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Monday, Jun 16 2014 | 12:30
Image: 1587832 At the end of the hip hop classic 8 Mile, trailer trash lead character B-Rabbit, played by Eminem, wins the
movie’s final freestyle battle by exposing arch nemesis Papa Doc’s (or Clarence as his doting parents called
him) middle class roots. An attack on his cred regardless of his skills – after all Papa Doc was reigning champ -
as a rapper. A knockout blow that left 8 Mile’s villain, who had concealed his comparatively affluent upbringing,
unable to respond. But it couldn’t have been an easy road for Clarence either. Building a reputation, despite
your background, is challenging no matter which side of the street you walk on. Something 21 year old rap
hotshot Millz knows all about.
“When I first moved down to the (inner city) Bleecker neighbourhood in Toronto I was only seventeen, but
straightaway I had to learn how to box.” Remembers Millz aka Brampton born Ryan Jamaal Brooks, whose
upbringing – which he has never hidden – immediately became an issue for some local Bleeckers’ residents.
“I’d tell them where I was from and they’d look at me differently, like I thought I was better or something. I had a
couple problems and got into fights with people down there who felt like I didn’t belong. But I got to integrate
into that situation. It changed me.” With studio time on tap back at his local school in the ‘burbs, just west of
Toronto, Millz had already been honing his craft as a producer, rapper and songwriter. But when the time
came, he knew he had to leave to get to the next level. “I was in a group called Lights Out, we had all acc to the
studio but our image was tacky. I’m not tryin’ to hurt feelings, but all they wanted to do was covers and act like
everyone else. I needed to branch off and do my own thing. I’m more of an original.”
Encouraged by family and friends, Millz (so named after the amount of loonies – Canadian dollars – Brooks is
aspiring to earn, i.e. millions … plural) left for the centre of Canada’s largest city - T.Dot, armed with several
tracks, and a mixtape in development. Not that it happened overnight (it never does), following hardwork Millz
got his shot and signed a record deal with Nova Music Group - over 4 years of hustle and flow to turn lights out
to a new dawn.
The result is Dopamine: A Vivid Dream, Millz debut deftly marriying honest, seductive word play with spaced
out synths and electro drums. Collaborating in the studio with a slew of beatsmiths on the come up, namely
Solheir (Getting’ Gone), Mister Mista (Epiphany), O’Neil (the outstanding Yonge Street), 2nd Sun (Dope) & Millz
hisself showing versatility (Slow Sex), with the lionshare contributed by the award winning Slakah The
Beatchild, who mixed the record in its entirety at his Scarborough studio.
The hook up with Beatchild was easy, being label mates n’ all. “First time I met Slak, at lunch, he gave me five
more beats to help put the mixtape over the edge, but it soon became apparent that an album was
emerging.”Slakah’s collaborations such as the haunting Her and Ain’t Gettin’ Nothing - with jazzy soul singer
Geneva giving good hook - combining memorable, catchy lines and Ladera Heights angst, have Millz
freestyling tracks raw, before hours spent finessing. But with Lessons, the centrepiece of the album, the words
were born first, and then laced with beats by Beatchild. “I recorded Lessons on my birthday and I was humbled
to be working with Slakah, so I brought my Dad along. The end part of that song, Slakah created on the fly in
the studio and I just started freestylin’ - we didn’t premeditate doing that. It just came about and I can’t top that
moment, working with Slakah and doing what I love. Working on the track Rap Sessions with Slak, brought out
something in my voice – more power. I don’t hold back on these songs, so I hope the messages get through
and touch people.”
It’s not just arousal of the conscious mind that Millz is hoping to touch with Dopamine: A Vivid Dream. As song
titles The Climax, Epiphany & Slow Sex will confirm. Tracks Millz old man would have heard during the
playback at Slakah’s studio. “My Dad heard Slow Sex.” Millz admits, “the way music is nowadays, there’s a lot
more acceptance in what we say or what we do, so I guess he’ll just have to live with it.” He laughs, before
adding, “Music is art, what comes to you is what you share with the people right? But it was still a little bit
And besides, the ladies love cool Jamaal – so Millz is not about to edit his experiences for the sake of playing it
safe. “The things that I say in these songs are my real life/my reality. Experiences I wanted to share, including
love. Love is a concept that’s universal. Everybody has the capability to love, so all the tracks about girls, men
can relate. Girls too can flip it and understand where I’m coming from.”
Whether living in Brampton or Bleecker, the main lesson Millz has learnt in life, he says, is to just be himself.

1. Dope
2. Yonge Street feat. Slakah The
3. Slow Sex
4. Kickin' It
5. Ain't Getting' Nothin' feat. Geneva
6. Getting' Gone
7. Rap Session
8. Epiphany
9. The Climax
10. Her feat. Slakah The Beatchild
11. Lessons
12. Outro

• Dopamine: A Vivid Dream is the debut album of 21 year old hot shot rapper Millz
• Produced in its entirety by T-Dot’s finest track-maestro Slakah The Beatchild who has also
worked with superstar hip hop artist Drake, Melanie Durrant, Art of Fresh & Ray Robinson.
• Millz is a multifaceted talent, who can write, rhyme, perform & produce.
• Following in the footsteps of music moguls Jay Z, P Diddy & Fiddy Cent, Millz has his own line of
clothing in the works called The Dope Life. Available from 30.05.2014
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