There’s a lot to like about There Is Only Today, the new album from Toronto-based, Saskatoon-bred rapper/producer Muneshine, but I’ll lead off by telling you what impressed me most. Muneshine is an established producer, providing beats for a number of MC’s & groups from Canada and beyond (even producing the entirity of D-Sisive’s Juno-nominated Jonestown 2), but I love that he’s comfortable enough in his own MC-skin that he sourced the majority of the beats on this album from outside producers.
That said, it must be much easier to give up your seat behind the boards when you’re handing the reigns to folks like Buckwild, DJ Spinna, !llmind & M-Phazes, and I have to say, Muneshine’s diligence in his beat selection on this record means you likely won’t hear a better sounding Canadian hip hop record this year.
Seriously, listen to the first 3 or 4 tracks on this record and if you don’t find yourself in a state of soulful-hip hop induced bliss, I’ll be shocked. As an emcee (yeah, I’m using the old-school spelling from now on, deal with it), Muneshine (aka Rob Bakker) has a charismatic, almost conversational flow, which works so well with the production on this record that you’ll be 7 or 8 songs in before you know what happened. And I dare say that like the Beastie Boys (#ripmca), Muneshine would certainly get an A from Moe Dee for sticking to themes, as the majority of the songs embrace the title concept and do a great job of providing a window into the day to day life of a 30-something MC/producer living in Toronto.
As one might expect, most of these songs are rather upbeat, and even ones like “No Days Off”, that portray Muneshine’s life as a grind take a “it’s damn hard, but it’s damn worth it” approach. That said, Mune isn’t afraid to get a little deeper, as he uses Camus’ iconic protagonist Meursault to describe how it feels to be someone who raps for a living and having to deal with judgmental peers and 9-to-5ers on the regular. And the album’s theme is really put into perspective on what is likely the album’s most powerful track: Sixteen Twenty Nine, which is (I assume) an autobiographical account of battling a serious illness and confronting one’s own mortality.
Those songs are a welcome anomaly though, as most of the tracks are absolutely perfect to bump this summer as you partake in various warm-weather activities. Great production, features from top quality emcees (D-Sisive, Ghettosocks & Emilio Rojas amongst others), and outstanding vision and execution from Muneshine results in an album I’ll be listening to for quite some time. So, if you’re not up on this album, get it now, don’t wait until tomorrow, for there is only…you see what I did there.