By Victoria Abraham
Victoria Abraham defines one up and coming artist each week so you can impress your friends with your musical brilliance. This week, she tackles Cadence Weapon, a rapper from Edmonton, Alberta.
In case you didn’t catch it, Cadence Weapon is from Edmonton, Alberta. Who knew the Prairies could spawn rappers, and skilled ones at that? Even if you don’t like hip-hop, you have to give Cadence Weapon’s dance-inspired verses and beats a listen for three reasons:
1) He might just restore your faith in Canada’s hip-hop scene.
2) He was sworn in as Edmonton’s poet laureate in 2009 for a two-year term, which made him an ambassador of the literary arts.
3) His new album, Hope in Dirt City comes out on May 29.
Origins: Edmonton, Alberta
Real name: Rollie Pemberton. Yeah, that’s his real name. But unlike Azealia Banks he didn’t think it’s cool enough to roll with. I’ll let you decide if it’s better than his stage name.
Known for: Cadence Weapon is known for hard-hitting rhymes and sick beats.
Used in a sentence: “Cadence Weapon makes you wish you’d paid attention in English class to all that Shakespearean sonnet, rhyming stuff. Maybe you’d also be a poet laureate by now.”
Download now: Loft Party
File next to: The Cool Kids, The Roots
Fun facts: Cadence Weapon started rapping when he was 13 years old, which isn’t surprising considering his father, Teddy Pemberton, was a pioneering hip-hop DJ on CJSR-FM. His grandfather and namesake, Rollie Miles played for the Edmonton Eskimos.
After high school, Cadence Weapon briefly attended journalism school, but dropped out to pursue his passion. In 2011, he participated in Alberta’s National Parks Project to produce and score a short film about Alberta’s Waterton Lakes National Park. On his new album he recreated sample-based music with live instruments.
Career highlights: In 2005, he released his first mixtape Cadence Weapon is the Black Hand. That same year he released his full-length debut Breaking Kayfabe.
Chart magazine named him one of the top 15 Canadian artists to watch in 2006.
Cadence has remixed tracks for Lady Sovereign and Ciara and was nominated for the 2006 Polaris Music Prize for Canadian album of the year. In 2007 he signed a record deal with American Epitaph Records’ sub-label ANTI-Records. He released his second LP Afterparty Babies in 2008.