Published Jul 23, 2019There's something to be said for authenticity. When Drake said he "started from the bottom," it should be understood — to outsiders of Toronto — that his version of the bottom is a sliding scale. No artist better represents a more rounded picture of Toronto's socio-economic disparity on an American platform than Def Jam signee PVRX (pronounced Pyrex). His long-awaited debut, 3:14, is a haunting portrait of a kid from the bottom of Rexdale who made it out.
Drenched in an atmospheric aesthetic that has become synonymous with the city, PVRX bleeds emotion into his records. The already buzzing "Make It" manages to be a vibe, still, while delivering a hopeless, almost gut-wrenching account of being locked up. While it's the single track that doesn't present a first-person account (feeling almost like a new-age take on Nas's "One Love"), it still feels deeply personal. Even when flexing his success on "Fortune," it's done in a way that paints him as grateful and deserving.
"Streets is getting to me mentally and physically," he croons on the standout "Nun New." There is this clear sense of alleviated hopelessness in his music; simultaneously aware that he's not supposed to make it, you can feel the confidence of his impending success brimming from his deceivingly harmonious vocals. With "Sorry In Advance" and the Dave East featured "Is U Down" standing as the brighter moments, the album gets dark — if you're willing to dig deep.
Coming across as an elder street archetype of dedication and persistence for a new generation of Toronto youth, 3:14 sounds (and feels) like a moment. (Def Jam)