Sweatshop Union are heavyweights of North Western hip-hop, and have earned a reputation as the hardest working collective in the region. Having performed over five hundred shows internationally, they have changed the perception of what live hip-hop can achieve. In 2002, a concept album was recorded called Sweatshop Union. The record was released internationally on Battle Axe Records and the new group began their relentless touring schedule that has proven to be a key catalyst in their success.
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The next three records solidified Sweatshop Union‘s presence in rap music. The group co-signed to EMI and went out on the road touring with the Hilltop Hoods, Black Eyed Peas, Swollen Members and the Living Legends as well as opening shows for Snoop Dogg, The Roots and the Childish Gambino. Both college and commercial radio gave the albums substantial airtime and soon after came nominations for Juno Awards, a Canadian Radio Music Award, Much Music Video Awards and more. By 2006 Sweatshop Union had begun headlining shows in the U.S. and appearing at major festivals across North America.
The group’s most ambitious record to date was the 2011 award winning Bill Murray EP, (Western Canadian Music Awards’ Hip Hop Album of the Year) and brought a whole new level to their steadily growing underground following. Building on this they are releasing another two albums this year first starting with The Leisure Gang EP available now for free from leisuregang.bandcamp.com. Combined with the most festivals they’ve seen in a year from Trinity College Fest in Hartford, CT to Desert Rocks in Green River, UT it’s obvious they are poised for a big year. The second album (LP) coming later this summer promises to further the progressive sound they’re known for. Recently, URB Magazine featured them in their next top 100. They’re not alone in thinking that Sweatshop Union is a band worth keeping an eye on. Their consistently fresh and poignant music continues to become more relevant daily and the group shows no signs of slowing down.