… I've started to build a team underneath me so that's going to be where it's at in 5 years, is building the team. Start it now before you get on top and things get stagnant, and you don't even have that baton to pass on anymore.

13. What are you most proud of in your life so far?

- Living, I would say. I was given a 10% chance of surviving brain surgery when I was 17. They actually told my mom I was pretty much going to die unless I had this surgery in which case I would be maybe a 10% chance. So that's my biggest achievement. Besides that everything else kind of pales in comparison.

14. What is your biggest regret?

- Relying on others. Not relying on myself, you know? I should have taught myself video a lot sooner then I did. I sat around and said oh these videos are so expensive and saved up like $6000 to do a video and it went nowhere. Meanwhile I could have done it myself. Straight up… I would have taught myself a lot more and a lot sooner.

15. Would you rather burn out, or fade away?

- I'd rather burnout on some fake death shit, straight up. But I hope I didn't ruin it by saying that! (Laughs).

16. What is your favourite drink? Alcoholic or non...

- Coconut Water.

17. Peanut Butter or Jam?

- Peanut Butter.

18. How many tattoos do you have?

- 17.

19. Who is your favourite superhero?

- Speedy Gonzales.

20. Will you ever stop?

- Never. - Live Fast Media


It's a video interview. Check it out. - Archivest


By Alex Hudson
Canuck MC Dilemmanade has been sharing tour diaries with Exclaim!, documenting his "Raging with Reindeer II" tour with Machine Gun Kelly. With the tour now over, we've now got the final instalment in the four-part series.

The clip showcases Johnny Dilemma's homecoming show in Toronto, where he reportedly almost got denied entrance to the venue just 20 minutes before he was due to take the stage. The clip ends with a tour bus party that looks even more wild that the show itself. We've tagged this clip NSFW since one woman takes a shirt-optional approach to attending a concert. - Exclaim.ca


INTERVIEW: JOHNNY DILEMMA
posted January 8, 2014, 9:23 am by Carlita | Filed Under Editorial, General Interest, Interviews | comment Leave a Comment

In hip-hop, history’s proven countless times we, the audience, appreciate overcoming hardship, finding a renewed sense of purpose and using those dreams to partake in the rising rap grind. Inspired by a few artists over the past year I’ve met who have this story in common, doing big things up in the polar vortex (stay warm, Canada), I came across another such artist, Johnny Dilemma and his behind the scenes tour video randomly, who recently wrapped a Canadian run with the group, Machine Gun Kelly. It’s clear to see he’s got next, taken lemons and made “Dilemmanade” and is doing his part to value-add and elevate T-dot (raised in Scarborough) and Van City’s hip-hop profiles.

I spoke to Johnny on his way to MGK’s Toronto tour stop about building his rap resumé (opening for Nas, Bone Thugs, Redman and Method Man to name a few), his tough teen years (surviving brain surgery and almost dying), his MGK tour life and his scary border crossing experience with Warren G. Peep the videos and interview soundclips below and visit Johnny Dilemma’s site for more mixtape info! - Music Emissions


Discography

Dilemma - 6400 copies sold
Dilemmanade - 2200 copies sold
The Stand - 560 copies sold

Photos

Bio

Dilemmanade, or Dilemma for short, was born and raised in Scarborough, Ontario and relocated to Vancouver after narrowly surviving major brain surgery. A gifted wordsmith, he prides himself on being a songwriter that will still rap circles around most new era MCs. Hes one of the most energetic, audience-engaging, stage-diving and speaker-climbing MCs to present such amazing mic and breath control with such great clarity during a live performance. After releasing two albums with his former group, Sketch Bros, he sold 6400 copies of his solo debut album, titled DILEMMA in less than nine months. His performance resume is unparalleled, having opened for such mega acts as Snoop Dogg, Kardinal Offishall, The Game, Daz and Kurupt, Smif N Wessun, Classified, Jedi Mind Tricks, Louis Logic, Jurassic 5, Mike Jones, Nas, Redman and Method Man, De La Soul, Talib Kweli, Fat Joe,Warren G, Three 6 Mafia and Black Eyed Peas. In 2012, Dilemma was the main tour support act for the legendary Grammy Award winning Bone Thugs N Harmony on over 60 dates in three countries over two continents. He also completed a sold out tour at the end of 2013 as the main tour support for Bad Boy recording artist Machine Gun Kelly.  Dilemmas music is in synch with his humanitarian lifestyle and personal philosophy of giving back. Hes committed to the elimination of racist and misogynistic stereotypes prevalent in hip hop today.


Please Note***For some reason it will NOT allow me to add band members.  My band and live shows consist of me as the lead MC, backed up by one female vocalist/beat box pedal looper/keyboardist/guitar as well as one male vocalist/beat box pedal looper/guitarist/bassist/trumpeteer/gong player and my DJ Lprecise.  It is a fusion of live beat box and looped instrumentation with the scratching of a DJ.

Band Members