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Vancouver’s hip-hop scene is a bit like an under-developed child. You want the best for it, but it lacks the essential protein in its DNA it needs to make a full go at life. That’s a bit cruel, but reality is harsh and it’s a tough game, this rap game.
That said, Boombox Saints, who are by local standards old-hat—they’ve been at it since a MySpace account was still a reasonable idea—have coalesced their experience in the scene into a very decent release. Their new album For the Moment achieves a sound that’s free of pastiche and contrivation; something unexpected and all-too rare in a mainstream hip-hop album.
At their heart, Boombox Saints clearly love old-school hip-hop, and this quality manages to shine through in their apparent honesty, despite the glossier R&B elements that complement the album, often featuring subtle and effective female harmonies.
Produced with the help of DJs Hunt and Kemo, For the Moment sees a fully fleshed out, mature crew flowing over deep beats with an assertive vocal attack that, depending on the song, can land somewhere between Drake and Lupe Fiasco. Highlights are the extremely tight flow heard on opening track, “Whole World,” and a few of the slow jams that dot For the Moment’s 14 tracks.
As far as R&B-infused hip-hop goes, this is a release that Vancouver deserves.