It's a competitive scene, too. Everybody thinks they have what it takes to make it, and in today's boundary-less world, exposure is just a click away. The chance at quick fame can make for a lot of pretenders to the throne, but don't worry, KWT's got you covered. We're here to separate that phony from the real. But, before you get your panties in a bunch, remember this isn't a ranking, it's just artists we wanted to put you on to. Without further ado, KWT presents 3 Toronto Rappers You Need to Know Now (Not Named Drake).
|How dope is that hat?|
With T-Ray, it's all about his presence, and the lyrics. Presence is everything. It's the reason French Montana's hot, Rick Ross is unstopabble and Nas is a legend. T-Ray is hungry on the mic, but more importantly, he sounds dark. He can rap about bitches and drugs and swag (check the banger, "Feeling Alrii") but he does it in a haunted manner, in the voice of a young dude who's lived a hard life. On his "Light Up" freestyle, he opens up about his struggles and battles with depression, and it's these under-the-surface revelations that make him so captivating in the booth.
His lyrics? They're dense, packed full of references (peep "I'm Cold"), but unlike a lot of lyricists, he never sounds bogged down. Over his sampler of tracks and features, I heard an MC that can spit it any style, employing a myriad of engaging flows. "I'm Cold" is a perfect example. T-Ray has a way with syllables and pronunciation, an ability to slap you in the face with his delivery. Offer up any young fire-spitter from your area, and I'd take T-Ray every single time. When Can't Hear Me drops, firstly be happy you have a bunch of new T-Ray songs in one, easy-to-find place, and secondly, be ready for his emergence. When somebody spits it this hot, people stand up and notice.
Get Acquainted: "I'm Cold", "Light Up" (Freestyle), "Pablo Flow" (Music Video), "Feeling Alrii" (Music Video)
Artist: Raz Fresco
Essential Listening: MCMXCV (Self Produced Mixtape)
Raz Fresco, aka Pablo Frescobar, is the mainstreamer of the bunch, in that he's the closest to it, and the most tailor-made for it. A rapping-producing double threat, Fresco has already made tracks for the likes of French Montana, Tyga, Big Sean and Mac Miller. His style lies most similar to those last three, and it's because of that, that it seems so likely that big things await this dude.
Before you slap me for offering up some carbon copy of other rappers, slow down. The similarities include his proclivity for fashion talk, a fetish for fly shoes, and a penchant for making jams in that easy-breezy vein that dominates rap these days. But no, Fresco isn't some soulless clone dreamt up by scheming A&Rs.
First off, he's a '95 baby, which will impress the fuck out of you when you press play. The flow is nice, (give "Beautiful", off of MCMXCV, a spin), and the production will impress. His age shows a bit with the content, which doesn't stray far from the typical rap tropes, but his delivery sets him apart. His voice is distinctive and unique, making it impossible to ignore him on a track. Plus, you'll want to stick around to hear him when he gets to talking about his hopes and dreams. He's an ambitious dude, and he's got the talent to get where he wants to go.
His upcoming mixtape, CakeyPocket$ will be entirely produced by him, which is good for us, because dude is nice on the boards. The lead single off the project, "Cakey", displays his hybrid talents, mixing his dopeness on the mic with a frenetic, catchy beat. It's this combination of factors that makes his entrance into the mainstream feel so imminent.
Get Acquainted: "Cakey" (Video), "Donald Trump" (Music Video), "Beautiful" (the production is bananas), "January 27th"
Artist: The Flan
Essential Listening: ForTheFlans (Mixtape)
I'm gonna start by saying The Flan is my personal favorite of the three. Why is this?
Well, his music is fun to listen to, which is probably a byproduct of him having a helluva fucking time making it. He's a ridiculously clever writer, and it sounds like he lives to craft the wittiest lines he can. He had me laughing my ass off, and rewinding constantly with stuff like "I can't say/ that you may/ achieve your oal-gay, (that's goals in Pig Latin)", "mess around and get a mean mug like a pumpkin" and the fucking awesome "and you thirsty like two days from Tuesday" (the way he says it? You'll die). Couple that with a flow that can go any which way (listen to ForTheFlans, seriously) and you have an excellent listening experience.
The Flan has an absolute knack for rapping, and it makes you consider the possibilities. The mixtape above is, to my knowledge, his only release. It features him going in on all the big beats of the past few months, and it's awesome. I can do Wayne on others' instrumentals; that's classic. But amateurs? I'd rather die. However, The Flan completely overturned that prejudice, and ending up washing away the previous owners' performances from my memory. If you're remixing songs, that's the oal-gay. All I can think about is, what would happen if this guy had some original production? I'll tell you what would happen. He'd write a fuckload of bars that would blow you away, and it would sound dope. That's a hint to all producers that hit-up/check KWT: if you're looking for someone that will showcase your beats, The Flan is your guy.
Until a project of that type (or a project of any type) arrives under the KWT tree, I'm going to continue enjoying the fuck out of his songs. His videos too, actually. They're full of a bunch of dudes fucking around, and having the time of their lives. They act as perfect companions to The Flan's songs, which just so happen to be some of the most vibrant, energetic and exciting performances I've heard in a long time.
Try: "100 Hunnit" (Remix)
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