Trapistan // Independent
Cartel Madras is ripping apart what you think you know about Canadian hip-hop. In one short year, rappers Contra and Eboshi alongside DJ Egglad have developed a rapid following in Alberta that is already spilling out into the rest of Canada. At Sled Island 2018 they upstaged Shabazz Palaces to the point where the only option was to leave midway through Shabazz’ set because it simply couldn’t compete with the aggressive yet danceable flurry that is Cartel Madras. Even more impressive is the fact that they developed this following with no proper release to showcase until now. Trapistan is the first of a three part mixtape dubbed “Project Goonda.” What stands out most on Trapistan is Contra and Eboshi’s flows, they fire daggers with a calculated viciousness that makes their rhymes so refreshing. Rapping over house and trap beats about life as immigrants from Southern India, they take care to show pride in their heritage. These verses are great but what makes Cartel Madras powerful is how they manage to flip the script on misogynistic rhymes that have always been commonplace in hip-hop. Lines that have them making fun of skinny men at the gym or less endowed fellas prove brilliant as they pack a punch to the guts of men who treat women like objects. As a man listening, it’s great to feel slightly uncomfortable as these bad ass women objectify my gender by giving me a taste of what they endure on a daily basis. Crass, hilarious, and socially relevant, Cartel Madras show us exactly why they’ve become the most hyped rap act in Alberta.