Canadian Music Hall of Fame - The JUNO Awards

Often regarded as the pioneer of Canadian hip-hop, Maestro Fresh Wes, born Wesley Williams in 1968, revolutionized the country’s music scene when hip-hop was in its infancy. Introduced to rap at 11 by his father, he honed his skills and, by 15, was performing locally as Melody MC. In 1988, he went solo and soon after released the iconic track “Let Your Backbone Slide,” which skyrocketed to success, marking a breakthrough moment for Canadian hip-hop.

His debut album, “Symphony in Effect,” became a platinum-selling phenomenon, and the single “Let Your Backbone Slide” made history as the first Canadian hip-hop track to enter the Top 40 charts. The song’s acclaim prompted the creation of the JUNO Best Rap Recording category in 1991, where Maestro Fresh Wes earned the inaugural award.

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About The Canadian Music Hall of Fame

The Canadian Music Hall of Fame was established in 1978 and recognizes Canadian artists that have attained commercial success while having a positive impact on the Canadian music scene here at home and around the world. Studio Bell, home of the National Music Centre in Calgary, is the physical home to the Canadian Music Hall of Fame collection. NMC works closely with the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) to collect and exhibit items within the collection. As the governing body for the Hall of Fame, CARAS makes annual inductions in the artist, industry, and humanitarian categories each year at the JUNO Awards. For more information, please visit