Canadian content in Hip Hop isn’t what it used to be, but it’s on the rise yet again. The light is shining in the Great North, so it’s our turn to step up to the plate and show off what we got. I have to thank Samo from over at Urbanology Mag for handing me this mixtape a few months ago at Manifesto while he was performing. I didn’t listen to it right off the bat, but I did a couple of days ago, and my overall consensus is that it’s pretty damn dope.
SonReal is a Canadian rapper I really wasn’t familiar with, but I’ve heard his name around (especially late in 2012 when him and Rich Kidd released a collaborative album entitled The Closers). From the beginning with Zone (Intro), you get a vibe that engulfs you in a deep line of thought. Music with a message and a meaning is what’s been missing, and it’s really what people (ideally) want to hear. It started off fresh, and it didn’t delve from that feeling. I Don’t Give a Shit is one of my favourites because of simplicity of the songs overall: the acoustic guitar, the strength of singing, and his flow is dope – no question.
Production was smooth all around; I don’t even know who produced most of the mixtape, but it sounded great. SonReal’s ability to flow on point is what pushed it to being better than just good, but one of the better mixtapes I’ve heard of last year. As I’ve stated before, Canadian Hip Hop is coming back with a force, and if 2012 wasn’t an example, then 2013 is going to shock a lot of people.
Features on this mixtape were great, because they were names that you wouldn’t have expected to see or hear on the project. Rapper Big Pooh, Emilio Rojas, and Saigon aren’t some slacking rappers; and then you have the usual suspects doing it big for Toronto right now, in JD Era & Rich Kidd.
I liked this album because it’s fresh. When it comes to white rappers, people tend to overlook them or automatically draw comparisons to the likes of Yelawolf, MGK, Mac Miller, Asher Roth, and Action Bronson (we’re not going to throw Eminem in there, because really, it’s not necessary anymore – he’s transparent). SonReal & Classified are both dope rappers, whether they’re white or not. I didn’t realize how long SonReal has been in the game, but he’s continuing to grind and it’s definitely showing and paying off for him. This is a great tape that you should listen to, and whether you’re just starting to get into Canadian Hip Hop, or you’re a long time lover, this isn’t a bad start. Enjoy