Back in December, Cee dropped his 12th single of 2017, "Net Neutral". Once again helmed by Notion, soulful harmonies provided 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.
Now Cee has teamed up with King Richard yet again for the FX and message-heavy visuals, shot in Montreal.
After a recent trip to Los Angeles where Cee finally connected with long-time internet homie Teo Hunter of LA-based craft beer experience entity Dope & Dank, Teo had the idea to do a remix to the craft beer-soaked "Hazy" to make it even more dope, and of course, dank. Teo brought in Fort Worth, Texas's J/o/e, a "Brewed Up" craft beer fan and MC, and even dropped a verse himself, to create a fun remix that turned the beer elements up further than any rap song since "BrewHeads".
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, and featuring, frequent collaborator Myer Clarity, "What We Want" captures a Jackson 5-esque, "College Dropout" era Kanye vibe with both MCs delivering positive messages of their dreams, aspirations and plans, with a splash of side-eye.
Produced by Po3 and Sophia Lucero, "What Do You Believe In?" preceeded the work on the album and is a fitting introduction to the forthcoming group effort. A rootsy guitar lick (courtesy of Noa Bourke) kicks off the track, leading to a sparse, earthy bass-fuelled hook with Po3's conscious chant, while the MCs - including Cee's brother Notion - trade introspective verses about the state of the world as they see it.
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 drafted his brother Notion (MC/Producer/Engineer) and Singer/MC Natasha Marie alongside Emile, and the four artists combined their energies to give the cut a refresh for 2017. Cee goes in and delivers some new wisdom while Natasha channels a sultry Aaliyah on the hook, Emile carries smooth and conscious yet hard hitting bars with Notion wrapping things up with his signature flow switch-ups and wordplay.
The second track in his 2017 monthly series is "Separate Ways", both featuring and produced by his brother Notion. It's a return to their historical sound - a driving soulful head nodder, drenched in their signature honesty, passion and genuine aspiration for achievement. With a hook loosely inspired by Nirvana, the boys break down how they're moving away from any negative energy while truly embracing and manifesting their inevitable success.
Initially released in late 2015 as a teaser, lead single, "Holdin' Hands" grabs you as soon as the snare hits with its heart-wrenching sample and Notion's personal, introspective lyrics where he tracks his musical journey and professes his gratitude for his fam and his supporters. Crafted by production team DiazSima based out of Budapest, Hungary, the slick video - expertly shot + chopped by King Richard and tirelessly directed + produced by Andrew Cameron - sees Notion deliver his passionate lyrics alongside his brother Cee with support from the 701 Squad b-boy crew.
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.
"Snares & Soul" encompasses 11 soulful, sample-heavy beats, perfectly sequenced to take the listener on a moody almost-30 minute journey through Notion's recent catalogue. Some of these are the very same productions that were showcased on the super popular vlogs, and they showcase Notion's innate affinity for samples. The tape can be enjoyed as a standalone project, or as a playground for singers and MCs looking for their next hit.
The arresting visuals, directed by Jonathan Emile and shot by King Richard, follow Cee as he discovers his neighbour (played by Angela Nashed) has been a victim of domestic abuse, so much so that she does something very drastic to escape her situation. The upbeat vibe and positive lyrical content are juxtaposed with the dark themes, providing a jarring and thought-provoking experience for the viewer.
Cee and Notion are no stranger to creating a movement, and recently they have been part of a burgeoning new collective, the Sons of Boombap. Consisting of almost 70 members across the globe, the fellas aim to preserve the classic '90s Hip Hop sound throughout their releases.
The first of which, a two part mixtape entitled 'The Past Is The Future', dropped recently and features a bunch of appearances from both Notion and Cee.
With no direct references to religion or Islam, 'Ramadan' is truly about respect, perseverance and submission to something greater than ones self. In a world full conflict, contradictions and moral challenges, moments of reflection and pause underline what we all can be grateful for.
Produced by Notion, the Arabesque neck-snapper channels J. Dilla via the muffled Middle Eastern vocal sample and tough boom bap drums, while Cross, Cee and Notion break down the challenges of trying to expand and grow beyond their current borders. Serial TMF collaborator Digital Junkie comes correct with the vocal cuts on the hook, exclusively sampling some of the dopest female MCs to ever touch a mic.
Released right on time for the upcoming NBA All-Star Weekend in Toronto (February 12th to 14th), the newest b-ball anthem "SWISH" came about when theory, a TMF affiliate, visited Montreal over the summer in 2015. Notion provided the sample-laden banger from Toronto, and Cee and theory hit the lab in MTL which resulted in the catchy NBA dedication.
This EP marks a return to form for the Aussie MC/entrepreneur, as he explores both the dark and light elements of his psyche - from the uplifting title track to the dedication to his lady on "KeepMyBabyWarrrm", from reflections on his 420 enthusiasm on "UsedToBeHiiigh" to exploring the gender injustices on "MansWorrrld" with Montreal legend D-Shade, from celebrating life on "LoveLoveYalll" with brother Notion to a deeply introspective moment on "AmaliiiaRodrigues". SVNTY6's moving production is steeped in soul samples and is most certainly some of his best work to date, ranging from hopeful and optimistic to melancholy and reflective.
The second single from Cee and SVNTY6's collaborative EP, "Be Better", samples Ms. Rodrigues' classic "O Xaile de Minha Mãe", a song Cee discovered a decade back during Spanish lessons. He had sent the song to around ten different producers over the years, and only SVNTY6 had been able to flip it right.
Two years ago today, Cee and Dr. MaD released their debut collaborative EP 'Steps To The Peak'. Alaiz x The Movement Fam. This was the first proper EP either artist had dropped; Cee had given us a bunch of mixtapes and some loosies as a solo artist in the past few years, while MaD had dropped a ton of singles and digital-only EPs.