UPDATE: “Reppin’ For My City” is no longer available to stream.
The “city anthem” is always a balance between accurately depicting one’s love for a locale filled with highs and lows, while offering enough storytelling to show a city’s diversity. Reppin’ For My City (The Anthem Pt. 2), the new single from the T-Dot native and Black Stone Colleagues/GFMGG artist Kardinal Offishall, attempts to deliver on this celebratory home-turf anthem, while still calling out deep social issues. Throughout his rhymes Kardinal introduces complex themes and multifaceted problems within the community and industry, rapping, “The realest people never get their story told,” and introduces discussion of poverty, success, race, and city warfare, with a little pride and optimism thrown in, and all delivered with his characteristic Jamaican influence. The hook, from newest Konvict addition, Wizkid, reads as a little more pop than rap or reggae, but still manages to hold with the verses, while production from Burd & Keyz offers an up-tempo, crescendo-heavy beat that is inherently hype. We’re still waiting on word about a new full-length from Kardinal, but in the meantime, at least the people of Toronto have a new anthem.