Rexdale Raised




There’s something to be said for authentici­ty. No artist better represents a more rounded picture of Toronto’s socio-economic disparity on an American platform than Def Jam signee PVRX (pronounced Pyrex). His longawaite­d debut, 3:14, is a haunting portrait of a kid from the bottom of Rexdale who made it out. Drenched in an atmospheri­c aesthetic that has become synonymous with the city, PVRX bleeds emotion into his records. The already buzzing “Make It” manages to be a vibe, still, while delivering a hopeless, almost gut-wrenching account of being locked up. While it’s the single track that doesn’t present a first-person account (feeling almost like a newage take on Nas’s “One Love”), it still feels deeply personal. Even when flexing his success on “Fortune,” it’s done in a way that paints him as grateful and deserving. “Streets is getting to me mentally and physically,” he croons on the standout “Nun New.” There is a clear sense of alleviated hopelessne­ss in his music; simultaneo­usly aware that he’s not supposed to make it, you can

What led you to shift to a more melodic sound?

Evolution is key, because I don’t want to do the same tricks. My old stuff is all rap, but now it’s a more easygoing melodic style. It’s just a different chapter. I like to explore new terrain, so I’m leaving myself open.

Do you feel any pressure, being one of the artists leading the next generation of Def Jam Records?

SOUL feel the confidence of his impending success brimming from his deceivingl­y harmonious vocals. With “Sorry In Advance” and the Dave East-assisted “Is U Down” standing as the brighter moments, the album gets dark — if you’re willing to dig deep. Coming across as an elder street archetype of dedication and persistenc­e for a new generation of Toronto youth, 3:14 sounds (and feels) like a moment. (Def Jam) It’s crazy. I grew up to Def Jam, from LL Cool J to Def Jam Vendetta. I don’t feel pressure as much as I feel motivation. Pyrex is meant to deal with heat.

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