At first glance, I was not impressed with the nominees for this year’s Juno Awards. But I thought I would do something different this year. Instead of complaining, I decided to listen to every selection in the categories that interested me. I already wrote about children’s album nominees and how I was pleasantly surprised by them. Now, it’s time to tackle the first rap category.
First off, I decided to check out the Classified album. I had been avoiding this it because I really didn’t want to hear an acoustic greatest hits collection from him. I love his music but the singles from this one never really quite hit right for me. I don’t want to hear Hip Hop without drums. So I listened to Retrospected for the first time. I was hoping one song would make me sit up and take notice at its fresh arrangement. It didn’t. I knew why I had never listened to it before.
Next up, I tried Gonzo by Boslen. I had never heard of this artist before but thought at 19 minutes long, it might not be so bad. Again, I was wrong. After the third song, I kept hoping the next one would be the last. It seemed to take forever for the seven tracks to play out. Nothing on this album spoke to me.
Shall I Continue by Tobi was even shorter. But the answer to the titular question, was yes. I wanted to skip this one entirely and continue working through this nominee list. I didn’t, but wasn’t rewarded for my attention. Tobi didn’t have anything new to say on this and even stuck to some played-out themes.
I moved on to Nav next and it was clear to me that this album was better than anything else before it. That’s not to say that it was good. I didn’t fall in love with any of the songs, but the vibe was nice.
The Fleur Print Vol 2 by Jazz Cartier did some interesting things with its production too. There were some catchy songs on it but not all of them were Hip Hop, in my humble opinion.
It’s not secret that I prefer underground boom-bap styles. Not of the nominees this year were in that lane this year. As such, I feel that this category is extremely lacking. If I had to give out the award and these were the only options, I would reluctantly give it to Nav.
I would have proposed a different list of nominess including the following . . .
Backburner – Continuum
bRavenous – Ghosts of Rockingham
Die-Rek – Year of RedemptionDJ Deadeye – Intervention
DK & Ghettosocks – Listen to the Masters
Es – You Want A Piece Of Me
If I were to give out the Juno award for rap album of the year, I’d give it to DK & Ghettosocks. Listen to the Masters is an incredible album with great beats, dope rhymes, and some great guest appearances. CL Smooth shines on one of the tracks and it was great to hear him again.
This winners for the 52nd Juno Awards will be unveiled in Edmonton, Alberta at The JUNO Opening Night Awards Presented by Music Canada on Saturday, March 11 and The JUNO Awards Broadcast on Monday, March 13. I’ll be watching to see of the people who voted on the awards agreed with me.
Stay tuned, I will go over the Rap Single of the Year category next.