Hua Li 化力 Looks for the Real Thing on "Sanctions of the Heart"

Exclaim! Staff Picks

BY Kaelen BellPublished Mar 1, 2024

"Met the boy at Bloor and Bathurst / Man he was the fucking worst," is one of those stupidly satisfying opening bars, the kind of line that sets the place and energy of a song with total, compact immediacy. I know where we are, and now I need to know more about this shit head — luckily, Hua Li 化力 delivers. 

But rather than rhyme a snarling takedown on the guy, Hua Li turns her lens inward, using the dude as set dressing for a play about her self-growth. Over a bleary, warm beat from Alex Thibault and hazy, wobbling atmosphere, “Sanctions of the Heart” — the latest single from the rapper’s forthcoming ripe fruit falls but not in your mouth — sees Hua Li take herself on a journey through manifestation and the search for a love that builds her up rather than knocks her down. 

(Next Door Records)

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