Cadence Weapon // eOne
Five years after Rollie Pemberton (aka Cadence Weapon) delivered his Polaris short listed Hope In Dirt City, we finally get another offering from Edmonton’s former poet laureate. During the wait, he moved from Montreal to Toronto and the change of scenery has proven genius as he delivers his greatest achievement to date. His latest album, simply titled Cadence Weapon, catapults him into the mainstream rap arena. The production is bigger and more accessible as outside help was enlisted for the very first time from the likes of Kaytranada, FrancisGotHeat, Jacques Green and Harrison allowing Pemberton to focus solely on his lyrical prowess. Throughout the twelve tracks his flow is better than ever. Having honed his technical chops, he effortlessly speeds up or slows down to match the beat while at times rattling off fragments at a break neck pace. Cadence Weapon also finally sees Pemberton bringing in guests for choruses (Deradoorian, Blue Hawaii, Brendan Phillip and Casey MQ) giving the songs a breath of fresh air and a vocal dynamic that has been missing from his work. The content is rich and ranges from introspective walks down memory lane to mass urbanization to racism and sexism in the music scene. Cadence Weapon’s new offering stands up beside any Canadian hip-hop album, Pemberton can no longer be ignored and must be recognized as one of the country’s best rap talents.