Sweatshop Union to Sweat the Union 

Saturday, Jan. 19 at Reef

Vancouver, B.C., doesn't stand out for having a strong rap scene. But Sweatshop Union, the "Vancity"-bred hip-hop group known for its 2008 full-length Water Street, works hard to put that misconception to bed.

Since forming in 2000, the Canadian collective has penned rhymes known more for substance than substance abuse--tackling topics from rap's rampant misogyny to the Iraq War. Sweatshop Union focus on issues with tracks like "Oh My," a ballad about class consciousness, and "High Grade," about choosing music over "smart" career choices.

With 2011's The Bill Murray EP, Mr. Marmalade and Mos Eisley spit about the famous Hollywood actor, who's "strictly the Billest." "That's Bill Murray," they rap, "You're Chevy Chasin' a dream."

And while former member Kyprios left the group to pursue a solo career in 2011, that hasn't slowed down the six remaining members on their march to Boise's Reef.

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