Indigenous Rapper Plex Returns To The Spotlight With A New Album Addressing The Reasons Behind His Absence
In the music industry for almost 30 years, actor and rapper Doug Bedard, better known by his stage name, Plex, has been a major player in the hip-hop/rap genre. Born in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, the rapper was raised by his mother for six years before being raised by his grandparents. He now resides in Barrie, Ontario.
The New Album: What Is It About?
In the eyes of his Indigenous fellows, Plex has raised the bar. His influence on Canadian hip-hop has made him a powerful and relevant figure.“Who Am I To Judge” is Plex’s first album in over a decade. In addition to discussing the reasons for his absence, the 12-song album also mentions other topics on his mind.
“Who Am I To Judge” is an example of a professional and integrity-driven record. Throughout the project, each song is constructed from the ground up with a pure heart full of discontent regarding issues of a global and civic nature. The verses are borderline gut-wrenching truths, delivered alongside brutal 808s and kick drums. The struggles Plex has faced in his life due to drugs and alcohol is reflected in the album. It also addresses hip-hop’s evolution, cultural appropriation, and the planet’s current state to find solutions.
Check out the album below:
After A Two-Year Hiatus, Plex Recovers Successfully
Having interviews and talks that emphasized his position as someone to watch out for, the actor gained a glimpse of fame which many artists aspire to during the early stages of their careers. “I think, especially with my addictions and anxiety and stuff like that, I found it very difficult to live in that world,” said Plex.
Plex was reluctant to present himself in such a way. Consequently, he took a step back, giving himself time to focus on his recovery. “I didn’t realize at the time how bad it was for me,” he adds.
Due to excessive partying, drug use, and alcohol consumption, the Canadian native took two years to regain clarity of mind. Following this, he obtained a regular job, which transitioned into his business. In addition, he occasionally collaborated with other artists, contributed lyrics to their recordings, and appeared in them. Among the projects he has enjoyed success with is Pareidolia, a project with Stoik, an Indigenous group specializing in electronic music.
Achieved the Status Of Producer/Entrepreneur
Plex started his own label, New Leaf Entertainment, as a producer in 2005. The label currently contains videos, releases, and music from Stoik, Rellik, The Deeds, Brandon Brown, and his own music. There are several collaborations on Plex’s latest recording, including those with Lady Luck, Kryple, Drezus, Touch, and Rellik, all of whom are members of the hip-hop community.
Aleah Belle, a vocalist from Barrie, partakes in Plex’s recent song, “Red Flags.” Plex produced most of the tracks, but three were produced by 2oolman, an acclaimed singer and producer. Nonetheless, he remained out of the limelight for ten years; he wrote and released a few songs but did not perform any of them.
Temptation And The Welfare Of His Children Led Plex To Quit Drugs
The environment in which Doug felt most vulnerable was one in which there was a lot of partying. Those with a history of making poor choices resulting from parties may feel at risk in that environment. There is the potential for temptation. In addition to quitting, the “Suspect” rapper wanted to prevent his children from growing up in similar circumstances to those he had grown up in. According to Plex, who grew up in a low-income neighborhood in Edmonton, drugs and alcohol are still prevalent in his family in the West.
In addition, the indigenous rapper mentions that he used to live in a duplex. Those residing in townhouses regarded this as a big deal because it gave them the impression that he was wealthy when he was not. “So people used to call me ‘Doug from the duplex.’ I’m 6’1″ (and) even at 15 in Edmonton, I was just a big flashy guy,” Doug said. “Eventually, it was shortened to Plex – it was just a lot simpler.”
A while ago, Plex moved from Toronto to Alcona, then in 2011, moved to Barrie. This town was near his mother-in-law’s residence in Orillia and had many attributes in common with Edmonton, including a small-town atmosphere. Not only did Plex like living near the water, but he also desired a larger home for his two children, who were born in 2010 and 2011.
Relatives As Sources Of Inspiration
The inspiration we receive from someone or something is universal. According to the self-taught musician, his grandfather, who listened to Hank Williams all day and night, was a major inspiration to him. Following the death of his grandfather, Plex mastered the art of music-making. He says that he knew how to record by trial and error. However, by 16, he had mastered the process and began collaborating with other artists with studio access.
Furthermore, it has taken Bedard seven years to heal, unravel, and comprehend his actions and reactions. He believes indigenous people have been struggling with a great deal of trauma. “I think childhood trauma is a precursor to addiction for me,” Bedard said. “Whether it was racism or physical abuse or even emotional abuse, I think we carry a lot (stuff) around with us.”
The “Plex” Films
An interview with ICTMN featured Doug discussing his older project, the Shirley Cheechoo-directed Moose River Crossing. In this film, he plays the protagonist, who reunites with five classmates from residential school. The characters have reestablished contact after many years and are reminiscing about old memories that are both good and bad. Tommy, Plex’s character, works for the Department of Indian Affairs and is somewhat of a magnet for sex. He revisited his childhood by seeing all his classmates, which shaped the person he is today.
Although Plex had a fair understanding of residential schools before production, he gained a greater understanding of them after reading the script and filming. His grandmother attended a residential school along with her sister and one brother. Before he heard about residential schools, the rapper was already in his late teens. “If she spoke about it, I was too young to remember,” says Plex. “They certainly didn’t speak about it in any schools I’ve attended.”
A Residential School: What Is It?
In Canada, residential schools are extensive school systems that the government establishes and manages. As part of this educational system, Indigenous children were not only to be educated but also to be introduced to Euro-Canadian and Christian ways of life and brought into white Canadian society.
From the 1880s to the end of the 20th century, the residential school system was officially in operation. Children were forced to be separated from their families for extended periods, with some being separated for as long as three years. Children were denied recognition of their Indigenous heritage and culture or the right to speak their own language. Furthermore, children who violated one or more of these strict rules faced severe punishments. Former students of residential schools have reported that school staff has abused them physically, sexually, emotionally, and psychologically.
“Who Am I To Judge” can be purchased digitally on all major streaming services, CDs, and vinyl at newleafmusic.ca.
Written by Nikiya Biggs | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest
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