In a roster full of dope, well-rounded, and elite artists, the Strange Music MVP Of The Year is truly an honor.
Here are your nominees for MVP of the year
He carved a new lane, not only in the sound of Strange Music but in hip hop, with the release of Have A Nice Life. The combination of substantial rhymes from an underground legend and a pop-friendly, glossy production proved to be a potent combination. The Have A Nice Life Tour was also a triumph, as MURS held it down with two turntables and a microphone. In the days of big budgets and special effects, MURS proved that sometimes that’s all you need.
CES Cru hit the road in the summer with The Recession Proof tour, another month and a half of great songs, dizzying flows and the kind of verbal teamwork that only comes from a longstanding duo. The Recession Proof EP was a 6 song gem that doubled as a mission statement of where the group is in their career: successful but still hungry. The hunger was easily displayed in the innumerable amount of guest spots in which they slayed this year: MURS’s “Fun-eral”, Stevie Stone’s “Wait On It”, ¡MAYDAY!’s “One Wing”, Prozak’s “War Within”, and not to mention their slaymanship on Tech N9ne Collabos – Strangeulation Vol. II. In 2015, it’s safe to say that their pens were on fire as ever.
On the merit of the “LAF” (Remix) alone, Rittz deserve a vote. Remixing the incendiary track from last year’s Next To Nothing wasn’t enough, he fucked around and included the game’s most elite spitters: Yelawolf, Royce Da 5’9″ and KXNG Crooked. On top of that, Rittz took KXNG Crooked on the road with him for the Southwest Kings tour, giving the nation a view of what elite skills combined with undeniable charisma looks/sounds like. As if that weren’t enough, Rittz killed every appearance he was on, including his highly memorable verses from Strangeulation Vol. II (one which is nominated for verse of the year). Just because he didn’t have an album out in 2015 doesn’t mean it wasn’t killing season for the Clintel general.
Prozak’s long-awaited album Black Ink proved to be more than anyone expected, a potent cocktail of old-school hip hop, new-school fusion and an emotional core that we had yet to hear from The Hithcock of Hip Hop. Predominantly known for his commentary on the ills of society, Prozak opened the door to his mind and let us into a world of personal pain and triumph. Songs like “House of Cards” (nominated for song of the year) take on the subject of suicide in a way that only someone who’s been affected by it ever could. Add to all of that a surprising chopper verse on his Strangeulation Vol. II cypher, and you can conclude that Prozak was full of surprise punches in 2015.
Everything Stevie Stone does is an event. Like the song on the long awaited Malta Bend says, he’s so epic. After a 2014 that only saw him on tours and guest appearances, Stevie Stone dropped his best album to date with Malta Bend. With his signature mixture of hype-anthems and soul-stirring personal storytelling, Malta Bend is far and beyond the quintessential album we’ve been waiting to hear from Stevie Stone. Currently the ferocious and ever-hungry emcee is serving his music to the masses on the road on The Malta Bend Tour, proving that his train never stops.
Need a hook? Call Krizz Kaliko. Need an incredibly dope verse? Same number. The vocal Swiss Army Knife came through with a vengeance for Strange Music with his versatility and impeccable vocal arrangements. From his scene-stealing verse on “Speedom (WWC2)” to his numerous hooks for albums like Special Effects, Black Ink and Strangeulation Vol. II (this guy sneezes and a hit comes out), Krizz Kaliko was never short of supply this year and was the glue that held many projects together. To combine that with his grueling touring schedule alongside Tech N9ne, as well as his own solo shows, makes him easy to vote for in the race for Strange Music MVP.
Every ¡MAYDAY! release is assumed to be a classic before it even comes out. Future Vintage was no exception. Their most packed album to date, the sprawling, 19-track epic came complete with all the qualities we expect from a ¡MAYDAY! album plus a few new surprises. The track “Against My Better Judgment” is a rousing acoustic epic that proves there’s nothing the Miami group can’t do, and their Future Vintage Tour put the best show on earth in venues all across Canada and back to The States.