He hit the concrete hard.
After a railing gave out on an apartment building deck, Derek Craig fell 25 feet onto a parking lot.
He broke both his elbows, both wrists and his jaw. To this day, three years later, he can’t lift anything over 25 pounds, is unable to raise his left arm all the way and still gets migraines.
The fall changed Craig’s life, but also helped pave his path into the world of hip hop.
Craig, now known as “Mugg Shot” in the Canadian rap scene, reconstructed both his body and life after the accident.
He moved to Abbotsford from Alberta to be closer with his brother, who quickly helped him develop a name on the local rap scene. For the previous 10 years, he had become involved in the underground rap scene in Alberta, but knew B.C. was a bigger and potentially more lucrative market for his talents.
Arriving in Abbotsford in the summer of 2014, Craig’s big break came during an open mic competition in Surrey shortly after coming to town.
“It was a competition for an opening spot for [rapper] Machine Gun Kelly,” he recalled. “I had 24 hours to record three songs, and a couple of hours to rehearse, and I was nervous, but I won. I turned those songs into my first EP that I released a few months later.”
Craig grew up idolizing rappers like Notorious BIG, Tupac Shakur and Mobb Deep, but says his style is unique.
“It’s like a dirty south with a modern sound,” he said. “It’s very fresh and current, not the mumble type rap you sometimes hear today. I really respect that old-school dirty-south style.”
It has been a busy fall season for Craig, who released his new album Mean Muggin in September. He celebrated the release of the album at the Red Room in Vancouver on Sept. 29, performed in Chilliwack on Sept. 30, and is now on a Western Canadian tour for the next few months.
“It’s the best project I’ve ever put out,” he said of his third EP. “Every track is enjoyable and it was an honour to work with a bunch of triple-platinum-selling artists.”
Craig, who got his rap nickname after a not-so-flattering mugshot following a run-in with the law in Alberta, said Abbotsford and the B.C. scene has been a positive change for him.
“The influence I’ve got from Abbotsford has been nothing but positive,” he said. “And there are so many talented artists in Canada, especially in B.C. With guys like Drake and Classified, Canada is starting to come into its own golden age of rap, and I want to continue to be a part of it.”
For more information on Craig, visit muggshotmusic.com.