While Drake has become the unofficial voice of Canada’s hip hop scene, the local movements happening throughout the country are equally just as fascinating, and So Loki are two artists from Vancouver, BC that are looking to shake up the hip hop world with their unique take on today’s hip hop landscape.
The eclectic duo first gained notice in their local scene with their debut mixtape, Supermanic, that was released earlier this year. A variety of influences collide in the 12 track project, and as it traverses familiar sounds (jazz, LA’s beat scene, 90’s and early 00’s hip hop, experimental R&B, and that weird electronic shit that happens in the Swiss alps Cashmere Cat style), with time, the pieces become more than just their influences and into a decidedly unique sound.
I first learned about the rapper of the duo, Sam Lucia, through twitter, before the duo’s pairing had been officially released to the world. It wasn’t too much longer after that Geoffrey Millar (more commonly known in the music game as Natura) also came into my focal view as I dove in head first into their musical realm (albeit via internet).
Their musical beginnings take me back to their respective childhoods- Millar mentions hearing “U Got It Bad” by Usher on a drive home in a cab as a child, while Lucia mentions copied over VHS tapes of ‘Wu Tang Clan, TLC, Redman, etc’ and a decision to get into music after realizing “it’s either this or he start[s] getting into trouble.”
Food and hip hop center around the duo’s friendship, specifically when they tell me that they officially met at a food joint called Indian Sweets, and a conversation about Yeezus at said meeting cemented their status as working musical partners. To this day, they still ‘always eat together before a session’ before settling into the music, and it’s this dynamic of passion meets friendship that highlights how beautiful the relationship between a rapper and his producer can truly be.
Sonically the boys are an unique specimen in a time when so many rappers are beginning to sound identical, and they can be identified as an outlier in today’s current hip hop landscape. Bouncing from 2000’S era ballad-feeling production to something a little more West Coast hip hop, and then zooming to today’s trap (with their own twist), the influences, styles, and sounds come from everywhere without sounding dishonest to the listener- the boys genuinelyy love music, and with their deep-seeded love, they know hot to twist and maneuver it to bend at their will. Lucia is constantly challenged by Millar, and the two feed off each other’s talents. As their backcatalog continues to grow, the boys are bound for some serious success, at the very least as a cult, underground smash hit.
They’ve committed fully to So Loki, and their will to stay is cemented in the formation of their record label, Owake Records. We’ll let them explain it-
“It came to life because hard to find labels that actually want to focus on making RECORDS and not just a project full of singles these days. We aim to bring an actual experience to our listeners. It’s like the sisterhood of the traveling pants- we want people to hear an album and know that it’ll have many facets some which they love some which they hate but nonetheless…the pants fit and they feel good. Owake focuses on curating textural music and bundling it with visuals + experiences that treally stick with people.”
While their roster is still incredibly small- besides themselves, they’ve got alternative/electronic artist Chelsea Grimm and Hood Joplin- the boys are fearless, and they aren’t backing down. With 2 graphic designers in tow (Chrome Destroyer and Skimchi), they’re gearing up to build a team that’s undeniable. Drake might have some serious competition in Canada soon.