So far, 2014 has been a banner year for hip-hop. With major tours, releases and singles being dropped left and right, it’s normal to think that the Canadian hip-hop scene would follow suit.
Unfortunately, that is not the case. After Drake and Shad released critically acclaimed albums in late 2013, mainstream Canadian hip-hop news took a vacation. In order to find a new urban Canadian sound, you’ve got to dig a little deeper.
This past month, Toronto’s Jimmy Johnson emerged with a new project that could rejuvenate the Canadian hip-hop scene.
Johnson’s EP entitled In God We Trust, is not your average hip-hop project. It features extremely dark imagery and neo-soul production. This may sound strange to hip-hop traditionalists, but this melodic, young rapper defines his rap skills on a variety of beats that paint a very clear picture; Toronto is the place to be.
In God We Trust is full of two things: first, a plethora of references to the current lifestyle of Toronto’s urban youth and second, language. Johnson uses an arsenal of terms that can only be found from Square One to the Scarborough Town Centre.
The most recurring of them all is how he refers to his hometown. He calls his native city “the 6” which derives from its two major area codes in Toronto (416 and 647). This may seem insignificant to most but the small cadences in Johnson’s project, like expressions local to Toronto youth, makes In God We Trust the summer soundtrack for the GTA’s hip-hop heads.
Anna believes in defying expectations when it comes to being a millennial that wears Raybans. She spends a lot of time wandering around town spending money she doesn’t have on things like tacos, coffee, and Moleskine notebooks. She will also walk your dog for free.