Though a debut album is usually the first introduction a mainstream listener has to a new artist, it in no way means an artist is new. This is especially true in the case of Toronto rapper Jazz Cartier. His presence on the Canadian scene — whether you’re familiar with his music or not — has been inescapable. Though he’s remained one hit away from the mainstream frenzy he’s destined for, his major label debut, Fleurever, the followup to 2016’s Juno Award-winning Hotel Paranoia, is poised to change everything.
So far, 2018 has been another wild year for new music and Hip Hop happenings, and with summer here, it’s only going to get more fuego. It’s also been a great year for creative music video treatments from some of the game’s best and brightest.
Jazz Cartier is a name that has been ringing bells since 2015’s Marauding in Paradise. Poised for success like a lot of other homegrown acts who have crept through the door that Drake kicked wide open, Cartier has remained in a one-hit-away position from bursting the mainstream bubble, despite taking home an award for best rap recording with his 2016 sophomore mixtape, Hotel Paranoia. His major label debut, Fleurever, could prove to be the bubble-popping pin he’d been searching for.
Drake’s highly anticipated Scorpion solidified a few things, including his admirably firm stranglehold on streaming platforms and Billboard charts. However, it also low-key proved that without a shadow of a doubt, LA superstar Ty Dolla $ign had become Hip Hop’s (not-so) secret weapon who arguably gives the best features money can buy.
Nova Scotian multi-platinum rapper Classified — now pushing 40 — is back at it with a new EP. His eighth official release, Tomorrow Could Be… is an endearing sign that Class truly understands both his age and his fan base, as he keeps the effort concise, honest, and at it’s best, incredibly compelling. Despite a successful career, there is no glam, glitz nor braggadocio here. Though polished with the confidence one only gets from being a real veteran rapper, he remains a relatable figure — in the best way possible.
“He’s such a strong motherfucker … his willpower was crazy,” Duval said. “So, I couldn’t believe that shit was real. I was hearing from people before it was on the news and then 15 minutes later, that was it. It shell-shocked me.”