A lot of rappers have delusions of lyricism, spitting nonsensical multisyllabic rhymes and making inane similes and metaphors like they mean anything at all. Former Pitchfork writer Rollie Pemberton aka Cadence Weapon was an actual Poet Laureate, having been sworn in by his native city Edmonton in 2009 and served as the city’s ambassador of literary arts for 2 years.
After 4 years since the release of his sophomore record Afterparty Babies, Cadence’s new single off his coming third album Hope in Dirt City, ‘Conditioning’, shows the cult rapper displaying some commercial accessibility in his music. The gravelly old school flow remains intact but midway through the track Cadence starts singing to a surprisingly soulful high, giving the track the kind of emotions his raps might not convey as much.
Directed by Tim Kelly and shot by Evan Prosofky — the same person behind fellow Canadian Grimes’ ‘Oblivion’ — the video is a vivid depiction of urban city life that summarises the song’s oft-repeated line “I live in bad condition, but I got more conditioning.”
Hope in Dirty City comes out 29 May. Get Cadence’s conditioning here.