BandHip Hop

Toronto's own Instinctive Reaction to Struggle, Irs, brings clever lyrical play and melodic sounds over various styles of beats to deliver a sound that's been described as "what hip hop has been missing"  by Avatar Records USA and acclaimed on BET's NEXT.


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


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

Set List

Set can range from 20 minutes to 90 minutes depending on requirements:

1. Freestyle Intro
2. Can't Sleep
3. Never Enough
4. Strictly For The Heads
5. D.J T.R.A.C.K.S turntable set
6. O'l Time Killin (Featuring Kardinal, Brass Munk
and Arcee if available)
7. Medley of various new joints from new album
8. T.R.A.C.K.S. Lament
9. No Hesitation