For most local hip hop fans, Warren G will be the big draw on FRIDAY, Sept. 9 at The Element Night Club in Castlegar as he brings his Nate Dogg Tribute Show to town and rightfully so. Warren G, after all, came up with one of the all time great hip hop anthems in 1994’s Regulate, along with since deceased Nate Dogg.
But don’t overlook opening act Johnny Dilemma, a talented rapper from Vancouver who has already performed with Snoop Dogg, the Game, Black Eyed Peas, Method Man, and Redman. The 2011 Nate Dogg Tribute Show will be the first time Dilemma’s performed with Warren G.
“Warren G has been around for quite some time. He’s actually Dr. Dre’s half brother. He was partners with Nate Dogg, who was a very famous voice in hip hop but unfortunately passed away this year,” said Dilemma. “This is like a tribute tour to Nate Dogg. Warren G’s toured Canada a couple of times and sold out shows everywhere.”
Dilemma has his own epic tale which starts with him overcoming brain surgery at the age of 17. He was living in Scarborough, Ontario, at the time and in grade 12 when Doctors discovered abscesses on his brain and rushed him into surgery.
“I wasn’t really taking care of myself. I was partying a lot and I got sick,” said Dilemma. “By the time I went into the hospital and had it checked out I had a Cat scan. Literally 45 minutes after I had the Cat scan they put me on an emergency table once they realized what was going on.”
“I was given a 10% chance of surviving,” he recalled. “I had this emergency brain surgery. Obviously, I’m here know to tell about it.”
After the successful surgery, Dilemma cleaned up his life and moved across the country to Vancouver to start over.
“That’s when I met my friend Charley and was able to do music for real. Before then it was just rapping at parties or whatever,” said Dilemma. “I’d been doing hip hop since I was 13 or 14. I had a stack of rhymes and that’s about it until I met my best friend Charley and we formed a group called Sketch Bros. when I was 18 or 19.”
A couple of years later, Charley moved to Hong Kong leaving Dilemma to become a solo artist. As far as acts that have influenced him, Dilemma mentions Eminem, Ludacris, Outkast, as well as underground artists Chino XL and Big L.
“I’m living a good life now. I’m able to just focus on music right now,” said Dilemma, who is releasing a CD in August. “It’s being released to coincide with the start of the tour. I’m going to be pushing it hard. I’m going to be giving a portion of the proceeds from the printed (physical) copies and all the proceeds from online sales to children’s hospitals in Canada.”
Dilemma describes his music as being very lyrics-driven, “That’s what I pride myself on. It’s a very metaphor-driven, lyrical content base over what I consider some bumping beats.”
For his upcoming concert performance at The Element in Castlegar, you can expect the same smart lyrics and lots of energy.
“They can expect me jumping and climbing on everything in sight and definitely wowing them with some lyrics,” said Dilemma.
So if you’re looking for the next big hip hop superstar don’t bet against Johnny Dilemma, after all he’s already beaten the odds once.