With the release of their highly acclaimed third album United We
Fall, Sweatshop Union are building serious momentum. With tens of
thousands of albums sold worldwide, the word of mouth is spreading
about their style of conscious lyrics, highly musical beats, and
high energy live shows that far surpass the average hip hop
concert. Sweatshop Union have performed hundreds of shows, and are
expanding their extensive touring into the United States for the
first time this year.
Sweatshop Union began as a collective of Vancouver-based artists pooling resources to release an album, transforming into a group in the process. The crew, made up of Dirty Circus, Pigeon Hole, Innocent Bystanders, and Kyprios, released their debut album Local 604 in late 2002 via indie label Battle Axe Records. In support of the album, Sweatshop created three music videos and toured Canada with Jurassic 5 and Blackalicious, as well as their labelmates Swollen Members and Abstract Rude. This was the beginning of a relentless touring schedule that has proven to be a key catalyst to solidify their growing fan base.
Natural Progression, Sweatshops sophomore album, hit streets in 2004 and cemented their position as a group to be reckoned with. More videos and touring followed; Sweatshop crisscrossed Canada, headlining several tours and also touring as the opening act for the Black Eyed Peas. Critical acclaim grew, and both college and commercial radio gave Sweatshop tracks substantial airtime. Nominations for a Juno Award, a Canadian Radio Music Award, MuchMusic Video Awards and more piled up. Recognizing the appeal of Sweatshop Unions music, music supervisors used their music in dozens of films, television shows, and video games, creating even more international awareness.
2005 brought the release of the third Sweatshop Union album, United We Fall, featuring collaborations with Rob The Viking, Mad Child (Swollen Members) and DJ Revolution (The World Famous Wake Up Show). Canada was blanketed, more albums were sold, more audiences were rocked, and more accolades (including another Juno Award nomination) were received. In 2006 Sweatshop Union hit the road in the United States for the first time, adding another 100 shows to their resume and giving their American fans a taste of what is to come.
In a time when hip hop music remains soulless and simplistic in the eyes of the mainstream, Sweatshop Union remain driven to deliver a deeper, more meaningful sound into the conscience of the masses.
Sweatshop Union press quotes:
“Inventive, intelligent, and illuminating hip hop.” - Calgary Sun
“Substance and style working in perfect equilibrium. 4 out of 5.” - NOW Magazine
“Soulful, conscientious hip-hop” - Vue Weekly
“Polished but still fresh.” - Exclaim! Magazine
“Solid beats and conscious lyrics. A powerful antidote for vacant pop-rap.” - Chart Attack
“Original beats and stylish rhymes.” - University of Western Ontario Gazette
“There’s no arguing with the slickness of the music’s execution.” - The Georgia Straight
“Clever and astute. United We Fall hits the mark both viscerally and intellectually.” - This Magazine
“Solid, progressive hip hop. 8 out of 10.” - Altrap.com
“A fair comparison to the organic live sound of The Roots, one of the many different styles the Union transitions into with ease.” - Rapreviews.com
“Their lyrics, music, and videos have shown that hip-hop on the west coast was not a pop culture accident.” - Ottawa Xpress Magazine
“Distinct and diverse styles that blend together perfectly.” - MVRemix.com
“Sweatshop Union make rap smart and cool.” - Chart Attack
Sweatshop Union award nominations:
Juno Award for Outstanding Rap Recording for United We Fall
Western Canadian Music Award for Outstanding Rap Recording for United We Fall
MuchMusic Video Award for Best Rap Video for “Try”
Juno Award for Outstanding Rap Recording for Natural Progression
Western Canadian Music Award for Outstanding Rap Recording for Natural Progression
MuchMusic Video Award for Best Independent Video for “The Thing About It”
Canadian Independent Music Award for Favorite Urban Artist
Canadian Radio Music Award for Best New Artist (CHR)
Canadian Radio Music Award for Best New Artist (Dance/ Urban)