Hamilton suffers from kid-sibling syndrome in many ways. While most cities across Canada don’t get the attention of Toronto or Montreal, the fact is that there’s some pretty amazing stuff out there that doesn’t always get a lot of attention. Hamilton (with half a million residents, and some pretty amazing sites and sounds) isn’t the first place an international publication might go on the hunt for music, but believe you me, this is a town deserving some thorough exploration.

In the 70s and 80s, Hamilton was the home of an unequalled punk rock scene (more on that this weekend), and ever since then the city has been on the vanguard of music. Case in point: The Emsee (aka Mathew Cathcart).

Honestly, I hadn’t heard of this guy before last week when he sent us a link to his new single (Rap Squared). Not always a big fan of hip hop, I gave it a spin not knowing what to expect. The Emsee works a factory job and spends his days working hard physically, and also (when he can) mentally working out lyrics and concepts for his songs. This is the kind of hard-working, blue collar, positive individual it’s worth knowing. No lyrics about those same old rap clichés, no sir. He raps about rap, about his own deepest feelings. This is beat poetry mixed with electronica. This is good stuff, folks.

If that’s not good enough for you, check out October (released earlier in 2014). This song affected me pretty deeply. It’s about life, death, and the pursuit of happiness. I can’t summarize the lyrics and do them justice. This one is worth your time for a listen or three.

Check The Emsee on Facebook and Twitter.



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