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This story originally appeared on Noisey Canada.
The Polaris Prize is a ten-year-old institution that rewards the Canadian albums of the highest artistic integrity. Ty$ is a California singer, rapper, producer, and songwriter who is best known for making music that's hard not to have sex to. All of this music is also created with the highest artistic integrity. So while Ty$ was in town for NXNE, we asked him to use his vast knowledge of music to see what he would reward if he were a Polaris Prize juror. After rolling in on the rap-game mode of transportation du jour, the IO Hawk, he was more than happy to share his thoughts and give an extremely thorough observation on some of Canada’s best new music. Special note: He described Caribou as sounding “hard as fuck.” Continued below.
Alvvays - “Adult Diversion”
It’s dope, the sound is cool, real indie, sounds like some shit I would hear on KCRW.
Viet Cong - “Silhouettes”
His voice is cool, this mix is more quality than the last one but maybe they did that last mix like that on purpose to make it sound underground and shit. This sounds more quality but more like 90s and shit because they’ve got the synth string. I might listen to this if I was cleaning up and shit and just wanted to find some new shit. I don’t know if I would roll to it in my whip but it’s cool.
Tobias Jesso Jr. - “Crocodile Tears”
It’s tight. I would chill with a female and listen to this.
Acorn - “Influence”
Mmmm, Sade vibes. I would probably sample this, like, do something else to it. I like the track. The vibe reminds me of Sade or like this other group that I think is called The System. It’s got that 90s feel and I think everybody’s going back to the 90s and 80s vibes right now. I would for sure listen to this.
Caribou - “All I Ever Need”
This is hard as fuck. Where is he from? Hell yeah I like this one, the beat’s hard, the singer’s hard, everything’s hard, the melody. I would listen to this all the time, like just have it playing at the crib until the girls would start being like “Yo, can you put on some shit that we actually know?” Like when I play my album I wanna play the obscure shit but everyone in the crowd and my managers will be like “Play the DJ Mustard track or the track with Future.”
Braids - “Sore Eyes”
This is cool, it’s kind of like EDMish. It’s cool but I probably wouldn’t bang this. There’s parts of it that I like. She has a nice voice. I like the EDM vibes but I don’t know if the drums are all the way. I would have rather done the drums different and make it explode and still be chill at the same time cause I can see they were trying to be chill. I’m a big fan of drums and that’s why when people use the wrong drums, I’m like “you just fucked the whole song up.”
Buffy Sainte-Marie - “We Are Circling”
This one’s way different, it sounds like it could be movie music, like when a whole bunch of people are marching and shit. A whole bunch of fucking animals running with lions and shit [laughs]. This is some Lord of The Rings type shit but it’s also a party though [laughs].
Colin Stetson & Sarah Neufeld - “The Rest Of Us”
It’s raw, I fuck with it. He’s either playing a baritone saxophone or bass sax.
Louis-Jean Cormier - “Tetes Premiere”
Is this French? I would fuck with more French music but I don’t know any names. When we were out somewhere else in Canada they were playing some French hip-hop and it was hard, it was like some Mobb Deep and shit. I like everything about this, it’s like a classic song. If I knew what he was saying it would probably be even better but this could be something right here. If I’m trying to get inspiration for a song or looking for material for sampling I’ll sometimes listen to music in another language. I listen to this guy named Anthony Valadez all the time and he’s on KCRW and he plays this kind of shit all the time.
Lydia Ainsworth - “Take Your Face Off”
This is hard as fuck. Damn, this is the best one you’ve played. I like the chords in this one, they were experimental but at the same time it could be something. It’s catchy. I don’t know if I would sample this because it’s happy sounding and I usually sample more mean sounding shit. It’s still dope as fuck though. These artists are nominated and Drake’s nominated? It’s gonna be hard for them.
I guess there aren't a lot of rappers out here [in Canada] then, right? They definitely need to let other people shine [other than Drake] but you can’t take anything away from him. He knows what he’s doing, he has the formula right now and as long as that formula is whipping up, you can’t hate on it. That’s the other people’s problem for not having the shit. Shout out to Drake for everything he’s doing and shout out to these other artists, keep on doing what you’re doing and eventually your formula will have its time. Everything has its time, everything happens when it’s supposed to happen so keep on working.
Dean wants to know how many Caribous can fit in Ty$'s Cabana - @deanrosen1