By Shafniya Kanagaratnam
Toronto is home to the third largest music market in North America with hip hop and R&B being the fastest growing genres here in the city. Toronto is known for its diversity and is quite evidently rising globally in the hip-hop scene. New local artists are blowing up through Soundcloud, cosigns, or even just years of developing local, steady fan bases. Below are three rising artists that represent Toronto in terms of diversity and culture with their individual sounds in hip-hop.
Yanchan is a Toronto artist of Tamil decent, who is also both an engineer and producer. His tracks fuse elements of his heritage with Hip-Hop. He incorporates the South Indian instrument the Mrithangam and uses samples from popular Indian Cinema in his beats, effortlessly blending canartic melodies with his smooth vocals. Yanchan is able to take on many different genres such as trap, tropical house, R&B and soul music. Whether you are familiar with South Indian music or not, Yanchan’s music gives hip-hop a twist worth listening too.
Toronto based, Somali rapper Layla Hendryx is no stranger to Toronto rap scene. In 2015, she released her first EP Channel 6 averaging 75k plays on Soundcloud, subsequently releasing an EP each year to follow, with her last EP Prepaid, having been released in 2017. After only releasing one track in 2018, Layla Hendryx dropped the Dripped Out Freestyle this August, possibly hinting at a resurgence in her career. Layla is able to switch it up on various hip-hop styles, yet maintain a smooth flow with her signature bubblegum pop voice.
TheyCallMeChing is a Toronto rapper ofLao and Thai descent. After being featured on fellow Toronto rapperLB SPIFFY’s track I Love My Gang, he dropped his own single Blindside shortly after, which has over 1.5 million stream to date. TheyCallMeChing has been consistently dropping tracks ever since, and he often raps about staying focused on his goals while hoping to repay his mother back for all that she has done for him. He has crafted a delivery style of his own, filling his verses with clever lyrics like “Do it for myself, I’m a self made, you getting played like 2K".
Toronto’s hip-hop scene has always been on the come up, but it also comes with the cost of artists’ careers fully launching in the United States, rather than at home. Over the last few years, we’ve seen more and more local talent breaking out and finding the same success right here at home.