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culture

Sound Advice: Stigmata, by Tre Mission

Toronto producer Tre Mission took his talents to the U.K. and came back with a fresh perspective on Canadian hip-hop.

Tre Mission's Stigmata

After wearing the hell out of the “next big thing,” 22-year-old Tre Mission drops a full-length project, Stigmata, which follows his well-received debut, last year’s Malmaison. Mission spent time overseas, immersing himself in the U.K. grime scene—peep at his YouTube vids for his freestyle skills—and the end result is his overall vibe and flow is informed by dubstep, bass, and jungle musical elements.

Mission hasn’t been shy about repping where he’s from—he grew up in the Don Mills area—and with Stigmata, he presents his Toronto roots right from the intro track, giving shout-outs to Mayor Rob Ford, Kennedy Station, and the 25 Don Mills bus (not in that order). There are plenty of guest spots—British grime artist Skepta (“In the Hallway”), Toronto R&B singer Andreena (“Go Hard”), and local hip-hop veterans Saukrates (“Get Doe”) and k-os (“Jessica”) all make appearances—and the production builds on Mission’s grime sensibilities, keeping things moving over 13 tracks. The title track (and accompanying video) in particular is a breezy, chill number that encapsulates the album’s overall vibe and creative aesthetic.

Stigmata isn’t a perfect album—the hook on “In the Hallway” is forgettable and “Boy in the Corner” is skippable—but “this is for the 416,” as Mission says in “Intro,” and he manages to deliver. Mission has an intriguing lyrical flow and a mature approach, and he’s yet to hit his artistic ceiling. Stigmata carefully leverages the best elements of underground music from both sides of the pond, and Mission shines on an album that merits attention as a “best of year” candidate as far as Canadian hip-hop goes.

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