Canadian rappers, or most non-American MCs for that matter, often get criticized for a slavish reverence to the cornerstones of hip-hop as a genre and culture; backpack stereotypes get reinforced, Vinnie Paz/Necro clones amass en masse, the 20-year history of underground rap gets filtered through a prism with over-stressed vowel sounds. Battle rappers, more often than not, are similar in their approach to the craft, homage on 100,000 trillion, swag on 0.
WRC/KOTD battle vet Knamelis and producer SUP∆83, as MART!N McFLY, have united to release an album that manages to be both dope and atypical, weaving out the way of cliche like a souped-up Delorean. Beats uniformly knock with tasteful production influence from the LA underground mixed with SUP∆83′s own personal flair; Star Trek Enterprise-esque bleeps and blips leak through negative space, phasers are (pre)set to “chill”, and 8-bit ‘puters ‘pute. Knamelis is equally impressive, trying different flows over offbeat/post-Dilla drums, crafting an singing catchy hooks with ease, and having the jazz-like intuition to know when not to rap, often spitting one verse and floating in the ether to surface every now and then to add color and sound to what he describes himself as “blissed-out retrofuturist” rap. Expensive soundscapes get left to swell like a red giant for faded chicks to two-step daydreaming of square-jawed robots.
Whether you support the battle scene, Canadian hip-hop, the Low End Theory sound, forward-thinking rap, or are just keen on something new that can knock, be trippy and chilled out all at once, check out knamelis + SUP∆83 are MART!N McFLY streaming below. Also be sure to check out the video for the first single from the album “YO!”
Dig what you hear? knamelis + SUP∆83 are MART!N McFLY is available on Bandcamp for $9 to own digitally, $10.50 to own physically and free to stream. For more info on MART!N McFLY, including their upcoming record release show on February 24, check the links below.