GRAND ANALOG Calligraffiti (Urbnet)
The thick, digital grit of this gifted collective puts a uniquely Canadian spin on an international sonic template, resulting in something rather rugged in the process. Around This Town, for example, captures Odario and co. concocting dub fire spreading from Winnipeg to Toronto to Kingston to England. Mood raw.
BOONAA Boonaafied (Stolen from Africa)
This young, gifted poet's fiery verbiage is fuelled by passion, without beats, on this inspired debut. Crystal-clear lyricism and childlike innocence helps catapult atomic thought-rocks at Goliath-sized targets. The valley-girl sarcasm of God Bless The Colonizer is deliciously wry. With some vocal sculpting, Boonaa will be a leader of tomorrow.
TOUCH AND NATO are? THE REPRESENTATIVES Intelligent Design (Up in Arms)
Proud Edmontonian Touch connected with mega-creative producer DJ Nato to make this headbangin' album meant to expand your perspective of western Canadian rap. Guests include Wordsworth, Cadence Weapon and Mindbender. Plus, the Slick Rick-inspired YouTube video Adult's Story is possibly the cleverest remake of the year. Find it.
MARVEL No Streets (Just The World) (Mumbles Hip Hop)
This tragically overlooked Toronto talent's debut LP finally emerges, and it's well worth waiting for. Marvel's jazzy wit dances all over the powerful, innovative production, spilling his heart and mind. Arcee and k-os provide mic support. Essential for your Toronto hiphop legends collection.
ETERNIA Where I'm At - The Set-Up (Urbnet)
A seamless concept project and precursor to her next power move, this 26-track labour of love establishes Eternia as a mature and increasingly lethal lyricist, capable of flowing with anyone on anything. Wordsworth, Polyrhythm Addicts, Promise, Grimace Love, Jessica Kaya and other worthy guests bless this rock-solid release.