Classified's 12th record, his major-label debut, is state-of-the-art 2009 Canadian hip-hop. The humble Nova Scotian rapper/producer's clever Everyman wordplay and robust, soulful production have evolved into a lethal combination. Inspiration is the most impactful death-focused rap song since Eminem's Stan, while Oh... Canada is one of the catchiest, self-referential Canadian songs ever. Even if you don't like Class, his work should be respected.
Choclair, Moka Only and Maestro Fresh Wes appear on the epic Quit While You're Ahead, while Shad, DL Incognito and D-Sisive unite on Loonie, which has an unbelievable grand finale by Buck 65. Saukrates sings heavenly harmony on Where Are You, and Detroit king Royce the 5'9" and B.o.B. appear on They Call This (Hip Hop). The brilliant Choose Your Own Adventure 5 and 6 at the end certify this 22-track album a quiet, near-perfect masterpiece.
Top track: Quit While You're Ahead
Classified hits the Phoenix on May 15.