Ambition. Yes, every modern MC has this in abundance. Just look at all those “Rise & Grind” tweets, I mean they wouldn’t tweet such a thing if they weren’t getting up and getting after it, right? That’s great, but what is it that most modern rappers are striving for? Money? Fame? Many unflattering tattoos? A huge chain with their own face on it? A lucrative vodka and/or energy drink endorsement deal?

There’s nothing wrong with this really, after all, everyone’s got to make a living. But what about the music? When you’re looking to get paid, you’re gonna make music that you think will get you paid, and if that means mumbling some sing-songy nonsense over machine gun, tin-can drums, so be it.

Thankfully, there are still young guns like Halifax’s own Joseph Ward, who took Ambition as a name but appears to be working towards more modest goals than your average blogstar: happiness and making dope music. Coincidentally, dope music makes me happy, and Ambition’s new EP, Man Of The Year, has me ecstatic.

To me, classic hip hop is classic for a reason - the formula is timeless, regardless of era. Pair bangin’ beats (the ol’ boom bap, if you will) with engaging raps to create head-nod inducing songs you feel in your gut, but can still appreciate with your head. You can pretty much guarantee you’ll find this formula in abundance when Ambition puts out new music. Blessed with a baritone voice tailor-made for the emceee game, Ambition knows he needn’t overdo it on the mic: his natural flow and clever wordplay will win the day every time out. He also knows it’s wise to hit up the talented folks in his extended crew for top-notch production and turntable wizardry. This is indeed the case on Man Of The Year, with sounds from Dexter Doolittle, The Extremities, Relic and !llmind, along with cuts from his compadre DJ Uncle Fester.

Simply put, Man Of The Year features a man completely in his element. Whether he’s discussing the state of his rap life on “All In My Head” or on Dex D’s tempo-shifting “Down On My Luck”, playing a literal Supa MC on “Superhuman”, getting loose on a good ol’ fashioned posse cut with Quake & Rich Kidd on “Show Time”, or rocking a classic Sermon-esque banger like the awesome “Anti-Gravity”, Ambition sounds like a man who loves what he’s doing, and it’s infectious.

After claiming Halifax’s Best MC title recently, I think it’s safe to say he’s on track to be this city’s Man Of The Year as far as hip hop is concerned, here’s hoping he sets his sights on the rest of the country as well.