Tru-Paz: Tru to The Game Without a Pause
For many modern listeners, Canadian hip hop begins and ends with Drake. For those people, Tru-Paz‘s new album Tru to The Game Without a Pause will come out of nowhere. But for educated hip hop heads who know about Canada’s rich hip hop history, the album will fall in line with some previous trends.
In the 90s, reggae-infused hip hop ruled Canada’s airwaves. Artists like Kardinal Offishall and Snow were heroes in their native country for making in roads into American popular culture. That same reggae infusion is heard on Tru to The Game Without a Pause. On tracks like “Changes,” whose entire first verse is rapped in a Jamaican style with distinct melody and accent. This gives way to more traditional rap style on subsequent verses.
The Jamaican influence is not apparent on every track. The album’s lead single “Father Like Son” is a more traditional hip hop track. It has a distinct early 2000s feel to it. The hook sounds like Akon and the verses and production remind me of Brand Nubian‘s 2004 single “Young Son.” Lyrically is where the song really shines. The first verse describes the birth of a child and the hears of his or her first cry being “spiritual.”
The great lyrics seem to be a hallmark of the album. “Freedom of Speech” shows off the group’s socially conscious side. With lines like “black kids we getting blasted with inflamatory statements/yes, racism threatens North American’s greatness,” the track is thought-provoking without being overly hamhanded or cliched.
The group clearly has a knack for socially conscious rap, unfortunately it does not make up a great deal of the album’s 14 tracks. Not to say that the album’s other content is not passable but the socially conscious content rises to greatness. Hopefully Tru-Paz’ next outing will up the conscious content and maybe then they can make a dent on the “Canadians in America” rap scene.
MP3: Tru-Paz featuring King Jus “Freedom of Speech”