Sketch Bros.
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Sketch Bros.


Band Hip Hop R&B


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Agony and ecstacy: Lives turned around: Johnny De Lima and Sketch Bro Kelso rap rather than get ripped"

Back before he became a local rapper-about-town, Johnny De Lima was a teenager living in Scarborough, Ont., and spending his weekends partying harder than the average kid. Weekly ecstasy binges were abruptly ended when the then-17-year-old De Lima developed an excruciating headache that drove him into a state of screaming anguish for three weeks. His screams in the emergency room were only abated when exasperated doctors finally shot him into a stupor with morphine. By then, De Lima and his mother, a single mom and kids' counsellor, knew that the cause of his pain was a blood clot the size of a golf ball, and several abscesses that had developed around it. It may have simply been in the cards for De Lima, but now living in Vancouver at the age of 24, he firmly believes the clot was caused by his drug indulgence -- a habit comprised of five ecstasy pills a weekend, every weekend for about a year. He slept little, and lived like a maniac, and he believes he paid the price. "I remember it as a lost time," he says now, sitting in a downtown cafe. Despite a 10-per-cent chance of survival, De Lima lived to tell the tale, and today he only has a scar to show for it, as well as some titanium clips inside his skull. The scar runs across the top of his head, from ear to ear. When his buddy Charz (Charley) Kelso first met him, De Lima wore a big afro to hide the scar. Now, he only has to remove his baseball cap to reveal the thick line where the hair doesn't grow. It's probably no coincidence that the first clothing item that De Lima and Kelso would manufacture for their new Bros. Clothes clothing line would be baseball caps. The duo launched the hats recently at dance competition Wreck da Floor, where they also performed as the Sketch Bros. Their stage names are Johnny Dilemma and Decept-Icon. And through file sharing on the Internet, the Sketch Bros. have created enough of a buzz that they caught the attention of 11-time Emmy-award-winning television songwriter and producer A.J. Gundell. Gundell is writing with them and has licensed three of their songs to be shopped out for commercial use. When contacted Gundell by e-mail, I got this response: "When I heard his stuff, I was immediately knocked out by it. It's very fresh, very real. Johnny and his bandmate Charz have a brilliant feel for rapping . . . Unlike a lot of rappers, their stuff is also very musical and hooky . . . the Sketch Bros. are like the best of Black Eyed Peas or Eminem--great raps that are also great songs. "I wouldn't be surprised if they're also the Next Big Thing." Self-made release Shakin', Not Stirred has also landed them opening spots for the Game and Snoop Dogg at Pacific Coliseum -- and on Nov. 4 at Richard's on Richards, they open for Dogg Pound Gangstas, who used to play with Snoop Dogg. The Sketch Bros. release a new album in 2006, with a cross-country tour planned. Their name is apt, because De Lima and Kelso are as close as brothers. They've both had near disasters, so they've got a sense of gratitude and purpose about them that's immediately disarming. Kelso is a fast talker who bristles with energy. De Lima is the quieter one, who studies things like Internet distribution. They're big believers in karmic energy because although they're young, they feel like a couple of world-weary survivors. And they've got each other to thank. De Lima arrived in Vancouver mere months after his surgery, to live with a relative. When that relative had a change of heart about having a teenager in the house, De Lima found himself literally out on the street with no belongings and nowhere to go. He didn't have the funds to pursue his genetic engineering studies at UBC, so he needed to come up with Plan B, which naturally involved his long-time love affair with hip-hop. Not long after, he met Kelso at a party. Kelso, 28, was a marijuana dealer at the time who made electronic music and toured around Europe. De Lima, the guy who wrote raps but no music, needed a collaborator. "I was ready to turn him down basically. My electro was going great," says Kelso. "Then this guy hits me off with this five-minute verse, like no hook. Five minutes straight. Two minutes in, I'd already decided I was doing [music] with this guy. But I was like stone face, because I'm somebody who has to step back and think about it." Says De Lima: "I love electro music, and I have a rave background . . . but I said, 'You have the means to make any type of beat -- why don't you make hip-hop?' " De Lima and Kelso's girlfriend pressured him to stop dealing drugs, and Kelso relented. When he considers the alternative, he looks wide-eyed, like a man who's the sole survivor of a 10-car pile up. "The two people I care about most in my life were pulling me away from it. And if it weren't for [De Lima] and [my girlfriend], my life would be very different because you know where my old [drug] partner is? In Montana doing five to seven." And so, De Lima, a brain surgery survivor who got thrown out of the house, and Kelso, a once misguided, heavy-trafficking pot dealer, are now legitimate and pumped with enough positive vibes to hold self-help seminars for wayward rappers. Instead, they started their own label, which will promote uniquely Canadian rap, not the stereotypical American experience of rap. But that's just for starters. The Sketch Bros. are ready to tackle any genre, even if it's scoring American television. Says De Lima, "My grandmother always said, 'If you can do 10 things, you can do 15.' "

- October 8, 2007, Page: D1 / FRONT, Section: Arts & Life, Byline: Kerry Gold, Column: Kerry Gold, Sou


Fresh off their debut release "Shakin, Not Stirred," the Sketch Bros. are Vancouver's new musical business force to be reckoned with. The Bros. are reasy for sale with the launch of Bros. Clothes this month. Dilemma who Georgia Straight deemed to be a "gifted wordsmith," recently opened for the Game and Snoop Dogg while Charz Decept's beats (ILL-Literate Publiishing Co.) combined with the groups writing ability has attracted the attention of 11-time emmy award winner Andy Gundell in order to license music to film and television very soon...

- --Music BC, Monthly Newsletter, July/07

"Hot New Albums To Check Out!!!!"

Shakin’ Not Stirred (Rewind) Johnny Dilemma just about died when he was 17 years old, so it should be no surprise that his is one of the most urgent voices in B.C. hip-hop. After recovering from a life-threatening brain operation in the late 1990s, the Scarborough native moved to Vancouver, where he made inroads as a soloist before eventually hooking up with producer (and fellow Ontario transplant) Charz Decept to form the Sketch Bros. On Shakin’ Not Stirred, Dilemma proves himself a gifted wordsmith, tossing off the sort of evocative similes (“I’m full of more hooks than a tackle box”) and fleshed-out narratives (like the radio-worthy “Johnny on the Spot”) that only come after long nights spent with pad and pen. For his part, Decept is a dependable if unspectacular presence on the boards, crafting clean and propulsive beats that give Dilemma plenty of room to manoeuvre. With another album (Drawn Out) scheduled for a summer release, the Sketch Bros. seem to have both the skills and the work ethic needed to make it overground. Though not without some patchy spots, Shakin’ Not Stirred could be the start of something big - Sketch Bros. By martin turenne Publish Date: Apr, 14-2007 in the Georgia Straight

"Letter of Support"

Please accept this letter as a recommendation of my support for the attached grant application for the Sketch Bros. In the past couple of years I have seen them make significant forward progress in their careers, not only developing the artistry of their music, but also handling their business with the utmost professionalism. Sketch Bros possess a strong work ethic and have a level of self promotion that makes the likelihood of them establishing a sizeable fan base a lot more realistic than the majority of the hip hop artists I have encountered. They have toured as a support act for one of the artists we represent, and have also opened for several major label artists, performing in front of thousands of people.
I am confident this funding will be well used to help them further on this path, and wholeheartedly endorse their application. Should you have any questions or require additional information, please don't hesitate to contact me via email at

(Please note this helped us get $4000.00 from Music BC recently to help record.) - Kyle Kraft of Battle Axe Records


Shakin' Not Stirred, which had two songs in rotation on the Beat 94.5 in Vancouver. Johnny On The Spot and Deja Vu both gained radio recognition shortly after the release of the CD. Many tracks appear online with tons of downloads at, and, and

The Sketch Bros. also have two new songs in rotation on XFM, Sirius, and PSP handheld internet radio frequencies.



Having never bought a Playboy magazine or a Ja Rule CD, The Sketch Bros. somehow found themselves at Ja Rule's CD release party at the Playboy mansion. Due to certain things experienced there, they have vowed to return. It seems highly realistic seeing as how they have the only album possibly in history to have both Grammy and Emmy Award winning production. This is thanks to great collaborations with Grammy Award winning RockWilder, who produced 'Lady Marmalade,' as well as 11-time Emmy Award winner, AJ Gundell. The album is set for release later this year and will be distributed through Universal Music under a deal with Grow-Op Records. The Bros. recently locked down a sponsorship deal with Puma and were asked to be brand advocates to Gucci’s latest acquisition. The Bros. opened for De La Soul at a sold out show for the Calgary Stampede as well as headlined the BC Lions Home game tailgate party in front of thousands of fans. They’ve rocked shows with Canadian greats and major label recording artists such as Snoop Dogg, Kardinal Offishall, The Game, Brass Munk, Dogg Pound, Sweat Shop Union, Smiff'N'Wessun, Classified and DL Incognito, Jedi Mind Tricks, Louis Logic, Jurassic 5 and Mike Jones, Nas and Method Man. The Bros. were also asked to perform at the official after party for the CFL Grey Cup with the Black Eyed Peas in attendance.
Dilemma and Decept both grew up in Ontario, (Scarlem and Brock Vegas), and both got sick of Hip Hop and turned to the rave culture. Once they killed that and nearly killed themselves in the process, they were right back to their original passion for Hip Hop, but with a bit of a different perspective. They've put out one album and have successfully pushed over 1500 copies of it independently. Decept was raised wrong in the right way and over the past 7 years, he has taken his act to the streets of Prague, Frankfurt, Sydney, Melbourne and Japan. Upon his return a couple years back, he hooked up with Dilemma and the Sketch Bros. were born. Prior to that, Dilemma was given a 10% chance of surviving a 5- hour emergency brain surgery procedure at the age of 17. He awoke with a newfound appreciation for life and a commitment to getting his message heard. Songs like "Dilemmanade" definitely portray this kind of introspection about dealing with life's problems. It is only appropriate that the forthcoming album be called "Deep Cuts" for numerous reasons. As well as featuring Grammy and Emmy Award winning production, The Bros. also enlisted the help of Canadian producer greats such as Kemo, Classified, Mr. Bigstuff and Mr. Rumble on this album. Somebody tell Hugh Hefner to put the kettle on, The Sketch Bros. will be there shortly...