You are not dreaming. The school buses are running, the coffee shops are buzzing, the roads are busier than ever. September has arrived after what feels like a relatively short summer and it is hitting us harder than ever. Patios are staying open later than they should – only because the patrons are insisting on savoring those last moments of their favourite season. Even if they have to put on a sweater.
Put on your headphones (or AirPods) before you do anything this fall – everyone will be doing their very best to remind you that “summer is over” and “spooky season is here” but they’re wrong. Keep these songs in your rotation and extend your summer for another couple of weeks. Below you will find the best new music from the last “official” month of summer. Click here to revisit our feature from July if you’re really feeling the incoming seasonal affective disorder.
SiR – “Hair Down” feat. Kendrick Lamar
Top Dawg Entertainment may not release a ton of music every year but they sure do put emphasis on the quality of their music. SiR, one of their latest signees, just put out his newest album Chasing Summer and this track with Kendrick is the clear standout from the already stacked lineup (Lil Wayne, Jill Scott, Smino). Watch the Inglewood singer ride around in a wheel-less car because why not?
Young Thug – “Hot” (feat. Gunna)
Arguably one of the hottest songs of the summer – just watch this video of Gunna performing it in Germany – “Hot” is one of the leading singles from Young Thug’s long-awaited debut album So Much Fun and yet another great example of why Young Thug and Gunna are the new Elton John and Billy Joel. We are crossing all of our fingers and toes in hopes that we get a really really HOT video for this song.
Rapsody – “Nina”
Rapsody has been at this game for a minute (since 2009) and she is finally getting the flowers she deserves – well, at least some of them. She proves once again on her new project EVE that she is one of the top MCs in the game and that people like Jermaine Dupri do not understand the full landscape of women’s involvement and influence in hip hop. This single from the album is more of an interlude but another fantastic display of her rapping abilities.
BAD CHILD – “Picking Cherries”
We interviewed Kitchener singer/songwriter/producer BAD CHILD back in the winter and now the uber talented rising artist has released his highly anticipated debut project, Sign Up. The nine-song EP is a diverse collection of music from Steinberg but the listener is left wanting more as the robotic narrator signs them off after the ninth track. This is a clear standout from the project and a promising look into his teased next effort, Free Trial.
Burna Bands – “Last Laugh” feat. Supawassi
We first heard about Burna Bandz on the impressive Northside Jane compilation project from 2018 (that featured a number of other popular Toronto rappers like Pressa, Houdini, Why-G? and Robin Banks) and we were immediately intrigued by his charisma and inflections on the mic. The young artist just released his new North Boy project and this is one of our favourites, a collab with Supawassi that sees the two rappers flexing a whole lot of money in the kitchen and spending some of it on jewelry.
Tremayne – “Kidz Bop 41”
Toronto artist Tremayne takes on several roles in the underground scene from rapper to host to cultural curator – even the city’s unofficial ambassador for a certain Asian gameshow. His latest release is an impressive showcase of his lyrical abilities and a great follow-up to his single “Waytoomuch” with fellow Torontonian, Kill.Montana.
Rick Ross – “Turnpike Ike”
This might be one of the best Rick Ross songs of all time. The JUSTICE League beat (from an old Wale song), the narration between verses, the way Rozay describes his life of sin. The video may just be Rick Ross chilling in a garage smoking in front of an expensive car but he makes it look cooler than most would. Kick back and take in his long-awaited Port of Miami 2 album and remind yourself why Rick Ross is one of the best rappers of all time.
So Loki – “Daddy”
Our favourite Vancouver rap duo has returned with a TikTok-ready single in the form of “DADDY.” Never taking themselves too seriously, So Loki have been teasing the follow-up to their Planet Bando project for several months and have now served fans with a bouncy, fun new single and a ridiculous visual to go along with it. The success of the song has also seen them teasing a new single titled “Mommy” – we are not entirely sure if it’s even a real song but you can never be too sure with So Loki.
Pop Smoke – “Hawk Em”
Rising New York rapper Pop Smoke has been taking over the streets and clubs and pool parties with his viral banger “Welcome to the Party” but this offering is a sleeper hit from his debut project. The combination of an American rapper with his vocal tone and a collection of UK drill producers is an interesting mix – the longevity of his sound remains to be seen but for now it is taking the world by storm.
Davy – “Remember Me”
We first became acquainted with Davy’s music via his impressive debut release, “Valley Theory” – a trippy, self-produced look into the young artist’s mind. His follow-up, “Remember Me,” is a pull from his 100+ song vault and shows more of the material that Davy is conceiving from his basement studio. The sky appears to be the limit for the young artist as he continues to build his dedicated fanbase.
Romeo Don’t Die – “Boom Boom Boom”
This semi-viral track from Ottawa first caught our attention when it was posted on notorious Toronto Instagram page 6ixBuzz but we would be lying if we did not include it on this round-up. Romeo Don’t Die brings a new vibe to the already vibrant Canadian rap scene with “Boom Boom Boom,” a super catchy, flex-worthy offering. Just watch it and let us know if it made you dance.
Megan Thee Stallion – “Hot Girl Summer” (feat. Nicki Minaj and Ty Dolla $ign)
The world has embraced Megan Thee Stallion’s “hot girl summer” movement (so much so that she trademarked it) and now we can all rejoice as the meme has come full circle. The official track featuring Nicki Minaj and Ty Dolla $ign has arrived and we can all rejoice knowing Megan is making some sweet cash. She is really winning right now so stream this, enjoy your last pool parties and work on that Stallion knee workout regime.
Teejayx6 – “Dark Web”
Another official song of the summer. Teejayx6 has almost single-handedly ushered in the era of “scam rap” with this viral, off the wall single. Reminiscent of that laggy, offbeat style made popular by Blueface, Teejay’s rapping stands in full contrast to the catchy, Detroit club beat he’s riding on “Dark Web” but the kids absolutely love it. Whether it’s his punchlines or his step-by-step instructionals for scam techniques, Teejay has established himself a new voice in the new Internet era of rap.
Nigel Knight – “Out Here”
Rising Toronto artist Nigel Knight has been on our radar for a minute but his newest release has been on repeat for the last week. “Out Here” comes alongside two other tracks and once again demonstrates his unique style, combining an aggressive tone with fancy melodies that sit easier on your ear than most Toronto street rap. Look out for Knight’s debut tape coming sooner than later.
Curtis Waters – “Toxic”
Our favourite North Carolina-via-Calgary artist/producer Curtis Waters has finally released the video for his catchy, vulnerable rap-rock single, “Toxic.” He first dropped the track on SoundCloud in late 2018 and it quickly became a favourite amongst his collection of autobiographical, emotive self-produced music. Watch it all the way until the end because that’s when Curtis really turns up the sad and throws down under a rainfall of strobe lights. A young star in the making.
Adrian Dey – “Titanic”
This song is just fun. Hailing from Brampton, Adrian Dey joins forces with frequent collaborator Ty Senoj to create a bouncy, industrial heater in the form of “Titanic.” Sure to have you moving, the song joins a number of releases from Dey over the last few months which points towards signs of an incoming project. Be sure to check out “Going Crazy” featuring Sean Leon as well as “Shooting Out the Gym.”
Mirza – “OBVI”
Rising R&B sensation M1RZA has been steadily releasing music over the last year and a half and is constantly impressing us as he pushes new boundaries within the evolving underground Toronto scene. “OBVI” follows his other summer release, “G2G,” and once again tackles the relationships and tribulations the young artist is going through. This is just a teaser for the track so you will have to go to streaming services and find M1RZA’s page to listen to the whole thing.
Legendofshiloh – “Man on the Moon”
Last but definitely not least, this track coming out of Toronto’s Parkdale neighbourhood has been on constant repeat since it dropped. Legendofshiloh is becoming a serious force in the city’s underground scene and his latest collaborative effort with producer Dom Banks, 1472 Degreez, is an impressive and unique addition to the sonic landscape. This shit is heavy, loud, mostly about drugs and definitely not for your grandmother. Turn up the speakers before you play this one.