Musician Maestro Fresh Wes, or Wesley Williams, calls one of the recipes he prepares on his new television show, Maestro Chef Wes, the “Backbone Slider,” a clever play on the title of his 1989 platinum-certified hit song Let Your Backbone Slide.
Still as fresh as ever, Let Your Backbone Slide, is one of the most easily identifiable songs in the hip hop genre over the last 50 years. It is composed of samples of some of the most recognizable funk, R&B and rap music of all time, including beats from The Mohawks, James Brown, Strafe, Doug E. Fresh and Slick Rick, The B-Boys and Public Enemy. The debut single release of Let Your Backbone Slide got Wes inducted as the first rapper in the Canadian Songwriters’ Hall of Fame.
Maestro became an inspiration for other artists outside the country too. He became the first ever hip hop artist from Canada to land on Billboard’s Top 20 Rap Singles chart and the first Black Canadian recording artist to reach platinum status in Canada breaking many other records along the way.
The upcoming Maestro Chef Wes series features hip hop artist Classified (@classifiedhiphop), chef Renée Lavallée (@feistychef), co-owner of The Canteen on Portland in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, east coast horrorcore rapper Lxvndr (@iamlxvndr) and battle rapper Pat Stay who was fatally wounded in a stabbing incident last September. The series was filmed in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia in the summer.
Although he’s no stranger to TV, having starred and co-starred in several film and television projects over the past 20 years including eight seasons on the CBC hit sitcom Mr. D. and host of two seasons of Race Against the Tide, this was Maestro’s first time producing for TV. He shares credit for the production with Lauchlan Ough and Chet Wesley.
Ough told Core that he created the show with Wes and directed all six episodes in the series. Maestro, who now lives on the east coast, approached him with the idea back in August 2021 at Tops Pizza in Saint John, NB.
“We talked about working in new lanes and expanding brands. He hit me with Maestro Chef Wes. Instant classic,” writes Ough on Instagram. “We got to work and turned the concept into a 6 episode show exploring food, music and culture throughout the Maritimes.”
Maestro Chef Wes premieres on Jan. 26 on Bell Fibe TV, channel 1 (Fibe TV1).