Choclair

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Choclair
Birth nameKareem Blake
Also known asChox, Chiznock, Blake Savage
Born (1975-03-27) March 27, 1975 (age 43)
Scarborough, Ontario, Canada
OriginToronto, Ontario, Canada
GenresCanadian hip hop
Occupation(s)Rapper
Years active1995–present
LabelsKnee Deep Records, Virgin Records, Priority Records, Greenhouse Music
Associated actsKardinal Offishall, Rascalz, Thrust, Baby Blue Soundcrew, Dave McIntyre
WebsiteOfficial Website

Kareem Blake, (born March 27, 1975) better known by his stage name Choclair, is a Canadian rapper. He helped develop Canadian hip hop in the late 1990s, as a member of the Circle.

Career[edit]

Blake, of Jamaican descent, was born in Scarborough, Ontario, in east Toronto. Starting at the age of 11, he followed in his older brother's footsteps, and decided to become a rapper. In 1995, he released his debut single, "Twenty One Years", on his own independent label, Knee Deep Records. In 1997, he released the EP, What It Takes, which was accompanied by a music video featuring Jully Black. By 1998 Choclair had released eleven records, including the first international releases for Saukrates, Kardinal Offishall, Jully Black, Solitair, Marvel, and Tara Chase from Toronto's music scene.

Choclair, with the Rascalz, contributed to the hip hop song "Northern Touch", which received two Juno Awards and a MuchMusic Video Award, and achieved lasting popularity among Canadian hip hop fans and has been labelled by critics as a "hiphop anthem".[1]

Choclair then expanded his team and joined Virgin Music Canada in 1998. In 1999, he signed with Priority Records, and released his debut album Ice Cold, produced by Saukrates.[2][3] The album was certified gold in Canada (50,000 copies)[4][5] and spawned the hit single "Let's Ride", produced by Kardinal Offishall. Let's Ride reached #38 on the Canadian RPM Singles Chart.[6] That year Choclair performed at the Molson Amphitheatre in Toronto, opening for American singer Lauryn Hill.[7]


In early 2000, Choclair performed at the Wave Night Club in London in support of the album.[5] Later that year, "Let's Ride" won a SOCAN award and a MuchMusic award.[8] Ice Cold won a Juno award for Best Rap Recording in 2000.[9] He was presented with a 2001 Urban Music award from SOCAN.[10] Also in 2001 he opened the Music Without Borders concert at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto.[11]

On March 5, 2002 Choclair release his next album, Memoirs of Blake Savage, which included a lot of drug-related lyrics.[12] He released the single "Skunk" from that album, which featured Kurupt of Tha Dogg Pound.

After parting ways with Virgin Music, Choclair started his own independent label Greenhouse Music in partnership with Sextant Records/EMI Music Canada. On June 17, 2003, he released the album Flagrant, which won a Juno Award as best rap recording in 2004.[13] He also released other Canadian hip hop albums in conjunction with Sextant Records and EMI. Greenhouse followed that with the release of My Demo, a collection of Choclair's early underground recordings.

In 2006, Choclair released the album, Flagship. He was also featured on Karl Wolf's single, "Desensitize".

In 2018, Choclair and other members of the team who recorded "Northern Touch" performed the song at the 2018 Juno Awards ceremony.[14] Also in 2018 Choclair joined Classified and Maestro Fresh-Wes on the "Canadian Classic Tour".[15]

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

  • Ice Cold (1999)
  • Memoirs of Blake Savage (2002)
  • Flagrant (2003)
  • My Demo (2003)
  • Flagship (2006)

EPs[edit]

Singles[edit]

  • "Twenty One Years"
  • "What It Takes"
  • "So I" (Frankenstein featuring Choclair)
  • "Internal Affairs"
  • "Flagrant"
  • "Let's Ride"
  • "Rubbin'"
  • "Light It Up"
  • "Skunk"
  • "Who Dat Is (Chiznock Pt. II)"
  • "Skyline"
  • "Tell 'Em"
  • "Desensitize" (Karl Wolf featuring Choclair)
  • "Weekend" (Karl Wolf featuring Choclair)
  • "Sunshine (These Are the Days)"
  • "The Essence"
  • "Made (Move Mountains)"
  • "T-Dot"

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Why Northern Touch still matters: Twenty years later, the Canadian hip-hop anthem means more than just beats and rhymes". NOW Toronto, by Del F. Cowie, March 7, 2018
  2. ^ "Retrospective Reviews: Choclair’s ‘Ice Cold'". NOISEY, by Ian McBride, Oct 9 2014
  3. ^ "Choclair Ice Cold". AllMusic Review by Matt Conaway
  4. ^ "Gold Platinum Database: Choclair". Canadian Recording Industry Association. Archived from the original on 2012-01-19. Retrieved 2011-07-10.
  5. ^ a b "Retrospective Reviews: Choclair’s ‘Ice Cold'". Chart Attack, Review by Shawn Despres
  6. ^ "Results - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". Collectionscanada.gc.ca. Retrieved 2012-03-31.
  7. ^ "Live Reviews: Lauryn Hill August 10, 1999 The Molson Amphitheatre, Toronto". Chart Attack, Sean K. Robb, August 10, 1999
  8. ^ Chinta Puxley (Sep 22, 2000). "Matthew Good Band good enough to claim a pair of MuchMusic awards". The Hamilton Spectator.
  9. ^ "Alanis, BSB, Shania, Chantal Take Junos Home". Mar 13, 2000. Retrieved 14 May 2011.
  10. ^ "The Guess Who, Murray McLauchlan Win Big At SOCAN". Chart Attack, November 20, 2001
  11. ^ "LIVE: Music Without Borders". Chart Attack, October 22, 2001. Review by Paul Gangadeen
  12. ^ "CHOCLAIR Memoirs Of Blake Savage". NOW Magazine, by Tim Perlich, March 7, 2002
  13. ^ "CARAS Scores A Hit With 2004 Juno Awards". Soul Shine. 2004-04-05
  14. ^ "'Look what my daddy did!': Northern Touch All-Stars on representing rap and fatherhood at the Junos". CBC News, March 28, 2018
  15. ^ "HIP-HOP LEGENDS CLASSIFIED, CHOCLAIR AND MAESTRO VISIT THE CAPITAL FOR CANADIAN CLASSIC TOUR". Shifter Magazine, Oct 15, 2018

External links[edit]