Frek Sho Kingpin/Elegant Mess/6:45 AM/To Be Continued

Winnipeg, Manitoba’s Frek Sho return after a short absence with a new sort-of single with four tracks, an instrumental for one (“Kingpin”) and a bunch of vocal samples and album a cappella tracks that can be used for re-mixing or cutting by DJs. After a couple of listens, I am surprised at how much this record reminds me of Halifax — Frek Sho seem to have the same love of hip-hop and don’t give a shit attitude that creates hip-hop for its own sake. “Kingpin” is a hard-hitting posse cut that has each MC name-checking a wide list of wrestlers and wrestling moves with each claiming to be the kingpin. It’s a hard match to call, so I’ll let you be the judge. “Elegant Mess” utilises an eerie flute loop and a high-pitched opera vocal to tell a variety of tales that focus on the pain of life. For “6:45 AM,” McEnroe provides a minimalist underground jam that utilises a simple drum pattern and deft cuts from Grasshopper while “To Be Continued” is their most commercial track with a simple to digest head-nodding beat courtesy of Toronto’s Frankenstein. The two A-side tracks are the best beats with production supplied by Sunil. Rhymes are dropped by Frek Sho regulars, Shazzam the Vocal Shock Ill Kid, Gumball, The Gallavanting Spoof, Gruf The Druid, Sunil and Ismaila. More proof (in case you needed it) that there’s more to Canada than just Toronto. (Vagrant Hobby)