Given the mainstream prevalence of backpack rap, Rawse-style floss rap, and the hardcore gangster leanings of up-and-comers like Freddie Gibbs, there is a serious need for the kind of back-to-basics hip-hop provided by Canadian collective Backburner. A collective in the truest sense, where no individual outshines or out-publicizes the rest of the group (see: Tyler, The Creator), Backburner consists of a phalanx of rappers, producers, and DJs who have helped define the sound of underground Canadian hip-hop between Toronto and Halifax. The newest collective collection, Heatwave, is the perfect album for fans of crate-digging samples, dj cuts, and classic hip-hop storytelling. Existing somewhere in the space between Atmosphere and Jurassic 5, Backburner’s dozen or more contributors provide feel-good atmosphere and effortless vocal and lyrical calisthenics that reward multiple listens (“Wack-free, not attached to crack contractually/just stackin’ up the factory, laughin’ at rappers’ cavities/holes in their heads, clueless beyond reality/sayin’ nothing uuuuuhhh like a zombie Master P”). Especially good are tracks like “Lifers” and “Show Of Hands”, where nimble wordplay and deft hands at the turntable combine to create near-perfect old school hip-hop gems.
// Notes from the Road
"Marina's star shines bright and her iridescent pop shines brighter. Froot is her most solid album yet. Her tour continues into the new year throughout Europe.READ the article