Notes to Self
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Notes to Self

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | INDIE

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | INDIE
Band Hip Hop Hip Hop


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Artists to Watch 2009"

Notes to Self
Toronto hip-hop group Notes to Self won’t be waiting long to make their mark when the ball drops on 2009. In early January, they will put out their new EP Warning Shots as a digital release, and by late February they’ll unveil A Shot in the Dark, their first full-length album since signing with British label BBE. Both the will feature “Yellow & Grey Remix,” which features Dilated Peoples. One fifth of the group, Swamp Donkey, can’t wait. “This has been a long time coming for us.”
Neil Acharya - Exclaim! Magazine

"DJ Starting From Scratch"

"Notes to Self's 'Warning Shots' EP has some of my favourite jams from
this year on there! I can't wait to play there new album!

DJ Starting From Scratch
Canada's foremost urban club and radio DJ FLOW 93.5 FM's mix show magician - The Traffic FLOW MixShow & Critical Mix (#1 DJ Shows in Canada)Usher's Tour DJ
- FLOW 93.5 Radio

"Notes to Self Testimonial"

"Watch out for Notes to Self... to reignite the fire"

Del F. Cowie - Eye Magazine

"Okayplayer Album Review"

In a world of over-produced, commoditized hip hop, it’s strangely comforting to hear the scratch of a turntable these days. The tool that once laid the groundwork for the culture has since been pushed to the background (not backing an MC) and become a novelty for many contemporary artists. Not Notes to Self. Notes to Self are a five member Canadian based hip hop collective anchored by the 2003 World DMC Champion, DJ Dopey, plus two rappers, a rapper/producer, and a writer/illustrator. Wait, an illustrator? Yes, an illustrator. Remember those four elements of hip hop? Notes to Self do, and their debut LP, A Shot In The Dark, is a refreshing reminder that those founding elements are still relevant today.

To be fair, Notes to Self are not the only ones making boom-bap hip hop these days, but A Shot In The Dark is such a well-rounded full-length debut that it’s hard not to get a little excited. By no means are they hip hop traditionalists, Notes to Self more re-contextualize the jazz-based beats and relatable lyrics of the early 90s into our contemporary musical landscape. From the opening track, “Yellow and Grey,” it’s clear that Dilated Peoples have played a major role in their development, not only in their production and turntabalism, but flow as well (Fittingly, they are joined by Dilated on the album’s bonus track, a remix of “Yellow and Grey,” and Evidence on “Nobody”). In fact, Notes to Self are the first to acknowledge the influence that their musical idols have had on what they do, citing Nas’s “Made You Look,” on the laid-back “Days Like These,” and waxing poetic over first hearing De La Soul’s Stakes Is High on “Midnight Oil.”

It’s their passion for hip hop and its history that sets Notes to Self apart. While A Shot In The Dark is not without a lyrical misstep or two, the pros drastically outweigh the cons on an impressively consistent and well-polished debut LP. Like a Canadian mish-mash of Dilated Peoples and People Under the Stairs , Notes to Self bring a refreshing breath of honesty and fun to hip hop that is so rare these days. Throw in a hugely talented DJ and all the elements are there for what is much more than a simple shot in the dark. Note to self: Keep an eye on these guys, because they have an exciting future ahead of them.

-Matt Scroggins - OKAYPLAYER.COM

"Beats & Rhymes"

Notes To Self
A Shot in the Dark
By Chris Dart

On A Shot in the Dark, Notes to Self manage to walk the line between making an album that pays tribute to a bygone era and lapsing into retro fetishism. Shot in the Dark draws the bulk of its inspiration from hip-hop's late '80s/early '90s Golden Era. The vast majority of beats are built for oversized headphones rather than dance floors. MCs Bronze, Swamp Donkey and Roshin all spit dense, polysyllabic flows that would impress even the most discerning rap snobs. Bronze's production makes ample use of old school soul samples, most notably on "Nobody," a collaboration with Evidence of Dilated Peoples, and "Yellow & Grey," while making sure to leave room for DJ Dopey's sharp cuts. At the same time, Notes don't totally ignore the last decade-and-a-half. They experiment with genre-blending on the riff-rocking "Throw Your (Hands Up)," while the jittery, up-tempo, horn-heavy "Don't Try This at Home" verges on being a club track. By blending classic sounds with modern attitudes, Notes to Self have established themselves as one of the more interesting voices in Canadian hip-hop.

How did you guys hook up with Dilated Peoples?
Bronze: When we originally touched base with them it was through Evidence, and I was fortunate enough to hit it off with him, and we decided that we wanted to get all three of them on a song. It meant so much to us. We looked at the way they've done things: they utilize a DJ live and in the recording. And that seemed really natural to us since we have Dopey in the click. That's something you don't see very much any more: the traditional rap group, with a bunch of rappers and a DJ.

Swamp Donkey: The production is one person, it's all Bronze, the cuts are all Dopey, we all rap, that's what adds to it sounding like a Golden Era hip-hop album. It's that there's a unity you can't escape. It's not that the sampling or the drum patterns are all '90s.

Do you think we're going to see a swing away from the guest producer or the super-producer and back to one producer doing the whole album?
Bronze: I don't think it's something people are cluing into on purpose, like it's a fad. It just kinda make sense, like how we did it in the early '90s. We've come back to that because there isn't lot of money out there. Cats can't afford to buy this, travel across the world to do that. So now what it feels like is not that we've been forced but it's the natural thing to get in the studio [with one producer]. It's a response. (BBE) - Exclaim! (Chris Dart)

"Disc Review - Notes to Self"

Notes to Self
A Shot In The Dark (BBE)By Andrew Rennie

On their sample-driven, soulful debut, Toronto’s Notes to Self show a New York flair, which is probably why Dilated Peoples and Cannibal Ox ride with them. But further listens reveal Southern influences on the horn- and MPC-heavy Throw Your (Hands Up) and upbeat Saukrates-esque turn-of-the-century production on Don’t Try This At Home.

Notes’ vocalists – Swamp Donkey, Roshin and Bronze One – offer no clichéd weed references, bad hooks or raps about J. Dilla. Bronze One’s fantastic production ties together the real-life, quirky anecdotes, while DMC champion DJ Dopey lends heavy technical support. Their biggest strength is their ability to tag in for quick verses, making each track play out like a cohesive tapestry.

A Shot In The Dark adds a refreshing new identity to Toronto’s hip-hop scene.
- Now Magazine ( Andrew Rennie)






The Hip Hop juggernaut NOTES TO SELF features rappers Swamp Donkey and Roshin, producer/rapper Bronze One, world renowned DJ/turntablist DJ Dopey and writer/illustrator Elicser. For nine years NOTES TO SELF has successfully created a cohesive group dynamic reminiscent of traditional rap groups like De La Soul and Tha Liks. NOTES TO SELF hails from Toronto, the capital of Canadian hip hop. A collective as mature and talented as NOTES TO SELF is rare, especially in a genre often limited by trends lacking in originality. NOTES’ musical diversity is broad and exciting. NOTES’ vibe captivates – the group has a solid regional fan base; both Dopey and Bronze’s reps span the globe.

NOTES TO SELF recently released their debut full-length work 'A SHOT IN THE DARK' worldwide on July 7th 2009 with UK tastemakers BBE Music, only to have been released shortly after their critically-acclaimed EP 'WARNING SHOTS'. Their project features collaborations with US artists Evidence as well as Dilated Peoples, Def Jux affiliate Vast Aire of Cannibal Ox, and of course close friend and collaborator Bookworm. NOTES TO SELF most recently climbed the charts to #1 with their lead single ‘Yellow & Grey Remix’ across North America on College Radio (on both Rap Attack & Chart Breakers - for Rap). NOTES recently organized and successfully embarked on their first leg of live tour dates presenting 'The Lick Shots Tour' featuring Notes to Self & friend and affiliate DJ Babu across Canada. In the meantime, Dopey still finds time to jet set internationally, entertaining crowds from New York to Tokyo with the likes of DJ Woody and DJ Pump while maintaining a DJ residency on television’s MTV LIVE. Elicser also finds time to showcase work with Amoeba Corp. and Upper Playground from Montreal to San Francisco while holding down various contracts with Cuppa Coffee and Nike Canada. NOTES TO SELF is dedicated and determined, and as they promote their new debut release, they continue to work on excitingly new side projects, as well as collaborate with such international innovators such as DJ Babu & Evidence, Supa Dave West, SPLATTI, D-Sisive and Marc Mac to name a few. Since the 2003 release of Bronze One’s solo ep Just Add Water and most notably, among other numerous titles - DJ Dopey’s world DMC championship win, their 2007 collaboration with Abdominal on his solo debut 'Escape from the Pigeon Hole', marks NOTES’ dedication to Canadian music by placing in Toronto's top 3 Anthems as part of the city's 175th Anniversary; and NOTES’ 2006 tribute release commemorating the late great J Dilla, which now continues to realize over 10000 downloads online. As NOTES steadily adds to their list of accomplishments, the group most certainly stepped up their game by opening up for Brooklyn based power house rapper, Talib Kweli, and most recently on the Canadian date of L.I.'s finest 3 Feet High & Rising 20th Anniversary tour for De La Soul; which has since guaranteed them as headliners for CMW, NXNE & Barking Tuna music festivals. NOTES TO SELF is poised to break; with each ‘cutting-edge’ step, they ready themselves for world distribution. Hip Hop has come full circle with NOTES TO SELF.

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