Le Rap c'était mieux avant (Rap/Hip Hop was better before). I've heard this phrase a thousand times. And you know what I've realised, it isn't true. Perhaps our ears and our imaginations have become lazy. But I have something up my sleeve that will restore your faith in real Hip Hop.
ST is a Montreal based Hip Hop artist who, I guess, has a storyline which is becoming more and more common in the world of Hip Hop. ST belongs to the generation fed by 2pac, Notorious BIG and Nas, the same generation which now also listens to techno music, Ed Sheeran and Ibiza DJs. Thankfully ST is more 2pac than Ed Sheeran. Having had a life-long passion for reading and writing, his music projects are now beginning to flourish and the Montreal Hip Hop prospect is creating waves with his naturally delivered rhymes, shaping his philosophy and the philosophy of those around him.
ST is part of the TTT crew which stands for Trust The Team. Members of the team are ST, Liam and Fruits, three friends who have a simple idea; make new with old. Together they have released different projects such as 'Inside The Circle' which features ST's most popular song to date 'Realness', the irresistible 'Real Cats' and more recently 'Lava', an instrumental album with one of the most incredible Dali-esque album covers of all time. But ST is working on his solo own solo projects too, the latest entitled 'Standby' with Tony Stone of the Montreal based The North Virus and Planet Giza crew. The new album is based on ST's recent travels, trials and tribulations and is also going to feature his first attempt to rhyme in his native french language.
"I think real Hip Hop is whatever feels genuine to the people making it. Me making gangsta rap wouldn’t be genuine, so obviously that wouldn’t be real Hip Hop. However, some dude who’s really out there selling dope and living that life could make gangsta rap and that would be real Hip Hop to me"
ST's ambition is to be independent with his music and travel the world on the back of it. He aims to be recognised as a genuine artist who speaks the truth, his truth; real Hip Hop. During our interview and within his music a genuine honesty is recognisable, a real Hip Hop artist who knows his place and where he wants to go. Hip Hop has become more accessible and that's thanks to artists such as ST who are writing about their real lives. As long as it's real and genuine, it's relevant music. And this is also partly the reason why Hip Hop music is sometimes perceived to be unaccessible or fragmented, it's range is gigantic because every artist has a different life and story to share. Naturally some we find agreeable, others not so.
"I feel like whenever music is genuine, you can sense it and it makes the songs that much better. We all have our lives and real Hip Hop stems from artists talking and reporting on what they experience on an everyday basis. When something is fake, you can definitely tell".
Montreal is a thriving city for new artists, so much so that the canadian government even gives grants to new artists to help boost development, diversity and creativity. The result has seen the city massively increase in artistic productivity with the emergence of new bands such as Half Moon Run, Ought, Viet Cong, as well as Hip Hop artists such as Kaytranada, High Klassified and of course ST himself. A good example is the festival M for Montreal which showcases the musical diversity of Canada, or the infamous Oshegea Festival merging arts and music.
ST's place in this thriving future artistic community is imminent and rising, but his ideals are based on an ethos found well before the 'Golden Era' itself. He is in fact new retro; creating the new with the old. He is keeping to and duly respects the traditions of Hip Hop but realises that the magic lies within the need to experiment and find your own voice; your own sound. The quest might be a common one but the desired result is often missed; music relies upon new artists that will later define our generation of music. In ST, and his collaborators Liam and Fruits, Hip Hop and Canada may have found their generation definers.
"For real, fuck what you heard about sampling, we're taking old records and making them fresh again, thats original"
ST also features on The Celestics's album 'Supreme Laziness' 'The One'.
'Inside The Circle' by ST x LIAM, 8/10.