By Julijana Capone
WINNIPEG – The spawn of ‘90s backpack hip hop and underground Prairie rap legends, 3PEAT’s infectious beats swirl to the laid back loops of the ones that set the groundwork.
During their short time on the scene, the emerging group—which includes MCs Steve, E.GG and Dill the Giant, as well as DJ/manager Anthony Carvalho—has found a place on bills alongside punk and indie-rock acts as easily as they would a rap showcase.
“I think that’s what Winnipeg’s about,” says E.GG. “They just support everything.”
The group’s triad of MCs started rapping outside of Grippin’ Grain shows, a long-standing rap-centric club night, and before long they were rocking stages at festivals and opening for some of their own microphone heroes, like Blackalicious and T.I.
In 2016, 3PEAT released their stellar debut self-titled EP, a top to bottom fresh collection of cuts that flow to a golden-era sample base.
The record features members trading verses as part of their self-styled “triangle offensive” or tackling tracks solo.
“All of those songs we did together,” says Steve of the EP. “We wanted to kind of build that model with our EP. Half of it is 3PEAT songs and the other half is solo songs from each of us. It’s kind of like introducing us.”
Much like other rap supergroup marketing models (read: Wu-Tang), 3PEAT will operate as a rap trifecta and each individual MC will also be propped up with their own solo output.
“It’s kind of like everyone brings their own little flavour into the big pot of jambalaya,” says Steve.
More releases have already emerged. E.GG followed up 3PEAT’s group debut with his own solo Alverstone record in 2016. Since then, Steve has offered up the soulful “Oh Yeah,” and Dill the Giant dropped the track “Emails” featuring ARI IQ earlier this year.
With a consistent stream of tracks, appearances at industry conferences, live shows galore, and a 2017 Western Canadian Music Award (WCMA) nomination for Rap/Hip Hop Artist of the Year to add to their list of accomplishments, the past year for the group has been fruitful.
“We were actually in Toronto at a conference—Canadian Music Week—and we were on the street when we got the email [about the WCMA nod],” says Carvalho. “We were like, ‘Holy shit!’”
“I think it’s dope that things like the Western Canadian Music Awards are kind of shining a light on artists from that area of Canada,” says Steve.
Indeed, it hasn’t always been easy for Canadian Prairie rap to get its due, but a new generation of hip hop artists are emerging from the ‘Peg—namely, 3PEAT, Super Duty Tough Work, The Lytics, and more—to pick up where others left off, following in the footsteps of nationally-underrated Manitobans like Shadez, Mood Ruff, Frek Sho, pioneering rap label Peanuts & Corn, and Winnipeg’s Most, among others.
“They’ve laid the stepping stones for us to be here and do what we do,” says Steve.
“It’s gonna be dope in another decade when you’re gonna see a lot more [Winnipeg] names,” adds E.GG.
3PEAT perform September 15 at Freemasons’ Hall (Edmonton) and September 16 at the Mercury Room (Edmonton) as part of BreakOut West. To hear more of 3PEAT’s tunes, head to threepeatmusic.com.3PEAT, BreakOut West, Freemasons' Hall, Mercury Room, Pass the Mic