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Searchlight 2016: 8 hip-hop acts you should hear
By
Del Cowie

Published

April 18, 2016

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Searchlight has unearthed musical quality across all genres of music, and hip-hop is no exception.

We've received a number of entries from Canadian hip-hop artists who have tapped into the varied sounds of the genre. From the contemporary styles of trap-influenced hip-hop to sounds channelling throwback '90s rap to rhymes delivered in English, French and Spanish (among others), there's a hip-hop entry for you in the Searchlight submissions from across the country. Scroll through the list below to see some of the notable hip-hop contestants in this year's Searchlight competition.

Don't forget to vote for your favourite Searchlight artists here.

Who: Es
Song: "Fact Remains"

About: Drawing on what he calls the golden era of hip-hop, Es takes on racism and social injustice on the hard-hitting “Fact Remains.” His socially conscious lyrics are bolstered by news clips and reportage, but it’s the passionate and skilled delivery that makes his voice impressively stand out.


Who: Maje feat. Cunny Ross
Song: "Smile"

About: With “Smile,” Maje has dedicated a heartfelt and touching song to his daughter. Teaching her a set of lifelong lessons over an airy and melodic beat, it’s hard to doubt the sincerity of his lyrics, urging cultural pride and self-esteem.


Who: Cee
Song: “BrewHeads”

About: If you were wondering where all the hip-hop songs from Quebec about craft beer were, Cee has you covered with "Brew Heads." If you know nothing about the intricacies of making craft beer, you should be able to hold down a watercooler conversation on the topic with ease by the end of this track, thanks to Cee’s humorous and intricate flow.


Who: Loud Lary Ajust
Song: "Blue Volvo"

About: Making what they call "Franglish" rap, Loud Lary Ajust has conjured up an intriguing linguistic mix of French and English lyrics rhyming over a refined, melodic and soulful beat that will have you interested in more of the band's compelling mixes.


Who: Los Poetas
Song: "Slaughter"

About: Over a buzzing beat, rhyming in Spanish and English, Los Poetas delivers incisive rhymes over '90s influenced boom-bap beats. Don’t sleep.


Who: Baby C
Song: "One Drop"

About: On “One Drop,” Baby C focuses heavily on narrative, motivational rhymes. With music that aims to mesh pop and electronic genres, she's derived a formula that could generate wide appeal.


Who: Mark Braithwaite
Song: "6ix Side"

About: Mark Braithwaite has penned a personal homage to the city of Toronto with his track “6ix Side.” Braithwaite’s biographical rhymes chart his upbringing and name-check his favourite Toronto sports teams and neigbourhoods while he weaves his own capable singing voice into a catchy "6ix side" song refrain making the track a worthy exercise in civic pride.


Who: All Me (A.M.)
Song: "Patience"

About: With a sing-song rap flow, A.M. delivers a track that aligns itself with the ambient and moody hip-hop currently dominating the Toronto scene. While reflecting current trends, A.M. carves out a niche for himself and his community on this catchy track.