An album a decade in the making, Montreal-via-Melbourne's Cee and Oakland-via-New Mexico's Po3 have delivered a soulful, authentic, introspective and head noddin' project in "Bad Habits".
Conceived in 2008 in the Bay Area after a collaboration, work begun on the project in early 2015. What started as a collaborative EP quickly turned into a 15 track, full-length album as Cee and Po3's creative synergy blossomed.
Shot by serial collaborator Richard Bastarche exclusively in the vertical format, "Taste" is one of the first Hip Hop music videos of its kind in Canada. Bastarache's flair with visual FX blend with the Montreal views to create an engaging piece of vertical content, built specifically for Instagram's IGTV platform, and the perfect complement to the summer banger.
Cee is spazzin' with an aggressive, relentless flow full of multis, similes, metaphors and savagery that can only get you amped for his forthcoming full-length projects.
While Notion is putting the finishing touches on the EP, he connected with his brother Cee, Toronto's The Mighty Rhino and regular collaborator Digital Junkie for this uplifting, soulful banger. "Back To Life" sees the three artists drop positive bars focusing on progression, dedication, focus and the neverending search for happiness, all tied together by Digital Junkie's razor sharp cuts.
The twelfth and final 2017 single, "Net Neutral", is once again helmed by Notion. Soulful harmonies provide the backdrop for Cee's timely bars, touching on the recent Net Neutrality repeal, social media addiction and cryptocurrency, all contributing to an appropriate year-end wrap up.
"Something Inside" was yet again helmed by King Richard Bastarache, who took care of 5 of the 6 videos from the project (all except the "Spaceman" lyric video). Notion and brother Ceehijacked the Queen Of The World barber shop in Montreal, alongside one of the dopest barbers in the city, Dave "Harder" Dumay, for a trippy, FX-heavy visual for the soulful, hard-hitting single.
The catchy vocal stabs are balanced by the dirty bassline as Cee effortlessly rides the beat, working the "I'll be" and "1, 2" vox into his verses. He confidently speaks on the position he feels he deserves in music, persistence, and the affect the death of his father has had on his life. As real and as poignant as ever while retaining that head nodding vibe, "Kill 'Em" comes in at exactly 2:00 so it's short and sweet, and it's exactly what you need in your life right now.
Once again helmed by King Richard with assistance from 9 Block Productions, "Hurt" follows the four MCs through a dusty Quebec summer, with Notion commandeering a beat up vehicle picking up hitchhiking rappers while they all speak their truth about the pain in their respective lives. Jonathan Emile's moving, reggae-infused hook paves the way for reality bars over Myer Clarity's sample-laden, boom bap production.
Summer in Canada is a time for celebration, and Cee teamed up with German super-producer Shuko for a soulful trap banger to soundtrack the hot months.
Shuko has worked with some of the biggest names in the game, including Omarion, Tyga, Bow Wow, T-Pain, Talib Kweli, Keith Murray and Vinnie Paz, so teaming up again was an honour for Cee. They first connected on "Where I Belong" from Cee's Top 10 album "This Is All I Know", and "Hazy" brings some of that soulful flavour with a modern vibe.
A downtown Montreal mansion provided the backdrop for the visual, where brothers Cee and Notion speak on their struggle for success, their motivations and the recent passing of their father in split screen, showcasing the duality of brotherhood and the different paths we can all take through life.
Produced by LyricVids.com, "Spaceman" takes the listener on a journey across the earth and around the galaxy as Notion recounts and reflects upon his struggles while showing gratitude for where he's at. The trippy and hypnotizing visuals mesh perfectly with the ambient vibes in the production to create a mesmerizing, engaging viewing experience.
Last week on Friday April 28th, Notion released his debut album "Heart On My Sleeve" to the world, and to celebrate, we threw a party to end all parties. Well, even if the cops weren't called, it was still lit AF, as the kids say.
We connected with the guys at Laylow in Toronto, a Hip Hop-themed bar and nanobrewery to brew a beer - a super juicy, fruity North East IPA called "Hops On My Sleeve" - just for the event at their super dope spot, and we invited a guestlist of our favourite people in the industry in Toronto. In a first for TMF, we vlogged the whole thing. Check how it all went down below, and buy/stream the album!
You never forget your debut, and this project means the world to Notion. As the title suggests, "Heart On My Sleeve" is a deeply personal album, containing music he's worked on over his time in Canada and touching on subjects that he's never spoken on before. At times dark, introspective, reflective, emotional, positive, quietly confident and inspirational, "Heart On My Sleeve" has something all of us can relate to. Notion conveys his emotions in a way that not many other MCs are bold enough to put on display, and this admirable trait makes this project all the more important. Written and recorded through an often tumultuous time of his life, the record expresses the whole breadth of human emotions, while the soulful, boom bap vibe is a breath of fresh air in today's brash, disposable musical landscape.
The dichotomy of Cee rapping his bars to himself (double time = double Cee) expresses an inner desire to give himself a message of hope and persistence by painting a vivid picture of everything he has gone through to get to where he is. Cee as the stone statue slowly breaking the shackles of his confinement represent the MC and entrepreneur coming into his own as a man, cracking through the hard shell of obscurity into the limelight.
Cee is kicking off 2017 with the first single from his new monthly series. "Meta" is nightmare trap; rolling hi-hats, eerie synths, vocal stabs and a drawling BPM that allows Cee to breathe as he casually delivers topical word association, with dark, creepy, Marilyn Manson-esque visuals to match courtesy of King Richard. Notion and newcomer Ben Tramer expertly laced the haunting soundscape; they'll be providing the sonic canvas for many of Cee's singles this year.
Producer Cool FD hosts a show by the name of 'Independent Coolness' on 96.2FM out of Orleans, France, syndicated in Orlando and Detroit on HipHopRevo.com. On Saturday October 18th, Cee was featured as the Emcee Of The Week, where not only did Cool FD spin a selection of Cee's catalogue for 45 minutes, but he premiered a brand new song from both artists, 'Be Healthy 2014'.