4 The Culture
We all know that change is what makes something grow. Whether its a change of mindset, a change of action or in this case a change in standard in a male dominate industry. This is how 22 year old Toronto native Karena Evans made a name for herself in the field of directing. Many know Karena from her most popular work for directing “God’s Plan” earlier in the year. Evans started off her directing career as an intern for Director X who has worked with Drake on “Hotline Bling”, Miguel “Skywalker”, Rihanna “Work”, and many more. She then went into directing when she signed with Popprock, a music video production company, which then led her to collaborate with Drake on the video “Gods Plan” and most recently “Nice For What” & “In My Feelings”. Karena has also worked on SZA’s video featuring Donald Glover for “Garden (Say It Like That)”. The video truly shows the creative mind of Karena and it displays the different levels of work that the 22 year is capable of doing/creating.
Karena was recognized by Prism Prize and was awarded the Lipsett Award for music video direction. This award is very special to not only Karena but also Prism Prize because this was the first time the award was given to a female director. To add on to Evans track record, she also won the Much Music Video Award for Best Director at the 2018 MMVA awards in Toronto.
With her career just taking starting, we’re excited to see where this young creative will go in the near future.
Much like Toronto itself, the fashion scene is very diverse. With many big brand names like Adidas, Nike, Fila & Champion taking over the street wear game, many local Toronto brands have taken the already set fashion craze and put their own spin to it. Streetwear has predominantly become the most common type of style you’ll see in the streets within the past couple of years due to it’s popularity in celebrities and the hip hop world.
We’ve gathered some of the top Toronto based brands that carry the latest style of street wear fashion and have also added their own creative touch by either branding it differently than its competitors or they’ve created their own street wear line.
UNTITLED & CO
Let us know what other brands in Toronto who lead the street wear game.
Kicking off the post series, we’ve collected some of our top 5 most underrated Toronto tracks. Some of these artist are on the way come-up in the music industry so keep an eye out. All of the artists will be linked down below so you can check out more of their work.
1) JAYD INK @jayd_ink : So Many Ways
2) Mathias Haze @mathias.haze & Kelson Frederick @kelsonfredericks :
3) 11:11 @1111 : Home
4) Yung Tory @1yungtory & Yung Jizzel @yungjizzel : Dripset
5) Jessie Reyez @jessiereyez & Daniel Caesar @danielcaesar : Figures, a Reprise
CHECK OUT THE ARTISTS:
TOP 5 Top 5 is an original DRIA Post Series showcasing the top 5 tracks from various styles of music as seen through different guests.
Being a female in any industry that’s predominantly driven and run by men makes it 10x times harder for women to do what they do. Trying to get your name out there the same way men do is something women dream of. Whether it’s in the business industry, tech industry, music industry, film, arts, anything, women constantly face adversities just to make a name & future for themselves. Toronto native Jessie Reyez who has been blowing up the charts this year came out with a youtube short-film in 2017 called the Gatekeeper: A True Story, which shows her early struggles of trying to get major producers and artists in the city to notice her music. While all the names of the specific people and label are taken out of the movie to avoid conflict, this type of scenario is very common amongst women in Toronto and other big industry cities. Either you sell yourself and your soul or no one will help you. But fast forward to today, Jessie is one of the quickest rising stars in not only Toronto but in Canada and the US with tracks like Figures, Body Count & more. She shares her story and her experience for the world to see.
LISTEN TO TRACK “GATEKEEPER” BY JESSIE THAT INSPIRED THE SHORT FILM
What do you think about this short film? What’s your stance on the issue of women in any big industry? Let us know below.
Toronto’s very own Cardo Antonnio aka Babyboy has released the visuals to his new track “Talk Talk” which premiered on June 10th on Complex & Youtube. The music video and the track mesh perfectly together giving it a “fresh fly boy” vibe to it. Antonnio added his own sense of flare to the video making it unique and different than the other hip hop/rap videos we’ve seen in it past. The track itself has a club banger/summer 2018 feel to it. Very up beat and light. In the Toronto music scene, its hard to distinguish yourself from other artists especially when there’s a lot of competition. But once you hear other tracks from Babyboy like”On Fiyee” and “Kalipari“, you’ll know it’s Babyboy. His unique sound, lyrics, and beats will undoubtedly bring Cardo Antonnio to the top of Toronto’s music scene.
He’s definitely one to watch in the 6ix music scene. Check out the video down below. (The track beat was produced by J Cortz & mastered by Dot)
Also, check out the video to his hit track “On Fiyee”
Stay up to date with Cardo by checking out his soundcloud and Instagram:
A$AP Rocky. Flacko. Pretty Mothaf$$$$$. The Margiela Madman himself has finally released his 3rd studio album “TESTING” on May 25th. After much anticipation of the release, ASAP has mentioned several times about how he wanted the sounds within his albums to be unique and unheard of in the industry which is why this album took so long. The album name originated from the concept of “testing out new sounds” and not following the generic beats of todays hip hop songs. With artists such as Frank Ocean, Kodak Black, Skepta, Playboi Carti, and more featuring on his album, he had his mind set on making his sound visions come to life. With ASAP Rocky being one of the biggest influences at DRIA, we decided to give you the ultimate breakdown of his new album.
1. DISTORTED RECORDS
Static sounds infused with a strange beat focus. Rocky talks about his standing in the rap industry. This opening track previews and is the perfect example of what is to come in the rest of the album. Different. Tectonic. Grunge. Trill.
2. A$AP FOREVER
If you haven’t noticed, this track that made it into the album is the remix. It features T.I., Kid Cudi, & Moby. A montage to Rocky and the A$AP mob started off the track by T.I., then goes into the original verse from the first version. This song is very lyrical and showcases Rocky’s written word abilities. The main focus is the message that he’s trying to portray which is definitely what the listeners are getting.
3. TONY TONE
This track features New York’s OG and very own Puff Daddy. The vibe is very slow hip hop/rap with a lot of background ad-libs from P.Diddy. It’s good, but feels like it’s missing that A$AP Spice.
4. FUKK SLEEP
Chill hype is how we’d describe it. The bass in the song absolutely solidifies the vibe. The change in sound throughout the song takes you on a trip. A$AP’s soothing voice and the contrast of the lyrics makes it very captivating. FKA Twigs also features on the track doing high pitched background vocals adding a bit of femininity to the song but it doesn’t take away from the main focus of the track.
5. PRAISE THE LORD ft. SKEPTA
The most popular track of the album, it’s everyones favourite and we don’t blame them. It’s mix of classic “Goldie” era A$AP Rocky and modern rap trend. This song showcases Rocky’s fly-ness and jiggyness perfectly. Skepta complimented ASAP’s style. He’s different enough but perfect for this track’s vibe. The lyrics focuses on how dominate ASAP is and how he doesn’t need no confirmation. Hence why he’s the trillest of them all.
6. CALLDROPS ft. KODAK BLACK
The definition of psychedelic, LSD trip. A very short track but very hypnotic. A dialogue between ASAP and Kodak at what seems to be a correctional institution. Very nirvana. Different, but in a good way. Definitely not a song we’d heard before.
7. BUCK SHOTS
The upbeat, modern-classic rap track. Not super mainstream, but mainstream enough to have Playboi Carti input his trap-touch. The lyrics aren’t out of the blue, but the use of different pitches within the songs makes it ASAP Approved.
8. GUNZ N BUTTER ft. JUICY J
Looks like Rocky tapped into his rhyming skills in this track. Juicy J on this track brought in his deep-ass classic voice to add a flare of big-man, hood vibes. Pretty good, Juicy & ASAP.
9. BROTHA MAN ft. FRENCH MONTANA
Having Frank Ocean & Snoop Dogg on 1 track is very refreshingly different. It’s a bit confusing as to why French Montana was the only featured artist in the song title when his voice wasn’t very audible or noticeable. This song mainly just focuses on the importance of brother hood and friendship. Not very common but we can tell how important family is to the A$AP Mob.
10. OG BEEPER ft. BLOCKBOY JB
Shoot. That’s all we could think of during this song. Of course wherever BlocBoy goes, the “shoot” beat goes with him. Catchy. Can easily climb up to the charts. Quick question, did anyone else think of 6ix9ine in A$AP’s verse “Sneaking, uh, why she freak you? (freaky) uh, why she geeking? Uh, when she see me (see me) why she kinky? Uh, why she wanna be my— ” correlating to the song Gummo? Interesting….
11. KID TURNED OUT FINE
Rock & Roll meets Trill meets Lana Del Rey’s “This Is What Makes Us Girls”. Very chill. The lyrics are pretty self-explanatory. No matter all the dumb things we did as kids, we’ll always turn out fine at the end.
A dedication to Tupac’s “Cradle to the Grave”. Very slow track but when it changes flow towards the end, gives it a kick that it needed.
Very different for ASAP but we can tell that Frank Ocean definitely had a strong influence in the song-making element. It’s very interesting to see Rocky rapping about love in such a personal way. It’s more down to earth and genuine. His emotions seep through his words and we think that it’s a good type of change. Takes time to get use to the song, but it’s very calming.
14. BLACK TUX, WHITE COLLAR
This track is getting serious about police brutality in the states and the issue with America in general as a society. Rocky being a well-known artist, he still feels alone and often used despite the many people around him. A change in life is a change of mindset. Makes you think and see things in a different light. Through Rakim’s eyes.
15. PURITY ft. FRANK OCEAN
Real lyrical rap. Soothing beat, calm vibe, but real lyrics. Not surprising from the duo, this song is very Ocean influenced.
This album is an album that needs time. It must be listened to more than once in order for it to grow on you. The sounds are all different but somehow come together. We definitely see a new wave of A$AP but it suits him. If you listen to the album continuously, track after track, you’ll notice that the end of each song connects to the beginning of the next. You’ve outdone yourself, A$AP. But one quick question, where’s Lana Del Rey in this album?…
What do you think of the album? What’s your favourite track? Do you think it was worth the wait? Let us know.
WATCH: A$AP ROCKY’S “TESTING” INTERVIEW W/ COMPLEX
May definitely lead the way when it comes to the rap game this year. However, with major albums on their way in June, we’ll just have to wait and see what is in storm. With hit after hit all month long, here’s some of the top tracks everyone was bumpin’ in May. (Scroll down to see the music videos for some of the tracks)
To stay focused on what you’re truly passionate about can be difficult especially in this day and age. Where social media dominates your thoughts and tries to steer you in a different direction. “If” by Rudyard Kipling published in 1910 as a tribute to Leander Starr Jameson. During this time era, there was a popular trend in Victorian-era stoicism writing. Here’s how the poem goes…
“If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;
If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!”
What do you take away from this poem? Do you find it to be relative to any period of ones life and in any situation? Let us know in the comments below.