A quick list of dope rappers to keep on your radar from Toronto.
Toronto's hip-hop scene is bursting at the seams with great artists, all the way from its headliners, OVO and XO, to the underground, it's brimming with young, fast-growing talent.
An unfortunate reality for Torontonian rappers is that access to career-fostering platforms is in short supply. Very few Canadian acts get their big break to the States (first) and beyond, without external help. Although, the Internet has helped to break some boundaries that Canadian rappers often encounter, there's still nothing like a Drake co-sign to jumpstart a Toronto-bred MC (but, then again, if we're talking Drake, chances are it's an r'n'b-driven act).
To get their break, some artists pursue record deals in the United States. Others bury themselves in work over the long Canadian winter, writing song after song searching for a hit. LA is a popular destination for market testing, networking and inspiration during the bleak months of Canadian winters, but once spring strikes it's full blast in the city. Projects drop, club nights get booked, openers are sealed for big outdoor festivals. Toronto's art scene comes alive in the night time.
It's still a great place to be for budding talent, working with people from a myriad of different cultures, backgrounds, tastes and goals. The one thing Toronto's hip-hop scene lacks is proper exposure to a bigger audience that goes beyond the city itself. You can walk down the street and get recognized as a "big" Toronto artist locally, downtown, but once you veer away from home, your name may not carry as much weight, let alone recognition.
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With that in mind, here are 10 rappers from Toronto we think you should earmark for bigger things. This list is by no means exhaustive, but serves as a taste test of what Toronto's vibrant hip-hop scene has to offer. We'll be checking back in to offer the same sort of glimpse at the city's equally-thriving r'n'b scene, so be sure to look out for that companion list shortly.
Please note: before you get all riled up in the comments, we avoided including acts such as NAV, 88Glam and Preme, as much as we love them, simply because they've already been able to broach fame far beyond Toronto.
That being said, who is your favourite rapper from Toronto right now?