How about I let you in on some of the best local Hip-hop for your listening pleasure? Firstly I’ll start by making a disclaimer that these are just *my picks* for the best songs out of Calgary’s Hip-hop scene this year! Also this list is in no particular order! Shout out to all the artists in the city releasing dope music! Calgary’s Hip-hop scene, as of late, has been quite diverse. You can’t really put your finger on what the sound is in the city and I guess that’s a good thing. The rap ranges from melodic to super lyrical, the beats can range from trap, to sample-style, to afrobeats, to incredible acoustic compositions. And let’s not forget about the R&B! So many variations! I think it’s a beautiful thing! Music wise 2020 has been a dope year in the city of Calgary because of these Hip-hop songs:
I’m going to go ahead and shamelessly plug myself at number 1 lol. Released July 3, 2020. This record is track number 4 off my fifth official mixtape and I am assisted by 2 fellow YYC MCs; Shiro Jackson and SOY. The song was written at the start of the Coronavirus quarantine and is about the desire to go outside but having to follow guidelines. In the chorus I rap the lyrics, “heard a voice say we not too far, so I’m in the house dreaming of my day in the park”, to mean I’d love to go out but can only dream about it right now for my own safety. Myself, Shiro and SOY all spit lyrical verses about how being indoors at the time was affecting us. Produced and engineered by myself the instrumental utilizes a chopped soul sample and hard hitting drums to create a vibe reminiscent of 90’s era Hip-hop! It’s a very dope record! Check It Out Now!
SOY is one of my favourite MCs on the YYC scene! Released July 17, 2020. This record is track number 4 off SOYs debut commercial mixtape “On the Search for More”. He is assisted by local R&B vocalists Mary Kate Aquino and Jay Fox and together they create a unique introspective cut about seeing other perspectives in a relationship. In the hook Mary Kate sings the lyrics, “You said you believed in me, showed you the real me, hoping it’s growing I will never leave”, to show how devoted she is to her partner. Produced by SOY and engineered by myself the record feels dreamy but still has a great beat to it. Very dope record! Check It Out Now!
RTC Profit is another YYC MC that never disappoints! Released July 10, 2020. This record is track number 5 of his “Never Forget Loyalty, Vol. 1” EP. With this song Profit addresses the current Black Lives Matter Movement, drops some jewels and leaves a positive message! He ends the hook by rapping, “Martin Luther had a dream, Malcolm X by any means, now my people see the vision, now they know they kings and queens”. The beat is bassline heavy with a smooth sample and Profit flows flawlessly over the canvas! Very dope record! Check It Out Now!
4. Go – Sinzere
Caught on to YYC Rapper Sinzere when she killed her opening set for YBN Cordae’s show last year at Palace! Released June 19, 2020 as a single with a music video. The record is a revolutionary message from Sinzere urging her people to unite and move into action! Sinzere not only speaks to black people but to all people to help educate non-blacks on the significance of BLM. Quotables from the song; “What happens to a system when the police are the tyrants and the people turn to violence? Uprising, Revolution on the horizon”. On the record Sinzere spits lyrical conscious bars for 5 minutes straight over a hard ass beat! Very dope record! Check It Out Now!
YYC MC Lyrique is a vet on the Calgary Hip-hop scene! Released June 1, 2020 as a single with a music video. The record is an ode to Mary Jane and is definitely a vibe to kickback and smoke to. In the first verse Lyrique raps “Lemme lick it for you, lemme pack it up tight”, referencing marijuana like a female is a theme he continues throughout the song cleverly. The instrumental is downtempo and jazzy with hard kicks driving it. Very dope record! Check It Out Now!
YYC Rappers Tinywiing & Shea Michael, have been active on the scene individually for a minute and now they have come together to release their debut collab EP. Released July 19, 2020. The record is track number 5 off “Bops”, their debut collab EP. The song is an inspirational record about going after your dreams no matter what. Shea raps in the chorus “Took a few Ls, but I know that I’m okay, gotta get it now, cause I know life won’t wait”. Booth Tiny and Shea spit lyrical motivational verses over a banging trap-influenced beat! Very dope record! Check It Out Now!
DaKidT is a Rapper & Videographer reppin North Calgary! Released July 1, 2020 as a single with a music video. The record is also track number 2 on DaKidT’s newest EP “U.S.O.M, Vol. 5”. He is assisted by Edmonton Singer, Songwriter and Rapper Q-Benjamin. The song is a motivational record with a positive message. In the hook DaKidT raps, “Give me 24 hours, 24 hours, the whole world will be ours, the whole world will be ours” to let the listener know anything can be done if you set your mind to it. Over a sub heavy beat, both DaKidT and Q spit lyrical verses reflecting on their come up and reassuring themselves they wont stop. Very dope record! Check It Out Now!
Noah & Lazy are a Rapper and Producer duo on the YYC scene that always deliver! Released July 15, 2020 as a single. On the song Noah openly speaks to an ex, how the relationship affected him and how he’s still hung up on her. In the hook he sings “ Told the boys I need a new main, last one had me going insane” insinuating that he’s in the market for a new relationship although he still feels the scars from his last. The beat is trap influenced and downtempo featuring moody synths and an electronic guitar. Very dope record! Check It Out Now!
Two World Creatives are a musical duo consisting of YYC artists Zaire Ink and Afuhmbom! Released July 3, 2020 as a single. The song is an inspirational record with a positive message, encouraging listeners not to fear and instead have faith in God. In the hook Afuhmbom sings “I won’t live my life in fear no more, no I won’t… so I cast it on you lord, you do what you do”. The instrumental is very new-age and I wouldn’t even know how to begin describing it properly, equipped with bells, a string and a snare driven drum beat, I can at least recognize that it’s masterful production. Zaire raps 2 lyrical verses and Afuhmbom performs the hook! Very dope record! Check It Out Now!
YYC Rapper Sarafin is back with his first commercial release of 2020! Released July 24, 2020 as a single. He is assisted by fellow YYC MCs Yung Papi Bonito (aka Talebson) & RTC Profit. The song is an inspirational cut you can vibe too. In the hook Sarafin raps, “Said I came a long way, where nobody ever praised me yeah, now I do my own thing, and the top is where I’m chasing yeah”. Sarafin, Talebson & Profit all spit lyrical verses addressing the individual trails they’ve faced along the road to success! The production is very chill, a synth driven beat with a cool female vocal sample on the hook! Very dope record! Check It Out Now!
Tony Toosick is a YYC Rapper and Audio Engineer active on the scene, we’ve covered him on the site before! Released January 29, 2020 as a single. He is assisted by fellow YYC Rapper R1co. The song is about the darker side of street life hence its moody feel. In his verse Toosick raps, “Mama called me up, she asked me how I’m living, P got dropped the first day out, there ain’t no new beginnings”. R1co raps in his verse, “Right now, Imma roll one up for the real hittas, bout to pour one up for my real hittas, nothing I can do to bring my brother back”. The instrumental is dark and moody, trap influenced and has a chilling choir sample throughout which fits the record perfect! Very dope record! Check It Out Now!
Mayal is a YYC Rapper who has been putting in work on the scene! Released April 24, 2020 as a single with a music video. He is assisted by fellow YYC Rapper Kuya Jerzey. The song is a motivational record and is a straight banger! In the hook Mayal raps, “we been through it all, no turning back yeah, if I ever leave I’m coming back”. Both Mayal and Kuya spit verses with braggadocios flows showcasing their skills and asserting their confidence that they are up next. The instrumental is dark and trap influenced, definitely bangs! Very dope record! Check It Out Now!
Ajay & Muna are an Afrobeat musical duo based in YYC! Released July 25, 2020 as a single with a music video. The record is also track number 2 on their debut commercial EP “Life IS Good”. The song is about desires, both Ajay and Muna reflect on what they want most in a lady. In his verse Ajay sings “I like girls with a miniskirt, jelly bum type wey de make sense” and Muna sings in his verse “I know you freaky, girl I know you freaky, show your freaky, don’t be sneaky”. The production is definitely afrobeat and is driven by synth arpeggios that make it sound futuristic! Very dope record! Check It Out Now!
New saint is an R&B Singer and Songwriter that is a staple in the YYC Hip-hop scene! Released July 17, 2020 as a single. The music video was released Aug 2, 2020. He is assisted by fellow YYC R&B Singer Nick Wise. The song is about letting go and moving on from a failed relationship. In the hook, New Saint sings “don’t say you’ll stay here in my bed, don’t waste my time, I’m over it”. Both New Saint and Nick sing verses detailing their failed relationships and how they are “over it” now. The instrumental is trap-influenced and bouncy, it features synths and bright bells which make the record sound dreamy! Very dope record! Check It Out Now!
15. 247 – BMK Baby
YYC Rapper BMK Baby is a name that is familiar in the Calgary Hip-hop scene! Released July 7, 2020 as a single with a music video. BMK brings the New York drill wave to YYC with this joint! The song is about staying on your grind, in his case, on his studio grind. In the hook BMK raps, “studio trappin, 247 get wiped like a napkin”. BMK raps his verse using flows popular in the Chicago and New York Drill scenes. The instrumental is also an authentic drill beat equipped with hard hitting kicks, dark melodies and a sliding 808 bassline! Very dope record! Check It Out Now!
YYC Rapper Clarke Lean is consistent with bringing good vibes! Released April 2, 2020 as a single. He is assisted by fellow YYC Rappers K. Price and Little King. The song is a feel good record to just throw on and smoke one to. In the hook Clarke raps, “I’m just rolling and rolling, backwoods I be smoking, I wake up in the morning, I’m just rolling and rolling”. Clarke performs the chorus and K price and King spit verses about living their best life. The production is very airy, synth based and 808 driven! Very dope record! Check It Out Now!
YYC Rapper True Mamba is back with an anthem for the city! Released July 29, 2020 as a single with a music video. The song is an anthem for the Calgary Flames to win the 2020 Stanley Cup! He opens the song by saying “ayo stand up, yeah we coming for the cup” then proceeds to rap in his verse “this the red that I rep, tell the world that we next.” The hook is the chant, “Oh We Lit!”, repeated over a dope beat drop. Mamba spits 2 verses with a braggadocios flow to assert that he is a ride or die fan and his team will win! The beat reminds me of something the Young Money crew would have hopped on in the “Bedrock” days, it’s very grand and epic which fits the record perfectly! Very dope record! Check It Out Now!
Black$tar is YYC Rapper who’s been consistent on the scene dropping quality EPs! Released July 17, 2020. The record is track 8 off his newest EP “Bonnie”. He is assisted by fellow YYC Rapper Mayal. The song is a banger about going with the flow and staying winning. In the hook Black$tar raps the lyrics, “jump in the party, now we pulling off in a rarri, we getting started, couple chains like I’m Carti”. In their verses both Black$tar and Mayal flex their winning lifestyle rapping with different melodic flows. The instrumental is trap-influenced with light synths reminiscent of Juice WRLD or Travis Scott! Very dope record! Check It Out Now!
Cloude is a YYC Rapper who’s been on his grind, we’ve featured him on the site before! Released June 13, 2020 as a single. The music video was released June 15, 2020. In the song Cloude reflects on his life and his come up from the trenches. In the hook he raps “its cold in these streets, its fucking depressing cause somebody love us”. The instrumental is moody, trap-influenced with a wicked guitar sample. Very dope record! Check It Out Now!
Z-Wave is an Edmonton based rapper but this song makes the cut because it features YYC scene Rap vet Banknotes! Released April 19, 2020. The music video came out June 30, 2020. The record is track 4 on Z-Wave’s newest album “Human Torch. 2”. In the hook he raps, “Hope they don’t confuse this coming from Canada, all my n*ggas will damage ya” insinuating that just because he’s from Canada that doesn’t diminish his street cred. Both Z-Wave and Banknotes spit cold verse to back their claims. The instrumental is a banging trap beat! Very dope record! Check It Out Now!
So there you have it! If you vibe with this list please share/comment! I’ve made a Spotify playlist with all the songs here! Follow us on socials to suggest post ideas and keep up to date with the latest in YYC Hip-hop! Thanks for the read – Polo!