As immigrant teens, battling the cold, hip hop spoke to us in a language we understood, telling tales of misfits with big dreams, we were inspired by the warrior mentality it paid tribute to. Delivered cryptically to the sounds of rhythmic booms and baps, it invoked the dance and poetry of our erased heritage. For me personally, my family and I immigrated to Toronto in the early nineties, during a time that would prove to be a definitive era for emceeing. Against the backdrop of diaspora, we built lyrical bridges with other migrant communities, opening up our eyes and ears to struggles many of us were privileged to avoid, or too sheltered to connect to our own trials and tribulations. Hip hop enabled us to remix our experiences in a way that gave us life, filling our lungs with dignity, and enriching our minds with the dreams that drive us to this day.