Frankie Payne Clarity

Frankie PayneClarity
It's an appropriate title, Clarity, for the latest LP from "underground" rapper Frankie Payne. Formerly known as Jugganot and currently of the Freedom Writers collective, the Toronto, ON-based artist from the much-maligned Jane-Finch neighbourhood has been a regular fixture in the local scene. Clarity sees Payne slow things down a bit for his most introspective and mature-sounding release to date. Tales of drug money and salacious street exploits abound, but are skewed towards weighty reflection. Aided by syrupy soul loops, leaning on production from names such as Rich Kidd, Tone Mason and Big Sproxx, Clarity is marked by standouts such as "By Myself," "Follow Your Heart" and "From Time." Comparing his older material to now leads one to note Payne is at a different stage, one where love, life and loss have changed him on a conscious level. "You won't change anything until you change who you are," Payne intones on the brassy "Bigger." And we're inclined to believe him. (Independent)