Sweatshop Union

 Sweatshop Union is a Canadian hip hop collective formed in 2000 in Vancouver, when four politically minded rap acts—Dirty Circus, Pigeon Hole, Kyprios and Innocent Bystander —came together to produce their first album, which was published in 2001.

Known for an inventive and socially conscious sound, Sweatshop Union's music focuses on being "honest"—commenting on issues ranging from the war in Iraq, the plight of the poor and working-class, to the negativity and misogyny of mainstream hip-hop. Speaking for the group, Mos Eisley put it as:

[T]o me, politics aren’t a choice you make; they’re just a way of life. [...] In that sense, I am trying to be more positive than political, because I’m already political to begin with... I think that, at the same time as there’s a lot of money being put into hip hop that could be deemed negative or misogynistic or self-destructive, by the same token there’s a lot of guys who are coming up trying to be positive and rebel against that, [and] putting their careers on the line.

The band signed with Battleaxe Records in 2002 and their self-titled debut album was re-released as Local 604. The group also began touring North America with a number of other rap and hip-hop artists, including their label-mates Swollen Members.

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