It’s really not fair to compare a rapper to Eminem just because he’s white, but this Toronto MC sure makes it hard to avoid the parallels. Not only does Sampson look like Marshall Mathers III, but his well-thought-out rhymes even recall Eminem’s distinct flow. What’s really frustrating, though, is the amount of songs on this 11-song solo debut (which is accompanied by a bonus disc of demos) that deal with what it’s like to be a hip hop performer. Never Had a Choice, Now It’s My Time, Women & Alcohol and the demo Potential all fall into that category. Who cares? Sampson is a lot more enjoyable to listen to when he’s singing about relationships, like on ’Til I Met You, or when he’s reveling in wordplay, as on the demo C-A-L-E, an impressive song in which he uses only words that begin with C, A, L and E.
Published in Volume 63, Number 26 of The Uniter (April 2, 2009)