In 2009, Jahvon, a young rapper from Toronto, released the swaggering single "Hypebeast." As produced by Aliby, another young Torontonian, "Hypebeast" has a taut, booming beat that's almost entirely percussion. There's no hook here, no synth line or Motown sample to provide a bit of warmth, only industrial thumps and clicks and scribbles of electronic static. As an emcee, Jahvon carries himself well, but Aliby's beat makes the track feel too aggressive by half.
The producer Lunice, yet another Canadian (he hails from Montreal), does better by the song. Lunice's remix of "Hypebeast" replaces Aliby's chilly drum loops with a slow, foreboding accordion part, one that immediately makes it clear how much charisma Jahvon is throwing around. Jahvon's lines are stippled with deadpan humor--"If any hater got a problem, let me know now / I tell 'em sucka better cap me like a pronoun"--and while he's hardly the first to drop a boast like "I'm about to run rap," Lunice's choice of backing music makes it seem credible. The final minute of the remix is almost entirely instrumental, and as the last chords fade out, it's easy to believe we've just witnessed something of real grandeur.
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