Breakout Toronto Bands: Cale Sampson
Breakout Toronto Bands features local artists that we think you should give a listen to.
Who is he?
Cale Sampson is a Toronto native who seeks to share his words and message through his own unique brand of hip-hop, which he's dubbed "info-rap." Since launching his solo career in 2008, Sampson has released two albums, including The Big Picture which dropped on Sept. 24.
What sets Sampson apart from countless other contemporary rappers (and, let's face it, many old-school rappers, too) is the fact that he's not content to spit out vacant, explicit lyrics for the sake of maintaining a manufactured gangster image. Instead, his songs focus on topics such as politics, the misdeeds of large corporations, and socio-economic issues not taken up my the vast majority of hip hop artists. Indeed, the self-proclaimed socially-conscious rapper aims to make a difference through his music, something that you don't regularly see in the contemporary rap game.
He sounds like...
According to the bio on his website, Sampson's style has been described as "the skill of Eminem with the conscience of K'naan." That's high (self) praise, and while comparing Sampson's flow to arguably one of the best of all time in Eminem might be something of a stretch, it shouldn't (and doesn't) diminish just how powerful and smooth he sounds. On The Big Picture, one only has to listen to the album's first single "Reach Up" to see what Sampson is capable of. Produced by Andre Flak, the beat has a sound that is somewhat reminiscent of old school Gang Starr, and Sampson rides it perfectly.
Hear him/see him
While he doesn't have any shows scheduled in the near future, you can check out Sampson's website for audio and video. He also maintains YouTube and SoundCloud accounts, the latter of which contains his selt-titled debut album in its entirety.
In you're interested in checking out The Big Picture, it's available now in stores and on iTunes.