Lyrique, the Philippines-born, Calgary-based hip hop artist is releasing the video for his single, “Smoke Break.”The single, “Smoke Break,” a narcotic-infused reflection on love and cannabis that swirls to a chill rap beat.
“When creating lyrics, I sometimes like to use objects as metaphors to dig into other topics” explains Lyrique. “In this case, I’m comparing the sensation of a drug-induced daze to the feelings of being in love.”
The video for “Smoke Break” was shot in the Forest Lawn and Bridgeland neighbourhoods of Calgary. The hypnotic video features various area landmarks that serve as a shout out to the rapper’s adopted city.
“Calgary doesn’t get enough love when it comes to hip hop” Lyrique adds. “With artists like Cartel Madras getting some attention outside of the city, that perception is slowly shifting.”
The video follows the release of a series of singles and mixtapes from the artist since 2016, which have drawn attention from outlets such as COMPLEX, CBC’s Q, MTV Philippines, and more. Lyrique takes cues from the melodic rap vibes of Chattanooga, Tennessee’s YGTUT, and Black Hippy crew member Isaiah Rashad and the moody R&B of Aaliyah while carving out a lane of his own.
Lyrique arrived in Canada in 2014 to work as a live-in nanny, Lyrique’s rhymes often draw from his personal struggles as a temporary migrant worker. Now a permanent resident striving to fulfil his dreams, Lyrique’s story is one of many within Canada’s Filipino diaspora. Over the past few years, Lyrique has shared bills with JPEGMAFIA, Chali 2na, Tyga, Fetty Wap, and fellow rising Calgary-bred acts Cartel Madras and Too Attached. He has also made festival appearances at Sled Island Music & Arts Festival, and more. Lyrique’s debut full-length album will be announced later this summer.
Music has touched my soul since day one. Whether it is performing or sitting down with some of the biggest names in music, I can always be found sharing my profoundly tender affection of music with anyone who will listen. Being a music journalist has allowed me to expand my knowledge of music and interact with some of my biggest childhood heroes. From days of radio broadcasting to sitting back, kicking off my cowboy boots and sharing my adventures with likeminded music fans online has been nothing short of amazing. Canada is full of true musical talent and I look forward to continuing to share my adventures in music with you.