Corvid Lorax N.I.C.E. (Ninjas In Cities Everywhere)

Chances are if you’re not familiar with the Western Canadian hip-hop scene, you wouldn’t recognize the music of Corvid Lorax. But in his Edmonton home, he is as recognizable as the city’s mayor. However, listening to his sophomore album, N.I.C.E. (Ninjas in Cities Everywhere), even some Edmontonians won’t recognize the music. The reason is because he’s all but abandoned the cacophonous electronic sounds of his debut album, Kalshni-Cancerous, for funk and soul. At least for the first half. From the album’s standout, "Got Soul?,” to Little Whore Records posse cut "L.W.R.,” Corvid whips around the horns and bass guitars with his breathy raps. The result is celebratory but the second half is deliberately darker. It certainly sucks the joy out of N.I.C.E. but it replaces it with cryptic lyricism that’s far more complex. (Little Whore)