Formed in 2007, “Shing Shing Regime” consists of members Cee Self 7 (MC/Producer), Salute Truth (MC), Symmetry (MC) and “The Future Buddha” DJ Akiin (DJ/Producer) [pronounced “Ah-Keen”]. All members of the group were born in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) in the province of Ontario, Canada during the late 70′s and early 80′s. Members Cee Self 7 and Salute Truth, due to the moving of family, were raised in the neighboring blue-collar city of Hamilton while members DJ Akiin and Symmetry grew up in the infamous “Malvern” and “Galloway” neighborhoods of East Toronto (Scarborough). Having grown up with hip-hop all members of the group were heavily influenced early by the consciousness, social commentary and positivity of the culture.
For the MC’s of the group, these influences lead the brothers to begin their own respective journeys into the art of writing and song creation. Cee Self 7, Salute Truth and Symmetry all began penning their first rhymes early in their adolescence which helped the young rappers to develop their writing style and confidence. For DJ Akiin, this began his foray into the world of Turntablism and DJ-ing having been influenced by the likes of such DJ’s as DJ Jazzy Jeff, DJ Premier (Gang Starr), Terminator X (Public Enemy), DJ Scratch (EPMD), and Kid Capri.
The first members of the group to get their feet wet on the Canadian hip-hop scene would be DJ Akiin and Symmetry. As the road DJ for Scarborough MC “Mathematiks” and member of the “Ojamanu Soundcrew”, DJ Akiin carved out a niche for himself in the Toronto hip-hop community (1995 – 2003) as one of the Host/DJ’s of such radio shows as 88.1 CKLN’s ”Static Radio Show”, 88.9 CIRV’s “Moonlite Show” and 89.5 CIUT’s “Mixology Show” as well as producing for the well-known “Ojamanu Mixtape Series”. He is also well-known for DJ-ing numerous parties and events throughout the GTA.
Symmetry, at age 10 headed a rap trio called the “Tha Tickitz”, recording songs in his cousin’s basement studio. After a few years, the group refocused its attention on establishing a solo-career for Symmetry as he was seen as the group’s most talented lyricist. The crew would make cassette mixes and play them at local parties for friends and sell the CD versions at high schools around the community. This work garnered the young artist respect as being one who paid homage to the “Old School” with his heavy use of boom-bap break-beats to accompany his multi-layered rhyme style. It wasn’t however until 2000, where Symmetry would make his first appearance on record with the Toronto (Rexdale) group “Tha Trail Blazers” (“Believe it or Leave it”). It was during this time, Symmetry signed on as a creative director with the group and helped pen verses for various members of the faction. After a touring stint the group set forth to drop a double album mostly written by Symmetry. However, due to creative differences, the group severed ties in ’02 and Symmetry decided to go his own way. From 2002 – 2007 he dedicated himself to re-establishing the name he was on the verge of establishing just a few years before. In ’06 Symmetry went back to the streets that raised him and began performing at various open mics and hip-hop events in the city, once again making a name for himself as a powerful, enigmatic artist.
As for Cee Self 7 and Salute Truth, having written rhymes and recorded freestyles for fun in high school, they both made their formal debut on Hamilton artist “Principle Source’s” 2004 album “I Am You” under the group name “The First Borns”. They both appeared on that album and further, went onto record a couple other songs on a mix-tape titled “Re-Princed Vol. 2″ put out by “Principle Source”. However, due to a difference in direction and aim, the group dissolved and disbanded. Following this, the core of the “First Borns” idea and movement was taken up by member’s Cee Self 7 and Salute Truth and with that, they transitioned and began formulating the foundation of their new movement “Shing Shing Regime”.
In 2002, DJ Akiin moved to Hamilton from Scarborough and two years later, he was introduced to both Cee Self 7 and Salute Truth. Following many conversations about life and music, Cee Self 7 and Salute Truth then extended a permanent position to the seasoned DJ being that they all shared a desire to create music that was reminiscent of the music they grew up listening to and loved.
It was in 2007 when they began the process of creating their debut album the “Invincible Swordplay EP”. It was also during this time that the brothers met Symmetry, to whom they were unaware was also a profound MC in his own right. Three years later, the new line-up was cemented with Symmetry sworn in as the group’s official fourth member.
“Shing Shing” is defined as a metaphor for being sharp, with the “Regime” being a group of men coming together for one common cause. Despite just releasing their formal debut mix-tape “I AM SHING” (March 2011) and album the “Invincible Swordplay EP” (April 2011) the “Shing” has garnered plenty of attention and a large dedicated international following. The video for their single “We Strive” (off of the “Invincible Swordplay EP”) has reached tens of thousands of views on Youtube, aired at #2 on MuchMusic’s ”RapCity” and was highlighted on such sites such as “2DopeBoyz” and ”HipHopDX”. They have also opened for well-known acts such as Hell Razah (Sunz of Man), Vast Aire (Cannibal Ox), Reflection Eternal (Talib Kweli & DJ Hi-Tek) and The GZA (Wu-Tang Clan). Further, they have received acknowledgement from some of Hip-Hop’s greatest such as, Raekwon (Wu-Tang Clan), KRS-One, 9th Wonder (Producer/formerly of Little Brother), Planet Asia (Gold Chain Military), Stic.Man (dead prez) and Lord Jamar (Brand Nubian).
With a style that does not preach but reaches the masses the “Shing” describe their art as “socially conscious commentary” via the music. The “Shing Shing Regime” are well aware of the power they wield via the microphone and in their brief time on the scene, have made it apparent that they have the ability to craft songs that are both content-filled, experience laced and at the same time listener friendly.