Canyada Luis, also known as Brother North, makes music for fans of old school hip-hop
As a child in the Bronx, Canyada Luis found himself right in the middle of the action as hip-hop was exploding in the 1980s and 90s. Fast forward to 2003, Luis and his musical partner, Francisco Hiraldo, also known as DJ Doctor Dust, released their debut album and Division X was born.
The duo has done a lot since then, releasing several EPs and a recent performance at the mayor’s 5X5 Block Party Series for hip-hop’s 50th anniversary. However, one thing that has remained the same, is the positive message behind their music—something Luis thinks is missing from mainstream hip-hop today.
“We could use more messages and a connection to what’s going on in the world outside of street stuff,” says Luis at one of his home studios in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. “When you put positive messages, uplifting messages, or inspirational messages into the music, it gives the youth and the future guiding lights to hold on to.”
And as Afro-Latino musicians, the group says they’re an example of much-needed representation for communities that have both Latin heritage and African roots.
“Some people might be sampling jazz records or James Brown; we’ll also throw in Héctor Lavoe and Johnny Ventura. It feels good to speak and be someone doing music for the kids who I would say would look at Menudo and be like, ‘I could never be part of that group’,” Luis says.
Division X’s latest record War Drum Symphony is available now.