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Kelowna rapper, Mr. Wisdom addresses the opioid crisis with his music

The musician says he has lost at least 25 of his friends to date

Vernon-born, Kelowna-based rapper, Joel “Mr. Wisdom” Critchley lives up to his name.

His latest album, which marks his return to the rap game, honours a friend and fellow rapper whose death was caused by the opioid crises. Critchley says he last lost at least 25 friends to date.

“I released the album on Feb. 25 this year, it’s a year after one of my very best friend’s death,” Critchley said. “I dedicated the album to them, he was a huge part of my life. I wanted that day to be something special… it still hurts and I am not taking away from that but to be able to hear him and remember him for what he loved most, which was music, is important.”

Aaron “Killimatic” Lawrence is featured on Critchley’s self-titled album and hopes to bring further awareness to the opioid crisis. He says he hopes his songs, even though they may come off as aggressive, can help people know that they are not alone in their pain caused by the opioid crisis.

“It seems like everyone you talk to now has lost someone that they knew,” he said.

His instrument heavy aggressive and loud rap hearkens back to the early 2000’s where Tech N9ne, Xhibit, D12 and Swollen Members ruled the rap game. Critchley has performed with these inspirations during his career that he grew up listening to.

“I bring blunt truth to everything I bring to the table… I don’t hold anything back and I don’t try to pretend to be anything I am not,” he said.

Pulling from his own experiences, Critchley says his music first music video that he released for ‘Art of War’ this year is a ‘tool of war’ that was shot in Mission Creek Regional Park and Bear Creek Provincial Park in Kelowna.

“The way we went we decided to go with the video, I am looking at a perspective of music is my tool for war- we shot it in that perspective. It’s a war scene to a degree.”

Critchley throws sand into the air and wades in the rivers while spitting verses that he hopes will reverberate through the hearts of those mourning the loss of their loved ones while he looks to climb to the top.

Critchley plans to announce the dates for his forthcoming tour later this year. To listen to Critchley’s music visit his Soundcloud.

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