I alluded to this the other day, but regardless of how you view our country’s largest city (as someone who lived there for seven years, I’ve seen both sides of the coin), there’s no denying Toronto’s place as the cultural epicentre for a great many things. One of these things is hip hop, and there’s still dope music coming out of the Big Smoke by the truckload, much of it being produced by mostly unheralded folks like producer/emcee Relic aka REL McCoy.

Rel is one of those guys: always working in the background, working with a who’s who of those who are burbling below the mainstream in CDN hip hop, and constantly releasing great music. Despite my tardiness in posting on it, I loved his last record, Miles To Go and his new EP, Golden is more of the good stuff. Six songs of thoughtful, reflective lyrics unleashed with a confident, classic NY-influenced delivery. Plus Rel’s usually solid production - the kind of knocking, head-nod-inducing stuff that’s like comfort food in this time of skittery trap beats. The only feature you’ll find here is veteran Vancity rap-crooner Moka Only (on the excellent Loud Enuff), which is perfect, because Relic is a absolute master of the sing-song hook, which has also been Moka’s bread & butter for years.

Like anything I’ve ever heard from Relic, Golden sounded great on first listen and only gets better with more spins. Getting yourself a copy would certainly be a sound four dollar investment, but I’ll leave the last word to Rel himself.

I make rappers either aspire to new heights in the game, or retire and extinguish the flame.