Wes Williams aka Maestro Fresh Wes is the first Black Canadian artist to have a single or album reach gold and platinum status in Canada. This Toronto born multimedia celebrity, is the first Hiphop artist to receive a Juno Award for Best Rap Recording of the Year, the first to have a single on Billboard, as well as the first to be inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame. The success of Wes’s 1989 debut single Let Your Backbone Slide, and his debut album Symphony In Effect, helped shape the Canadian music industry and reinforced him to being labeled as The Godfather of Canadian Hiphop.
Throughout the past 40 years, Wes has evolved professionally from performing on local college radio, to making groundbreaking music and hitting national as well as international stages. As an actor he has appeared in several films and has worked alongside Mekhi Phifer, Omar Epps as well as Oscar Award winner Jamie Foxx. In Canadian television, Wes completed 8 seasons as a supporting character on CBC’s hit sitcom Mr. D.
The foreword for Wes’s awarded winning self-help book STICK TO YOUR VISION was written by Chuck D of the legendary Public Enemy. The foreword of Wes’s children’s book YOUNG MAESTRO GOES TO SCHOOL, was written by the legendary Kardinal Offishall and inspired two Juno Award nominated albums in the category of Children’s Album of the Year. Currently, Wes is the host on CBC’s hit summer television series RACE AGAINST THE TIDE Season 3, his cooking show which he co-produced, MAESTRO CHEF WES is the second most watched show on the Bell Fibe1 Network, and his brand new single STILL WINNING dropped in June 2023.
Chuck D is the leader and co-founder of the legendary rap group Public Enemy, a social activist, multimedia producer, visual artist, and digital music pioneer.
The New York Times has named Public Enemy’s music to their list of the “25 Most Significant Albums of the Last Century” and in 2005 The Library of Congress included Fear of a Black Planet in a list of 50 recordings worthy of preserving that year in their National Recording Registry. In 2013, Public Enemy was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and in 2020 Public Enemy earned a GRAMMY Lifetime Achievement Award. He has been featured in more than 100 documentaries on music, technology, politics, and race, and co-curated the Smithsonian Anthology of Hip Hop. He has also been a national spokesperson for Rock the Vote, the National Urban League, Americans for the Arts Council, and the National Alliance for African-American Athletes.
Chuck has co-hosted an episode of the lauded PBS series on the Blues, created by Martin Scorsese, and the critically-acclaimed Watts-Stax documentary. He also wrote the theme song to ESPN’s Monday Night Baseball show, as well as the 2003 ESPY Awards and hosted the network’s documentary Ali Rap in 2006, which was nominated for several Sports Emmys including one for his theme song composition.
Chuck D is also a visual artist whose work has been shown in galleries nationwide, a best-selling author (including 2017’s 300-page “This Day In Rap and Hip Hop History”), he launched the websites Rapstation.com, and HipHopGods.com and in 2023 launched a new app called Bring The Noise that targets Hip-Hop fans 35 and up with videos, interviews, RAPstation TV all 11 RAPstation channels that is available for both iOS and Android.
B-Real is a rapper, producer and actor from South Gate, California who is known for being a part of groups such as, Cypress Hill, Kush, Serial Killers and Prophets of Rage. He started out as an underground artist in the late 1980s before going on to become a founding member of the iconic rap group, Cypress Hill. In 2005 B-Real began his solo career with the release of his debut album “Smoke N Mirrors”, The Gunslinger Part 1” in 2009 and “The Gunslinger Part 2” in 2012.
Outside of his career in music, B-Real launched his live streaming site Breal.tv in 2009 which features live interactive programming over the internet. He is the host of the video podcast The Dr. Greenthumb Podcast, The Smokebox and Meditation. In 2018, B-Real partnered with marijuana subscription box company Daily High Club to craft a B-Real-themed smoking supply box.
Lorrie Boula, Owner, Soul Kitchen
Lorrie Boula is a 20+ year veteran of the entertainment industry. Ten years ago she pivoted and started producing content. She is president and founder of Soul Kitchen Music, an artist management company that represents Chuck D, Mark Jenkins, Public Enemy and DJ Lord. In 2014 Boula co-founded and produced “Art Alliance; Provocateurs,” alongside Fairey and C3. The successful art and music festival featured over 45 internationally acclaimed modern artists including Keith Haring, Swoon, Retna, and Cleon Peterson. It also featured musical performances from Nas, Deltron 3030 and DJ Z-Trip. Prior to starting her own companies, Boula worked at Warner Bros. Records serving as VP of Marketing her roster of genre-defining artists included Jane’s Addiction, Porno For Pyros, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Ministry, and Cornershop. Before WBR, Boula was a Marketing Director at Interscope Records. There, she worked with artists Dr Dre, Snoop Doog, Marilyn Manson, Nine Inch Nails, No Doubt and Tupac. She also oversaw the national street team. Before Interscope, Boula was at Geffen Records doing artist development. She worked with artists Nirvana, Sonic Youth, Counting Crowes and Weezer. Boula also co-authored “This Day in Rap and Hip Hop History” alongside Chuck D, published in 2017. She was born and raised in the Bronx and still remembers her first uprock.