We are back again to highlight some of best and brightest in the province’s bumping hip-hop scene. If you missed part one, I’d suggest reading that first for full context. A few quick notes before we get into looking at some more acts. Apologies to Griffin Simpson for misspelling your name and thank you to Liam Ryan for the help and information while writing this article. Let’s not waste any more time and get into it.
Starting off with an artist who is no stranger to Newfoundland Noise is Trap extraordinaire Tony Delicious. He previously did an interview with the site which is a great look into him, his music and his creative process. Working with various producers such as PURPXANEZ, Sauron, and Cxdy, mixing and mastering done by Har Soul and his own raps is a recipe for some truly tasty Trap. With his 4 EP’s released last year, and this year’s full-length release Ghost., 4 track EP Tragic Summer and various other releases and features, there is a lot of material for those that crave heavy sub boosted bass beats laced with hi-hats and ominous yet boastful raps. While the current explosion of Trap has a lot of artists getting lost in the crowd, Tony Delicious is serving up a steady stream of quality music that not only makes him stand out but will keep you coming back for more.
Not only does he do fantastic mixing and mastering for artists like Tony Delicious, Harry Noftle, aka Har Soul also has an impressive solo output as well. His addictive mix of R&B beats and soulful voice will have you blown away no matter what mood you’re in. Singles like High’s and Low’s (ft. Jacob Earle), are beautiful passionate anthems perfect for chilling on a summer day. On the other hand, you have tracks like Throwaways (ft. Hartesy), with a low-key creeping beat while he and Hartesy lyrically tear down any that stand in their way. Then you have songs that find that sweet middle point like Runaway (prod. CJ Beats), with a smoky backing track with its walking bass line, bluesy keys and blaring trumpet, tales of a relationship on the brink and a chorus with a gospel-style choir. Har Soul has a style all his own and I can’t wait to see more releases from him in the future.
Another Trap rapper from the 709 making waves is MAK11. Armed with 3 mixtapes and a new one on the way, MAK11 is packing deadlier heat than a MAC-10. His laid-back flow paired with relaxing yet bumping beats are a combination fit for a day of chilling out or a soundtrack to a wild night out. This year’s mixtape Lords Of Fogtown has MAK11 at the top of his game with some outstanding production work from We Ain’t Spoke, a fantastic producer who works with many other rappers in the scene. MAK11 knows how good his material is, and his unwavering confidence makes his bombastic lyrics sound more like he’s making an honest statement, and not just bragging to boost his image. MAK11 is, in fact, a Lord of Fogtown and the hype for his upcoming mixtape New Atlantis 3 is real.
With a crystal-clear voice shrouded in relaxing, hazy production, Mitch!’s work sounds like a lighthouse cutting through the fog on a cold, lonely night. While other acts in the scene have sad songs to various degrees, Mitch! embraces the sad boy sound which has become very popular over the last few years. Even when his lyrics come off as boastful like on tracks like “Set It Off (prod. By NE1 Beatz x Chef Currie)”, the beats tell a different story, with atmospheric synths off in the distance, booming percussion, and slow, sombre tempo. With his 2017 EP CALLS being a more focused effort then 2016’s EP genius+++ which is a collection of tracks made between 2014 and 2016, both are great releases, and worth catching up on in anticipation for his upcoming work. Mitch! is a great choice if you want your rap with a touch of melancholy.
Still, haven’t had your fill of heartbreaking hip-hop? Well, don’t bail out of the 709 to look for more, check out Bails! With an impressive 5 releases since last year, his brand of emo-influenced rap is bound to please even the most broken-hearted Hip-Hop Head. His most recent release s.a.d. is a mix of woeful guitar drove beats and voice switching between singing and rapping, all the while never losing the emotional impact of his lyrics. Tracks like “Thistle (prod. Gal.exe)” will have you bobbing your head with a tear in your eye. If you listened to s.a.d. and need more, don’t worry, his other releases are all on the same level of quality, with a nice variety of beats to be found throughout. With his consistent output of top-tier Emo Rap, Bails is not to be missed.
To wrap up this exploration of a scene that thrives on the interconnectedness of those in it, let’s have a look at a group of established names getting together to do something different. Already Dead is a collaboration between the three main artists: Albert Dalton, Lil Ranch, and Reggie Morales, with associates Bails and g_Sm00th. Stepping away from the sounds you’d expect from them, they do something completely different with their excellent Experimental Hip-Hop. Their debut album Already Dead Vol. 1 is a hard-hitting noisy beast with all parties going all out, no matter what they’re doing. From the jump start of an opening, “710 (prod. Moyst)”, “Pullin Stunts ft. g_sm00th (prod. Robust Appliances)” with its successful attempt to bring the sound of a lost tape from the 90’s with its analogue buzz, and the straight up Black Metal vocals on “Swamp Creature (prod. Moyst)” there’s never a dull moment. From their great album to their wild live shows, Already Dead show us that not only do we have a scene full of talent, but that they aren’t afraid to do new and exciting things.
This has been a brief look into Newfoundland’s exploding Hip-Hop scene. From Old School stylings, modern sounds, and the odd-ball experimental this is one scene that has it all. I realise that I more then likely missed some acts, and I do apologize for that, but hopefully, it will give the incentive to explore the scene further past the 11 acts already showcased here. In the meantime though, listen to and support the talent you already know, it’s as simple as listening to some amazing music.