Written by Alison Copeland
King Lou and Capital Q were Toronto's answer to the Jungle Brothers, a quirky and cheerful rap duo that played around with a number of inspired samples — everything from jazz to funk, soul and R&B, but definitely not house.
Dream Warriors' Juno Award-winning single “My Definition of a Boombastic Jazz Style,” which sampled Quincy Jones’s 1962 track “Soul Bossa Nova,” had to be one of the most ecstatically dizzying samples of the '90s. It launched their full-length debut, And Now the Legacy Begins, and famously became the soundtrack to the Austin Powers film series. While the album barely made a dent in the U.S., it cracked the U.K.’s top 20, charted at number 34 in Canada, and sold 800,000 copies worldwide.
In recognition of its place on CBC Music’s list of the 25 best Canadian debut albums ever, here are five things you need to know about Dream Warriors’ critically acclaimed debut, And Now the Legacy Begins.
1. It features an enviable roster of samples
“Wash Your Face in My Sink” contains a sample from jazz luminary Count Basie’s “Hang on Sloopy.” “And Now the Legacy Begins” contains samples from old-school funk purveyors the Graingers and their song “Shine Your Light,” plus post-disco stalwart Tom Tom Club’s “Genius of Love.” And “Face in the Basin” contains a sample from R&B legends Kool & the Gang’s “Funky Stuff.”
2. The album’s first single, 'Wash Your Face in My Sink,' wasn’t their first choice
According to Capital Q, “Voyage through the Multiverse” had originally been earmarked as the first single release. However, due to popular public demand from BBC Radio 1 listeners, they quickly changed their tune. As luck would have it, a U.K. acquaintance of Ivan Berry, the Dream Warriors manager, got access to the unfinished mix of “Wash Your Face in My Sink” and passed it on to a BBC Radio One DJ. After the first play, the phones were ringing off the hook. “We felt it had an unfinished sound,” Q said, over the phone. “But everyone else liked it, so we left it the way it was.”
3. The album received a co-sign from Gang Starr, one of the most influential MC and DJ partnerships of the 1990s
This flung the door wide open for co-production opportunities with the late Guru, the no-nonsense and socially conscious MC, and beat-master DJ Premier. Most notably on “I’ve Lost My Ignorance,” released on Dream Warriors’ second album, Subliminal Simulation, and through joint touring opportunities across Europe and Japan.
4. The album received 10/10 for Best Albums of 1991 by British music magazine New Music Express
From NME: "The first 10/10 in 1991 was awarded to Canadian hip hop duo Dream Warriors. 'Now that Ivan Berry’s studio is upgrading two things could happen: either Dream Warriors will discover technique and lose their raw charm, or they’ll find deeper channels to furrow. My bet is on the latter.'"
5. The album’s 3rd single, 'Ludi,' is dedicated to King Lou’s mom
His mom chose the ska-tinged reggae sample “My Conversation” by Slim Smith & the Uniques, as she felt the album needed a song she could dance to. Without hesitation, Ludi (the name given to a popular board game in the Caribbean) was released as the third single.
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