Toronto’s rap scene has been on a wave for the last four years and, mov­ing into 2018, it’s not slow­ing down. Here are six acts poised to have a ma­jor year



Killy is the most vi­ral non-Drake rap­per to emerge from Toronto in years and it’s easy to see why: armed with a mel­liflu­ous flow that’s equally en­gag­ing over brood­ing pro­duc­tion and a cap­pella, the 20-year-old is poised to be our next break­out star. Thanks to sin­gles Kil­la­m­on­jaro, No Ro­mance and Dis­tance and his melodic, halt­ing and slur­ring flow full of Toronto slang, he has over 43 mil­lion streams across plat­forms. At a mid-De­cem­ber show­case at the Phoenix, Killy drew the big­gest re­ac­tion from the young crowd on a bill that also fea­tured more ex­pe­ri­enced lo­cal em­cees like ShaqIsDope, Tasha the Ama­zon and Sean Leon. Soon we’ll be able to see how far his light­ning-in-a-bot­tle can carry him. A full-length is ex­pected in 2018.

Layla Hendryx

Hendryx typ­i­cally gets left out of con­ver­sa­tions about the city’s up-and­com­ers, and that’s a shame be­cause she’s one of our bright­est voices. She can do it all, from PREEPAID, a punchy and stylish EP with pro­ducer JMak heavy on petty kiss-offs and wry hu­mour, to stand­out song Rain Or Snow, a melodic ode to self-re­liance and the grind. She’s got a laid-back ju­bi­lance that’s also to­tally self-as­sured. In 2018, Hendryx plans to re­lease a video for Dirty Dancer and drop an­other col­lab­o­ra­tive project with JMak by spring.


Pressa proved him­self last year with a pair of mix­tapes and, most no­tably, No­va­cane, a three-minute omi­nous force of a tune he fea­tured on by ris­ing Fort Erie pro­ducer Murda Beatz. Buoyed by his high-pitched sing-song flow and sneaky word­play, the song quickly re­ceived co-signs from the Weeknd, Meek Mill and Toronto’s reign­ing rap em­peror, Drake, who liked the 21-year-old so much, he brought him to Europe as an opener on the Boy Meets World Tour. Pressa’s Tory Lanez col­lab, Canada Goose, scored 1 mil­lion YouTube views in a week, while his work with Metro Boomin on his sec­ond mix­tape of 2017 put him in the up­per ranks. Now he’s mak­ing his own co-signs – on the hori­zon for 2018 is a ru­moured col­lab with fel­low ris­ing star Killy.

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