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Toronto, Ontario, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2002

Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Established on Jan, 2002
Band Hip Hop Pop




"DOSE.CA: Go Here: Fineprint CD Release Party"

Hip-hop artists can be known for mining beats with more rabid dedication than an archaeologist digs for artifacts. Take eclectic, Toronto-based, hip-hop trio, Fineprint. When their beat-maker DJ Stutter isn't digging through the crates like a devoted turntablist should, he's excavating material off of Puerto Rican airline sample CDs. But, hey, it's all in the name of crafting a killer beat.

"During one of my thrift-store digs, I came across this interesting looking Puerto Rican record that was supposedly given out on their airlines in the '70s," said Stutter, who, along with fellow bandmates Astonish (vocals) and San Miguel (guitar, bass) sat down for a recent interview. "It was a compilation of Spanish songs and amongst them was this amazing progressive jazz track that had numerous interesting and loopable breakdowns. After constructing some short sequences, Astonish added his dope lyrics and San Miguel rearranged and mixed the track and added a dope bassline to finish it off. Our final product was a track that incorporated the raw sound of this obscure airline record as well as our interpretation and concept."

The song in question is "Puerto Rico," a whirlwind ode to traditional salsa vibes with an unconventional take on a Friday night almost gone wrong. It's one of the eclectic offerings from the group's self-titled debut LP, and, if at first listen you're left in awe and wondering exactly when hip-hop fully embraced world vibes as much as the world has embrace it, the LP doesn't disappoint. It extends its reach to include tracks that flirt with frenetic classical piano loops ("What The") and soulful '70s basslines ("Wicked"). It's a varied style that well lives up to Astonish's assertion that "hip-hop is the bastard child of music."

"Our message is that hip-hop is so broad," says San Miguel of the groups layered sound. "It's a genre built on other genres and time periods."

"It can be diverse, unexpected and different," adds Astonish. "There's more to hip-hop than just mainstream radio and television. Our album makes the statement: 'Seek and you shall find.'"

The group first found each other in 2002 during a regular jam session at San Miguel's place, an affair that usually finds different Toronto artists coming together, but on this particular day, found the three melody makers on their own.

"We ended up freestyling with myself on the turntables, San Miguel on guitar and Astonish on the mic and before we knew it, we created our first track," says Stutter. "It was at that point we realized that we had a different sound and that there was potential for us to make dope music."

That session would result in the band recording 10 tracks in less than a month. Over the next four years, they refined that style and tested it out on audiences, some receptive and some not so receptive, at first.

"During a performance at a downtown lounge early last year, an unknown person from the crowd kept coming up to me and mumbling stuff while I was saying my rhymes," recounts Astonish about an incident at a Toronto gig. "He was clearly drunk and was all in my grill. But, I just kinda spit my rhymes directly at him, not letting it phase me. It actually calmed him down and he seemed to be in awe as to what I was doing."

While tackling the Toronto scene is something that the band is poised and ready for, it isn't the only market that they want their music to hit. For Fineprint, the goal is to go as broad as their musical style.

"The T.O. music scene is competitive because there are a lot of talented musicians out there trying to make it," says Stutter. "At times, it seems the T.O. scene supports international artists and ignores homegrown talent, which is why we inked a distribution deal in Japan set for release this summer. There is limited opportunity in T.O. for the countless artists in T.O. The scene is tough but it makes the musicians stronger in the long run."

Fineprint performs at their official CD release party at The Rivoli (334 Queen St. W.) on April 28. Doors open at 10 p.m., free.

For more info visit
- DOSE.CA-Christine Clarke

"Fineprint's single "Wicked" featured on MTV's Washington Heights episode 3"

Music from Washington Heights Episode 3

Fineprint - Wicked

(scene: Fred & Ludwin walk out of a building and walk down the stairs; they go order food and sit outside on some steps and talk about Ludwin's breakup) -

"Urbanology review Fall 2007 issue"

check out fall 2007 magazine Urbanology for a review of Fineprint self-titled debut album - Urbanology (Fall 2007)

"Hip-Hop Thursday — Fineprint"

Gritty but fun-loving live band Rap from Canada has a name, and it's name is Fineprint! The Toronto-based trio, comprised of Astonish, San Miguel, and Stutter, get stupid-soulful on their debut self-titled album, with live instrumentation, dirty beats, lo-fi recording techniques and witty raps. "Repeat This" gives me a sort of Madvillian type of vibe, while hearkening back to the days of Biz Markie's most dusted joints, and the sweet Soul of Stax Records.

" Blogarhythms"

As it happens, emcee Astonish, of Toronto-based Hip-Hop trio Fineprint reminds me more than a little bit of "the live guy with glasses." So much so in fact that he echoes Extra-P's sentiment that "peace is not the word to play" on the chorus of "Peace by Piece," one of many standout tracks on the group's new self-titled release. He also bears more than a passing resemblance to monotone mainstays of the true-school era like Boston's Edo G and The Guru, Brooklyn's Special Ed, and even Parrish Smith. Which is cool, because the production, a blend of samples and live instruments layed down by guitarist/bassist San Miguel and DJ/beatmaker Stutter, is largely a throwback to the cratedigging aesthetic of that same era, and evokes memories of Biz Markie's run producing himself and other Cold Chillin' artists through the early '90s for me.


Studio albums

Album: Fineprint
Label: SOCAN/Fineprint
Format: CD, Digital Download
Album: Fineprint (Japan Edition)
Label: Milkdipper Records
Format: CD, Digital Download

Album: Puerto Rico
Label: Milkdipper Records
Format: Limited Edition 12-Inch Vinyl

Guest Appearances

Song:"Fucked Up Love”
Album: Moonstarr's Instrumentals Forever
Label: Public Transit Recordings
Song:"Tell Me"
Album: Think Twice's Rock To This Beat
Label: P-Vine Records
Song: "Ashby (Himuki Remix)"/"Ashby (Frequent Flyers Remix)"
Album: Milkdipper presents Space Travelers
Label: Milkdipper Records



Fineprint (SOCAN) is a hip-hop trio consisting of Astonish (emcee), San Miguel (guitarist/bassist), and Deejay Stutter (turntables). Based on the philosophy that the fine print in any transaction is where realness lay, this unique band/crew has brought back the realness to hip hop music with live instrumentation accompanied by reality driven personal narrative. The group’s musical sound is an eclectic mixture influenced by jazz, funk, ska, punk, and almost everything in between. Formed in 2002, Fineprint came into being by an unmistakable feeling that this combination of guitarist, turntablist and emcee were bent on creating something new. After half a decade of weekly practice, and solid refinement of business acumen, Fineprint decided to let the world hear and feel their music. With the release of their self-titled album (2007), Fineprint garnered critical acclaim from Tokyo to Toronto. The album is currently available on I-Tunes and at various locations throughout Toronto and Japan.

Their self-titled debut LP (2007) epitomizes the fresh and edgy vibe of this trio. Lyrically, Fineprint weaves the fun and raw energy of hip hop’s early years alongside relevant, yet positive narratives that any demographic can relate to. Japan retail categorized Fineprint as Jazzy Hip Hop, break beats, turntablism, genre confines the group surely exceeds. Such unbound realistic, yet relevant lyrical content was evident in Fineprint’s first overseas tour in 2007. Having successfully toured Japan, from Osaka to Fukoka, the Fineprint vibe circumvented linguistic and cultural barriers to rock various crowds. After securing a distribution deal with Milkdipper records, this unique trio extended and consolidated their foreign fan base supplying hungry fans with both raw and cooked hip-hop delights.

While the release of their sophomore LP Re:Fresh is eagerly anticipated, Fineprint has worked on radio commercials, voice-over acting and musical scores for short films. In 2013, Fineprint's single "Wicked" was featured on episode 3 of MTV's Washington Heights. The group has also contributed two songs to the upcoming film Jackhammer featuring Pamela Anderson and Jamie Kennedy.

With tight production courtesy of Deejay Stutter and San Miguel and various rhyme styles via the baritone vocals of Astonish, crowds are now taking notice to what’s been under the radar. Speculation aside, don’t make up your mind yet if you haven’t read Fineprint.

Band Members