[Video] John River – “Hope City II” (Dir: Trayne Adjei)

John River Interview on The Come Up Show

I’ve been waiting a long time for this one to come out. John River just dropped the visuals to “Hope City II,” the first music we’ve heard from Mississauga’s young frontrunner in quite awhile. River comes out full throttle in what has to be the best revisiting of a song since J. Cole took a second stab at “Dead Presidents” — relentless flow, impassioned delivery, and impeccable breath control. It’s fitting, then, that River touches on his admiration and interaction with the Dreamville emcee in his nonstop verse.

Did I mention the whole five-minute song is one verse? Let that sink in while you’re listening. After you’re done pressing replay an appropriate number of times, check out our podcast with him from the end of 2014. For what it’s worth, it was my favourite interview of the year.

[Podcast] John River talks believing in a greater purpose, #BlackLivesMatter, and the pressures of success

To hear John River tell it, his future lies in one of two extremes: either he’ll become the biggest rapper in the world, or he’ll end up as the biggest bust in hip-hop. The more you hear the 20-year-old Mississauga artist tell his story, the more you can’t help but believe that he’s destined to succeed. After all, this is the same artist who, as a teenager, took a bus to New York City and showed up unannounced at the president of Dreamville’s door. It’s also the same artist who left an indelible mark with his debut mixtape, The Calm, and is now prepared for its followup, The Storm.

What happens to a young artist when things don’t happen as quickly as they had imagined? The same setbacks that cause so many to call it quits served as a wakeup call for John River once the honeymoon of The Calm ended. “You have to really grow up,” says River. “You have to shut up, stop complaining, get educated, be willing to listen, and understand that maybe you’re not the best rapper in the world at 17.”

Suffice it to say, a lot has happened since the release of River’s debut mixtape two years ago, and it was long overdue that we caught up with him once again. We spoke about everything from believing in one’s greater purpose, to the significance of the #BlackLivesMatter movement, to the pressures of success and the fear of failure.

Listen to the podcast above and get a glimpse of the conversation after the jump.

[Interview + Podcast] Junia-T talks travelling to England, things happening on divine time, and being rich in love

Interview by: Martin Bauman

What happens when you feel like you’ve hit the ceiling in Toronto’s music scene? Either you give up, or like Junia-T, you look for that next step to grow. So it was that the Mississauga-raised artist found himself hopping on a plane to the United Kingdom, eager to find a musical foothold outside of his hometown. Even more remarkable was the timing: his latest project, Eye See You, came out when he was overseas — quite the leap of faith, when most artists would seek comfort in celebrating the release in their hometown. We caught up with Junia-T to talk about his month-long departure to England, things happening on divine time, being rich in love, and much more. Listen to the podcast above and read the interview after the jump.

[Interview + Podcast] DJ T.Lo talks new EP with Shad, memories of their smallest shows, and digging for records

Interview by: Martin Bauman

You may not know his name, but chances are you’ve heard his music or seen him perform before. T.Lo has been deejaying for Shad since the very beginning, and he’s also responsible for producing some of the London emcee’s most beloved songs: “Rose Garden,” “Telephone,” and more recently, “Always Winnin.” Pretty soon, there will be another batch of songs to add to that list. The Mississauga native has been working on a collaborative EP with Shad for the past several months, and it’s almost ready for the world to hear.

The story of a touring deejay (or any band member, for that matter) is fascinating to listen to. They’ve been there through it all, from the humble beginnings to the peaks of success. When it came to T.Lo (a former Scribble Jam champion and DMC Canadian champion in his own right), we had to learn more. We caught up with T.Lo to talk about the upcoming EP, memories of the smallest shows he and Shad ever played, digging for records, and much more.

Listen to the podcast above and read the interview after the jump.

[Interview + Podcast] P.R talks Nujabes’ influence, hip-hop in Australia, and where Iggy Azalea fits in

Interview by: Martin Bauman

If jazzy hip-hop is your thing, look no further than P.R. The Sydney, Australia-based producer has the sound damn near perfected, drawing clear inspiration from the likes of Nujabes and meshing the jazzy, mellow vibes with the boom bap flavour of influences like DJ Premier, 9th Wonder, and J Dilla.

We first took notice of P.R when he sent his Moment In Time EP through last year, and it blew us away. Smooth production and stellar features from the likes of Substantial, Skyzoo, Blu, and Cise Starr combined to create one of the year’s most memorable EPs. It was only right that we eventually connected down the road to hear him tell his story.

We caught up with P.R to talk about Nujabes’ influence on him, the hip-hop scene in Australia, where Iggy Azalea fits in, and much more. Listen to the podcast above and read the interview after the jump.

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