Or what is the Sound of Calgary Hip-hop? The timeless question that has to be answered by all self respecting cities producing Hip-hop music. We know that, traditionally, cities in the West coast of the US produced a more G-funk style of rap, whereas cities in the East were known for the more lyrical and grimey rap styles. More recently we’ve seen our neighboring Canadian city, Toronto, has formed its own sound due to the likes of pioneers like Drake and The Weeknd. The sound over there is dark, it’s moody, it makes you want to call up your ex, it’s a vibe lol we know this. So what’s the Calgary Hip-Hop Sound?
In a very short answer to the question; Calgary does not have a sound you can put your finger on really because every artist is doing their own thing and bringing something different to the table. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing because today everyone listens to a bit of everything. It could also mean we are a city still trying to find itself musically but I don’t think that’s the case because the music we do have, although it’s in varied styles, is really top notch!
So what are the different flavours of Hip-hop Calgary has? Well I gotta start with the spitters. The MCs rapping the introspective and thought provoking bars like myself, SOY, Infamy, Shiro Jackson, RTC Profit, Sinzere, Lyrique, Mino Ceaz, Billy Bishop, Jackie Art, Shea Michael, DaKidT, Zaire Ink, Dibbs, Sarafin and Talebson just to name a few. Although all these MCs have different styles and rap on different sounding beats, they all rep the city and are true to their craft. Within this category we got spitters bringing that gritty street imagery to their raps, occasionally preferring to rap on trap-influenced beats. Few examples would be Cloude, Novkane, Banknotes, Toosick, MaykOne, AK-Slim, R1co and Yung Dudi. And to go even deeper within this, we got a subcategory of spitters like BMK Baby and Shoota pioneering the drill sound in our city.
Of Course I can’t forget about R&B! Which is much like the rap because there are so many variations from Contemporary Soul to Trap R&B and it’s all fire! Few examples would be Kuzi Cee, New Saint, Kæyæ Alo, Miss Benzo, Kate Stevens and Jay Fox.
In conclusion, we don’t have a definitive Hip-hop Sound here in the YYC. This is dope because what we do have is a diverse palette for our diverse city! Shout out to all the YYC artists working hard! Our time is coming!
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