You are on your way to a job interview, an intramural flag-football game, or a tinder date and you are trying to get psyched. It’s been a chill week, but now it is go time. You need to turn up. What album is going to get you there? You turn to Spotify, search the latest hip-hop albums, and choose a little CanCon number, Merkules, Trust Your Gut, an album containing thirteen hype songs.
Raised in Surrey British Columbia, Merkules began his rap career at 16 when he started making music with other local artists. After a fight in his neighbourhood left him scarred and disfigured with machete wounds, Merkules turned to music as a way to stay focused and cope with the anxiety that persisted in the aftermath of the attack.
This project, his biggest to date, describes his rise to success in a “started from the bottom, now we’re here” manner. Angry rap with long and quick verses, some predictable and some unexpectedly clever, compose the majority of the album. But Merkules, ever the renaissance man, separates himself from the commonplace with his ability to both sing and rap. “Way Down” is one of my favourite tracks on the album, featuring a solid baseline, some EDM mixed in around the bridge, and a really catchy Merkules lead hook. The rest of the album focuses on fight songs, especially “Connor McGregor,” which features boxing ring bells, and the maintains the feverish tempo of a fist fight.
Merkules is making a name for himself in the hip hop industry. He has toured Canada extensively and at 24, he is bridging the gap between the independent and the mainstream. Look out for him in a city near you.