Various Dig Your Roots

With a plethora of talented Canadian hip-hop artists in need of an outlet, it’s a wonder releases like this aren’t more frequent. And only a limited number were capable of being showcased on this first volume of the Dig Your Roots series, a series of compilations designed to present a cross-section of different underexposed genres throughout Canada: electronic, alternative country, spoken word, blues. Covering a wide range of Canada from coast to coast, Dig Your Roots corrects the mistakes of Rap Essentials, and gives a much better representation of the music being made this side of the border. The compilation opens by exploring the cities of Canada and the rest of the world with the "Urban Camper,” better known as Vandal, whose ode to travel is one of the album’s many highlights. The Goods, Kamau, and Ink Operated take chances with their tracks. Warparty’s native politics gets fists raised, while Classified, First Words (featuring Cess), Kamau, and Illa Brown (with Kutcorners), all get fists pumping. But, all bets are on Frek Sho’s "Fort Rouge,” laced with a great electric bass line and bashing drums thanks to the Gumshoe Strut. Plus, Spoof, Shazzam and Gruf each ride the beat in their own unique way. 2% also delivers a nice beat to Half Life for "Secrets of Society.” More than enough reasons to support the greatest Canadian hip-hop compilation since Cold Front. (Dig Your Roots/NCRA)