Maestro Fresh Wes

Inducted in 2024

Often hailed as the “Godfather of Canadian Hip-Hop”, Maestro Fresh Wes stands as a pioneering force in the Canadian music scene, forging a path for hip-hop and rap in Canada at a time when none existed.

Born Wesley Williams in 1968 to Guyanese parents in Scarborough, Ontario, Maestro Fresh Wes’s interest in music began early in life. The oldest of three children, he was raised in a musical household where he enjoyed writing poetry and playing the piano. At 11, Maestro Fresh Wes discovered his passion for rapping after listening to his father’s copy of Sugarhill Gang’s “Rapper’s Delight.”

Career Highlights


Under the moniker Melody MC, Maestro Fresh Wes made his debut appearance on one of Canada’s earliest hip-hop programs, The Fantastic Voyage.


Maestro Fresh Wes released his debut album Symphony in Effect featuring the hit track “Let Your Backbone Slide” on Attic/LMR Records.


Maestro Fresh Wes became the first Canadian rapper to have a Billboard Top 40 hit.


Maestro Fresh Wes made history as the inaugural winner of the JUNO Award for Best Rap Recording.


His fifth studio album, Built to Last was released with the lead single, “Stick to your Vision,” becoming a Top 40 hit.


Maestro Fresh Wes was nominated for a Gemini Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Dramatic Role for his performance on the television series The Line on HBO Canada.


Maestro Fresh Wes released his co-authored self-help memoir Stick to Your Vision: How to Get Past the Hurdles & Haters to Get Where You Want to Be.


Maestro Fresh Wes joined the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame.


Maestro Fresh is inducted into the Canadian Music of Hall of Fame.

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