‹ Tri-City Hip-Hop

Rufus - Kingscourt

"You that crew from Kingscourt?"

When my family moved into Shamrock, a low-income housing co-op on Kingscourt Drive in Waterloo, it was just like many other neighbourhoods in the region. By the late '90s and early 2000s, Kingscourt transformed into a force within the hip-hop community like nothing else at the time.

In 1990, we were the only Black family on this street tucked behind Conestoga Mall. Thankfully, more diverse families eventually moved into the neighbourhood after us. I relished opportunities to bond with other diverse kids who not only shared in my culture, but also my passion for dancing and music. We named our unit the Kingscourt Crew, or "KCC" for short. We were and still are a unit to this day — totally inseparable.

By the time we got to high school it didn’t take long for us to link with more like-minded, talented students. The dancers we met at Bluevale joined us to form D-Tour, a dance crew which later changed its name to Eklips.

At the time we had no idea what we were doing but in hindsight we set the foundation up as a business.

We did talent shows, high school assemblies and competitions, slowly building a name for ourselves. Everything we were doing put Kingscourt on the map. We were doing rehearsals in my mom’s basement. People were coming in and out of the house all the time, but my mom didn’t mind at all. I believe she preferred us doing constructive things at home, instead of being out in the streets potentially getting ourselves in trouble.

While we were building our name as a crew our reputation began to increase. We were known as a crew that could go onto any stage and create an energy that people wanted to be a part of. One thing led to another, and our crew’s singers ended up collaborating with 3rd Degree Entertainment, Q It Up Records, doing backgrounds for Jully Black, competing in Canadian Idol, hairstyling for Mystic & Miranda, starting Urban X Entertainment & Uthentix.

Whenever out-of-town artists like Jully Black, Kardinal, Choclair and Razcals came to KW to perform, we got a call to open for them. We were right there, and whether it was one of us or all of us, we never failed to rep Kingscourt.