Rap

BACKXWASH - "Deviancy"

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Backxwash - “Deviancy”

(Grimalkin Records)

Zambian rapper Backxwash absolutely slays it on Deviancy, bringing intensity, emotion, and lyrical artistry to life. This hard hitting 8-track album kicks off immediately with aggressive Don’t Come to the Woods, built from a driving beat and a raw style that spills over into other killer tracks like Devil in a Mosh Pit and Foundation + Face Tattoos. Backxwash, an accomplished lyricist who cites Redman and Missy Elliot among her influences, is not afraid to tackle tough subject matter to bring change to the world through heightened social consciousness.

On the title track, Deviancy, producer Sugeryhead wields a driving industrial beat and howling synths that lift Backxwash’s fierce delivery and crushes opponents with torrents of digitally demonic rap. The producing on these tracks is top notch with bass and beats that bang hard, and Backxwash’s style is energetic and full of attitude - but I was completely blown away by You Like My Body the Way it is - a song that captures the human experience of love in such an intimate and powerful way.

Deviancy is a powerful album that highlights the values of love and personal liberty, and proceeds from digital only sales go to Nationz Foundation in Richmond, VA. (www.nationzfoundationrva.org/)

‘Nationz Foundation a 501(c)3 non-profit organization was organized to fulfill our mission to "provide education and information related to HIV prevention and overall health and wellness, while inspiring the community to take responsibility for their health while working towards a more inclusive Central Virginia for LGBTQIA+ identified individuals.’

Gray Lee

https://grimalkinrecords.bandcamp.com/album/deviancy

TACHICHI - "Top Ten"

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Tachichi - “Top Ten”

(Hand’Solo Records)

Halifax rapper Tachichi returns in a big way in the suggestively titled Top Ten. Should it be in your top ten? That depends. Do you dig expertly locked-in hip hop producing topped with sly rhymes? Do you like to hear a tight-knit crew flex on the mic? If you do - it might be time to investigate.

Tachichi has been round the Halifax scene since his debut in the mid 90’s making clever Canadian rap characterized by rapid fire insults and one-liners A staple of skilled producers each take a turn at providing the bumping soundtrack to this swagger through the streets of Halifax, while Tachichi and guests style wordsmithing around classic rap attack formations as well as subject-based compositions. While certainly forged in the fires of battle, Top Ten is not all just wordplay, comebacks, and takedowns - Tachichi isn’t afraid to tackle high-minded concepts, or material that addresses the many ills of our society.

On Q Word, Tachichi turns from rapper to motivational force by encouraging the listener to overcome adversity and not to give up as the pert, infectious chorus sung by Kim D'Ambrosia reminds us to 'never use the q word.' On the track, Everyday, a distorted Buddy Holly sample is used, in a socially conscious piece about institutionalized cultural appropriation of black culture by the white baby-boomer generation.

On Tachichi’s previous album Chico’s 90s Project, he introduced his multi-talented squad of fellow Canadian hip hop hard-hitters, The Sipset Crew and they return on Top Ten with tracks like, Air Raid, where many members Sipset crew step up and makes their presence known.

Overall, Top Ten is a tightly produced rap album that checks all the boxes, and yet another Hand’Solo jam that is essential listening for rap fans seeking quality material from north of the border.

Here’s a lush video of Everything, a track that has all the good stuff - 90’s throwback sounds, killer rhymes, and vignettes of life on the streets of Halifax:

Gray Lee