Saskatchewan Hip-Hop? Not only is this a thing, but Samurai Champs (made up of rapper Jeah and R&B singer Merv xx Gotti) is one of the most exciting groups emerging from the scene Canadian music scene. The duo based in Regina draws from their Southeast Asian heritage, as well as their urban-Canadian identity. This hybrid creates a unique blend of smooth soul and hip-hop on the latest single by the pair, “Poseidon.”
Take the blunt effectiveness of Hip-Hop, merge it with the accessible nature of R&B and set it over a classic sample. “Poseidon” ranges from K.P. and Envyi’s “Swing My Way” to Jodeci’s “Alone” to Bryson Tiller’s Trapsoul – nuggets of nostalgia meant to ingratiate new and jaded listeners alike. Today, singers like Ella Mai, H.E.R. and Kehlani are creating strains of R&B that tap into the past to say what they want about the present. Samurai Champs exemplifies this by playing a positive figure to the local music community in Regina and constantly demonstrating this through live performances, mentioning the struggles of growing up in a conservative town where music aspiration is not a common thought.
“Poseidon” exists on a different plane than their latest track, “Bae” with a blend of rhythms similar to Tory Lanez, Saba, Sampha, SZA, and the new generation of artists eager to bridge hip hop’s sounds and tropes with soul/R&B. It has more in common with Bryson Tiller’s Trapsoul and Kehlani’s Sweet Sexy Savage – both brilliant R&B experiments carried out by upcoming rappers that today serve as leaders for their community. “Poseidon” is hard proof that up and coming artists dream big, and that big dreams often can come true.
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