Josh Martinez and Sleep The Chicharones

This is how it goes down in Canada: while some hip-hop heads bitch and moan about our lack of acceptance and monetary success south of the border, rap kids from East to West have long since felt those same narrow-minded, snobby attitudes within our own country. Over-emphasis on geography has made it the basis for discrimination, and this is the only way I can explain the absence of any sort of supportive, financially-viable network of hip-hop artists and fans in Canada. Do yourself a favour and meet Josh Martinez — one of the most prolific, most talented, and most versatile emcees sporting the red maple leaf. This collaboration with Oldominion emcee Sleep — while somewhat uneven in places — is among the most accessible J-Mart releases available. A host of beat makers provide the backings for their different, complimentary flows while Sleep and Martinez work together beautifully, mixing and matching emo croons with spitfire punches. "Take ‘Em Down” and "Oregano,” a soft ode to smoking out, are standout tracks, as is "Say Goodbye,” an attack of thick melodies featuring Zelly Rock on the hook. Free your ears and the rest will follow. (Camobear)