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Trice sets up Garfinkel’s on Sunday

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Who: Obie Trice with Rochester a.k.a. Juice, Rosco and R3

Where: Garfinkel’s

When: Sunday, Feb. 29

Whistler is a long way from the rough neighbourhoods of Detroit that honed the street sense and mic skills of hip-hopper Obie Trice.

So are Saskatoon, Penticton and Grande Prairie, Alta., just a few of the other locales the Shady Records recording artist is hitting on his current tour before heading off to Europe on March 12.

One day you’re in Grand Prairie, playing a place called The Corral then a week later you’re in Paris, booked into the Elysee Montmartre. Just like one day you’re a struggling MC battling it out on the underground circuit immortalized in the Eminem bio-pic 8 Mile, and the next you’re a platinum—selling hip-hopper with vids on constant rotation, keeping company with the Shady Records crew, including the golden-haired mother-hater recording magnate himself. Your album features a virtual who’s who of hip-hop: Dr. Dre and Nate Dogg, 50-Cent, Busta Rhymes and more.

It’s a good thing Obie Trice didn’t need to change his name to make it in hip-hop. His life is surreal enough already.

That blink-and-rub-your-eyes sentiment lies behind the contest that accompanied the release of his debut album, Cheers, back in September 2003. Three "golden tickets" were inserted into three random copies of the album from its first 500,000 pressings, winning the recipients an all-expenses-paid trip to Detroit and the chance to hang out with Shady Records kingpin Eminem in the studio. The contest has more than a passing resemblance to the Roald Dahl classic Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

"Everybody’s always doing the same shit with their records," Trice professes on the Shady Records Web site. "Buy my album, get a DVD, get a free poster, get a piece of my toilet seat…f**k all that shit. We wanted to come with the hottest, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire type shit for a contest. When I was a kid I would have given a nut to win something like this."

Trice has since proven his worth to the Shady organization with a steady stream of charting gems. He’s a Sir Mixalot for a new Millennium in the goofy Got Some Teeth, a lowest common denominator rant about the least he can expect from his booty calls. Used to be all a girl needed was a nice round behind to be heralded in hip-hop. Now, well, ya gotta have your choppers.

Showgoers to Garfinkel’s will also count themselves among the elite that have actually heard the entire exposition of The Set-Up, a much censored, albeit much-played tune about a femme fatale featuring rap-crooner Nate Dogg and R&B gloss babe Mya. Entire lines are omitted to make that one radio friendly, but live performers can’t be bleeped.

Sunday’s Trice show is a hot ticket event in this town. Even with prices in the $35-$40 range promoter Morgan Blake confirmed advance tickets are sold out, though there may be a limited number of tickets at the door. Since the show takes place on a Sunday night, it’s subject to the 1 a.m. shutdown rule, so this is one night to get your ass out of the door before 11 p.m.

Trice will be supported by Toronto MC Rochester a.k.a. Juice and local hip-hop DJs Rosco and R3.

For more information call 604-932-2323.

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