Cloud 9 reaches double figures, and by reaching the 10th episode of our beloved weekly playlist series, we wanted to celebrate with a special edition. With a vast array of talent in both the UK and US scene, we wanted to shift our focus and highlight the urban music scenes around the world and see what they have to offer. This week, we take a look at the Canadian scene, and find 9 of the best rap, hip hop and R&B artists that the 6 have to offer. Ever since Drake drew attention to areas like Toronto, a new line of artists have stepped up and are ready to take their music global. So sit down with us as L Ø S T C U L T U R E presents;
L Ø S T C U L T U R E | Cloud 9: 010.
1.Daniel Caeser – Streetcar
Toronto’s Daniel Caesar has been turning heads since his 2014 releasePraise Break, even being named as the Best Canadian Project of 2014 by Noisey. The expectations were high for Caesar with his sophomore release, but he delivered with Pilgrim’s Paradise which dropped earlier this month. One of the stand out tracks on the project is ‘Streetcar‘, which sees Daniel Caesar take on Kanye West‘s 808s & Heartbreak deep cut ‘Streetlights‘. Caesar’s voice lifts the song’s lyrics into the forefront, with just his voice and the piano carrying the first half of the song, and backed by a heavy drum loop towards the back end of the track.
2. Jimmy Prime – Rest Of The Night
Hip hop recording artist Jimmy Prime from Toronto is certainly one to watch. His music has been rapidly growing over the past couple of months, with this Block Boy EP taking over the summer playlists, and now has come the time for people to take notice. In September, he dropped an pair of tracks [also check out ‘Forever‘] with ‘Rest Of The Night‘ being a certified hit. The beat is produced by J Gramm with additional production from Idan Kalai and features a killer sample, with Jimmy Prime lacing it with his catchy auto tuned vocals, making it a smooth banger.
3. Dillian Ponders – Warm Up
Fresh off the release of his latest album RETOX, Scarborough’s Dillan Ponders is showing no sign off slowing down. With his latest release spawning hits ‘DNTMKEME‘ and ‘Stamina‘, it could seem like a momentous task to top his already impressive work rate this year. However, this week Dillan Ponders dropped ‘Warm Up‘ and it seems 2015 is not yet over for the Smash Mouth rapper. The psychedelic rapper, who refers to himself as the “Shroom Daddy”, can often be misrepresented by his content, but it’s clear that Dillan has the potential and talent to be one of the hottest rappers from the Toronto scene.
4. PARTYNEXTDOOR – Grown Woman
For those that don’t know, PartyNextDoor is an emerging Ontarian R&B singer who is signed to Drake‘s OVO sound imprint, with his work containing of wonderful blend of EDM and R&B. From featuring on Drake tracks ‘Own It‘ and ‘Come Thru‘, he released his debut, self-titled EP in October 2013, and dropped PartyNextDoor Two the following year. One of the tracks that stands out from the project is ‘Grown Woman‘, a nostalgic R&B track which sees the young singer drop a very dark, lush vibe. And throughout the track, its clear of his intentions: “Go ahead, go and ask Billie Jean who’s the one.”
5. P Reign feat. Troy Avenue – Colors & Commas
P Reign is gearing up for the release of his new mixtape, Off The Books [out 3rd December], to follow up his 2014 release Dear America. After releasing a number of tracks from the project [‘Sunshine‘, ‘I Belong To You‘ and ‘Live Forever‘] , P Reign drops ‘Colors & Commas‘ alongside Brooklyn rapper Troy Avenue. Backed by a simple, ascending piano line and a TNT boom of pre-programmed drums, the track has both rappers talking big above the beat. Topics brought up on the track include: sensual handiwork, rolling through the six, theoretical beat downs, and big bills.
6. Jimmy B – East Side Ting
Jimmy B followed up to his 2013 debut L.O.R.D.Sby dropping one of the mixtapes of the summer, Prince Of The ‘Borough: Ch. 1 – The BRiCKZ. The new EP, an ambitious homage to his roots, sees producers Tay Lewis, RGC, M Mac, and Omari Jabari queue up a mixture of twisted sample flips, heavy 808s, and glitchy synths, ensuring Jimmy B’s energy levels stay maxed out from start to finish. Alongside hit track ‘Olde English‘, another track which displays the star power of Jimmy B is ‘East Side Ting‘, which sees him metaphorically put his town on his back and let loose over a M Mac produced instrumental.
7. Belly – Money Go
Roc Nation‘s latest signee Belly dropped his mixtape Up For Days back in March, and since then had gone quiet, apart for a music video for the Travi$ Scott-featured ‘White Girls‘ off the project. But no sooner had the ink dried on his new contract with Roc Nation, had Belly dropped two new tracks on Soundcloud and a new video on YouTube [‘No Option‘]. While his freestyle over The Weeknd’s ‘Tell Your Friends‘ is impressive, ‘Money Go‘ is a slow-moving murky production complimented by a minimal bassline and melodic ad-libs with Belly dropping a number of quotable lyrics.
8. Junia T – Eye Mean
Toronto rapper Junia-T has proven time and time again that he’s got his eye [pardon the pun] on the prize. After the excellent Eye See You LP which dropped last year, he’s come back with a banger, along the optical theme, entitled ‘Eye Mean‘. The song’s another impossibly smooth slab of boom-bap produced by Junia himself. He offers up some incredibly smooth rapping alongside recent tour-mate TassNata and Vancouver rising star Brevner. Commenting on the track, Junia said; “What really matters is creating memories with good people and good vibes”.
9. Elly Dolorosa – Stephen Curry
Elly Dolorosa releases the first single off his project Channel 6 due to drop late 2015. Channel 6 will serve as a follow up to his last album Split Personality: Fighting Myselfand stands for and signifies that no matter how holy we think we are or how much we fight our flesh, temptation, and evil, we are still connected and tuned into ourselves. With that in mind, it makes sense that while this track may seem like an ode to the basketball player Steph, the song is about trusting in The Father, The Son & The Holy Spirit. Now if that’s not deep…