As I continue to scroll down the list of the 2015 CMJ Hip Hop chart, I try to find some hidden gems from artists who are not named Kendrick Lamar. No offense, I like Kendrick. However, when I’m looking at CMJ, I’m looking for the underdog ready to upset the industry. When I came at #18 at the charts, I was introduced to Relic with his album, The 13th Floor.
Hailing from Toronto, Relic is a multi-talented artist. He’s an emcee, producer, singer, songwriter, engineer, and a DJ. I already appreciate this artist for his hustle. There are a lot of artists like Relic, Blueprint for example, who aren’t just one trick ponys. They’re behind the mic as well as in front of it.
He’s got a lot of cred, up north. He helped produced an engineered all four albums of Juno award-winning artist, Shad (Juno is the Canadian grammy BTW).
If you’re a fan of the east cost, boom-bap, sound, Relic’s your guy. This was definitely the case when I was listening to The 13th Floor. If you listen to “Breathe Easy”, you could hear some Guru being scratched in the background. If you’re a hip hop head, like me, you know who Relic’s influences are. This album is almost like a concept, with different beats and a flow different from the past work he did.
When I listen to Relic, he reminds me a lot of Mr. Lif. He has very thought-provoking lyrics, with dark, grimy, boom-bap beats.
Curious? You should be. Give it a listen. You’ll be glad you did.
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