‘Watch Out’ for Cape Breton rapper Mitchell Bailey
The hip-hop genre has evolved immensely since its early days and is still ever-changing.
With the Internet and social media, it has become easier than ever for up-and-coming artists to release new music. But with so much new hip-hop being released every day, it has become harder to stand out among the rest.
For Canadian rappers, the battle is even harder. Mitchell Bailey, an 18-year-old rapper from Cape Breton is looking to become the first Canadian rapper outside of Toronto to blow up on a global scale.
Watch Out follows Bailey at a point in his career where he is working on a new album, preparing for the SXSW festival in Texas, and attempting to gain recognition outside of Canada, all while trying to stay relevant to the Nova Scotian audience as well.
The story is told through various interviews with Bailey, and we also get to meet other members of his Buds Entertainment team.
For most young people in Cape Breton, rap music is not a popular career choice. Most Cape Bretoners would choose nursing or engineering — some are “out west workin’” and others might be “cashing pogey cheques”. Very few people choose a career in rap music, even fewer have any success.
We stumbled upon Mitchell Bailey on Facebook where we saw his Kickstarter page to raise funds to get to the SXSW festival in Texas. Originally, the plan was to follow Bailey as he struggled to raise the $5,000 he needed to get the festival. However, he was able to raise the money weeks before we started shooting.
Bailey is looking to break the mold for rappers from Cape Breton and has already had more success than most. By performing at the A3C Festival in Atlanta and the SXSW Festival in Texas, Bailey has gotten more outside recognition than any other Cape Breton rapper.
For Dillon, the experience was a way to look further into the hip-hop genre, and for Sarah it was a way to gain a better understanding of rap.
Dillon White is a graduate of the Bachelor of Journalism program at the University of King’s College in Halifax, N.S. He is from New Waterford, a small town in Cape Breton where he spent the majority of his life. He is a graduate of the Communication program at Cape Breton University, where he also received a certificate of Social Research. Dillon is an avid fan of hip-hop. His favourite rappers are Kendrick Lamar, along with Big Boi and Andre 3000 of OutKast. This is his first time telling a story through film.
Sarah Poko is completing her Masters in journalism at the University of King’s College in Halifax, N.S. after receiving he Bachelor of Journalism degree in May. She is from Nigeria but has lived in several countries across the globe, including India and South Africa. Sarah’s been fascinated by television ever since she was 9. She hopes to become a filmmaker in the future and write for the big screen. She’s also an avid writer and Beyonce enthusiast. This is also her first time telling a story through film.
Mitchell Bailey is an 18-year-old rapper from Glace Bay, a small town in Cape Breton. He began rapping as a high school student at Glace Bay High School and has since released four projects. He founded Buds Entertainment with Mickey Freeman and Brendan Lyle in 2015 and has performed at several major festivals in the United States including A3C and SXSW.
Nathan Slavik is the managing editor at DJ Booth, an acclaimed online hip-hop publication. He was the founder of Refined Hype and writes columns and album reviews for DJ Booth.
Brendan Lyle is a 17-year-old video director from Cape Breton who has worked with Bailey on the majority of his music videos. He is also a co-founder of Buds Entertainment.
Mickey Freeman is a mentor for both Bailey and Lyle and is also a co-founder for Buds Entertainment. He serves as the business director for Buds Entertainment.
Dave Pryor is a hip-hop producer based in Halifax who has worked with Bailey on several occasions. He also used to be a rapper, but has since become more focused on producing.