Wab Kinew - Live By the Drum

Local rapper and ex-Dead Indian Wabanakwut Kinew sounds fresh, fierce and confident on his debut full-length. Kinew’s strength ultimately lies in his lyrics, which jockey between hip-hop bravado, personal struggle and issues that affect Canada’s aboriginal communities, all the while maintaining a positive outlook – setting Kinew apart from the majority of rappers out there today. The beats here are solid, too. Alternating between all-out club bangers and live instrumentation gives each track a diverse flavour, suiting perfectly Kinew’s complex rhymes and original subject matter. Breezy is a stand out track for sure: Kinew rhymes over snapping live drums, funky bass, slinky keys and a bold horn section. One of the most well-rounded and original hip-hop records to come out of ‘Peg City in a long time.

Published in Volume 63, Number 19 of The Uniter (February 5, 2009)

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