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Cape Breton rapper attaining prominence

The rapper X-Plycit is shown performing.
The rapper X-Plycit is shown performing. - Contributed
NORTH SYDNEY, N.S. —

Northside rapper Shannon Long, better known to her fans as X-Plycit, sounded cheerful as she drove through New Brunswick earlier this month on her way to gigs in Winnipeg.

“We just wanted to leave early in case any weather cropped up,” she said. “My manager booked me for a show at Rookies out at Winnipeg and a portion of the proceeds are going to Canada Mental Health — that’s on the 16th but originally I had gotten booked for La Coka Nostra show on the 17th — they’re a group from the U.S.”

X-Plycit
X-Plycit

But even the most die-hard musical road warrior knows when to call it when it comes to touring the Great White North in winter.

“Not this year,” she laughs. “It’s really bad to travel in the winter in Canada. But I do have some big things coming up next year that I can’t announce until January.”

And indeed, 2019 has been a great year for a rapper who is just as well known for her extensive volunteer work. Earlier the year, X-Plycit received funding from SOCAN and CBMic to attend the Northern Touch Music Festival and it resulted in her landing a manager and several gigs that might not have normally landed her way, like the Coka Nostra show. She’s now getting national exposure, which is great news when you’re getting ready to release your third album, “Content,” probably later this year. When she gets to Winnipeg, she’ll also be filming some videos of her music.

“It’s going really well — I got a great manager, Shawn Hayze, out of it. I’m going back to Winnipeg to headline a show so it’s kind of exciting.”

But music isn’t the only thing on her mind. The mother of three also lost her father-in-law and two friends within a month of each other this year so maintaining her own mental health has also become vital and helping others to get help is also important to her.

“I had a bit of a rough go which is why I haven’t done as many shows this year. But the calibre of shows that I have done is bigger, which is good,” she says. “I know when I need to take time for my mental health. So when I lost those people it gave me a moment to say it’s OK to take time for me.

“But I am hoping to do a mental health awareness show in every province in Canada. I think this is important because statistically it’s going up, especially with youth suicides — the numbers are just climbing every year. It’s a crisis now — with more people taking their lives and not being able to get the help they need — it really does need a lot more light shed on it.”

Now a full-time performer, she also volunteers with Mothers Against Drunk Driving in Cape Breton and with a parents support group with St. Joseph’s Church in North Sydney.

She’ll return to Cape Breton later this month to perform at a show at Cape Breton University November 23 with other local artists like Devon Paul, Import and Shawn Hayze.

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