Get Loose Crew

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Get Loose Crew
Get Loose Crew.jpg
Get Loose Crew members Kory Neely (left) Carl Badwa (center) Chris Jackson (back right) Len Grant-Stuart (right) at the album photoshoot.
Background information
Origin Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Genres Hip Hop
Years active 1984 (1984)–1990 (1990)
Labels East Park Productions (independent)
Associated acts JUST Me, MC B, B-kool, Carlito, Self Defence, MC Rumble (Rumble & Strong), Maestro Fresh Wes, Michie Mee, Dream Warriors, Organized Rhyme, Snow
Members Chris Jackson
Kory Neely
Len Grant-Stuart
Carl Badwa

Get Loose Crew was a Canadian Hip Hop band formed by 'D.J Jel' Chris Jackson, 'Rapper' Kory Neely aka MC Shadow and Len Grant-Stuart aka 'Mix-Master Len' in Toronto, Ontario, Canada 1987. The Get Loose Crew took on additional rapper 'MC B' Carl Badwa who joined the band prior to the release of their album in 1988.

The group established itself as part of not only the Toronto music scene but in Canada also, releasing its first self-titled album "Get Loose Crew" for their self established independent record label East Park Productions in February 1988. After signing with Electric Distribution - (ZGARKA-KAYE Distribution Ltd.), The Get Loose Crew accomplished becoming the first Canadian rap group to produce a mini LP and the first Canadian rap record to achieve sales internationally.[1] Despite success on local urban music charts, being featured on television in Canada and radio airplay in the United States the group did not release a follow up project. Subsequently, group members disbanded to pursue solo projects pioneering independent industry achievements.

The originality of the group was the frontman lead vocalist MC Shadow, whom as a white rapper was not only unique to the genre itself becoming the first to be recorded on vinyl in Canada, but only second internationally to established American band "Beastie Boys".[2]


The Beginnings: 1984 to 1987[edit]

In early 1984, a local DJ group the Def Force Sound Crew, consisting of band members, Chris Jackson (Dj JEL), Len Grant-Stuart (Mix-Master Len), and Kory Neely (originally named "White Shadow"), was formed and played (DJ'd) at their local junior High School - Valley Park Junior High and community center dances in Flemingdon Park, Toronto. The group consisted of two African Canadian DJ's and an Irish Canadian MC. Appearing as a guest act at local underground parties the trio organized their act to feature White Shadow MC performing in freestyle rap challenges. After having overwhelmed local artist MC Rumble during an impromptu freestyle rap battle at an underground party, the moment signified their pursuit of a recording project that would leave their mark in Hip Hop music history in Canada and in the world.

East Park Productions: 1987[edit]

In 1987 the group changed their name to the "Get Loose Crew" and MC Shadow as lead vocals and began self producing several demo tapes played on Ryerson University (then Ryerson Polytechnical Institute) Radio Station CKLN 88.1 - Fantastic Voyage Program, hosted by Ron Nelson. Actively pursuing a recording contract with a major Canadian Record Label without success the decision was made to form their own independent label East Park Productions. The agreement was secured by Kory Neely on February 1, 1988, with the manufacture of the record by Cinram in Toronto. With the first Hip Hop record being manufactured in Canada, Cinram a predominant supplier of commercial and mainstream music records and cassettes was not accustomed to the substantial bass contained in the group's music. As a result, production lines were delayed due to damage done to pressing stamps producing the lacquer vinyl records...[3] After 2 delays the initial release of 5,000 copies were completed.

Get Loose Crew - The Album 1988[edit]

With the records release in March 1988 The Get Loose Crew became the second hip hop project in Canada, on the heels of Beat Factory Productions compilation 12" release featuring local artists MC Rumble and Michie Mee. This record, first of its kind was in album format with photographs though being considered a mini-LP or EP having 4 individual tracks and accompanying instrumentals. One track produced by super producer Howard Hughes. The group's single Wannabe enjoyed success on the local urban music record chart CHEER Music Pool in May 1988 at 5th spot up against (now industry icons) Kool Moe Dee - Wild Wild West #1, Eric B & Rakim - Move the crowd #2, Boogie Down Productions - My Philosophy #3, Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five - Magic Carpet Ride #6, ICE-T & Big Daddy Kane -Colors Soundtrack #7.[4]

In June 1988 featured in STREETSOUND magazine a national publication, MC Shadow commented on being pioneers in a genre of music in its infancy and the relevance of the artists performance.

“When people come to a show, they’re critical. They come to see a performance. It’s got to be rockin’. From beginning to end. It has to be an organized performance, unlike four years ago, when everybody would just jam. No fighting, no chain snatching, no B-Boy destruction”.


The band sought an endorsement deal with New York, USA clothing brand 'British Knights' but due to contractual obligations with rapper Kool Moe Dee, the group received an unofficial sponsorship with a supply of promotional product to wear at concerts and appearances.

The record was included in a list of most collectible Toronto albums of all time.[6]

Parting ways: Going solo 1990[edit]

The group appeared on local radio stations and performed at 'The Concert Hall' and 'The Zone' in Toronto during the next year and a half and early in 1990 decided to disband and pursue separate musical interests. Dj Jel and Get Loose Crew producer formed the group 'Self-Defence', while MC Shadow and MC B teamed up as 'Double trouble'. The duo separated again with MC B changing his name to 'B-Kool' as a feature act with Simply Majestic earning a Juno award for the track 'Dance to the music'. MC Shadow teamed up with unknown R&B soloist Kaye Sergant to become the first Canadian rapper to be included in a multi-track CD compilation Mega Dance Volume 1 (1991), with "What I’m Sayin". The original recording having received the FACTOR new talent demo award in May 1991.


In 1987, the Get Loose Crew were featured on a CBC comedy talk show Switchback hosted by comedian Eric Tunney. They were interviewed and performed their albums title track. The episode also featured prominent Toronto Radio personality Chris Sheppard (CFNY102.1Radio FM) serving as a co-host and DJ. [7]

2010 Toronto Hip hop Exhibit: T-Dot Pioneers[edit]

 TDot Pioneers Exhibit Party Jackson & Badwa.jpg
T-Dot Pioneers Exhibit Jel (chris jackson) & MC B (carl badwa)

In March 2010, more than 20 years after the monumental release of Canada's first internationally released hip hop record, The Toronto Free Gallery held an exhibit called T-Dot Pioneers: An Exploration of Toronto Hip Hop History and Culture The exhibit featured items from the birth of Toronto hip hop including old photographs, posters, vinyl and awards – even the Juno won by founding Get Loose Crew member MC B in his solo undertaking B-Kool after leaving the group . The exhibit coincided with the launch of a new Canadian hip hop website, Northside Hip Hop which featured the group as pioneers in Canadian Hip Hop reuniting Chris Jackson (now Chris Gotrocks) and Carl Badwa (now Don Carlito formerly MC B & B-Kool) and Neely. Along with the album, Badwa's solo achievements including several solo projects and his Juno Award for R&B/Soul Recording of the Year in 1991 for 'Dance to the Music', were on display. The crew gave interviews with local media providing perspective on a lost generation of hip hop and confirming roots in a rich local music culture dating back to the early 1980s.

2011 CBC Hip Hop Summit[edit]

MC Shadow (kory neely) CBC Hip Hop Summit Red Carpet
MC Shadow (kory neely) CBC Hip Hop Summit Red Carpet

On the foundation of the success of the T-Dot Pioneers Exhibit, Jackson proposed the idea for a live recorded show commemorating Hip Hop History hosted in the prestigious Glenn Gould Studio at CBC (Canadian Broadcast Corporation) in Toronto. Based upon his continued presence and long standing relationships in the hip hop music industry, Jackson (works at CBC) brought together and united the founders of Canadian Hip Hop Music as part of an exclusive concert. The concept gained traction and with Jackson Co-producing, gleaned a summit paying respect to Canadian Hip Hop by documenting its history through performance over several days. The feature concert presented some of Canada's originators and many new talent performing live. While the crew did not reunite for a performance, the group's album was displayed on the iconic Glenn Gould Wall and showcase homage paid by summit host/artist Buck 65 during the show. The event featured a red carpet and other items such photographs, flyers, vinyl cassettes and other paraphernalia now considered artifacts.


Studio albums[edit]

Title Album details CHEER Music Pool
Get Loose Crew
MC Shadow performing in Toronto, Ontario Canada 1988


Year Title Peak Album Label
"Get Loose Crew" (feat. MC Shadow) uncharted Get Loose Crew East Park Productions
"Wannabe" (feat. MC Shadow and MC B) 5 Get Loose Crew East Park Productions

Featured singles[edit]

Year Title Chart Positions Album
1989 "Wannabe" (feat. MC Shadow and MC B) 5 Get Loose Crew

See also[edit]


  1. ^ ZGARKA-KAYE Distribution Ltd. Distribution Agreement. "Electric Distribution",Electric Distribution Agreement, Markham, Ontario February 1st 1988.
  2. ^ ZGARKA-KAYE Distribution Ltd. Distribution Agreement. "Electric Distribution",Electric Distribution Agreement, Markham, Ontario February 1st 1988.
  3. ^ DYNAPAK Music Services Ltd.CINRAM "Letter re: Invoice 17798",DYNAPAK Music Services Ltd/CINRAM, Markham, Ontario 1988
  4. ^ CHEER Urban Music Pool. Backfield in motion,Toronto May 1988
  5. ^ MC Shadow. "Canadian Rap Update",pg 21, Streetsound Magazine, Toronto, June 1998.
  6. ^ Gillespie, Colin (September 21, 2014). "The top 10 most collectable Toronto albums of all time". Freshdaily (Daily - submission by contributor). Freshdaily. Retrieved 11 January 2016. 
  7. ^ Eric, Tunney (host) (21 March 1987). "Switchback". Talk show. Season 7. Episode 2. CBC. 

External links[edit]