After three long years, John River just dropped The Storm. (Who waits three years between their debut and sophomore mixtape?) Allow me to tell a story.
Back in 2012, a then-17-year-old kid from Mississauga called in to The Come Up Show on CHRW 94.9 FM and requested his own song. (Again, who does that?) His name was John River. We played it and kept in touch.
A few months down the road, I interviewed him. It was a rare exception, considering he had no mixtape to his name, just a couple videos (since made private on YouTube), and a big dream to become the greatest rapper in the world. It was the first time we had spoken, and it left an impression. It became the first of several interviews — each one becoming a favourite of mine.
The following year, that same kid from Mississauga messaged me: he had a story to tell. That summer, he had waited overnight in the airport to meet J. Cole, and then took a bus to Queens to track down the President of Dreamville, show up at his doorstep, and rap for him. (Again, who does that?) A few months later, he met them all again.
Fast-forward to 2015. Again, that same kid from Mississauga goes on to do a TEDx Talk. He gets nominated for a Much Music Video Award. Andrew Wiggins tweets his “Hope City II” video. Kardinal Offishall brings him out onstage and tells the crowd he’s next up — all of this before his sophomore mixtape even drops.
Three weeks ago: I get a call while in Newfoundland. The Storm is about to drop. Within a week, we’re sitting down together at the Mississauga Living Arts Centre, catching up for yet another interview. He had just returned from Chicago.
“Do you think the people will like it?” he asks me.
I had listened to the mixtape three times through just the day before. What I couldn’t articulate at the time was this:
That same kid who requested his own song on the radio, waited overnight in an airport to meet J. Cole, took a bus all the way to Queens with a faint hope of meeting Ibrahim, and caught all those people’s attention before his second mixtape even dropped? I wouldn’t bet against him for the world.
Check out The Storm below. Shouts to HNHH for the premiere.
Coming off the success of 2013’s S.L.A.V.E. EP, Toronto-based hip-hop artist KAYO is back with a banging four track EP titled, NOWHERE. This latest effort finds a KAYO who has cemented his sound and has developed into one of the top emcees out of the six that all the hip hop heads need to keep an eye on. Inspired by the sounds of his homeland, St. Lucia, as well as legendary rappers such as 2pac, Wyclef Jean and Jay-Z, the young rapper has created a post hiphop/dance hall sound that stands out on its own and is uniquely, KAYO. The NOWHERE EP starts off with,”Same Page,” the classic rags to riches story that sums up KAYO’s rise to the top and all the hardships that come with the territory. KAYO keeps the tempo rising with the projects lead single, ” Nagato,” a synth heavy island jam that finds KAYO hooking up with Canadian legend Kardinal Offishall. Kayo ends this project with, “Bakara” and “Talk,” two tracks which went viral for the young emcee and leaves listeners feening for more content to bump. KAYO undoubtedly leaves a lasting impression with the NOWHERE EP. This latest release is going to shake up the game, and prove that Kayo should rightfully be considered one of the next emerging voice in Toronto’s busy hip-hop scene. Be sure to check this project out and witness a six god in the making.
This year Manifesto will be celebrating the ninth annual Festival of Community and Culture. With Toronto having a resurgence in the arts community, we (Chedo + Matt) have chosen a new theme of selecting only GTA based artists.
To kick off the festival you can see Mississauga’s own Keita Juma perform at the Hoxton. Then on the 18th, Manifesto is hosting the first annual Future Sounds event held at Regent Parks Daniel Spectrum. Highlighting the best and most innovative R&B/Electronic artists, Future Sounds will feature City Fidelia, Clairmont the Second, Spek Won, a l l i e, and the headliner of the night Adria Kain.
Following the Friday, you can catch our main day at Yonge and Dundas, which will include ten hours of live music. Focusing on the Hip Hop genre, live at Dundas square will host an array of talent new artists such as Crossword, Savannah Ré, Ramsay Almighty, Noyz and Fateh, OSIYM, Jai Nitai Lotus, The Posterz, Wasiu, Layla Hendrix, Kayo, Junia T, Tassnata, Kemi, John River, Derin Falana, Yours Truly T.Y, The Airplane Boys, Pluto, and our headliner Grammy Award winning Melanie Fiona.
If you’re not already familiar with these artists and are interested in hearing what they are all about, Manifesto and Complex Canada have teamed up to help you get acquainted with a festival playlist that highlights their best and most recent work.
Tyler Durand, MAWLife rep/ the most recent addition to Sese Nightmare Klub has just dropped his highly anticipated mixtape, Remember That Was Us. I can’t stress enough how hard the MAWLife roster grinds. Between early morning/ late night studio sessions and countless hours putting in work with the camera, Durand and his camp held nothing back to insure that this latest release will be acknowledged by the hip hop heads across the board as one of the dopest projects of 2015.
Durand comes out of the gates hot with the intro track, “Dynamite.” The title is pretty self explanatory. Tyler lets off some machine gun flows on this one setting the pace for the rest of the project. The beat selection for RTWU is on point. Each track flows seamlessly into the next as TD runs us through “Faces” and Bless Up” where listeners are treated to more hot rhymes and infectious hooks. The tempo of the mixtape switches as Durand murks the trap heavy bangers “Not One,” “Stay Blessed” and “Tylernol.” Durrand ends the mixtape with a bang where my three favorite tracks “Purple Jesus,” “I Don’t Care” and “The Heist” are found- Side note… much love to Durrand for TCUS shout out at the end of “The Heist”.
Durand is the definition of a rapper’s rapper. The art speaks for itself. When you look at the amount of work and pure grind that Tyler and the MAWlife crew put into their craft, it’s hard not to feel inspired. Remember That Was Us is a statement. The MAWlife reputation has always been about the crew. Putting on for your city and staying true to your day ones. Remember That Was Us is only just the begging, or rather a continuation of hip hop at it’s finest. Check out Durands latest project, and as always, show love in the comment section below.
Mick Jenkins hits us with one of his newest tracks “Your Love” from his Wave[S] EP. With production from the great Kaytranada the two work together to create a next level head snapping tune that will be stuck in your head for weeks to come.
Mick Jenkins is an American emcee hailing from Chicago, Illinois. Coming right off of his The Water[S] tour, as well as the release of his Wave[S] EP which dropped on August 21st, 2015. Mick likes to keep his collaborations within his inner circle, and has worked with artist such as: Sean Deaux, Saba, and TheMind. Kaytranada, the Haitian-Canadian electronic musician has a huge music catalog, and has wrked with endless amounts of artists. Kaytranada’s production credits span all the way from Goldlink, Vic Mensa, Towkio, Freddie Gibbs, The Internet, and many, many more.
“Your Love” starts off with a focus on Kaytranada’s pristine funk inspired production before Mick does his thing over the beat. The first time you hear Mick on the track he is bringing in his deep gritty lyrics that he handles oh so well before the hook makes its mark in the most catchy way possible. The production holds the greatest aspects of old school hip-hop production with elements of the new school courtesy of Kaytranada’s polished aesthetic.The chemistry between Mick and Kaytranada has not gone unnoticed. The two should definitely consider working together more often, a Jenkins X Kaytranada EP would be earth shattering.
Mick is a force to be reckoned with to say the least, he’s just getting started with his art but has already picked up the momentum and fan base that many artists would take twice, or even three times as long to match. How do you feel about Mick’s EP Wave[S]? Let us know in the comments section. If You’re feeling the production as well, Kaytranada is performing in Toronto on September 18th at Danforth Music Hall, don’t miss out.