in 2009. He is the editor of ArgueJob.com, a blog with several contributors that reviews new, independent, Canadian records. The blog corresponds to his radio show, "The Ongoing Argument," Mondays, 11am-1pm, on CJSR 88.5 FM. He has also published works of poetry and short fiction in numerous journals, magazines, and chapbooks.
He is now a Sociology student at the University of Alberta. ------- His meta-biographic narrative from the original OLD UGLY website reads: The Joe was not anything for a long time. There were parts of what he would be that were going off to high school and speaking languages like French and English and eating food and voting for politicians. Before that there were parts of what he would be pioneering western Canada and sailing boats to North America. Even before that and all along there were all these different parts of what The Joe would be one day that were busy having heated conversations about things that were happening long before The Joe happened.
People then were concerned with many things they are concerned with now: stars, ethics, construction, health and well-being, spirituality, financial security, and what being a human means. And then, one day like most other days, on a whim most likely, The Joe was created out of a malignant fraction of these many concerns and doings and topics of discussion blended thoughtlessly with the best sort of ignorance humans have: Sex. Next things Next, The Joe found himself under the affectionate gaze of his Mother, Kimberly. The Joe likes the name Kimberly. The Joe's father looked like a lion or a member of Credence Clearwater Revival, a quasi-contemporary country rock band that existed twenty years before The Joe got begotted.
His Father was a glass fitter and his Mother was a waitress. They made two more boys that look similar to The Joe but behave very differently and then they went their separate ways. Somewhere along the way The Joe had his circuits bent by God or a bully or a bohemian upbringing and he found himself looking for validation in some more tangible attention-earning ways. One day it occurred to The Joe how he could see this validation come to fruition in a quantifiable way: record sales! He started knocking on all the doors of his thoughts and connecting the words that sounded alike.
All those conversations of his macro-ancestry became inexhaustible in their utility. He could gather and weave their meandering thoughts on stars, ethics, construction, health and well-being, spirituality, financial security, and what being a human means into elaborate 'rap' songs mingled with notes-to-self, exhausted diatribes, or penny scholar dissertations (unsupervised). Ever since he has been busy collecting smiles and frowns and knowing glances on the bus. He has subliminally documented all those special occasions when he has been derided, praised, over praised, and sold CD's, respectively.
Every firm handshake builds his heart. It has all compiled into an ambient blend of bitterness, confidence, self respect, and most importantly, priceless validation. The Joe may soon see an end to this madness. He is only so hungry. "Gurba need not worry.
His legitimacy stems from the integrity and scope of his creativity. And besides, Ut Oh is really good. Gurba's appetite for mile-a-minute lyricism can leave your head spinning if you're not prepared to keep up with how smart he is, and how much weight he can pack in a rhyme, whether he's "re-thinking the 'battle rap' problem" or calling out the absurdities of a white-Canadian, middle-class upbringing. His collective creativity results in an infectious, hilarious examination of a post-Facebook existence, candidly (w)rapped in his sincerest geek-rap sensibilities.
While hip hop and Old Ugly may provide a safety-in-numbers for Joe the rapper, Gurba the artist possesses all the talent and skill to go it alone." - Mike Angus, VUE Weekly "Combining emcee Paul Barman's esoteric wit with Aesop Rock's baroque rhyme schemes and Busdriver's vocalese flow, Gurba is easily the most technically impressive independent rapper in Alberta's small-but-growing hip hop scene this side of Cadence Weapon." - Kyle Francis, FFWD "Listening to him, you can hear the inspiration from a bountiful ingestion of prolific writers, art house films and indie rock. The amount of ideas compacted into each of his songs is the blood infusion that the anemic hip-hop industry desperately needs more of these days. His wisdom is palpable through rhymes saturated with enough reference material for you to gain an entire university degree via a library card. His angle is rich and unique in the genre and his fast spoken words engulf the listener." - Melissa Bishop, Beatroute Magazine "The Joe doesn't attack with the usual cocktail of bling, wheels and women on Ut Oh--he aims for the jugular with a mind-boggling, bookworm-driven, literate style and a wicked sense of humour, calling people out on their lack of social awareness and civic responsibility." - Francois Marchand, Edmonton Journal "A truly gifted lyricist with a talent that will surprise, amuse and downright move you.
Forget what you thought about Alberta hip-hop -- The Joe will renew your faith in not only the art of rhyme, but in all forms of popular music." - Chris dela Torre, CBC Radio "Edmonton based rap artist, Joe Gurba, a.k.a The Joe has paid his dues tirelessly promoting gigs, producing tracks and performing along the way with his unique style that maintains an authentic tone and timbre - an increasingly difficult task outside the ghettos of NYC or LA. A true performer at heart, he takes his method seriously enough to spit smart and yet create an ambiance of fun around his live shows and recordings. Not afraid to rip apart the cliches of his genre, he seamlessly blends prankster and gangster without ever losing his charm. A venerable enigma, The Joe is a lyrical machine finely tuned to seduce you with his slick spiritual stanzas, just before blind siding you with a cheap shot to your ego. Look for this sophomore MC to have a break out year in 2009 with his forthcoming release, 'Uh Oh'." - Jordan Schroder, Jam Union Creator: Podcast, Events, and Promotions "The Joe is of the more intellectual variety, although not to be mistaken for pretentiousness... The lyrics showcase a passion for the English language, something Joe carries with him above all else." - Edmonton SUN "...garnering an audience in a scene that swoons for synth, he released two albums and won a Covenant Award..." - VUE Weekly "...the biggest misconception you can make about the hip-hop scene in Edmonton is that a rapper should be anything like what you would expect.
The Joe is living proof of that rule." - HYPE Magazine "He's a real poet. He knows what words are for." - Alice Major, Edmonton's First Poet Laureate "Joe Gurba is an intellectual powerhouse who combines rhythm and rhyme with philosophical inquiry in a way that most men twice his age will never be capable of achieving. His smooth lyrics and playful style captures any audience, and spellbindingly leads them to the dance floor to shake what their mama's gave them from beginning to end. Although he is touted as a Christian Rapper, his music is approachable without being pedantic, and he flows with soul." - Dorothy Dawn, Kelowna Show Promoter "Every The Joe show is memorable — high-energy, enthusiasm, positive vibes.
His interaction with the crowd is very personable, so no matter how many times he performs a certain song, it feels different every time it's live." - Omar Mouallem aka AOK, VUE Weekly Writer "Joe Gurba AKA The Joe brings a level of erudition to his flow that is simply not business as usual in hip-hop. This man reads the classics of literature and philosophy, and it shows in spades. Keen psychological observation, sardonic irony, blistering expression and exceptional on-stage panache collide in the Joe." - Cecil Frena, Push Pins Events "I rock THE JOE in my car all day with the best of them. We get thru half of the mixtape and someone always asks "who the F*CK is this? he's f*cking good." and I always say, it's my homie from Edmonton, The Joe, and they always say it's artists like The Joe that really did it for them way back when." - Derek Porritt, www.deadwear.com "With simultaneously hard-hitting and memorable flows, The Joe leaves no lyrical stone unturned when it comes to delivering his inspired rhymes.
Flows to ponder and savour over is what you get from this versatile and intelligent artist." - Obed Velasquez, scholar and literature connoisseur "I find myself no longer looking for only great songs in music, but more-so great performances in the live setting. I have an eternal hunger that aches in my gut, crying 'engage me! entertain me! give me a reason to care!'. And Joe has fed me, and quenched this hunger, both for solid songs and great showmanship. Joe Gurba (the Joe) is one of the smartest, most engaging, thrilling, and ultimately entertaining artists that I have ever had the opportunity to see, tour and play with.
It's been an honour to grow with him as an artist over the past 2 years." - Doug Hoyer, Singer/Songwriter/Indie-Pop Crooner/ Edmonton Infamy "I don't know too much about rap or hip hop, but I like what the Joe does. Every time I've seen him play he's come off as a likeable and more than capable entertainer. He is also seemingly fearless, as he is completely undaunted by the idea of going into a variety of different performance situations and doing his thing, whether it be small all ages shows, bigger sized rock clubs, opening for big time rappers, or doing a cappella sets reciting his lyrics and poetry without beats. And, unlike many acts that are good live, his sound actually translates to making enjoyable recordings as well." - Michael Rault - Musician, Songwriter, Producer "It has always baffled me as to why Joe Gurba's music has not yet been recognized on a relatively large scale.
As a performer he's got it all: talent, charisma, work ethic and a uniqueness that is all too rare in today's music. If success truly comes to those who deserve it in the music industry, then The Joe will soon be a known name in Canadian Hip Hop." - Daniel Moir - Musician, Songwriter Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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