Album: Koba World
Release: July 27, 2018
If someone told you prior to 2010 that Toronto would become a global epicentre for trap and hip-hop, you probably would have laughed in his face. When a Canadian artist gets a hit in the American market the fact that they are Canadian is often treated as a fun trivia fact that is largely unknown to the general public, or else it’s treated as a goofy pop novelty to be consumed and then discarded (see Men Without Hats and the criminally underrated Carly Rae Jepson). So when a little-known artist named Drake dropped his debut studio album it is unlikely that anyone could have predicted the change it would cause in the global perception of Canadian music, and specifically music coming out of Toronto.
Now “The 6” is commonly known and respected amongst fans of the genre. And while Drake popularized the term (slang for Toronto), Jimmy Prime of Prime Boys coined it. Prime and his collaborators Jay Whiss and Donnie have been building a fanbase and cred over the last few years through a series of slow but steady releases, showing that they are here to stay. Koba World, their debut album, is proof that they deserve a spot on the global stage.
From the ground up the album is beyond solid. The hypnotic, atmospheric beats are tight throughout, thanks in part to collaboration with hip-hop producer superstar Murda Beatz. The loop in “Emergency” perfectly complements the track’s vocal work, and ditto for “Tinted.” The only thing that would mark any tracks on this album as not coming from the much larger American market is “Dead Prime Ministers,” and that EDM-inspired track is perhaps the most sweetly mournful one on the album.
While the subject matter of the album comes from a narrow selection of categories, the execution is world-class. All three members have a chance to shine and show their talent, and even without that this album would be worth checking out for the production alone. If you have even a passing interest in trap music or hip-hop do not miss Koba World.
Tony is a freelance professional and creative writer born in Fort McMurray, Alberta and currently living in Victoria, BC. Their interests range among all things nerdy, fantastic, kinky, and queer. When not writing, their hobbies include: theatre, video games, hula hooping, and fencing.