The Nemesis Two - Live / 1, 2 Checka - 2022

12" - 2005 - Nemtwo Ent.  

Scarborough, Ontario is definitely the place in Toronto which has developed one of the best indie hip-hop scene in Canada. Artists from this neighborhood have delivered a lot of good indie hip-hop projects through the years, and the first 12" released by The Nemesis Two is one of them. 

The Nemesis Two are a boom bap duo consisting of IQ & Oddball. "Live/ 1, 2 Checka" is their debut 12" released independently on their own label Nemtwo Entertainment in 2005. If you don't know this 12", it's a good surprise because it sounds like something released during the mid/late 90s. 

I had the pleasure to talk with IQ, he gave me more info about their story :

DJ IQ : " When I met oddball, we were in highschool and had both already been dj'ing for some time. My DJ name back then was Gremlin. I was hanging out at a local Scarborough emcee's house named Tha Mad Maska (Navro, the unofficial 3rd member of The Nemtwo) and Oddball was also there among others. Navro and I had previously discussed joining a big rap group which he was a part of. Navro would remain with us all through the years occasionally helping us out in what could be described as a manager's role. This rap group he was in was like 10 emcees deep (like wu-tang clan) and they already had a dj/producer in the group named Dj Biz-R (Oddball). I was joining the group as another DJ /producer.  I don't remember our first conversation but we must have bonded over our mutual love for DJ'ing and producing after meeting a few times at studio sessions etc. We both handled the Djing and the beats for the group for a good while. A lot of our sessions as a group in the beginning were done at "II crazy mental studios", run by engineer/artist Knia Singh who went on to become Toronto Mayoral Candidate. Oddball and I soon found ourselves practicing djing together, trading tips/techniques and advising each other on music gear. We would argue on which dj/producer was better, my favourite Pete Rock or his favourite Dj premier.  We would trade records, do record diggin together, participate in dj battles, travel to find music gear, do shows and dj gigs and even go to music school together. I also remember us DJ'ing for local artist Theology 3 who's name was Relevance at the time. All this was happening over the years, while at the same time, the larger group of emcees we were working with slowly dissipated and fell off. At one point we formed a DJ crew with another local DJ named DJ Junior Flow, who I met at a DJ battle, he became the DJ for Keys N Krates. We all practiced together and competed in Dj battles together. We battled in competitions against DJ's Son of Soul, Grouch, Lil Jazz, Subliminal, D Scratch etc. The friendship between the two of us gradually evolved into a music partnership. We ended up establishing our own label, Nemtwo Entertainment as co-owners and pursued even more endeavours. After the disappointment of losing all our emcees and having no success trying to work with new ones, we finally decided we would put out music on our own and do the raps ourselves since we had always been flowing and rapping in the background anyway. This led to us creating our own group, The Nemesis Two. The Two is for the two members, and Nemesis means one that inflicts vengeance or retribution, a formidable opponent etc.. Our experience as Hip Hop artists in Toronto was difficult and we felt at odds with the scene a lot of the time. In general we seemed to have the support of the people on the street but no support from the key players and Gatekeepers in Toronto. I can still remember some of the odd things that some of these so called "Hip Hop heads" had said to us..... "nobody wants to hear scratching", " why would you use records? ", "our music isn't hype", " we sound too old school" etc.  A lot of our time was spent just trying to navigate around the different obstacles that were in our way causing us to progress even slower. We felt slighted by the Toronto HipHop scene, and felt that as accomplished Dj's, we weren't given the respect that we deserved. We wanted our revenge, hence the name Nemesis. We wanted to make a DJ driven music ,where we were able to showcase our talents as Dj/Producers and make the element of Djing relevant again. We put out our first single "Live/1,2 Checka" as The Nemesis Two independently in 2005 and put out more projects which gained a lot more traction in the US and overseas where we focused our promotion. We decided to bypass Toronto for the time being. We've always had to do things independently, without assistance from any of the older artists or older people in the industry. Because of this we've managed to become very resilient and self-sufficient. With Oddball's recent absence, I've learned to do everything myself, from the first drum sound to the artwork. On our latest project "Plant'n Seeds", I handled almost all the production and a big chunk of the scratches myself. Oddball was able to appear on a few tracks providing vocals and scratches. I did all the mixing and Mastering and organized the project as well. There were also a lot of features on the album. Most artists are from Scarborough and a few from The Bay Area in the U.S. Oddball and I's music influences are very similar. As record collectors we mix almost all genres of music in our music. Our music is a fusion of Funk, Soul, Reggae, Dub, Jazz, rock, and more, all in a Hip Hop format. Our Hip Hop influences are a combination of pretty much all Hip Hop before the mid to late 1990's with the exception of a few new artists after that. "

Mad Props to IQ , thanks for your time.


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