Everybody has a turning point. Everybody has a past, present and future. Toronto, ON artist Hank McCoy is a testament to the tides of change. Born Micheal Brooks to a Native Canadian mother and a Greek father, McCoy has always been drawn to the vibrations of music. The traditions of his Native culture are wrought with musical undertones. The Mi’kmaq, or Mi’kmaw people have elaborate drum circles and a long list of songs that date back centuries. Hank McCoy was always drawn to the musical side of his culture and was inspired by music from early on. At the age of twelve, McCoy realized the power of words and started letting his emotions out through poetry. As his lyrical ability grew he began applying those new found skills to freestyles. The streets called to McCoy and he answered with a roar. Freestyles turned into battle rap and this is where McCoy began to develop his punch lines. It’s also where he started cultivating the relationships that solidified his path. “Suspect” was the group name of McCoy’s union with artist Kid Cocky. It was in Suspect that McCoy started to shape his voice and his story. Work he was putting in on a huge release was about to pay off. One moment changed everything and in the blink of an eye McCoy found himself behind bars on a manslaughter rap. As his dreams evaporated, McCoy felt the cold winds of change pushing him in a new direction.
Rapping under the name Beast, Hank McCoy’s early music was a reflection of his tumultuous path in the 1990’s. It mirrors his struggle into manhood as he fights for his place in this world. His bars tell vivid stories of pain, violence and street life. During his come up period, McCoy built a reputation by featuring on a long list of artists projects. Hell Rell, Ransom from the A Team, and Crooked I were artists that helped give McCoy some credibility. In his group Suspect, McCoy and Kid Cocky released the mixtape Out Tha WoodWorkz in 2005. The project is dripping with sarcastic bars as the two emcees bounce their perspectives back and forth. His repertoire of singles, battles, features, performances, and studio experience move him beyond the trial and error phase. His solo album, Beastmode was released in 2011, and is a well put together collection of thoughts that discuss the darkness within. It’s wrought with punch lines and tough talk that describe the state of mind that comes along with bad decisions. His typical street image was exactly the thing being mimicked by every other rapper. Encounters with shady characters taught McCoy a lot about who he isn’t. In contrast, today Hank McCoy is unimpressed with the fakes that make up the industry. He has no desire to chip off pieces of himself to fit a certain box. Authenticity is the pillar behind the brand. McCoy has found himself deep inside the recesses of struggle and he is now making music that shares himself with his listeners.
Growth is the mantra. If you aren’t moving forward, what are you doing? Hank McCoy is back in the creative zone with a vault of unreleased music. In the spring of 2016, he formed a relationship with Ken West and signed as the main artist on Prospektiv Records. Now that he has a team in place, including long time mentor and studio engineer Greg Grindz, McCoy is set to release some of his most insightful music yet. With a strong focus on smooth sounding, mainstream vibes, and hard hitting lyrical stylings, his first official full length project is set to drop late 2016. It’s title is still being decided, and the project is drastically different than McCoy’s previous work. Unlike most mainstream music, it maintains the heavy lyricism so prevalent in his past writings. McCoy brings emotion and rawness while on the microphone, but in a more controlled and calculated manner than his younger days. He is also more forthcoming about his voice, finally finding the maturity to sing the melodic hooks himself. He speaks on real life issues and addresses past mistakes, really bringing the listener along on a journey of self discovery. The entire project is a hard hitting “street” hybrid cross with something colourfully warm. It has artistic vision and is sure to make an impactful push in Hank McCoy’s come back.