The Canadian rapper's third album is a jazz-rap-disco party
“[I]Show a hype man the middle finger on my right hand/I don’t need a fucking hype man[/I]” drawls Canadian rapper Rollie Pemberton on ‘Hype Man’ which, to these ears, sounds like a sly pop at heavyweight hip-hoppers appearing on tracks by lesser-known oiks to lift their status to ‘bloggable’. It’s a fair point, apart from the ugly truth that Cadence Weapon does need a hype man, because even though this is the third album in a row (following ‘Afterparty Babies’ and ‘Breaking Kayfabe’) to display his impressive wit and imagination, the world doesn’t care. ‘Hope In Dirt City’ is the most soulful and hazy he’s ever sounded (his previous stuff having been more hard-edged and bleepy) – there’s old-skool James Brown vox on ‘Conditioning’ and generous amounts of brass on both ‘Small Deaths’ and his reworking of Bowie’s ‘Driving Saturday’. It sounds like a jazz-rap-disco party, which is the kind of party hype men don’t enjoy.