Top 5 T.O. Tunes of 2007: Hip Hop Edition

Top 5 T.O. Tunes of 2007: Hip Hop Edition


From Pop/Rock we move on to Hip Hop. Is it just me, or did Toronto not produce a whole lot of hip hop this year? Still, there were some cool tracks made here in 2007. Let's have a look.

"Pedal Pusher" by Abdominal

Currently the T-dot's crown prince of hip hop, Abdominal turned a lot of heads in 2007 with this track. His lyrical skills are on full display throughout "Pedal Pusher" and it sounds like a live funk band is backing him up on this. There's also some amazing old school scratching going on here and there. This track won Abs this year's SOCAN Echo Prize and a CBC Radio 3 Bucky award for "best rap" song.

*Abs gets this year's blogTO award for Best Typed Freestyle Rhyme.

"Nature's Phone" by Arabesque

Why isn't this track more well-known? I don't think any of my friends know about this guy and that's a shame. Is this disco hip hop? Would Arabesque punch me for saying that? All good questions. He's got a smooth flow, the beat is super groovy, and the track takes a really unexpected turn at the halfway mark. I want to play this track at my New Years Eve party and I'm willing to buy it on iTunes. How about that?

"What I Do" by Choclair

He's still around! He's releasing a new record in 2008 and this song will hopefully put him back in the spotlight. The production is really amazing. There's a moody jazz trumpet line that Miles Davis could have played on Sketches of Spain. I have to admit that although Choclair's rhymes are solid on this track, the music is so good that any MC could rap over it and it would still have hit potential.

"Sway With The Capital A" by Circle Research

This funky track came out this year on the Peace Island compilation. It's another hip hop song that didn't reach as big an audience as it should have. Like "What I Do" and "Pedal Pusher", the production on this track makes it. There's a great sample of a funk guitar lick and that alone makes me want to keep their Myspace page open in a separate browser window all damn day.

"I'm The Man" by Belly

I'm not the biggest Belly fan out there, but the dude's got a point when he kicks this track off with the line "gangstas rule the world, still". This is one of those clubby hip hop tracks that could easily sneak into a dance set and not seem out of place. Throw in some genuine gangsta rhymes care of LA MC Kurupt and you've got a track T.O. can brag about.

Stay tuned tomorrow for the Top 5 Dance tunes. Photo: Circle Research Myspace page.


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