Published Sep 29, 2008For ear-to-the-underground fans, Noah23 is a hip-hop hero with rap super powers. Yet his conflicted dedication to cult status has meant only small pockets of followers across the globe can wax poetic about the prolific, Guelph, ON-based MCs gifts, as a culture sponge with a rapid-fire flow and an ear for the sweetest, unexpected hooks. All of this should change with the star-studded semi-bildungsroman that is Rock Paper Scissors, as Noah23 aims high for his first proper solo album in four years.
"If I dont win the Polaris Prize, Im going to blow up the CN Tower. And thats being humble, Noah jokes. "No, no, Ive always thought that I have talent and wanted people to see it but Im comfortable because Ive made the statement I wanted to. I just hope people hear it because, if they do, they will like it.
Featuring producers, MCs, and indie rockers from home and abroad, Rock Paper Scissors is a gritty pop masterpiece. The eclectic styles and sounds suit Noah, whos as comfortable tackling scientific theories as he is childrens games, Pavement b-sides, or John Zorn in his awe-inspiring lyrics. "Its like my Sgt. Peppers and I wanted to really work with a lot of artists who Ive known or grew up with, he explains. "Newer artists too like Josh Martinez, Cadence Weapon I was really honoured to work with cats like that.
Often straddling a chasm between elitism and accessibility, Noah23 purposefully conjured something for everyone with Rock Paper Scissors. "I challenged myself to convey different ideas and emotions. I always do a free-form abstract thing and some of these songs are more thematic. Im poking fun at subcultures but thats the same audience I want to dig the album. I dont know Im like Marshall McLuhan meets Dr. Dre.