Gescha Crayon Politics

Saskatoon, SK rapper Gescha has a lot to get off his chest on debut album Crayon Politics, drawing on his turbulent past and his present role as a mentor to at-risk youth for lyrical inspiration, although "Love Pirates," the trippy, up-tempo first single, reveals a ray of sunshine amidst the dark clouds of introspection. Producers Muneshine and Factor are two of the best at adding a unique, creative spin to the mellow, jazzy-soul hip-hop most often found with this type of subject matter; Factor's use of detuned guitars on "Slow Build" is a perfect example. Add one of the best recent verses and a great Kim Mitchell-style hook from Moka Only and you have an album highlight with "Slow Build." It's also one of the only good hooks on the album, along with the hype "Breathe" and Gregory Pepper's harmonized contribution to "Sirens." Unfortunately, hooks are not Gescha's strong suit ― many are awkward rather than catchy ― and his flow is also unusual, which can take a bit of getting used to for those more familiar with traditional rap styles. Spitting out his raps like they taste bad, he injects his twangy delivery with drawn out words and weird pauses. I'd like to hear him on some harder production, but for now, "Breathe," "Slow Build" and "Sirens" will spend some time on playlists. Oddly, they all feature guests. (Soul Datta)