“If we don’t set the destination and do it and make a goal it will never happen,” says Tuff House Records founder Orville Green, who raps under the name Wayz. “We’re about a positive movement. We’re about growth. We’re about influencing our artists and the local artists around.”
Tuff House has been operating under this ethos for the past 17 years. Sure, Green could have moved on to larger markets like Toronto or Vancouver, but he says those cities already have their own scene, something he feels Edmonton has been lacking.
“I like to call it the overlooked province and I like to call the music movement we’re doing Break Your Back,” he adds. “The reason we call it that is because we have to work twice as hard and we have to be smart about what it is, but along the way you still have people that have that negative taste in their mouth and it’s like a lack of self-confidence in their art, so when someone else tries to do something, they shoot them down.”
Rather than let that mindset keep artists down, it gave Green the motivation to prove artists could surpass the challenges and barriers to achieve something in the hip-hop industry. Green has released numerous records himself and continuously works with local artists, with a goal to eventually put on a show at Rexall Place.
The Tuff House crew is getting closer to the goal and will be performing across the street at Northlands next Wednesday as part of Rick Ross’s The Mastermind tour. One such artist is Deuce, who prefers to go by his stage name. Deuce’s career has taken him across the country as well as tours to Europe and he’ll be releasing his new album, My Fantastic Reality, later in July, a followup to his current disc titled Fantastic for a Reason.
“[It’s about] life in itself and just growing,” says Deuce, who has been with Tuff House for the past 10 years. “It’s just life experiences and being able to travel the world doing hip hop and just seeing a lot of things through our community here in Edmonton.”
Wed, Jun 18 (7 pm)
With Rick Ross, Peter Jackson, Checkmate & Concise, G.M.S, Money Mitch and guests
Edmonton Expo Centre, $50 – $160