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Friends, Family Fear Maestro Fresh Wes has Financial Planner Syndrome

OAKVILLE: Speaking outside his suburban Toronto residence sporting an impeccably tailored Versace suit with coordinated Gucci loafers, Canadian rap pioneer Maestro Fresh Wes, who now insists on being called by his real name, Wesley Williams, announced his retirement from the music industry.

“I have accomplished everything that I can within rap, and I feel that it is now time for me to diversify, and to work towards the achievement of your financial goals,” said the former rap star, best known for his 1991 album Symphony in Effect, which featured the smash hit, Let your backbone slide.

After insisting he no longer be referred to as Maestro Fresh Wes, Williams boldly declared, “the world of mutual funds and creative sheltering of my clients’ incomes to minimize tax payment and maximize equity and wealth creation is what excites me now.”

The years have not been kind:
Maestro Fresh Wes, pre-FPS era, (left) and in 2001

Williams’s stunning announcement added further fuel to concerns expressed by family and friends that he might be suffering from Financial Planner Syndrome (FPS). The little known condition, which affects an estimated 20,000 Canadians, begins to show itself with symptoms such as the development of an appreciation for talk radio, a rabid appetite for tax cuts, a fondness for the Eagles, and a sudden interest in reading the National Post.

“We’ve been noticing a change in Wes over the past few months,” said Toronto performer and long time friend Michie-Mee. “For example, I remember a couple of months ago, I was organizing a benefit concert for homelesness, and I asked Maestro if he wanted to do a set.”

It was Williams’ response that raised Ms. Mee’s eyebrows and caused her to go public with her concerns: “He muttered this really sort of vague excuse about having a huge backlog of tax returns to prepare and that people are homeless because it’s their own damn fault,” said Ms. Mee. “I didn’t press him on it, because it was pretty obvious that he wasn’t interested, but I was sure that Wes didn’t have any background in that sorta stuff like doing people’s taxes, nor has he ever had any interest in it.”

Noted rap performer Choclair, another close friend and confidant of Maestro, made a desperate plea to his wayward friend: “Wes, everyone but yourself knows you’re sick. You need help.” He cited the example of Williams little known album titled Bull Market that was released to little fanfare just months ago. “Give me a break man, the same guy who did Drop the Needle puts out an album that’s got crap tracks like Mr. Greenspan, lower the fed, Get yo act together Mister Bank of Canada Governor and Flatten my Tax Bracket?

The exasperated and bewildered rap star added, “and these are the singles. The filler tracks get much, much worse.”

Reached by telephone, Vancouver doctor Myles Pickwick, a world renowned specialist in the diagnosis and treatment of FPS, was almost certain that Williams has the disease, pointing out Wes's sudden development of a fondness for such “undenibaly shitty music” is enough to convince him that he has FPS.

“My greatest concern is that if this gentleman does not get medical help he so greatly needs in the immediate future, he could be doing adult contemporary ballads, poorly produced get rich quick infomercials for late night television or even find himself as a Canadian Alliance candidate somewhere in the next six months.”

While FPS has no cure, repetetive listening to Public Enemy’s It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold us Back or forced readings of the collected works of dissident academic Noam Chomsky have proven effective in controlling the disease.

The man formerly known as Maestro refused to answer any questions regarding FPS, abruptly concluding the impromptu press conference when he received a call from “a valued client unsure about is RRSP maximum contribution.”

Posted on June 15th, 2001

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