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What’s In Your Fridge is where the Straight asks interesting Vancouverites about their life-changing concerts, favourite albums, and, most importantly, what’s sitting beside the Heinz ketchup in their custom-made Big Chill Retropolitan 20.6-cubic-foot refrigerators.
“Hip Hop is a lyrically robust form of music that some describe as complex poetry and many call Rap. VANCITY RAPS is a documentary on the diverse Hip Hop scene in Vancouver and showcases artists that create music to uplift their communities.”
- Vancity Raps associate producer Daniel Joseph (aka hip-hop artist Dangerous).
“Our film is amazing... it’s a cultural master peace of society on a whole... lives will change after watching it...”
- Vancity Raps director Pale Thomas
On the grill
Who are you
[Pale Thomas] “Who am I? Wow... ok... I’m a retired bar star...turned actor, writer, producer, director, editor, musician...I used to hit a lot of clubs and lounges back in the day...like Thursday to Sunday on the regular...every week...it was pretty much my only goal in life...and I’m not kidding... Hence the bar-star reference. Playing pool, meeting women and hitting the dance floor was on constant rotation...
I became a raver pretty hard core in Toronto when I lived there. Born and raised in Vancouver though. Lived in Brooklyn for three years where I studied acting, writing, and producing. Now I’m a family man with kids and a pretty low-key lifestyle. I realized a few years back that maybe being recognized and famous wasn’t for me, as I was already living the lifestyle, I wanted without the recognition factor in play... and being behind the camera is less noticeable for my private life and personality.”
[Travis] The project means so much to me on many levels. I feel it is a piece of history in the Vancouver hip-hop scene. It has my life and a decade of friendship and hopefully a bit of a legacy with these artists. I have put much sweat and tears into the film, and to see the positive feedback is all one can ask. Since we have made Vancity Raps I have seen many of the artist shine even more—booked for more events and collaborating and doing shows songs and whole albums together.
It really is about shedding light onto the scene and creative more opportunity for everyone into this next decade to come. To see some of the world-wide success at the film festivals I am ever grateful. I feel it is a testament to the talent and team. On the real I am a small-town guy with big dreams. I have had family and roots in this city for a long time. I really just love to perform and see talent shine.
[Daniel] I’m a published author with two books, Me, My Dreams And I and Wise Words From A Father, along with several published magazine article features and online articles. As well, I’m an actor and filmmaker, who has starred in television shows like Arrow, IZombie, Untold Stories of the ER, and produced films such as When The Wheels Fall Off, Nano, Starlight, Where Are They, and Diary of A Shadow. I’m also Dangerous aka the Dreamcatcher, an experienced hip-hop artist and host. I’ve opened for Nelly, Cypress Hill, D12, Chamillionare, and Swollen Members. As a DJ I’ve collaborated with award-winning artists such as Planet Asia, Moka Only, and Canibus.
[Daniel] “My first concert was the Up & Smoke Tour—I was in grade 12 and to see Dr. Dre, Snoop Doggy Dogg, Eminem, DoggPound, and Xzibit all on the same stage was electric. The energy that was in GM Place (and the chronic) made the night the best concert that I have ever been to. The icing on the cake was the after-party at Commodore Ballroom where I got to see Dre and Snoop up close and intimate for an unforgettable set, I even ran into Kurupt that night!
[Travis] SNOW JOB 98! In Kamloops B.C. up at Sun Peaks. Blockbuster was selling lift tickets and passes for like two bucks with a rental. My older sister took me. I was like eight and I saw LL Cool J and he was awesome. He kept pulling his one left leg pant up though. All Saints did swell but I recall the crowd was throwing snowballs and bottles at Chumbawamba. I do not think they finished their set, lol. I liked all of their tunes back then though, lol. MuchMusic was all the rage of course.
[Pale Thomas] D.O.A came to my high school and played a gym concert. It was loud, aggressive and fun as hell for a 14-year-old at the time. My first mosh pit…My mom let me go with no supervision. My older friends bought me Jack Daniel’s. I drank it straight from the bottle...The concert came and went and before I knew it, I woke up on some Asian family’s lawn, my eyes open and a Chinese man was standing above me… speaking Chinese with no English…by his actions I assumed he was asking me if I was okay and If I needed a ride home. He got me into his mini-van and I have no Idea how we arrived at my place, ‘cause I couldn’t remember where I lived, I was so faded, and he spoke no English…a lot of pointing and sign language was eventually the key…. Anyway, made it home. Not recommended for teenagers of today, I made it home somehow fine, but looking back, crazy night.
My favorite concert was Tragically Hip at a small nightclub in the city. It was at Plaza of Nations can’t remember what it as called. Gord Downie still had all his hair, “Blow at High Dough” was break-out hit. I went to see Radiohead and didn’t really know who the Hip were (they were the opening act and headliner was Radiohead). They got snowed in, in Alaska, so someone else was brought into replace them. But honestly the Hip were enough—first introduction to them—and I believe close to one of their first tours…I was underage, I think when I snuck into to see them. Great concert.
[Travis] “I will be honest—I have had many. But this is my first festival. I remember being 16 at this festival my brother (Shane Turner who was touring as Brundlefly) was playing at in Alberta called Stage 13 in Camrose. I was crowd surfing to Our Lady Peace and the security thought I was even younger ‘cuz well I was young. He was like “Don’t ever do that again!” I don’t think I have crowd surfed since. I had backstage access so it really was next-level for me. While we were camping there a tornado hit! The tents were flying. We all survived of course! That was my first festival experience. It was not until I saw Ice Cube and Snoop Dogg, and then moved to Vancouver and saw my first underground shows, was I able to start working on my music. I think I saw R.A. the Rugged Man and Snak the Ripper at Richard’s on Richards and that really inspired me to pursue my passion. Life-changing concert I have played would be Lil’ Kim. I mean I played a sold-out crowd at Fortune and then got called me on stage and we had a real good dance together.”
[Daniel] “It will sound self-serving and a bit egocentric, but my life-changing concert was when I brought Canibus out to Vancouver for his C of Tranquility Tour at the Motel. Canibus is my ultimate hip-hop idol and to not only open for him but also perform with Bis for his whole set as his hype-man, was a dream come true. We got to perform our new song together at the time, “The Dreamcatcher”, and shot the video for it that night as well. The next night was his actual birthday and to take him out for dinner and drinks, and to just talk about hip-hop for hours and hear his stories of cyphering with greats like Wu-Tang, Mos Def, Common, and other legends, was another dream manifested to reality.” #dreamsdocometrue
[Pale Thomas] “Lilith Fair with Sarah McLachlan headlining, the first time the show toured. Every girlfriend I ever dated, listened to Sarah, so seeing her live while on mushrooms was a historic night. The life-changing part was seeing a stage full of women, and being amazed at how talented women are: great voices, stage presence, and confidence. My dad left at a young age—I think I was nine months old. I had two much older sisters and my mom, so I was raised by three strong women. To this day I enjoy listening to women talk—soothes my soul so to speak, as that is what I grew up listening to. I really hope more women get into politics, ‘cause the men have done enough damage with their selfish, greedy, ego-driven mindsets. It’s time the women took over in my opinion and re-imagined our society to something far superior than what the men of current and of the past that have done. The only road up is women stepping in for me—bring some sense to this mindless debauchery were experiencing now. These men running our system should really just realize their stupidity and just step away. Let women take over.
Top three records
When it comes to hip-hop, there are three albums that you can listen from start to finish with no fast-forwarding or skipping any songs. Three music collections that are timeless, unique, memorable, so well-produced and truly changed the game when they came out. Those three albums are…
2Pac All Eyez On Me Hip-hop’s greatest double album, All Eyez On Me kicked off with “Ambitionz Az a Ridah” which is one of the hardest beats ever—so hard Mike Tyson used it as his entrance music! “All About U” follows, which is such a banger featuring Tha DoggPound. The vibe keeps going with Nate Dogg in “Skandalouz”, then lyrical with “Got My Mind Made Up” featuring Redman/Method Man/Tha Dogg Pound. And after that “How Do U Want It” with Jodeci, which is another iconic banger. The sixth track is the epic song with Snoop Doggy Dogg—”2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted”—and later on is the most prolific West Coast anthem, “California Love” remix featuring Dr. Dre. That’s just the first disc! Disc 2 carries on the heaters with “Can’t C Me”, “Shorty Wanna Be a Thug”, and “Wonda Why They Call U Bytch”, smooth tracks like “Thug Passion”, “Picture Me Rollin’”, and “All Eyez On Me”, and the epic original “California Love” with Dr. Dre. #GOAT
Snoop Doggy Dogg Doggystyle There are very few albums in all of music that you can listen to from front to back but Doggystyle is one of those rare gems. Produced immaculately by Dr. Dre, this album is Snoop’s best work by far and is loaded with non-stop Westcoast bangers like “Gin and Juice”, “Tha Shiznit”, “Lodi Dodi”, “Murder Was The Case”, “Ain’t No Fun”, and the heavily rotated “Who Am I (What’s My Name)?” which hit number eight on Billboard in 1993. “Doggy Dogg World” is one of my favorite songs on the album and has a dope retro music video throwing it back to the 1970’s. Doggystyle is just fun, full of great beats, funny interludes, dope featured artists and such smooth rapping by big Snoop.
Dr. Dre 2001 One of the greatest Hip Hop albums of all time, Dr. Dre produced an absolute masterpiece. It’s another play through LP, with so many amazing tracks to vibe to like “Xxplosive”, “The Watcher”, “What’s The Difference”, “Housewife”, and there’s the iconic West Coast bangers like “Still D.R.E.” and “Forgot about Dre”. This is real hip-hop at it’s finest!!!”
Beastie Boys License to Ill just because it taught me rap was a multicultural sport.
Maestro Fresh-Wes Symphony In Effect He was Canadian and I was really trying to support and Identify with my Canadian Heritage…so I was listening local…checkin’ out our scene… It’s funny as one of my first jobs out of high school was working at a hotel downtown, and it just so happened Maestro had an apartment in that hotel. He lived there, so we got to know each other a fair bit. When I started getting into filming he came to my first movie premiere, super-supportive, and even always made sure to come talk to me about the project and showed genuine interest in the process of filmmaking and what I was doing. The next week he invited me to a Rascalz concert, Crush Nightclub—he was also performing. Super-solid dude. Respect his nature 100 percent.
Depeche Mode Speak & Spell I think it was… I was hanging out at a club on Richards street, and it played them a lot and and I just remember the memories of that time were so amazing—the vibe, the glow in the air…indescribable. And I feel Depeche Mode was the backdrop to that era for me—lots of girls in my life at the time, and they all dug Nine inch Nails, Depeche Mode, the Cure…
“This is like an ever changing…
DMX It’s Dark and Hell is Hot The cassette was taken away from me—I used to listen on my Walkman.
Eminem The Slim Shady LP It inspired me to rap, of course, and a million others just like me. I had dyed my hair, had a chain, and battled my way to where I am today, lol.
Ice Cube War & Peace, Volume 2 This album just holds a special place in my heart. “Please listen to my Demo.” My cousin and I used to bump all the West Side connections. I did a track with WC was a bucket list for sure.
Kendrick Lamar Good Kid, M.A.A.D City As far as a bit more current! Is it bad to say Kayne West’s Late Registration was one of my all-time favs and still is? I like music from the ’60s too though—Beatles White Album was a very early influence.
All-time favorite video
[Travis] Daft Punk "Da Funk" Well, growing up, and still maybe to this day, it was Daft Punk’s “Da Funk” with the Dog and the boombox, and he can not like do anything since he has the music just bumping. It sticks out to me for sure.
[Daniel] Michael Jackson “Thriller” Hands down, the greatest music video of all-time is Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”. This was more than a music video—it was an big-budget short film, a major mini-movie that took the audience on a scary and suspenseful ride that no one had ever experienced before. The build up in the opening scenes from the “movie” in the theatre is epic, and when the song starts, it’s storytelling at it’s best as MJ takes his date through the graveyard describing the “terror on the screen”. The costumes, make-up and sets were ahead of their time, and that famous “Thriller” choreography, is still one of the most memorable moments in music ever.
What’s in your Fridge
Baking soda. For I think the same reason as most. Keeps the fridge from smelling...seems to work well.
Hot chili sauce. I like it mainly on my scrambled eggs, and a lot of my food I like to put the chili sauce on. Like that commercial says ‘I put that shit on everything’”.
Mustard. ’Cause you can’t eat a hot dog without it...
Local craft breweries’ lager. I’m a lager drinker...and always supporting local brew talent…BC has a lot of great breweries locally brewed and on tap, and just great, BC beer is growing to be my favorite in the world right now and I consider myself a beer snob…I’ve tries just about all the ones in the stores and new ones pop up every other week it seems…”
Lizano Salsa Sauce. This is straight from Costa Rica, and every time I taste it brings me right back to the first time I tried it. My sister used to be a flight attendant and she’s bring it back. I was able to play a festival in Costa Rica called Bamboo Festival. On my way back in the air port I had two big bottles that were over-sized. I had a transfer in El Salvador and they weren’t going to let me take my hot sauce as they were over sized-carry on. I argued in the best Spanish I knew: “Dias anos to get these!” So, ya, eventually they let me and I smuggled the hot sauce back to Canada! I had waited a decade, but now you can get on Amazon for a big fee, lol.
Red Thai curry. I used to be the most fussy kid until I started eating Thai food. When I was a teen I remember refusing to try new foods. I wanted McDonald’s but I walked around the downtown Vancouver city and quickly realized I had no idea where I was—I was visiting my family in Vancouver from my hometown Penticton. Anyways I tried red thai curry—and a bunch of other deliciousness. Now I try anything every since!
Avocados. Dude—like on everything. Organic ripe and delicious, make a dope guacamole, spread it on toast, cut it half with some soy sauce sesame oil and sriracha and you can eat with a spoon!”
Caribbean pepper sauce. My family is from Trinidad and Tobago where we bring the heat. It’s spicy, flavorful and elevates almost and dish. We have a saying, the spice is nice!
Milk. I also have a toddler, so you will find 3 percent milk in my fridge for the growing boy, and it can help with the heat for those who can’t handle the pepper sauce, lol…
Eggs. We love making omelets and egg fajitas. We are blessed to always have food in our fridge so I have gratitude every meal. Thank you.”