You may have seen him promoting his brand on the streets of Toronto, or this may be the first place you’ve seen him. Either way, JUNO award-winning artist Brotha J. Vellore is exercising a solo career with his Hip Hop Soul EP (2015). If you’ve heard his name before, that’s because he’s the former lead singer to the ‘90s group Too Bad To Be True (TBTBT).
He’s far from out of touch, though, considering Vellore’s music addresses modern issues, like police violence with his track “Officer Down”. His new EP brings out new messages and presents a new stage in his career.
Vellore opens the EP with a drunk rant, aptly named “Drunk Rant 1″, implying that there are more. It eases the listener in and is just a fun way to start an album. The rest of his songs have an easy, restful vibe and a consistent pace that you can’t help but bob your head to.
You can hear some ‘90s influence to the record, which makes sense, but there are tones and themes that modernize it. It’s also decidedly Toronto-based, which is refreshing. He does fall into some rap clichés, like establishing a musical dominance with the track “Autocoon”, but the synthetic blends are so well done that it’s a pleasant barrage of insults. “Bounce” brings police brutality back to light since it’s relevant now arguably more than ever before.
Even people who claim that rap isn’t a part of their usual tastes, those messaging on Vellore’s Facebook page voiced their appreciation of the flow. As for me, I love the Canadian voice the narrative has and the way it’s creative, despite dipping into a few generic rap tropes.