If anyone in Toronto's rap scene embodies the true spirit of doing it yourself, it's Clairmont The Second. On his latest full-length release, Do You Drive?, the young rapper continues to position himself as an all-around talent, but more importantly, an artist in the midst of some serious growth. Just a year ago, he released the critically acclaimed Lil Mont From The Ave, an album that would eventually earn him a Juno nod and an appearance on the Polaris Prize longlist.
On Drive?, he pulls out the most effective weapons in his wheelhouse: bouncy, soulful production, playfully earnest bars ("I'm too pretty for some beef/ don't you see my freakin' face?") and the ability to transport listeners to the city's west side neighborhoods he grew up in. "Used to take the 89 all the way to Keele if I had something to do / now my girl push the wheels," he raps ardently on the album's opening track, "Hold". Bouncing from song to song with cassette tape transitions acts as the perfect metaphor for the rapper's musical and personal journey. Now 20, he's grown since his previous albums recorded in his teen years, while staying true to his sound, his city and his non-negotiables in the process. "I delete incoming emails if that T is lowercase," he raps on "Grain".
What's more, the album's credits are the ultimate creative flex; highlighting the fact that Clairmont wrote, produced, mixed and mastered each of the album's 8 tracks, in addition to creative and video direction (like the clip for the track, "Grip") alongside the camera work of Aysha "Beee" Brown.
Listen to the project below.