In the Canadian rapper Cadence Weapon’s new single, “Conditioning,” there’s a retro-refresh throwback feel, void of the excess bells and whistles of production studios, that goes on to deliver a single that’s ablaze with strength, rejuvenation, and rediscovery.
Best heard with heavy bass capable headphones, Cadence Weapon’s track has an elemental center composed of syncopated snare beats, three aural samples, and a burly bass rhythm that shadows rapper Roland Pemberton’s emotional pulse.
Pemberton, who recently served a two-year term as Edmonton, Alberta’s Poet Laureate, has a mature technical grasp with his lyrical flow that complements his natural grounded voice. Compared to his peers, Pemberton’s voice isn’t a result of parlor tricks, nasal congestion or deliberate rasps from the larynx, instead Pemberton delivers crisp, cold and clean rap.
Pemberton’s rhymes are impressive. His clever choices of words, tempo, and rhythm roasts with open and honest sentiments which reaches its sonic peak near the end, with a minute left on the track. At that point Pemberton displays his reach as a singer, throttling a simple but difficult tone to a peak which he then finely lands, without the timbre being pitchy. This former Poet Laureate has the fine blended talents of Mos Def and LL Cool J, served on the rocks.
Cadence Weapon broke onto the music scene in 2005 with his underground mix-tape, “Cadence Weapon is the Black Hand,” and then his full-length debut album, “Breaking Kayfabe,” at the end of the same year. The album amassed Pemberton deserved praise from Canadian, British and American media.
The following year Chart magazine dubbed Cadence Weapon as one of Canada’s promising artists to watch for in 2006, while reviewers at Metacritics listed his album as one of the top albums of the year. After tours through Canada and America, in 2009 Pemberton was sworn in as Edmonton’s poet laureate where he served as an ambassador of the literary arts, all the while he continued to create his own works as well.
From “Conditioning,” the first single off Cadence Weapon’s upcoming LP, “Hope In Dirty City” (May 29, 2012; Upper Class Records), a rejuvenated Pemberton, whose creativity displayed here is a unique hybrid of ‘80s beats, specs of disco, with an elemental outcry of soul, all of such packed in an album, is sure to reaffirm Cadence Weapon as one of Canada’s best talents, once again.
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