Tag Archives: Cadence Weapon

Cadence Weapon: Hype Man (video)


Lately, I’m constantly reminded of albums I overlooked or neglected to pay enough attention to in 2012. Cadence Weapon’s Hope In Dirt City falls into the latter category.

The third album by the Edmonton rapper (born Rollie Pemberton) is a bit of a mixed bag stylistically – more challenging of a listen, if not a touch incohesive. What remains a constant is Cadence Weapon’s awareness of his surroundings and his ability to sharply criticize all manners of culture (he is a former Pitchfork contributor, after all).

Hype Man takes a shot at the rap game. It’s a two-verse track, with Cadence Weapon playing the part of both sides: the ego-driven rap star (“At the strip club make sure that my song plays”) and the inglorious hype man, begging for a break from his famous connection (“I’d take a bullet / I’d probably pull it”). The tension comes to a head at the end of this video, co-directed by Cadence and George Vale.

I love this track because I’ve always been sort of fascinated by the tragic character that is the hype man, who dutifully waves his towel and drops in for every fourth word at a live show. And in this instance, the video draws a conclusion that you couldn’t really expect just by listening to the song. It’s the demise of the lowly hype man. There will always be another.

New Cadence Weapon: 88 (prod. by Grimes)

We last heard from Cadence Weapon (aka Rollie Pemberton, aka Edmonton’s poet laureate) in 2010, when he released the Tron Legacy mixtape, but we finally have news of proper follow-up to 2008’s Afterparty Babies.

Hope in Dirty City is due for release this spring, described by the obligatory PR material as “a unique hybrid of psychedelic soul, old school rap, IDM and mutant disco.” I’d expect nothing less from the man whose song (“Oliver Square”) has been my ringtone for, like, the past five years (I flinch and reach for my pocket every time I hear the opening bars).

The first new track we’re hearing, “88,” is an ode to the old school, produced by Montreal’s Grimes (even if Blueprint had a similar concept in ’05). This mere 1 minute and 52 seconds has me really psyched for the new album: “I’m a professional, kid / make ya feel infinitesimal / when I get ready to spit my confessional / like a congressional bid.”