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Ottawa, Ontario, Canada | INDIE

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada | INDIE
Band Hip Hop




"Smooth on the mic"

Finding a unique way to mix hip hop lyricism and crisp R&B vocals with Motown-inspired rhythms, Homebased stands above the crowd with the release of their first full-length release Get Busy.

With tracks full of the heartfelt and personal lyrics, Homebased is a united effort from the talented stylings of Ottawa born-and-bred rappers Textstyle, Betavel and DJ/producer Kane B. For over five years, the boys have written and performed songs that tell stories of strife and the ability to overcome while touching on a broad spectrum of emotions from courage to love to perseverance.

Since they hit the ground running in 2008, the boys garnered a solid fan-base throughout Ottawa and Montreal with their debut EP Worldwide, but have since taken their homegrown talent national with Get Busy. Having shared the stage with game-changers and fellow Canadians like Swollen Members and DL Incognito, and southern neighbours such as rappers Fashawn and Mac Miller, Homebased have gained fans at a steady momentum and were even selected to perform at the 2012 JunoFEST concert series in Ottawa.

Get Busy finds the boys remembering their humble beginnings and taking note of their own growth with tracks like “Basics” [watch the video below] that incite familiarity in the listener as the life stories of the Homebased crew flow through. They talk about how music was a way to be themselves while growing up, even if they couldn’t in other aspects of their lives – “Smooth on the mic, yeah I stumbled in real life / A math connoisseur, half-critic with a fine taste / These days chillin’ as we gear up for the next challenge.”

“Basics” is the kind of song that brings back memories of youth tribulations and finding your way in the world, something that everyone can relate to. As the song goes on, the boys talk about their misadventures of youth and how they had to do things their own way while learning from their mistakes, but all the immaturity of their youth ends up being a part of their past and a stepping stone toward the future.

The rest of the album follows suit with songs like “Everyday” and “Go On” that talk about overcoming challenges and facing adversity everyday yet always being able to move forward – “I wouldn’t worry about impressions if you never hurt / Put in perspective it’s a lesson you will never learn / I face my biggest challenge everyday and the challenge help me balance what I’ve mastered on the stage / So in a way I guess I’m man enough to say that I wouldn’t be the guy you see without the malice that I’ve faced.”

There’s no denying these guys wear their hearts on their sleeves and are strong enough to admit past mistakes, knowing they are just notches on the tree of life as it grows and flourishes. One of the most evident examples of this candid strength steeped in proud yet tempered bravado is the last track “Shut Em Down” where listeners can hear loud and clear – “I write from the heart part, right from the start / My freedom and my medium’s my life and my art [...] They got you thinking it’s safe to come around / We came back with a song to shut em down.”

Homebased have hit a homerun with Get Busy. This is an album filled with powerful and profound, emotionally driven lyrics stemming from lives lived and lessons learned, and a burning passion for life and music that can’t and won’t be extinguished. So what are you waiting for? Get Busy.

- Tara Shapransky | Vancouver Weekly



April 22, 2013
Homebased is a hip-hop crew with roots grounded right here in Ottawa, and is the product of Ottawa based rappers Textstyle, Betavel and DJ Kane B. who dropped their first live show in 2008. Since then, they have proven themselves to be an important influence in the hip hop world, touring with the likes of Swollen Members and a ton of others, and played the 2012 JunoFEST right here in Ottawa.

This Ottawa based hip hop crew – well, let me stop here for a second. Hip-hop is such a funny genre of music. If I were to say to someone, “what kind of music are you into?” and their response is “hip-hop” I really have no goddamn idea what the hell kind of music there into. This is why – telling someone you like “hip-hop” is like telling someone “I have a smartphone” – I mean, sure, technically you’re correct, but you have to be a hell of a lot more specific for me to have any knowledge of what type of phone you have. I think of hip-hop much the same way. The genre is so vast and subsumes so many different sounds that you really have to narrow down the focus when you say something like that. And while I am fully aware that this analogy can be made for pretty much any genre, I’m sticking to it.

Homebased’s style of hip hop combines the passionate feel of soul music and big band with a K-OS inspired rap style that is reminiscent of Little Brother or Talib Kweli. If you listen closely to their tracks, you will see that these guys have an unbelievable comfort level with their sound which only adds to their uplifting and introspective style of hip hop. Their lyrical form makes their rhymes seem effortless and flawless – combine that with a raw, edgy rap feel to create the perfect soundtrack to chill to.

Their first EP, Worldwide, dropped in 2009 and showed the Canadian hip-hop world that these guys were for real. Since then, they have released a full length album Get Busy in March, 2013 which is an absolute must have for any music collection. The Get Busy album is full of unbelievably sweet tracks such as “Go on“, which is smooth and chill, are mixed in with more energetic tracks like “Weekend” and “Basics” which brings a diverse mix to this album, while keeping an overall soulfully smooth flow. Even the prelude to the album is catchy as hell.

Alright so here’s the d-l, these guys have just launched their Get Busy album this month, which you can check out over on Soundcloud or buy over at their Bandcamp site. Their music can also be heard on the CBC Radio hip hop stream, and their track “Basic” (which is incredible and anything but basic) is featured on This is Hip Hop Vol. 4 by South Grouse Productions based out of Kingston, ON. You absolutely must check out their YouTube channel for some of the group’s other music videos, and be sure to hook up with them of Facebook to show them some love. - Lauren Angle | Sh1t She Says

"Ottawa trio Homebased return with debut hip-hop album"

Developing their rap skills after meeting in high school, Ottawa hip-hop crew Homebased had their headphones turned up to “Golden Era” artists like Black Star and Mos Def for almost 15 years.

“We rap-battled each other just for fun back then,” said MC Liam “Betavel” Kendall. Kendall and fellow MC Tom “Textile” Bent and DJ Kane “B” Beard make up Homebased.

But the time for schoolyard battles is over and the trio is getting down to business with their first LP release Get Busy at Ritual on Saturday.

Since 2008 they have shared stages with Canadian hip hop stars Swollen Members and Eternia.

“It was perfect to have Kane B come into the scene and bring Homebased as a whole together with his beats and style,” said Kendall.

After sitting on some songs since their EP Worldwide was independently released in 2009, Kendall is excited to share new music. “It’s the accumulation of the last three years work,” said Kendall of the 13-song album recorded at a home studio. “We want people to appreciate the countless hours we’ve poured into it all,” said Kendall.

With an honest and introspective style of lyric-writing, the group raps from what they’ve experienced firsthand living in Ottawa. For Kendall, expressing themselves in rhymes allows them to ask the big existential questions — such as in the lyrics from What I Do, “I gotta figure out the better man I need to be better than.”

This song was the most challenging one for Kendall to complete because, “It was like self-examination of our music career (as struggling independent musicians),” said Kendall.

Kendall is most proud of Shut ’Em Down, a dance-orientated track that will get Talib Kweli fans moving. “From the first time I heard that beat I knew that this was a hit. It sounds crazy on stage and it’s that one song that I’m like YES, let’s do this!”

Delivered with energetic duality between the MCs, the song features a cool vocal loop with heavy scratching from mixmaster Kane B.

Local hip-hop groups Atherton and Flight Distance also joined them as guest artists on Get Busy and will be performing at the release party on Saturday night. “Those guys are our inspirations at the same time as Ottawa’s a big influence,” said Kendall.

Homebased is currently planning a late spring tour.

“We want to inspire Ottawa itself,” said Kendall. Artists who made guest appearances on the album will be joining them for their release party. - Samantha Everts | Metro News

"Big Ups from hip-hop trio Homebased"

Ottawa hip-hop trio Homebased focuses on golden era-style hip-hop on their new album called Get Busy. Homebased is Liam “Betavel” Kendall and Tom “Textstyle” Bent on rhyme duties with Kane “Kane B” Beard on samples and scratches. Their feel-good tunes have a late-night vibe thanks to all those bassy samples. Their tune “Go On” gives you a good sense of the album’s style. Check out the video here and stream the entire 13 tracks of fierce mic talent here.

Homebased began nearly a dozen years ago when Kendall and Bent met as teenagers and tried out some rap stanzas. It was early-phase stuff with songs made up of big boasts and odes to hip-hop. As time passed, their writing became a bit slicker. One evening, the duo saw Beard’s sampling talent at a producer showcase and invited him to join their group. They put out a mixtape and started working on their full-length album. The results are big and bold with added dazzle from guest artists Ducats, Ghettosocks, Grusm, Jeff Spec, SD the Scholar, and J.E.T.S.

Homebased is part of the Vinyl Tap crew, led by capital city MC Devin Atherton. He’s featured on the album’s “Atherlude,” and serves as a mentor to the young rap crew. Atherton helped the Homebased boys with booking shows and related details of music making.

The Homebased album release party takes place Saturday, March 16 at Ritual with special guests Ghettosocks, Jeff Spec, Atherton and SD the Scholar, plus DJs Calkuta, Circa, Grusm and Prufrock. 9 p.m., $6. - Fateema Sayani | Ottawa Magazine

"Get Busy - Homebased"

The boys from HOMEBASED have come a long way in just a few short years and now they have finished up their full length sophomore record, Get Busy . We had the privilege to get an early listen to the album before it drops on March 5th, 2013.
Having just secured an independent label contract with Vancouver's HMP Records, Betavel, Textstyle, and Producer/DJ Kane B have put together a very slick effort. The 13 track album features a few local 613 talents including Vinyl Tap cohort Atherton (Atherlude), as well as DJ Ducats (All I Know) & DJ J.E.T.S. (Write My Wrongs).
Having never heard this group's music before, I listened to the album front to back around 5 or 6 times to really make sure that I got a feel for the vibe of the record. Their confidence on the microphone is infectious! When they stray away from the beat or throw in a surprise clip, it all resolves itself beautifully. It's also great to hear a group that can really groove overtop of soul beats the way that this crew does.
It's hard not to replay a couple of tracks on this album; my favourites would have to be James Dean, Atherlude ft. Atherton, All I Know and What Do I Do ft. Jeff Spec. We asked Betavel to give us a snapshot of how he felt about the record:

If you listen closely to the lyrics of this entire album, one thing is clear: these guys are on a mission to spread their brand of hip-hip and rise above anything that comes their way. The message is as uplifting as pure hip-hop can be and this crew should be very proud of all their hard work.
Make sure to make your way down to their album release party at Ritual Nightclub on March 16th as they feature the whole group that worked on the record in a great showcase of hip-hop talent. You can find the show details here. - Logan | Ottawa Music Index

"Homebased releases new album, Get Busy"

Ottawa has entered a golden age of hip hop. Seriously. With acts like Jesse Dangerously, Philly Moves, Flight Distance, Atherton, and Homebased, you don’t have to go that far from the Transitway to find some really seasoned, talented rappers and turntablists making their way in this new capital city reality.
Funnily enough, if one of those names is unfamiliar to you, it’s likely the last one. Stranger still, Homebased has been active and forceful in Ottawa since at least 2009. The trio chalks up their absence from the central discourse on rap in Ottawa to their own camera-shyness. “These days 90 percent of it is shows and putting yourself out there,” says Liam ‘Betavel’ Kendall, one of the two emcees fronting Homebased. But he, along with his bandmates Tom ‘Textstyle’ Bent and the very appropriately named Kane ‘Kane B’ Beard, are about to change all that.
The trio have just released their new album titled Get Busy. And they’re doing just that. While the digital version hit iTunes (note: the price is being adjusted here), Bandcamp, CD Baby and my iPod today, the group is planning a launch party to coincide with their physical release. It’ll take place the day before St. Patty’s – March 16th – an excuse for some early drink at Ritual Nightclub, a venue that is certainly not associated with sobriety.
And the album is good. Really good. Homebased’s intelligent lyrics and beats (courtesy of the Beard himself, Kane B) make for a compelling combination. “We like to keep a sense of realness to our content,” says Kendall. “A sense of depth.” The band is, in a word, real.
“We rap about stuff we’ve actually experienced,” says Beard from behind his beard. “We just don’t embellish much,” adds Kendall, simply.
Overall, these guys are just really friendly, sincere, kind people. Which has occasionally gotten them into trouble. Like when they allowed their friend the first crack at mastering their new album.
“We had people to go to to get it done properly,” says Beard, “but our friend was like, ‘I’ll do it!’” They obliged him, hoping to save some money. The result was a bit of a disaster.
Kendall tells a tragic story in which he boards a 95 bus, headed Eastward, and puts his headphones in to listen to the new album. “It was a pretty sad story,” he says, while Beard chuckles violently. “At the time, our album party was booked, and we had to have an album to support our album party…”
And so the show went on. They played the album party with an unfinished, washed out album. “We only sold eleven copies. Thank God,” says Kendall, adding that the band promised to provide those who bought the original mix copies of the better, later edition. But there’s good news: those eleven fans now have a rare, unmastered edition of a Homebased album which may indeed be worth something someday.
And the other good news is that the album is finally out. Grab it from their homepage. It’s 7 bucks, which seems like a steal to me, but then I didn’t pay for it. The perks of being a journalist.
Catch Homebased at Ritual Saturday the 16th in support of Get Busy. - Jared Davidson | Apartment 613

"Homebased "Get Busy" Album Review"

Hip-hop in Ottawa keeps on getting stronger by the day it seems, with all sorts artists popping up on the internet or in the city’s small nightclubs. Whether they’re new or veterans of the scene, lots of people are finally putting their ear to the streets to hear what this city has to offer. Timing could not be better for a certain three-man crew who have been playing live in Ottawa for around six years now. Homebased, a collective of rappers Textstyle, Betavel, and producer Kane B, are set to release their debut full-length album, Get Busy, within Ottawa’s scene and the world of Canadian hip-hop. Having released an EP in 2009, they have gone on to share the stage with names such as Swollen Members, Mac Miller, Masta Ace, and many more. Rightfully so, as Get Busy is a monster of a debut album full of expert rap skill and incredible production.

Immediately, the group’s two emcees did a fantastic job of catching my ear with their rapping ability. Sheer skill is put on display by both Textstyle and Betavel throughout the album’s duration, with the two arguably making each other better through incredible musical chemistry. The two trade off verses and hooks in an effortless fashion no matter how fast the tempo. With regards to lyrical content, most of what you’re hearing requires a few listens to think about and understand. A record that requires a certain degree intellectual engagement is something I feel that is far too uncommon these days within the genre. I can’t commend the trio enough for making it so.

On the production end of things, Kane B has the entire album on lockdown with many examples of expert sampling. The man seemingly has an affinity for older R&B/Soul numbers, as many of the records tracks are based around wonderfully cut and altered samples from within that genre. On Get Busy, you can find both laid-back, self-reflective jams such as “Go On” and “Take Money”, or trunk-thumping bangers such as “Weekend” and the powerful “James Dean”. The vibe is very good, and the production is definitely one of my favourite things about this disc. The fact that Kane B does this in a live setting with physical vinyl records? Even cooler.

Already a very accomplished group, Get Busy will effectively put another feather in Homebased’s cap as a dominant crew within Ottawa. There has never been a better time for hip-hop in this city, and a very good ear for the music and a willingness to work hard will take this trio far. What are you waiting for? Get busy and listen.



Calum Slingerland
Website | Facebook | Twitter [MusicNotesBlog] | Twitter [C_Slingerland] - Calum Slingerland | Envy Magazine

"Homebased brings home a buzz"

Ottawa, ON - Ambitious, dedicated, and prolific are three words that describe Homebased, the Ottawa hip-hop collective consisting of emcee Dynamo (Liam Kendall), emcee Textstyle (Tom Bent), and DJ Kane (Kane Beard).

“We aspire to get into people’s ears,” says Beard, “there’s no fluff in our music because our style is based on real-life experiences.”

“We try to recreate situations that we and our friends have been through,” says Kendall. “Our sound is organic and natural and our message is relevant to our surroundings. Kendall and Bent wrote their first track together in high school when they were 16 years old. Since then, the two have grown together as artists and worked collaboratively on the sound and style of Homebased.

The Homebased sound has been influenced by Gang Starr, KRS-One, and Nine
Planets, among other hip-hop groups. “Our roots are deeply strung to original golden era hip-hop,” says Bent. “Our sound is not defined because it’s a feeling, a rhythm – it’s what you say and how you say it.”

In March 2008, Homebased performed their first show in Ottawa among local hip-hop artists. The group formed their identity within the local hip-hop community, appearing at Red Mercury, a weekly night at the Mercury Lounge in Ottawa’s Byward Market, hosted by Odd Angle Music. Red Mercury takes place on the first Sunday of every month and is designed for emcees and artists to interact with one another.

“Red Mercury is a platform for emcees to promote their music and for artists to display and sell their artwork,” says Kendall, “we have been fortunate to be a part of it.”

Red Mercury is also the venue in which Kendall and Bent met the third member of Homebased: DJ Kane.

“I met Dynamo and Textstyle at one of the live shows,” says Beard. “I appreciated that they were rapping about real life and getting a positive response from the audience.”

Once Beard joined Homebased as the resident DJ and producer, the trio officially formed. Since then, Homebased has made a mark in the Canadian hip-hop community.

Over the past six months, they have performed in Ottawa alongside local artists including Flip Kuma, Atherton, and Virgin Blonde Fantasy. Homebased has also performed two shows in Montreal and Toronto on behalf of Vinyl Tap Records.

A Homebased live show involves an array of unique local acts and attracts a wide variety of people. The group strives to create a positive vibe for audiences through incorporating live aspects into their performances.

“In our upcoming shows, DJ Kane is going to be involved in our sets and he will be as present as the emcees,” says Kendall. “We also want to include more visual aspects for our audiences to enjoy.”

The Homebased track "Back Now" from the Back Home mixtape is currently in circulation on CKDJ-FM, Algonquin College’s campus radio station.

The debut Homebased album with production by Bender of Flight Distance is going to be released in Summer 2009.

“We’re trying to raise the bar for local hip-hop artists,” says Kendall. “Canada has many talented artists who need to get the recognition they deserve.”

Editor's note: For more information on Homebased check out http://www.myspace.com/homebased613 - Christina Stefanski - HipHopCanada.com


Get Busy (Winter 2013)
This Is Hip Hop Vol. 4 compilation (Nov 2012)
HOP: Connect Mixtape (Summer 2011)
Worldwide EP (Sept 2009)
Back Home mixtape (Aug 2008)



Homebased - A collective consisting of rappers Textstyle, BetaVel and DJ/producer Kane B. The group touched down with their first live appearance in 2008. They have since made a steady transition from young up and comers to seasoned veterans. Homebased has collectively well over 50 showcases under their belts, performing in Ottawa and the throughout the surrounding areas. The band has matured and their music has grown alongside their character. With the release of their debut EP in late 2009, they saw the demand they drew together and reacted accordingly. They have since shared the stage with such acts as, Swollen Members, DL Incognito, Smif n Wessun, El Da Sensei, D-Sisive, Eternia, Fashawn, Notes to Self, Ghettosocks, Muneshine, Black Milk, Mac Miller, Masta Ace, EDO G, Elzhi and many more. The group was selected to play at the 2012 JunoFEST concert series in Ottawa, and has had return invites from urban festivals such as Under Pressure (Montreal, QC) and House of Paint (Ottawa, ON). Homebased has just returned from an eastern Canadian tour, which hit Toronto, Ottawa, Quebec City, Montreal and Moncton, playing to an average of 350+ people per night. The group has recently secured a label agreement with Vancouver independent label, HMP Records, and sits alongside an extremely talented roster of Canadian and international musicians. They are now in the midst of recording and preparing the release of their full length record aimed for launch in the winter of 2013.