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The art of hip hop

Canadian hip hop star Josh Martinez performs at subversive art show

By Nicole Fitzgerald

Who: Josh Martinez

When: Monday, Feb. 12

Where: Maxx Fish

Tickets: $10

After a marathon television viewing of Season One of Weeds, starring a suburban mom who is a weed dealer, Canadian hip hop wild child Josh Martinez writes on his website blog ( that he has decided drug dealing might be a better way of padding his extravagant lifestyle.

This is what happens when Martinez actually sits down for a moment during the holidays. No good can come from it.

And that is why the Europe jetsetter is back at work promoting his new, not-yet released album with a teaser stopover in Whistler Monday, Feb. 12 at Maxx Fish as part of the No Landscapes Allowed Artist exhibition.

Martinez’s cheeky wit, not to mention get-real attitude, has won over a devout following stretching from North America overseas to Europe, Japan and Australia. This take-charge persona has been with him since the beginning — five years ago when he decided to start his own label, Camobear Records, with no help from an established North American record label, manager, booking agent or publicist.

Maybe that is why hard work and dedication of this one-man show led to such success with 200 show dates a year, ink deals with European labels Bella Union and V2 as well as license records to distributors in Japan, Europe and North America.

“Martinez litters his tracks with more melodies per square inch than any rapper on the planet,” raves an Urb Magazine critique. “Once he gets his hooks in you, he’ll never let go.”

The Vancouver artist, who won Best Rap Recording at the 2005 Western Canadian Music Awards, is hard at work as usual. He recently wrapped up his latest album, Splitsville, with a release date set loosely for March. He also just returned from Europe, where he performed and attended the Midem Music Trade Conference in France.

Martinez’s wordplay anthems will build on the night and day celebration of everything underground with the subversive art show No Landscapes Allowed exhibiting paintings, clothing, jewelry, sculpture and tattoos as well as live shows from 2 p.m to 2 a.m.

Admission for the evening Martinez show is $10.