Too often, Vancouver is overlooked as a hub for talented hip hop artists. Unlike the 6ix, which has enjoyed unprecedented attention thanks to the success of artists like Drake and The Weeknd, Vancouver is unquestionably more low-key. Regardless, Vancouver’s hip hop prowess cannot be refuted. And Immerze’s third project, Before I Go, delivers bangers.
The EP’s eclectic production is its strongest selling point. Eight producers are featured on the project, including the West Coast’s own Eshe Nkiru, The Stunt Man, and Brevner. As a result of the diverse production, the EP oscillates between smooth sounds, such as in “Tropicana,” and fast-paced, bass-heavy tracks like “Black Bond.” The only risk of the unpredictable production is that it may alienate fans with niche music preferences. Listeners who prefer mellow sounds to trap music, or vice versa, may not connect with the entire project.
The production style is in line with Immerze’s vision for Before I Go. As alluded to in “Gucci Vandross,” Immerze uses his EP to combine the influences of two music legends, Gucci Mane and Luther Vandross. The seamless blend of Gucci’s gritty trap style with Vandross-inspired mellowness is surprisingly pleasant.
The overarching theme of the project, simply put, is about working hard to achieve fame and fortune. In the waviest of tracks, “Whiplash,” Immerze raps, “I been whippin’ whippin’ whippin’ whippin’ all day / Tryna turn my whoopty to a ’Rari / Tired of these jeans, I want some Balmains / Where the money at.” In “Black Bond,” Immerze repeats, “I’m Black Bond, there I go, always on a mission / Where the money at, bet I go the distance.”
In addition to underscoring the EP with his desire of achieving a successful music career, Immerze includes down-to-earth lyrics that fans will easily relate to. In “The Play” Immerze tells a story of falling for a woman. He raps about his first encounter with his love interest on public transit and expresses the nerves and dreams that the woman incites. In the hook of the track, he humorously explains his game-plan: “Imma get her damn number in my Samsung / I ain’t gonna text her for a couple days / I wanna, but I’m stuck in my player ways.”
Before I Go is further proof that hip hop talent exists in Vancouver. From production that challenges sonic expectations to resonating lyrics, Immerze is worth a listen.