Published Dec 28, 2014"Do he sound like Drizzy? Do he sound like Cole? Do he sound like Chance? Fuck it, I don't even know," spits SonReal on "Home," the opening track of his latest EP. Despite such lyrics, the Vancouver-based emcee is far from being in the midst of an identity crisis, and comparisons to some of hip-hop's biggest figures aren't something he looks for across For the Town, an autobiographical look at his own career from the past to the present.
The story of one's rise through the ranks of rap is not an uncommon theme in the genre by any stretch of the imagination, so yes, it does begin to wear itself thin even over only half an hour of listening. But saving this theme from complete monotony is SonReal's ear for production, as he teams up once again with fellow Canadian beatsmiths Rich Kidd and Arthur McArthur. The instrumentals range from overtly energetic to emotional, allowing him to flex his breakneck flows on the swaggering "Preach" and the anthemic "Woah Nilly" while also toning things down for the piano-led, R&B-influenced "Try," tastefully placed in the middle of the EP. Such diversity is the ace up SonReal's sleeve in executing the takeover of his hometown today, and the rest of the country tomorrow. (Universal)