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The best kept secret in music


"Irs collects"

The Avatar Records recording artists IRS, a rap trio from Toronto, Canada have created an album exploding with tight tracks.

Korry Deez, Black Cat and T.R.A.C.K.S. compose the trio that stretches rap’s boundaries with the creation of Welcome to Planet IRS, an album of 13 tracks that are full of deep songs, combined with a touch of Caribbean flare.

IRS, which is an acronym for Instinctive Reaction to Struggle, broadcast the theme no bling bling, no Cristal, no Esclades, just banging hip-hop.

The album opens up with an interlude titled "Lift Off."

During the interlude, members spit verses on top of a hardcore beat and converse about what makes them different.

"Strictly For The Heads," the first single on the CD, is exactly that. In this track an old school Boogie Down Production beat meets the group’s new school studio sound.

On the next track titled "We Don’t Play," the group demonstrates craftiness in their rapping style, on this upbeat tune.

The next catchy tune titled "Manipulation," is a club-friendly track. In the song the group talks about an encounter with a mind-blowing female, who left them feeling completely manipulated.

In the song "Major League," the group blasts on why they are in a league of their own.

"Munyam Jam," is placed in the middle of the album. This song documents the freestyle styling of the group while they chill in a recording studio. Fluctuating beats and relaxed sounds make this song the most inventive on the album.

The song "T-Dot Anthem," is a call to emcees especially from Toronto, to represent where they are from and be proud of their hometown. The song is laced with a deep bass under tone and a smooth downbeat.

"T.R.A.C.K.S.’ Lament 1.5," the next song has smooth beats and vocals, similar to something heard if D’angelo met A Tribe Called Quest. This chilling tune should be played when trying to relax from a hectic day.

In the final song on the album "M.W.O," the group expresses their truly unique style of rap with funky beats and swift rhyming ability.

IRS uses this album to bring the world to their planet and claim their position on the music scene with vengeance.

This album is musically pleasing, lyrically stimulating and makes a statement that IRS is here to stay.
- The Southern Digest Online, 2004

"Positive Assets: Fundamental strong for Toronto"

Hip-hop music has gone through a troubled adolescence. Maybe it isn’t surprising, considering the broken home of racial discrimination, oppression and poverty it emerged from – but in its infancy it embodied a positive struggle, as well as a sense of hope and solidarity. That hope faded when it fell in with the wrong crowd, gangsters and thugs set on leaving their violent, indelible print on the movement.

But the troubled teen is showing signs of maturity, a renewed focus on music and unity that spurns its own checkered past. For Toronto’s IRS (Instinctive Reaction to Struggle), it’s a return to the proper roots of the hip-hop movement, and one that’s been a long time coming in an age of increasingly shallow urban music.

"I [hear] a lot of songs nowadays. They’re not really timeless," says IRS MC Korry Deez. "Not many of them will last very long because people are doing things just to fit into a mold."

For Deez, who reminisces about being electrified by the urgency and soul of artists like Afrika Bambaataa in his childhood, the forgettable quality of current hip-hop comes from the genre’s losing touch with its identity. "I see people like EPMD or NWA as the ones who laid the tracks down for everyone who is here now to take the music even further, but people are being more satisfied with what they’re getting for themselves, rather than with the long term goal of taking the music to their people."

Despite the group’s ever-present and lighthearted rhymes about women and weed, at the base of it all is a strong sense of family and commitment. "Family is what you live with every day, they ground you," says Deez. "They don’t try to boost your ego or make you vain." Not being seduced by the false luxury and power of rap’s dangerous twin culture keep Deez, composer Black Cat and DJ T.R.A.C.K.S. from getting dragged down into the sterile business end of the music industry.

"The people that we work with, they’re not business associates, they’re family," he explains. "We don’t look at them and say ‘We could do songs together and make money.’ It’s more like ‘We’re going to make songs together and we’re going to build a legacy."

IRS’ debut album for Universal Records, Welcome to Planet IRS, drops on April 1st.
- SEE Magazine

"Hip hoppin around K-dub: The Firestarter Tour featuring Irs"

Toronto hip-hoppers IRS, also members of the Monolith crew, are featured on Kardinal Offishal's Firestarter album and you may have seen the video for their single "T-dot anthem" on MuchMusic.

IRS is made up of Black Cat, Korry Deez, and DJ TRACKS. TRACKS stands for True Renaissance And Cut Kid Shogun.

They are currently on the coast-to-coast Firestarter tour which Black Cat bemoaned was complete except for a performance in Newfoundland.

About the name: It stands for Instinctive Reaction to Struggle. IRS. Spell it out, or say "urse," either or.

They've previously toured with Choclair, Kardinal and the Rascalz, and have also shared the stage with Shaggy.

And if anyone knows hip hop, it's these underground Canadian cats.

Korry Deez breaks it down: "Hip hop is raw, it's just raw. Everybody knows the difference between raw and moulded."

TRACKS elaborated: "Go buy a KRS-One album. For all you motherfuckers that don't know shit, go buy a KRS-One album. 'Rap is what you do; hip hop's a way you live.' Fuck. It's all there for you, man, it's all there for you."

Is hip hop black music?

"'Straight goods' it's black music, just like rock 'n roll is black music, just like r 'n b is black music, just like jazz is black music, so what the fuck?"

"There's so many different people in those genres of music, it's not an issue. It's just the truth. It's just that way."

KD added, "Hip hop is happening all around the world, so I mean, it's something you can't even really classify. It's too late."

On a more personal level, Korry Deez explained that the struggle they speak of is the struggle to make musical vibes.

TRACKS added, "Making music is our answer for the struggle that's going on outside in the world right now."

"People have their various ways of venting their frustration, and getting through their own struggles and problems. This is the way we do it. This is our instinctive reaction to struggle."

"It comes from your soul. You have to feel that shit. If you don't feel it, it ain't genuine."

Talking to IRS, it's pretty evident that they're feeling it. If you've been feeling their vibe, watch for the release of their next album coming in 2002. - The University of Waterloo Student Newspaper

"Soul Choice Record Pool"

"It's classic Irs! These guys always come hard."

"It's been worth the wait! The beat is crazy."
- 2006

"David "Click" Cox, A & R - Universal Canada"

"Some of the illest kats to touch a mic, beats, and stage"

- 2006


2006 - Say Stop
Released on What'chu'want Enterprises

2006 - Can't Sleep / Never Enough
Released on What'chu'want Enterprises

2004 - Dun Did it Rascalz Feat Irs
"Reloaded" Album
Released on VIK Recordings
2004 - Stripes Feat Irs, Kardinal, Brass Munk
Released on ABB Records USA
- #2 selling 12" single on ABB Records at time of release
2004 - O'l Time Killin: feat Irs. Jully Black, Wiio-K, Allistair
Kardinal Offishall "Quest For Fire" Album
Released on MCA/Universal Canada
-Video received rotation on B.E.T.
2004 - T.R.A.C.K.S Lament / Liftoff
Released on What'chu'want Ent / Universal Canada
- Video featured on B.E.T.'s NEXT

2003 - Strictly For The Heads / No Hesitation (feat. Planet Asia)
Released on What'chu'want Ent / Universal Canada
-Several videos received rotation on Much Music, MuchVibe, and Muchmore Music
-No Hesitation recieved international acclaim when serviced by Room Service
2003 - We Don't Play
Released on What'chu'want Ent / Universal Canada
2003 - Welcome To Planet Irs Album
Released on What'chu'want Ent / Universal Canada

2002 - Controlled Anger / Girls
Released on What'chu'want Enterprises
2002 - T-Dot Anthem / Manipulation
Released on What'chu'want Enterprises

2001 - Whatchuwantnow / Beats / Party People
Released on What'chu'want Enterprises / Scratch 'n' Win Entertainment


Feeling a bit camera shy


Toronto-based rap trio, Instinctive Reaction to Struggle, Irs (Korry Deez, Black Cat and T.R.A.C.K.S), have steadily illustrated their passion for contemporary hip-hop and successfully created their own musical utopia for years. Their debut album, Welcome To Planet Irs (Universal Music & Avatar Records), stretched rap's boundaries by creating an audio space where experimentation is welcomed, and where imitation is punishable by diminished radio/video airplay. “We don’t have any one specific sound or any predictable flows or rhymes and that messes with peoples’ heads,” relates T.R.A.C.K.S. (True Renaissance and Cut Kid Shogun), the DJ of the trio known for his work with popular local DJ sound crew Trilogy.

“Irs means Instinctive Reaction to Struggle,” states Deez. “Emcees nowadays come at it like, ‘yo, I wanna get on the radio so I’m gonna put some singing in the chorus, use this type of beat & rap about this topic’. That’s the difference between them & us. We make music for music’s sake, the image and everything else comes second and people just happen to like it.”

Perhaps growing up in Scarborough, a city that spawned legendary Canadian old and new school talents like Maestro and Saukrates, has something to do with their approach. In fact, their cultural backgrounds and multicultural communities have provided them the opportunity to craft their innovative beats and original rhymes and set themselves apart from others in the industry. “We’ve always had an older generation of success stories to guide us,” admits multi-instrumentalist Black Cat who cites Quincy Jones and Stevie Wonder as his idols. “Plus, Scarborough is where we met up with our foundation, the Mighty Monolith crew.”

The extended 15-member Monolith clique has provided underground rap fans with gritty rhymes and layered grooves, highlighted by the independent EP, The Long Awaited… featuring the speaker burner “Bye D’Plenty”.

In 1998, the Monolith crew splintered off into separate entities and Black Cat and Deez who met in high school joined with T.R.A.C.K.S to form IRS. Anxious to take advantage of the buzz that was building, they released a 12" inch in 2000 entitled ‘What’ Chu Want Now?’ with key singles “Party People” and “Beats”. These, vinyl only, tracks drew attention and demand for the trio. Building off the success, Irs showcased their talents by landing touring gigs with Shaggy, Choclair, Rascalz, and as part of Universal Recording Artist, Kardinal Offishall’s, Firestarter promo tour in 2001/2002.

Before they knew it they were recording collaborations with Canadian rap stalwarts Rascalz on "Dun Did It" (Reloaded-BMG Music Canada Inc.) and on "Ol’ Time Killing" with Kardinal Offishall (Firestarter: Volume 1 –MCA/Universal Music). Simultaneously appearing in videos that aired on MuchMusic, MTV, Musique Plus and BET.
Thankfully, street corner rap critics weren’t the only ones who’d taken notice of their progressive approach to beats and rhymes. In early 2002, Irs received their first Industry accolade, a 2002 Reel Black Award for their video “T Dot Anthem”. In March 2002, Irs won the Future Stars Award at Canadian Music Week. The award consisted of a distribution deal with Universal Music Canada, which would give the trio the opportunity to get their debut release in Future Shop locations nationwide. Universal Music Canada was quick to notice the passion and musical talent the group possessed and extended their agreement in December 2003 for a re-release of the debut album with national distribution in Canada and other territories.

A strong focus was maintained within the debut album theme of showcasing hip-hop culture in its entirety. The crew worked with edgy graffiti writer EGR Art to visually capture the new rap world order that they had created. “I’m a big fan of ‘70s music and hip hop from the golden era and back then even the liner notes were artistic and provocative“, explains Deez. “Unlike a lot of groups now we weren’t going to waste the space on our album cover to show pictures of breasts, jewelry and mansions.”

The re-release of ‘Welcome to Planet Irs’ on Universal Music Canada led to a licensing agreement with Avartar Records in the United States. The album received much praise leading to several nominations including, Best Rap Recording category (2004 Juno Awards), Best Rap Recording category and Producer of The Year category (2004 Urban Music Awards of Canada) and continues to receive support today on commercial and campus radio.

While in the studio recording their sophomore effort, members of the group have also continued to maintain an impressive presence in the hip-hop scene. As an integral part of Big Black Lincoln, T.R.A.C.K.S. has contributed immensely to the success of the recent release, Heaven’s Caught on Fire, distributed by Fontana on Capitol Hill Records. His support can be appreciated through the production on several singles, including the current single, “In the Hood”. Simultan