BEST CROSSOVER RECORD:
Rico Blox ft. Uness - Stop Frontin Prod. By DJ Manifest
Rico Blox, DJ Manifest and Uness quite literally had the perfect blend on this catchy record. It absolutely killed on the Real City countdown and continues to pick up steam with the official video release.
True story. Earlier this year I attended a spoken word event in Montreal. The room was filled with deep thinkers, natural hair, honeysuckle incense who spoke of political refugees, middle eastern revolution and tormented hearts.
Still when the DJ played this song during intermission, everyone was bouncin'. Yours truly included.
Ceas Rock - The Exception
The title track off Ceas Rock's long anticipated mixtape shows exactly why his name consistently comes up in the conversation of the city's top lyricist. Listen Here
Conn-Shawnery is a producer/engineer/musician and probably one freak accident away from becoming a mad scientist. If The Brain from Pinky and the Brain focused his energy on music rather than global domination, I'm 90% sure this is what it would sound like.
Karma Atchykah avec Paul Cargnello - Ne pleure pas (Directed by 16 Pads)
Karma and the almighty 16 Pads, took it all the way to Cuba to get the right visuals for this bluesy number and the results are stunning. Great scenery for a great song. Salute!
The Narcicyst aka Narcy, continued to conquer uncharted territory for Montreal MCs in 2011. He penned a book Diatribe of a Dying Tribe, taught a class at Concordia (FFAR 398B - Hip Hop: Past/ Present/Future), and had an op-ed piece featured on CNN's website. Oh ya and he raps too! Show dates included Vancouver, Australia, Texas and Toronto Manifesto. Try harder.
Rico Blox feat Uness - Stop Frontin (prod. by Dj Manifest)
The execution of this song is nearly flawless. It starts with a supreme beat by DJ Manifest that perfectly straddles that line between hip hop and R&B. Rico Blox is completely in the pocket and on topic with his verses. Never too crass but never too soft either. Uness then brings it all together with a buttery hook and some under appreciated vocal arrangements. Sit back and take notes.
While other projects may have shown more versatility (Lifes Not So Sample3), verbal dexterity (The Exception, In 3D) or bravado (The Detour), none delivered a more cohesive, fluid or well composed collection of thought and sound than LabNoise's imposing emcee; Full Course.
From start to finish, Richy's easy-does-it flow consistently hits the mark in terms of plot, poetry and presence. On Entree, Full Course selects the perfect score for his delivery and style. He never finds himself out of pocket and the beats fit like a well tailored bespoke suit. Conceptually, Entree touches on a variety of topics and avoids the usual redundancies of most hip hop offerings. From the uplifting "Keep Going" and the sultry "She was Fly" to the contemptuous single "Waitin on you", Full Course delivers. (Stream Here or Visit fullcoursemusic.com for more)
More than an honorable mention, we URGE you to DOWNLOAD or PURCHASE the other releases that impressed us in 2011 (in no particular order):