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.
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// Sound Affects
"History repeats the old conceits, the glib replies, the same defeats. Keep your finger on important issues, and keep listening to the 275th most acclaimed album of all time. A 1982 masterpiece is this week's Counterbalance.READ the article