MAESTRO FRESH-WES HIP HOP CLASSIC GETS THUMBS-UP FROM CANADIAN SONGWRITERS’ HALL OF FAME

Wes Williams, Godfather of Canadian hip hop, wrote 'Let Your Backbone Slide' on graveyard shift at mall

Wes Williams, known by his rap name Maestro Fresh-Wes, is referred to by some as the Godfather of Canadian hip hop. His hit 1989 single 'Let Your Backbone Slide' will be inducted into the Canadian Songwriters' Hall of Fame on Nov. 21. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

Groundbreaking hip hop artist Wes Williams, better known to many as Maestro Fresh-Wes, is happy to celebrate his past success, but he’s not content to rest on his sacroiliac.

On Thursday, the rapper’s seminal single Let Your Backbone Slide is being inducted into the Canadian Songwriters’ Hall of Fame. It is the first hip hop song to receive the honour.

“It’s good for me, but it’s great for the genre of music. It’s great for hip hop,” Williams says. “We started from the bottom, but now we’re here doing international things. I’m just honoured to be a part of that.”

Williams wrote Let Your Backbone Slide while working as a security guard at the Parkway Mall in Scarborough, Ont., in the late 1980s.

“I took the graveyard shift. That way I could work on my demos,” says Williams.

It was also at the mall where he came up with the title of “Maestro,” inspired by a now-shuttered Tuxedo Royale retail outlet.

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