||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (April 2009)|
|Birth name||Wesley Williams|
|Also known as||Maestro Fresh-Wes|
|Born||March 31, 1968|
|Origin||Toronto, Ontario, Canada|
|Occupations||Emcee, Rapper, Producer, Actor, Author, Motivational Speaker,|
|Associated acts||Rich London, Classified, The Dope Poet Society|
Wesley Williams (born March 31, 1968 in Toronto), better known as Maestro and formerly Maestro Fresh-Wes, is a Canadian rapper, record producer, and actor. His pioneering status and outstanding achievements have led to him being referred to as the "Godfather of Canadian hip hop".
In 1989 he became the first Canadian rapper to have a Top 40 hit, "Let Your Backbone Slide". As of early 2008, "Let Your Backbone Slide" remained the best-selling Canadian hip hop single of all time, and the only certified gold single in Canadian hip hop history. Eighteen years after its release, Maestro's debut album, Symphony in Effect (1989), remains the top selling Canadian hip hop album of all time; at 190,000 units sold, it is 10,000 shy of double platinum.
After the success of his 1991 album, The Black Tie Affair, Maestro's career faltered as he attempted to break into the United States market. However, he returned to the Canadian charts in 1998, with the hit singles "Stick to Your Vision" and "416/905 (T.O. Party Anthem)".
In 2000, "Ever Since" featured the track "Bustin Loose", in which Maestro Fresh Wes teamed up with Kardinal Offishall.
In 2005, Maestro covered Lawrence Gowan's song "A Criminal Mind" (featuring Infinite); Gowan appears in the video and his vocals are sampled on the track. Gowan also performed the song with Maestro at the Canadian Urban Music Awards in 2006.
In 2006 Maestro again made Canadian hip hop history when he and Rochester AKA Juice joined The Dope Poet Society on stage in Cannes, France. Together, they become the first Canadian hip hop acts ever to showcase at Midem, the world's largest and most influential annual music industry conference.
In 2012, Maestro released his first set of new material in more than seven years with the release of an EP entitled Black Tuxedo. This will be followed by an album, Orchestrated Noise in 2013, which is expected to feature rocker Sam Roberts and opera singer Measha Brueggergosman, among others.
He has had acting roles in the series Metropia, Instant Star, Platinum, Blue Murder, and The Line, as well as the films Poor Boy's Game, Get Rich or Die Tryin', Honey, and Four Brothers. As an actor, he is normally credited as Wes Williams.
In 2003, Deejay Ra launched a series of radio PSA's to launch the first Canadian 'Hip-Hop Appreciation Week' with the support of the National Film Board of Canada, aimed at stronger industry recognition of Canadian hip hop pioneers Wes 'Maestro' Williams and Michelle 'Michie Mee' McCullock.
Scholarly Engagement 
Professor Rinaldo Walcott, a scholar at OISE/University of Toronto dealing with themes related to Black Canadian experiences and expressions, has written about Maestro Fresh Wes' lyrics, as well as his move from Canada to New York, in his book Black Like Who?.
- Symphony in Effect (1989)
- The Black Tie Affair (1991)
- Maestro Zone (1992)
- Naaah, Dis Kid Can't Be from Canada?!! (1994)
- Built to Last (1998)
- Ever Since (2000)
- Orchestrated Noise (TBR 2013)
- Black Tuxedo EP (2012)
- Urban Landmark 1989–2005 (2005)
See also 
- Wes Williams Internet Movie Database. Accessed on July 10, 2010.
- "Maestro Fresh Wes Gets Classified, the Trews, Rich Kidd for 'Black Tuxedo' EP, Reveals New Album Plans". Exclaim!, September 17, 2012.
- Walcott, Rinaldo. Black Like Who? Toronto: Insomniac Press, 1997