Enjoy our playlist ‘Waves from the North’ updated (vol. X)
🇪🇸 El siguiente artículo fue escrito originalmente en inglés por nuestro corresponsal canadiense Andrey Chardonnaie , y está disponible su versión en español aquí. Traducción y adaptación por Natalia Warrior.
Patrik – Diamonds
One of the best cuts from the recent EP called ‘Spadina’ from one of Toronto’s new spitters. Real raps with a message from a normal Toronto dude over a heavy beat and a catchy chorus. Also I love the references to the city on the song and across the whole EP, which was titled after the Spadina subway line (iconic Toronto stuff).
Jaden Smith – A Calabasas Freestyle
Jaden is cool indeed and this track from his recent tape ‘The Sunset Tapes: A Cool Tape Story’ demonstrates the solid flow of this young one. He stays in his lane but he can definitely hold his own with the hard hitting bars while still making the music feel designer with the artsy angle. Regardless who his parents are, you have to respect his style, creativity and energy at such a young age.
Meek Mill – Trauma
Meek had a resurgence in the past year after suffering injustice from the judicial system and using his celebrity to raise awareness of this same injustice, but not that long ago he was on the losing end of a beef with Drake and had a dramatic break up with Nicki.
Nevertheless I always respected Meek and loved his raps (‘Wins & Losses’ is one of my top albums from 2017); just like there is space for Drake in this world there is space for Meek’s energetic raw raps.
His recent album ‘Championships’ is a solid effort and it is still taking me time to digest, but there are already some memorable tracks (I am not going to feature the Drake collaboration in this drop which is great but that is the single everyone probably already heard of). I love how in this project he focuses on real topics and struggles, especially his recent ones, and the sampling on some of the records is top notch: Phil Collins, Mobb Deep, classic Jay, classic Bey…
This track ‘Trauma’ is one of my top picks because it has a sample used in one of my all time favourite Mobb Deep songs ‘Get Away’ and it is Meek at his best: angry, shouty, raw, real.
Smoke Dawg feat Jimmy Prime, SAFE – YND
Toronto’s Smoke Dawg was gunned down in downtown Toronto this past summer and this was on the same night I was celebrating a friend’s wedding a couple streets down, so it was extremely sad for me to find out this news after what seemed like a positive night.
Smoke’s posthumous album ‘Struggle Before Glory’ came out at the end of November and is a great compilation displaying his potential and showcasing that street sound he possessed. This song is the highlight for me as it goes hard, it is full of life and great for a party or the headphones while featuring two Toronto elusive gems, Jimmy and SAFE.
Earl Sweatshirt – Shattered Dreams
Earl’s new album is a selection of short songs about pain and personal anecdotes with Earlesque metaphors over lo-fi beats. This is the opening track which has the underground Stones Throw, J Dilla feel but it does not feel washed and Earl summarises the struggles he faced since his before his hiatus ended. The vibe here and on the rest of ‘Some Rap Songs’ proves real hip hop is still alive.
Meek Mill feat Ella Mai – 24/7
Meek’s recent effort ‘Championships’ has a small amount of filler tracks about generic topics for the ladies or the clubs or the thugs and this one may seem like it, but no, this is a solidly constructed and a great rap/R&B mix from Meek. The Beyonce sample on this does half of the job, the chorus from Ella gives it a warm mood and Meek lays it down for the girls but not in a cheesy way.
Lil Durk – Habit
Lil Durk’s recent album ‘Signed to the Streets 3’ has been a surprise, 20 tracks deep which is long for an album nowadays but the whole thing can be listened to in one go. The vibe is consistent and it’s so easy to listen to because it is rap but it is sang. A great way to digest street tales and bang this around your girl, perfectly demonstrated here in ‘Habit’.
Iamsu! – Blessed
The consistent and breathless melodic rhymes put me in awe on this one. Iamsu! raps his story non-stop in a melodic way, you can compare this to Lil Durk, but here it is a bit more spiritual, spacey and less gangster. Dope retrospective mood from Iamsu!.
Jaden Smith – SOHO
Designer and smooth sounds from Jaden on SOHO. Chill zone with this, I imagine listening to this in a fresh outfit with a cool girl on my side in a smoke filled room.