Cityreal & Wes Mackey – Good Morning Blues


In the framework of Vancouver hip hop – a scene synonymous with names like the Rascalz, Sweatshop Union, and Swollen Members – Cityreal (Remi Huot) is steadily becoming one of the city’s most relevant players. With his sophomore release Good Morning Blues, the Winnipeg-raised emcee has made a prominent mark on the face of West Coast rap and planted a stake in its future development. Recorded alongside veteran Wes Mackey, a guitarist with a professional career spanning 50 years, Good Morning Blues is an immaculately produced ten song album with smooth instrumental tracks and an ear directly to the pavement of urban Vancouver. Featuring collaborations with Mad Child and Toronto’s D-Sisive, Cityreal’s first release in nearly three years deals with themes of self-discovery and sounds impressively mature for an artist with only one other release (2010’s The Beginning). Although the prominence of Mackey’s guitar riffs and melodic hooks situate Cityreal’s Good Morning Blues within an ‘alternative’ nexus, the frequency of sampling and core hip hop elements also broadens its appeal. The use of Nipsey Russell’s 1974 soul classic “What Would I Do (If I Could Feel)?” on a midpoint interlude is one notable example. Heads and casual fans alike should enjoy Cityreal’s Good Morning Blues, if not for its avant-garde integration of blues elements, then for its lyrical honesty and dedication to the central tenets of the genre: beats, rhymes, and life. (Independent, Harrison Samphir

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