Sunday night at le Belmont, members of Montreal’s hip hop community gathered to remember Dutch Garner, a show promoter who met a violent end a year ago. See this week’s edition of Cult MTL hip hop column The Shine for interviews with those who were closest to him.
Here are additional words of remembrance from the scene that he helped foster, followed by a photo gallery by Cindy Lopez.
“I met Dutch through my homie Clifton when I used to work at SONA afterhours. We really started connecting around the time he began putting out mixtapes. The thing that I’ll never forget about Dutch is how well he connected and put the right people together.
Somebody said Dutch was the glue that held everyone and everything together and I have to agree with that. I have a lot of people that I consider to be family that I met through Dutch. It’s funny ’cause had I met these people through some else we’d probably just be acquaintances, but since we met through the Big Homie, he made it official.
The other thing I will take away from Dutch is his work ethic. He stayed busy, and got so much shit done, and did them well, he knew how to speak to people how to deal with people. He just got shit done!!”
JUSTICE MCFLY (aka Phelps):
“My first contact with Matt was in passing at the music events Dutch put on and I attended, and at clubs and studios we both went to.
He always greeted me with respect, a smile and something to laugh about.
He gave me a nickname that stuck one night as once again I was in a pool of booze somewhere in the deep end… where he dubbed me Phelps.
The most impacting thing about our losing such an honourable person is the drive and motivation he gave so many of us in this city’s pool of talent. In my current state of putting projects together, it’s easy to fall back and organize my music at an extremely high standard, something I know Dutch would expect from me. The way he handled himself in business is something of a model to follow, and as for myself, I will always strive for greatness.
He will always be remembered and sorely missed.”
“How I met Dutch… It’s funny ’cause at the time everyone in my circle knew Dutch but our paths had never crossed. It was late ’06, maybe early ’07, I had just started putting out music. Like I had started recording in studios and had Myspace… nothing crazy, but he heard some of my shit and one of our mutual friends had set up a meet to discuss doin’ a mixtape.
I’ll never forget the first time I met Dutch. We had a meeting at Fatz. We sat and talked ’bout what we would do for a mixtape, and it’s like, I never seen this guy in my life but when I think back, that first time I met him, he gave me the respect he always gave me over the years.
After that meeting, we ended up becoming good friends. He usually lived skateboarding distance from my crib, so we would always just kick it. And as far as my music goes, he took my music more serious than I did. If he wasn’t at the studio with me, nine outta 10 times I’d stop by his place after my session with a ruff copy for him to hear.
Sometimes I’d send him shit to listen to and the next day I’d get messages about, “That’s a dope track you just put out!” and I’d be like, what track? He would put my shit on the site without me even knowing. He did it not ’cause we were friends but because he believed in me.
I have nothing but great memories of the Duke, and I can say that he is truly one of a kind. He was always in good spirits and he brought the best out of a lot of the people he surrounded himself with. Every day I remember the good times and am thankful to have that.”