If you aren’t familiar with the name SonReal, then you’re in for quite the treat. The Canadian hip-hop all star has been steadily making a name for himself with strong tracks, and stimulating music videos that entertain to a high degree. SonReal is about true artistry in a time when rap/hip-hop seems to be at one of its lowest points in history, talent wise. SonReal so much more than just a hip-hop artist, but he has no problem putting it on his back and bringing it into a renaissance. Most recently, the streets and the internet have been blessed with his EP, The Name.
Because SonReal is both a musical and visual artist, we’re sharing this EP through his videos, rather than the normal route we use in the dojo. If we simply shared the music, we’d be doing a disservice to his full artistic vision. But, let’s move on to the goods. The Name starts off with SonReal’s highly successful single “Can I Get A Witness” that expresses the artist’s dilemma of moving into a new sonic direction. The video portrays a trial of sorts, with SonReal being accused of the heinous crime of developing as a creator. “Can I Get A Witness” has an acoustically driven instrumental that SonReal plays over with his unique charm and flavor-filled lyrics.
Of the five tracks on the EP, two of them got music videos; the first and the last. Now, we dive into the other three. “No Warm Up” is a playful tune that shares the same acoustic edge that the “Can I Get A Witness” has. The thing that sticks out the most about SonReal can be easily heard through “No Warm Up,” and that is his ability to make music fun again. When you listen to an album like the Beastie Boys’ License To Ill, it’s almost as though you can sense the enjoyment and emotions that went into its creation. The same goes for this EP, as well as many of SonReal’s other tracks, including “No Warm Up.” His genuine nature can be heard also in his ballad “All I Got.” Here, he strays from his emcee ways and flexes his singing voice that he isn’t afraid to use. After the love, comes the loss in “Hot Air Balloon,” a vivacious single whose fun attitude juxtaposes the not-so-fun loss of love.
Lastly, we reach “Soho.” Here SonReal brings the style more align with contemporary hip-hop, but in bringing his own stylistic tendencies, he keeps things extremely fresh. “Soho” is nothing short of an anthem, with its grand chorus, gritty beat and SonReal’s ice cold performance. It’s hard to believe, but in fact a white skater from Vancouver made a record sound this gangsta. Leave it SonReal to blow your mind.
The Name was released on August 12th through Black Box Recordings. Purchasing this project is more than worth your while. Chances are you’ll be bumping these tracks through the year into 2017. Don’t forget to keep up to date with SonReal by following him on social media, or bookmarking his official website.