10 Hip Hop Videos

1. Spek Won / Shi Wisdom- Black Bodies  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2DcWo5mDX9g
Words can barely express the depth of beauty, life, love and truth captured in this song and video. I shall simply show love to the images and ideas they share so perfectly in the dark sky sunshine of Toronto. The symbols are timeless truths that are here to kill violent lies. The Black Lives Matter shrine with Shi Wisdom holding a flower might bring a tear to your eye when you first see it. The breakdancing black body that used to be a corpse on the street is a dream I wish every tragedy-touched mother could see: a life resurrection through music and love. Peace to the ODB jersey. The red Ewings. The bredren offering protection, like Lucius from Tone Mason. The representation of Vaughan Rd. proper-like. The slow motion dancing joy at (what looks like) Afrofest. The vision of these two unbelievably gifted Toronto artists in tribal African garments. Peace to everything about 'Black Body', because it is as close to perfect as a song, video, an art performance piece or even a revolutionary statement can be, and there's nothing more to really say. Eternal love and respect to Shi Wisdom, Moor (representing from inside his mother's womb) and Spek Won.
2. SonReal https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wp6tzwjDnag

JUST WATCH THIS ONCE. Ha ha. I don't think I should say anything about this actual video itself, because I don't want to ruin the surprise(s). It looks like it was a lot of hard work by a lot of dedicated, creative people, that's for sure. SonReal continues to do something pretty damn weird and unique with his brand of hip hop, and it's cool to see Vancouver rap go such interesting places. It's definitely not for everybody, but no great art can be made without taking creative risks. Love it or hate it, it's kinda impossible to not feel something from seeing and hearing it, and that's kinda the ultimate point of art. SonReal does it again!
3. John River Hope City 2 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r3Cjqv4Z4qE

The Marilyn Monroes. The sunset. The R.I.S.E. people dem.
The confession about meeting J. Cole and their conversation. All of this body-the-beat, fire-in-the-booth, bleeding-honesty rhyme business is nothing but pure new school goodness. First, there was JD Era, then Rich Kidd, then Smash Brovas, Pops, MoSS, then Wondagurl... now John River. What's in the fucking water and weed in Mississauga? Ain't heard a Toronto MC this hungry, this connected to the people and this much of a representative of the younger generation in damn near years. "You n!ggas still writing your Kendrick Lamar dis raps!!!" Tell 'em, John!
Tasha the Amazon: My Level https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JVO1bPjmcrc
This artist is the motherfucking future in so many ways, it's incomprehensible... and inevitable. I truly believe Tasha can do anything seh sets her mind to, and she proves it once again on 'My Level'. The rap flows are diverse, the beat is eerie and heavy hitting, and her songwriting gets sharper every time she spits. It's not her most revolutionary song, but she still slides in some street souljah stylee in the banger. It's the crisp as fuck visuals for the video that impress me more with this video: overhead city shots that show Toronto in a way I've never seen, a triple-white cold coroner aesthetic that amplifies the vibes of the video quite nicely, and just a sharp, slick presentation of her evolution is worth noticing and respecting to me. Seeing her switch styles and looks, from walking tigers through T Dot in one video, to getting drunk in skyscrapers in the next, I'm all the way down for Tasha. Get on her level.
5.Kayo-Bakara https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fnQN7uEvJVA
This is what I like to call "a likkle bit of niceness". Kayo comes with that new new school steez on 'Bakara', and confidently carves out his own space with fresh rhymes like "young Playboy, Hugh Hefner/ new Nesta/ Marley/ hardly, but I got two joints on the dresser..." and "I was more of a man than you n!ggas when I was a fetus". Riding the airy, smoky, digital dub vibes of Yogidaproducer, until Infinate comes in to tear up the beat and stomp down all weakness, this yardcore dopeness shows and proves both the darkside and the extremely bright side of Anse-La-Raya's future (the St. Lucian location of this video), word to the director Johann Deterville. Infinate simply shuts it down when he spits "wanna read me like a book from the look on my face/ like a fish on the hook like I look for the bait...", the tune is bure fyah.
...is the silent winner of the wild war of words between Snak the Ripper and Madchild. Both of them came with nuclear rhyme fire full of radioactive hatred, particularly Snak (flowing like a maniac possessed on "Assisted Suicide" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ig0zXi9D2Xo), who came out the gate swinging hard to knock out Madchild's reputation, but eventually Madchild responded and stated his case pretty clearly. I found Mad's 2nd reply (which gets two points for its hilarious title: "Fatal Attraction" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rufceu59j6I which was posted after the cold-blooded, KOTD-battle-taunting "The Funeral" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ig0zXi9D2Xo) to Snak more like damage control with a side of verbal destruction than an all-out character assassination. But Snak wanted to prove his motherfucking point during this moment, and in general, he seems to have, according to various comments sections. Making two other dis songs, featuring comic Madchild imitators might have been going a little too far, but kanyeshrug. ("Child Abuse" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d4gcN1fFlig and "Triple Homicide" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5uULwH5bu24)  Rap is outta control anyways, so fuck it! ALLLLL that being said: hellafied fucking props to Brevner for hitting up Madchild with the best dis song of 2015, in my opinion. A six-minute, two-beat magnum opus with detailed storytelling, punchlines, jokes, revelations and just all-out plain rhyme rawness like you really don't hear much of anymore, 'Waterloo' was that ether, that shit that make your soul burn slow. Sacre bleu!!
7.General steele, Brandon, Symmetry of Shing Shing Regime, Raz Fresco- Arm Leg Leg Arm Head https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OviJOhzyZiI

Big up to this perfect music. THIS is what hip hop music and culture and wisdom and rhythm is supposed to be about: giving them the lessons no college can give 'em. EVERY single MC on this came correct, right and exact, and dropped heat, math and actual facts on this irresistible head-nodding bass-heavy banger. The videography by Pascal Bennett is also rather stunning, capturing the true essence of hip hop culture divine with dance ciphers and other genuine moments in life, which just emphasized the universal wisdom expressed by each MC. The cuts and scratches are just diamond icing on a sacred cake. Easily one of the best Canadian hip hop videos of the year. What kind of holy quotable you want your mind blown by? "My momma said turn to Jesus/ but I just turned to Jesus" or "I got that Dogon vision, I'm serious, B!" Word to Sirius B: these gods are shining stars in the hip hop universe, and having older gods like General Steele from BCC dropping new truth like "peace aka Please Educate All Comrades Everyday" on this, it just gets no better, word to Allah.
8.Junia-T: We Got This https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6MULGp91v1M
The cameos of Rich Kidd and Crooklin are just icing on the California-baked cake that is this summertime smash. Junia-T is easily one of the hardest working hip hop heads in Canada, and has consistently put out dope music for years and years, both as an MC and a producer, and even branching out into sound engineering and such. His beats are always unique and original sounding, bringing a breath of fresh air that is vitally needed in modern hip hop, and always rhyming about his humble magnificent life and rap philosophies, in clever and satisfying ways. It was a toss-up between this and the other super-fun jam that Junia-T cooked up, where he's riding long-bikes with the bredren and making dancefloor vibes gwan real tuff. But I'ma give it to 'We Got This', because I geniunely agree with the sentiment, as far as what Junia-T's security in the future of hip hop is... he got this, f'real. All the best to your continued success in 2016, king!
Tek Man feat. Empire: Gone So Long https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z1VhIXx0QSc
Straight up: the Star Wars-themed intro of this video should win an award alone for being SO FUCKING TRUE. The timing could not be better to express that exact sentiment, and I salute Empire for telling the fucking truth, always. I hope the new generation of Toronto/Canadian hip hop heads appreciates this video as much as some of the 90's-loving hardcore heads do! When I saw that Tek-Man assembled the Empire massive back together to mangle the microphone and rock 16s and shit once again, I got hype as fuck and pressed play. I watched it about five times when I first peeped it, just to catch all the dope lines by Adam Bomb, TRA, Talksick, Mezziah and Tekman. It woulda been amazing to see Tony Ranks tear this up too, but hip hop heads gotta appreciate what they can get. Especially when real motherfucking lyricism has been "gone so long"... eternal respect to Empire.
10 Dan-E-O feat Chip-Fu: Bossmon https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ez04stWTb9w
I'd rate this as one of the best Canadian-American rap collabos of the last decade, beyond being one of the best videos of 2015! Nuff love and respect to the entire amazing team holding it down The 5th with director Fred E Fame. Sick-ass flows all day from both Dan-E-O and Chip-Fu, who both don't slack for a breath and catch massive wreck. I can't imagine a homegrown music video looking much better than this unless it got a real jet fighter, ha ha! I'm happy with this, though. Big up to all lyrical bad mon dem!

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