Daniel Son & Raz Fresco’s Collab LP “Northside” Pays Homage to Toronto’s Roots (Album Review)

Here we have a brand new collaborative LP between Toronto, Ontario, Canada emcees Daniel Son & Raz Fresco. The latter of whom I was introduced to during my freshman year of high school off the strength of his feature on former Odd Future member Ace Hashimoto’s 5th mixtape All Day DeShay: AM & the other coming to my radar at the tail-end of 2019 linking up with Futurewave for his classic sophomore effort Yenaldooshi. We’ve heard both these guys together on numerous occasions such as the songs “Dirty Dozens” & “Big Bird”, so it shouldn’t be too surprising that they’re turning things up a couple notches on Northside.

To get us started, “Ice Water” works in a sample with kicks & snares talking about how cold it is where they’re from going back & forth with one another whereas the title track serves as a dusty ode to all the lock-breakers & Glock bleeders from where people get even instead of getting old. “W.C.H.M.F. (Who Can’t Hear Must Feel)” incorporates a string sample explaining that somebody eventually gonna get burned wherever there’s smoke while “Lawyer Fees” soulfully makes some noise in the studio.

“Rusty” featuring Gritfall brings a groovier flare to the beat talking about trying to get rich, but then “Frostbite” goes into soulfully drumless turf referring to themselves as trailblazers where the path is empty. “Last Minute” returns to the boom bap so both of them can bring you a different flavor on some court-side shit just before “What’s the Mission?” comes through with an atmospheric albeit dusty vibe explaining that the mission both of them are on is to get paid.

Nearing the conclusion of Northside, the calmingly drumless penultimate track “Watch Ya Mouth” flips the iconic Jeru the Damaja single “Ya Playin’ Yaself” warning everyone near their vicinities to watch what comes out their mouths that is until “Forks on the Road” closes up shop returning to the boom bap using the titular metaphor to talk about being unsure which way to take & that they must keep going.

Physics of Filth & Bite the Bullet with Asun Eastwood have been my favorite from Daniel Son when it comes to my favorite collaboration projects with another MC & now Northside has surpassed them both on top of being my new favorite Raz Fresco collab effort. The sound that the latter goes for like wearing a northface jacket in a snowstorm in the sense that it’s but with a feeling of warmth on the inside, but they also pay homage to the deep hip hop roots in Toronto & add on to that legacy with another solid contribution of art that continues to push the culture forward.

Score: 9/10

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Legends Will Never Die

Just a 27 year old guy from Detroit, Michigan who passionately loves hip hop culture & music as a whole

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