BandHip Hop

From out of the woodwork comes Spokes, Canada’s most exciting new hip hop artist. After 10 years in the rap game as a member of Vancity’s Reverse Priorities, his debut solo CD “Driven” (due out in May) is set to push the boundaries of the ever changing landscape of hip hop.


The past decade has been marked with much growth and constant change in the world of hip hop. The recent commercial success of some of underground hip hop’s most dedicated and talented artists is driving a movement that is opening many people’s eyes to the genre’s infinite potential. To one BC born MC it almost seems as an alignment of the stars is fast approaching. For Spokes the past decade has been a time to hone his skills lyrically, musically, and professionally. His debut solo CD “Driven” is set to continue the trend of constant change when it drops in 2005, as the hip hop world has never heard anything like this.

Born and raised in the Greater Vancouver Area, Greg Labine (aka Spokes) has been transcending boundaries and transforming mindsets his whole life. While searching for his role in society as a disabled adolescent, he was forced to deal with such hardships as his parents’ divorce and his father’s crack-cocaine addiction. Born with a very rare form of Muscular Dystrophy, Spokes has found his disorder as both a cause of adversity and a source of inspiration. The one constant throughout his life has been a love for music of all types, a fact which is evident in the diversity of his own music. From Pink Floyd to Bob Marley to Outkast, his influences have helped him create his own brand of hip hop with a truly universal appeal.

After his parent’s divorce in 1994 Spokes was forced to move to a new neighborhood. It was here that he first met Lee Edmondson (Illucid), picked up a microphone, and started freestyling on a daily basis. Spokes’ unique style was pinned right away by his crew and all who heard him, as one of the freshest around. This style, driven by his struggles, was fast becoming his niche and his source for survival. In 1999 a group of four emcees, Spokes, Dlux, Illucid and JT 420, came together to form Reverse Priorities. Under the direction of prodigy producer JT (Jahranimo, Lil’ Precious, Zukie Joseph), Reverse has steadily built their name in the Vancouver hip hop scene with over 50 shows and the release of two full length albums, “All This World” in 2001 and their self titled LP in 2003. This has given Spokes the opportunity to share the stage with some of Canada’s hottest hip hop artists including Josh Martinez, Classified, Emotions, DL Incognito, Sweatshop Union, and Kyprios.

From his work with troubled youth to his co-hosting of 102.7 CFRO’s ‘Smooth out Sounds’ hip hop show, Spokes has always made a point of making his voice heard in the community. He is now ready to make it heard on a global scale. After nearly a decade of ripping up local open mics and freestyle battles, Spokes saw his solo career begin to take flight in 2004 with performances at some of the city’s hottest clubs and a year long feature on the Vancouver produced “Dreamers: The Documentary” (Intergalactic Media).

In 2005, Spokes’ track Freedom was featured on the “Yellow Light District Mixtape” produced by Slow DJ’s, and hosted by Charlie Tuna (Jurassic 5), and Opio (Hieroglyphics). He is now preparing to deliver what many have been craving. His debut solo CD “Driven” (due out in May 2006) is a hip hop journey through the mind of a modern poet. With production by JT 420, The Healing Project, and Baldy Loc (The Game, Freeway, Checkmate) and mixed by Danny Elmes (Sweatshop Union, Kyprios) “Driven” will keep you guessing with each new track. A tribute to strength, indeoendence, and humanity’s neverending quest, “Driven is a major benchmark in the career of a true artist.


Give It Back

Written By: Greg Labine (aka Spokes)

All my friends are bending over backwards trying to take me back outta the blackness
But now, it seems that ignorant bliss is impossible to practice as if I surpassed it,
Maybe I mastered it, or got confused, started boozing and never really cracked it,
10 years later my flow is immaculate
Backflipping at shows attackin it
art from the heart, expression of depression
A rose from the mud, among weapons
fist clenched - 10 white knuckles
My thoughts are suppressing but venting with chuckles
I’m not in the mood dude, what to do?
aint gonna buckle aint gonna buckle
Around the bend
Its time to move, solitude thank you my friend,
Only if this stupid light would change
We be outta the rut and not so deranged
half way across the road today
Slowly lifting this load of weight
Bystanders wanna get a taste
Of a Canadian emcee and a sick producer
lips are used to movin with rhythm
The vision is clear, I’m doin it, livin
Honestly bro you can’t cop the flow
Fuck the dough, when I get money,
I don’t want it to show,
My ego’s like a monitor on sleep mode
You know I’m alive but I won’t shine unless you move me,
Sooth me soul like only da mic does,
Da pain make me buzz like a fanatic in love
with a fight club right up the lane
I know what is its anger
You gotta get rid of it little bit by little bit give it back
And I’m gonna do that with tact soon as I get the chance
Its been LIVE, goodbye dead end
But uh, I think I’m on the rise again

Independence is freedom I’m learning
To believe in myself in the journey
No longer naïve to challenges
Some have to wait and that’s just how it is
They say we’re the most important link
Here with too much time to think
Maybe I was relaxed and taking my time
While the rest rush to beat the changing signs

Love, love,
Gimme gimme,
Hate, hate,
Gimme gimme,
Anger, one in the chamber
gimme gimme,
Gimme gimme,
Knowledge, knowledge
Gimme gimme,
All that I need to succeed,
Now my mission is to give it back,

I grabbed my first mic, orgasmic-like,
Tore past fright like corks at classic fights,
With Iconoclastic plastic actresses acting classic
ringside imagine
holding my head up living outside
Breathing fresh air and finding my pride

Keeping it real in every aspect
True self expression, mad respect
last chance you get to pass the test
And if you had classed your destination as top rate
From day one you’d have had a plan
But a man aint a man unless he stands
On his own two feet and I know you can, so lets do it.

Raised In The Hood

Written By: Greg Labine (aka Spokes)

usually I’m on the down low
but I found when I hit the stage I can amaze the crowd
so I’m doing this thing that I rather enjoy
if I was a little kid these songs would be my toys,
I put an original twist on a long list of ideas
that have been brought forth for years,
Funny how it has to be a catastrophe
to be asked to repeat an act
and re-enact a tragedy,
it’s a body to blame a villain to shame
to fill in the fame we killin the game with killin okay
still the same as it was befo’
whose really got it all that bad? Cuz I don’t know

livin in the ghetto born in a meadow
witta black hooded cloak over my head left for dead
raised in a back alley witta black mac milly?
no I was not, I did not get shot but…

would you believe me if I told ya I was on the run
would you believe me if I told ya I was up to no good
would you believe me if I told ya I was bein chased wit guns
would you believe me or If I was raised in the hood?

Ahh we’re so gullible man, all that’s audible
And all that’s legible,
CNN said it so now it’s authentic
I doubt it, I bet it’s like everything else is, news?
look at me look at me look at me
I got a big glock and I’m goin on a shooting spree
this generation so full of hate man
you don’t even wanna see

look at me look at me look at me
I got a big glock and I’m goin on a shooting spree
this generation so full of hate man
its impossible not to see

rhythmatically accentuated poetry,
properly I don’t gotta be flowin’ me
showin you how to rap?
wouldn’t happen,
I tell you like it is if you catch on be happy its crackin,
Or so it seems
As dreams cross lines and realities
Get fed to the mind thread by thread
Line by line media thoughts mean mine,
In time we combine designs
these countries love to invest money in thugs
western civilization can’t get enough
from mob rappin on channel 29 to 7 with palistinian rebels embedded in crime,
ahead of our time but blind by what they sayin,
its funny we’ll believe it as long as its entertainment
and that’s a rap, television is crap,
Newspaper? Faker than a safer Iraq.

Just Anotha Day

Written By: Greg Labine (aka Spokes)

Blah Blah Blah Blah
Over and over I hear these words, but I

I move to the music,
The music speaks to me,
High frequency quite frequently
Like we can see sight we can hear sound
We can taste speech with no taste see,
No haste leads to no dough on your plates
No money in hand in front of your fam,
I can see it in your eyes
now let me see it in your step,
Power, freedom, and respect,
How beat ‘em at their best?
To lead them by example
Manifest even with a sample,
Here it goes kid ya’ll need to know this,
I’m saying don’t say sh*t till you can show what you did,
Otherwise we’re tired of liers and tired of fabrics
Until it happens you’re just acting,
That’s right acting so put a cap in it,
And don’t be so passionate. Let’s go yo,

It’s just another day,
Got to get outside, got to do my thing,
Got to live my life either way,
All these ideas and things to say
But it’s just another day,
Got to get outside, got to do my thing,
Got to live my life either way,
And if you’re really gonna do it,
You don’t have to say it.

It’s guaranteed to be but it ain’t guaranteed to me,
Another day,
Within up to twenty something hours,
I’m empowered by the movement of a hard day’s night,
And when the outlook ain’t right I’m using the mic,
What up Ill? Conceal the fight,
We’re the same type, Paranoyd for life killing these stereotypes,
Unexpected exception driven to perfection,
Bi-coastal, infectious, relentless,
We all that,
Keep them coming back for more,
Access Factor for sure, Vancouver!
British Columbian highly taxed highly vexed ruggedness,
With me? Hang though do it my way, bang with me,
My all shapes and sizes,
Leftcoast creations comprised, my faith never dies,
Even if it rained for a year,
I’d rather be outside than couped up in here.



Reverse Priorities- All This World (2001)
Reverse Priorities- Reverse Priorities (2003)
Slow DJ's w/ Charlie Tuna- Yellow Light District (2005)
Spokes- The Collide EP (2005)
Spokes- Driven (coming May 2006)

Set List

From The Back (3:21)
Raised In The Hood (3:43)
Devil In The City (3:25)
Just Anotha Day (2:39)
Give It Back (3:58)
Freedom (3:46)
pSuedonym (3:38)