If you are reading this and thinking the name Backburner is new to you, maybe some of these names will refresh your memory: Jesse Dangerously, Chokeules, Wordburglar, Thesis Sahib, Timbuktu, and More or Les. Yes, they’re all a part of the Backburner crew and they’ve been dropping bombs on the Canadian independent hip-hop scene for a while now.
Their new record Heatwave is a 52 minute, non-stop party. I know that it’s a faux-pas to call a record “fun” — the word has long been synonymous with critics attempting to find something nice to say about a record they don’t want to slag — but Heatwave is just that. Actually, it’s a goddamn blast. It’s also surprising that for as many chefs there are in the kitchen that the record is a perfectly formed whole. The beats and samples in particular are great, the 8-bit sampling on “Phantom Ghost” was a highlight, as well as the cartoony “Show Of Hands”.
There aren’t any weak verses on this thing, from the impressively fast flow of Jesse Dangerously, the fantastic pop-culture bouillabaisse that Wordburglar spits, to Ghettosocks — who even though he was nominated for a Juno, I still slept on until now. I’m fairly new to discovering his stuff, but he really shines here. His verse on “Nothin’ Friendly” in particular is crazy fresh. Thesis Sahib is also a newer name to me, and his verse on “Back Home” is super impressive. More Or Les has solidified his title as one of the best MCs in Canada on Heatwave, his talent really is unreal.
Heatwave really reminds me of that energy you used you hear on records like Jurassic 5’s “Quality Control”. Here’s a bucket full of MCs and DJs who are all stacked with talent coming together to create a crazily enjoyable rap record. Backburner aren’t into putting out a record just for the sake of it, these guys love what they’re doing and you can hear it in every track. Front-to-back, Heatwave just oozes fun.
Backburner are throwing a release party for Heatwave tonight: Thursday, September 1st at Rancho Relaxo in Toronto, Ontario. This wouldn’t be one to miss.