Maple Ridge rapper playing hometown show

Mark Wheating, aka Tuna Vicious, recording next LP

Mark Wheating

Mark Wheating

Tuna Vicious is many things: a rapper, an intellectual, a self-described “psychonaut,” a cunning linguist, a father and a son.

Born Mark Wheating III, the Maple Ridge rapper sets out on a tour of western Canada today with a warm-up show in his hometown.

Beginning his tour on the winter solstice is very fitting for Tuna Vicious because he’s been through a bit of a rebirth.

Since the release of his first LP, C-U-Nex Time in 2008, Tuna Vicious has gone through rehab and now follows an “extreme training regiment” that consists of weight training, boxing, and a good dose of healthy living.

He currently trains at a private boxing club in Maple Ridge – “Shady Acres,” as the town is affectionately known in the hip-hop underground.

The boxing club also doubles as Tuna’s rehearsal space.

“Boxing is very much like hip-hop and rapping – it’s battle in every aspect,” says Tuna.

Tuna Vicious is also in the process of filming the first music video titled “Futuristic Mystic Pimp ****” for the LP with Maple Ridge film maker Greg Hemminger.

Joining Tuna on stage is DJ Junkee, a hip-hip artist, producer and beat maker from East Vancouver.

DJ Junkee has written, produced, engineered and remixed music for many artists, including Lillix, The Valuables, RS POE and Manik.

In 2005, he founded the inner-city record label Hastings Records and currently operates a 24-track recording studio at The Balmoral Hotel on the Downtown Eastside.

His next full-length LP Harm Reduction is in pre-production and is set for release in March.

• Tuna Vicious and DJ Junkee play Club Climax, 11935 207th Street in Maple Ridge Wednesday, Dec. 21 at 9 p.m. Tickets available at the door.