Published Sep 30, 2014Plenty of MCs are torn between dance floors and street corners, but Haligonian rapper Cam Smith is one of the few willing to ponder that dilemma on wax. Over the trembling 808s of "The Son Or The Fall," the opening track on his new self-produced LP Cannon, he unspools deeply moving rhymes about street violence and friends that "heaven swallowed." Then comes his biggest lament — that fans demand anything but therapeutic introspection. Out of nowhere comes a club-ready chorus and Cam relents, spitting: "Sip from the flask... they don't want nothin' but titties and ass."
From there, Cam embodies everything he just decried. Lead single "Turbo" sports slickly staccato 808s and "Nonsense" features a menacing dancehall vibe that dares you not to groove. Cannon climaxes with Laura Roy's swooning R&B vocals on "Hearts On Fire" (a track that's part Kid Cudi, part Drake) before circling back to introspection on the closing tracks. The house party skits sprinkled throughout are refreshingly funny and filler-free. But for his next shindig, Cam could stand to take himself a little more seriously, with a greater focus on those promising reflective rhymes — even if they threaten to be a buzzkill. (ODOD)