Sometimes he’s hiding in the back of a Steph Curry picture and sometimes you’ll find him in the kitchen with his cousin Ayesha Curry, but Toronto rapper Devontée isn’t just crashing the party, he is the soundtrack. Having taken three years to make, the Toronto rapper’s newest album, Head Gone, is a weighty statement that balances braggadocious hooks and vulnerable thoughts. Produced almost entirely himself, with the exception of “Poison” and the occasional co-production from Daxz, Raleigh and Ravaillac, Head Gone is a culmination of industrial-echoed synths, booming bass lines and evocative upbeat melodies that hint at his West Indian heritage.
Playing with different flows and tones, Devontée weaves through Head Gone like he’s playing different characters, suitable for the cinematic production that stands behind it. While “Fross” highlights a higher and more melodic delivery, “Wild West” echoes deeper tones and a grittier flow. “Bad ’Em Up” offers up a distinctively Auto-Tuned trap song (think Young Thug) and the reggae-infused, patois-rapped “50 Caliber” comes off as a different artist altogether — but in a good way. Despite his ability to switch styles song by song, Devontée still reserves space for Eyez, Pro Era’s CJ Cly and veteran Toronto rapper Kardinal Offishall on “Real Rudebwoy,” a sweeterman’s anthem over glutinous production.
Though Head Gone achieves a notion that Devontée has it all together, despite its boastful hooks and morethan-confident bars, closing track “Overthinking” dives into his vulnerability, allowing Devontée to take that mask off, revealing a humble underdog that Toronto has come to know over the years, but who is also finally ready to find his way to the top. (Independent)
Lady even further. He exhibits perfect chemistry with his guest stars, and never compromises the integrity of his overall sound. Sharp, cohesive and HIP- HOP
What does Head Gone encapsulate as a title?
Head Gone is the different emotions that we go through. I feel like right now in the world there’s a lot of craziness going on — a lot of violence, a lot of thoughtlessness. I feel like a lot of people are distracted and their souls aren’t filled with purpose right now. Because of that, I feel that there’s a lot of fear, anxiety, depression, anger and things like that. This [album] is like a journey, from my perspective over the last three years, feeling those emotions and what the world is feeling, and overcoming that through the perspective of a 25-year old Toronto man.
How would you describe your relationship with Kardinal Offishall?
Kardi has been awesome — he’s brought me to a lot of places, introduced me to a lot of people and is always there whenever I need to call or text him to ask any questions, music-related or life-related. He’s just a genuinely good guy who wants to see others succeed.
refreshingly different, Lady Lady is a peerless effort with major replay value. (EQT Recordings) FOLK