Often times, when an artist of Drake’s stature is their city’s main representation, the public’s views of said location can be skewed. Not to say that the superstar’s views from the 6 are faulty, but a range in perspective is always appreciated, and ultimately increases the city’s visibility in the marketplace.
That said, in comes Jazz Cartier, a 22-year-old rising rapper representing downtown Toronto, while Drake and bubbling rap upstarts like P Reign represent the west and east side, respectively.
While speaking with the newcomer, his demeanor is what first caught my attention. Calm, cool, and collected, Cartier in-person wasn’t the ball of energy the caught my ear on trap-influenced single “New Religion” (his admittedly wild activities the night before may have been a contributing factor). But his answers to questions ranging from the state of Toronto to his upcoming mixtape, Marauding In Paradise (due to release April 15), to his thoughts on Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp A Butterfly infer that the wheels of his mind are consistently turning and fine-tuning his creative process.
Who: Jazz Cartier hails from Toronto, but has spent plenty of time stateside (a key factor in his growing perspective and understanding of what moves the people). Inspired to come back home after seeing Drake’s success, the rapper would go on to inspire his city’s downtown scene alongside his Get Home Safe collective, which he’s no longer a part of.
He’s versatile in that he can effectively pen songs like the aforementioned jam, “Count On Me,” which features a laid back vibe, and more.
Credentials: Cartier hasn’t received any major co-signs like other artists in his position, but that’s fine. He’s amassed a fan base that includes some of the more progressive years in music journalism and fellow up-and-coming artists making noise with their respective movements.
He also has the hunger, because as he describes it “In Toronto, there’s a mentality where it was pre-Drake, everyone wanted to be the first to blow. Now it’s post-Drake, and everyone wants to be the first to blow up after him.”
Fun Fact: Jazz Cartier’s other moniker is Jacuzzi La Fleur. He also went to 13 different schools.