“Une Année Record” indeed! It’s been a revealing year for the rap scene in Quebec with Dead Obies playing a sold out show at the M Telus, Alaclair Ensemble winning ‘Album Rap de l’annee’, and members of both rap groups creating solo projects and having a certain success with that as well. On the english side, rapper Husser has definitely been making a mark, as well as the Ragers and so many others. Throughout all of this though, there has been a stand out artist and performer; Loud.
photo: Bruno Guérin
He’s given us LLA (Loud Lary Adjust) for years so it only made sense for him to create some solo material like everyone does at one point in their careers. Late April is when it all started with the release of New Phone, the EP that introduced us to who Loud is. The 4 songs on that EP were definitely just the start of him showing us what he’s capable of. Songs like Le pont de la rivière Kwaï and Longue histoire courte showed us that he can deliver well written texts in both languages with the right amount of ‘hype’, but the song that really did it for everyone is 56k. The coolness of his Tommy Hilfiger jacket and his dance moves, the simple concept of the music video along with the whole song itself made it the perfect way to launch his solo material.
One week to the day since the release of his debut full length album Une Année Record, Loud filled up Montreal’s Club Soda to play his new tracks to his true fans who have been supporting him since LLA and to anyone who was there simply because that album is too good. Even if you don’t know the french language, the flow and beats of all the songs on the album are incredibly refreshing and different from what any other rapper has done yet; this album is one of the best ones released this year. After seeing Loud perform solo for the first time over the summer at the Francofolies de Montreal, I didn’t expect any less from this show from him nor the crowd. What I’ve observed from attending these rap queb shows is that every single person in that room is moving and they are ready to party. I don’t know if its because the artists are from here but these shows are always sold out and packed with young people who love their music, who support the scene and the energy is wild. You will honestly never experience that type of energy anywhere else and I find it awesome that as a community we can give that to the artists who are putting on a show and pouring their hearts out on stage to make them feel appreciated.
Back to Une Année Record; the record starts off strong with So Far So Good which paves the road of how serious and real the whole collection of songs are going to be. The last song Une année record reminisces on the journey throughout all the tracks and on his record year. Everything in-between is remarkable story telling, brilliant beats and a balance of ease and ‘straight fire’. The 2 singles released so far; Hell, What A View and Nouveaux Riches, demonstrate two different sides of Loud’s music. One is the more serious and subtly cocky song with the black and white aesthetic that’s all about how he’s been working hard and there’s no real competition out there, it's only him on the top looking at the view and clearly he’s doing good. Then, Nouveaux Riches is about this new generation, it’s a fun and clever song that brings it back to the 56k vibe.
I think the most impressive track on this album is without a doubt TTTTT (These Things They Take Time); his lyricism is impeccable, the story telling pays a lot of attention to detail, its about the hardships of relationships and making it while trying to find that balance, it’s a great song. The middle of the album is going to make you dance a bit more with Toutes les femmes savent danser which is the most flirtatious and easy going song, you can’t help but move when listening to this one. For a few tracks towards the end, Loud doesn’t stray too far from LLA as he brings back Lary for a feature on SWG (Sleeping With Girls) and On My Life (a personal favourite) which also features 20some from Dead Obies. That one is hands down the most ‘lit’ track, it builds so much and seeing them perform it live was insane. The whole album live was insane! The people already knew all the lyrics, it was amazing and I can’t wait to see the show again in March!