If you live in Ottawa, then you know for a fact that there’s one thing we are definitely not lacking in the city; rappers. No shade, no tea, but there is definitely an abundance of self proclaimed rappers who you’ll find performing at literally every single music showcase show that goes on. And, not that that’s a bad thing because you need to get exposure somehow but I’m really just trying to paint the picture on how heavily ingrained SoundCloud rappers are in Ottawa culture.
Now, I’m going to stop dissing because some of these rappers are actually extremely talented and I’ve been lucky enough to see them perform live, I’ve been lucky enough to discover their music first hand, and I’ve been lucky enough to get the chance to sit down and chat with some of these rappers. It’s honestly a tough genre, the competition is endless, and it’s hard to create a distinguishable sound, However, I’ve decided to compile a list of my all time favorite rappers in Ottawa and although I’m not ahuge rap fan (specifically, lyricist and trap rap – which many of the artists fall under), I can definitely appreciate a track here and there.
Let me know in the comments below if I missed anyone!
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Alright, let me just start off with my favorite. This isn’t shade to anyone else but Lia Kloud is such a bad ass! Maybe I’m biased because I’m totally all for women being in charge but she’s honestly extremely talented at the rapping game. She’s skilled but she also makes music that is quality and makes you want to listen to it more than just once. You know when you rap along to your favorite song but your voice sounds horrible even though rapping is basically just just talking? Her voice doesn’t do that; it’s a perfect fit for the beats she uses and her rapping sounds natural. She only has a couple songs out but her most recent track “No Luck Just Gifted”, which is actually the song that put me onto her, has a music video that has already amassed over 3000 views on YouTube.
Now, you know I love me some Jeff Sanon if you watched our most recent installment of MEET. Jeff’s sound is so versatile, you’ll get some old school RnB vibes from him, you’ll get some hard rapping, you’ll get some soft rapping; Jeff is seriously like a jack of all trades. To add on to that, he’s been in the industry for a lot longer than most people in the city so now is definitely his time to shine and that’s been evident! From performing live at shows to working with people such as Maurice Moore, Jeff’s really doing it.
Okay, so J. Chinnasz seriously just released one of the catchiest songs called “Bloor” and although he’s fairly new to the rap game, his garnered a lot of attention. In fact, he’s been in the game for a little over a year but he’s already been on tour and that’s saying something. “Bloor”, to be specific, is one of those songs that makes you wish it were Summer and you were just chilling and getting ready to go to the club in Toronto; even the visuals for the music video were dope AF. Now, although most of his music features his extremely deep voice spitting out some questionable lyrics (ahem, “No Condoms”), his music is different from that of most SoundCloud rappers considering he’s not afraid to step outside the box earning him lot’s of love and loyalty in the city.
Morris actually reached out to me not long ago but I didn’t get a chance to check out his music. I made note of the fact that I would eventually get to it but one day, while my boyfriend and I were in the car, he told me to play one of his songs. In my mind, I thought “wow what a coincidence”, but when his song “Shame” actually started playing, I was impressed to say the least. Immediately, his sound reminded me of U.K. grime with an American twist, if that even makes sense. Now, I previously mentioned I’m not a huge rap fan but Morris makes me genuinely want to listen to his music – it’s truly, honestly amazing. Morris was born in Nigeria and has been releasing music in Ottawa consistently for the past 4 years so he’ll actually be performing at Bluesfest this year! If you really want to get acquainted with his music, you can check out his latest album “THIS THAT MO”.
I actually only discovered Philly this weekend at some show I was invited to check out. What made me so interested in Philly’s sound was how different it was from the rest of the rappers; it wasn’t the annoying, repetitive trap music that I hate. Not only that but you can tell that the lyrics genuinely come from Philly as he tells a story in his songs. My favorite track of his is “My Own” and it’s one of those songs that you play on a long drive home and just cruise to. What makes Philly’s music even better is the combination of his voice with the beats. That’s because his voice isn’t so deep it makes the music incomprehensible so it could almost pass for RnB; similar to Nav’s style.
I’ve known Mazeratiii for a super long time so it’s honestly really weird calling him by his rapper name but it’s how a lot of people in Ottawa know him. To be completely honest, although I had seen his music come up on my timeline, I never really bothered to check it out; I assumed it would be just be the typical trap rap you hear in Ottawa. However, fortunately, when I heard his music, I was proved wrong. Although his music is still very much so rap, it’s the type of music to get you hype, sort of like Meek Mill. Now, it’s still not really my style of music, however, a lot of his fans are based in Ottawa and they come out in numbers to support him!
These next artists are a rap duo hailing from Ottawa who are still very under the radar. They’ve released a few tracks on SoundCloud and a music video but from what I hear, they’ve still got a lot more to come. I would most likely classify their music as trap rap and I think I’ve made it clear enough how little of a fan I am of the genre, however, this group really surprised me and impressed me. Composed of Jada900, Petro900, and Sosadise, I’ll just say that this little group is bound to make a very big impact in Ottawa’s rap scene very soon.
Keynes Woods is extremely talented at what he does, to put it simply. I really wouldn’t be able to complete this list if I didn’t include him just because of how amazing his music and visuals are. To be quite frank, I don’t know much about him, he honestly popped up into my world out of nowhere but from what I’ve heard and seen, I’m very impressed. In fact, he actually recently performed at The Aftermath Exhibition hosted by Kerbens Boisette and he’s been dropping some high quality videos lately. I can for sure see him blowing up in the near future!
Do I really need to provide an explanation? Anyone who doesn’t live under a rock in Ottawa knows who Night Lovell is. To put it simply, he’s pretty much Ottawa fame and his music is recognized across the world including in the U.S. and Europe; he even performed at Bluesfest last year. His music is like an underground, grunge type and his image is really dark but it’s cool.
I actually heard of Runaway Randy’s music a long time ago and I never really sought to check it out but when I sat down to make this list, I figured I’d give it a chance and I’m so glad I did. Once again, although he does create strictly rap music, it’s not the annoying, repetitive rap that you just want to turn off before it gives you a headache. His music is catchy and it makes you want to rap along; to be honest, it’s the type of music you listen to while at the gym, it seriously just gets you going.
Now, this type of rap is really not my style but this group kills it at their craft. They make music that is essentially straight up rap and that actually bangs to get you lit but it’s totally dedicated to Jesus and Christianity. As a Christian myself, it’s definitely refreshing to hear about something other than hoes and bitches especially considering it’s coming from Ottawa.