The Canadian rapper, writer, Polaris Prize nominee and former Poet Laureate of Edmonton takes a fresh look at the musical landscape of Toronto rap and R&B.
In the chilly climes of Edmonton, Canada, Roland Pemberton wasted no time in starting out on his path to creativity. Writing rhymes and releasing music independently since his early teens under the name Cadence Weapon, he tied his love for rap music with his love for journalism: becoming obsessed with words and how to play with them to dramatic, personal effect. By the mid-‘00s, he was playing Austin’s SXSW Festival and was nominated for the prestigious Polaris Prize twice, for his 2005 album, Breaking Kayfabe, as well as for 2012’s Hope in Dirt City. Aside from being Cadence Weapon, Pemberton is often best known as the Poet Laureate of Edmonton, a role that he held for two years and used to promote the literary arts in his characteristically sharp and playful style. To date, he has released three solo albums and at the same time has continued on his path as a writer, penning articles for the likes of Pitchfork, Wired and the Guardian, among others. Always the champion of Canadian talent across the arts, this special mix focuses on the musical landscape of Toronto rap and R&B to reflect this diverse and lively city.