Cadence Weapon has always been fascinated by words, by the way they sound and the impact they can have.
In some ways, rapping came naturally to him. Born plain Roland Pemberton in Alberta but more readily associated with the multi-lingual city of Montreal, his catalogue is almost beyond reproach.
A consummate academic of the rap craft, Cadence Weapon's open-minded approach to creativity has allowed him to link with production talent not readily associated with the hip-hop sphere.
Recently pairing up with friend and fellow Montreal kid Jacques Greene, the two have released stellar new single 'Night Service'.
A homage to the club culture which fired up their mutual imaginations, the track was "inspired by our personal nightlife experiences in Montreal and the enduring history of underground dance music in New York, specifically Larry Levan and Paradise Garage, as he was one of the first DJs to make the connection between religious devotion and club music."
Cadence Weapon is a stunningly under-rated artist - not least here in the UK - so Clash sought out Jacques Green for some personal picks from the rapper's catalogue...
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'My Crew (Woooo)'
In a way a quintessential Rollie record. This one is Kaytranada turning out a super weird spring reverb drenched slumper, with Cadence Weapon showing he can deliver you hyper competent rap but taking as many left turns as possible throughout, like the auto-tune that creeps into his voice from time to time and the million different flows and voices.
The two of them working together made so much sense to me and I'm glad the result was something so rewardingly weird.
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I remember when this album came out - it was a big deal in Montreal! Rollie and I were both regulars in the local scene and were around some of the same parties.
This particular one made its way into a lot of parties I DJ'd around the time. The beat has hints of S-X and even the post-dubstep (!!) thing happening at the time. I really love the slurry-speech spoken word bit after the first hook.
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Rollie and I moved to Toronto within a year or two of one another. It was great to be a part of his self-titled album from last year.
We ended up making two songs for it, 'The Host' and 'High Rise', the former being about the worst parts of Montreal, and the latter the worst parts of Toronto. 'High Rise' is a fun dance record about the condo apocalypse eating up Toronto.
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This one predates Rollie and I knowing each other, probably one of the reasons I was aware of him before we ever met. This album was what put him on the map in Canada - he ended up touring with Islands and really just establishing himself as this challenging yet fun left-field rapper.
The production and rapping on this track still hold up! I love that he challenges himself and his listener but without putting anyone in a place of total discomfort, the idea isn't to fuck with anybody but more to not patronise them or something.
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Back to a more recent drop from the man. Knowing him and how much of a genuine love he has for rap music and all of its various strands it is a lot of fun to hear him just flex out on a simple production.
It really sounds like he's enjoying himself and making music that he wants to hear in the world and I find that quite infectious. Great that he can weave deep narratives or try weird things with voices or flows and various productions but then also just show up on time on a drum track and crush it.
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'Night Service' is out now. Catch up with Cadence Weapon HERE.
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