How can I best describe myself as a representative of the hip hop urban arts scene in Calgary via a 28-track playlist? There are so many good songs to choose from. With so much talent in the world, everyone deserves a Grammy or Juno award. By everyone, I mean a mix of our local talent too. On this playlist I have included some of my mainstream and local favourites.
I started this playlist off with a tribute to Mac Miller who, as you know, has recently passed away and was set to go on tour this fall with his latest album “Swimming”. There are so many amazing Mac Miller tracks to choose from. I have been a fan of Mac since 2011 back in the Kool Aid and frozen pizza days. But on this playlist, I put his track entitled “Self Care,” which, title alone, best describes what any human needs. Also, I put in a mix of goodies from greats such as Tupac Shakur with tracks like “I Get Around” before he was signed to Death Row records, as well as classic club bangers from Biggie Smalls with the jam in “Hypnotize”. I had to place some of my heroes on this playlist like J. Cole and Kendrick Lamar. This playlist is a mix of both bangers and what I like to call lowkey vibes, with songs from Ella Mai and recent TDE signee SiR, as well as a different take from the Fresh Prince’s own kin Jaden Smith. But, of course, I had to include a banger on it from A$AP Ferg with his track called “Plain Jane.” See, this track didn’t really resonate with me at first until I saw my girlfriend’s dance routine to it. It is by far my favourite choreography/routine of hers, along with her crew “illFx Alpha”. Trust, they did justice to the bounce production this song had.
And now onto my local picks! So I mixed this up a bit. I not only put local homies from Calgary, but I also included local homies from Vancouver and Edmonton on this playlist, with the likes of my Honorroll Music Collective brothers K-RIZ and Josh Sahunta. Both are located in Edmonton but come to Calgary enough and do enough shows in this city to be considered local artists in my opinion. I definitely had to include my brother Jae Sterling on this playlist. His song “Hiatus” gives you metaphors for days over a classic boom cap style beat. Speaking of grimes bars over boom bap beats, I also have my homie Profit on this playlist with one of my personal favourites of his called “94 Feelin”. I definitely had to include Cartel Madras on this with their latest banger “Pork & Leek” of which the video was featured on Complex Canada. Since I am somewhat representing the hip hop urban side of things for the September playlist, I had to include some of my local favourites from then until now such as HalfCut, DaKidT and Beach Season. Trust, the tracks that I have put on this list from them are straight heaters and will deliver vibes perfect for a late Saturday night drive. Speaking of late night vibes, I had to include Rabino with his sexy single “Crocodile” and YYC hip hop new up and comer Nate Lesco with the groovy new wave track called “Cherry Cola”.
Now, for the Vancouver homies I put on this playlist: I had to include songs from my homies Immerze, Tass Nata and my brothers MANILA GREY. These acts I feel have performed in Calgary (except Manila Grey) and I feel should be heard more by Calgarians. Immerze and Tass Nata have both performed in Calgary and I, for one, am blessed to share the stage with these Juno Nominees.
Anyway, I don’t know how else I can explain this playlist, but I did enjoy making it – I hope ya’ll enjoy listening as well! Thank you Local Drop Magazine for having me as your September Curator.