1200squad Mic Check: Jazz Cartier

1200squad contributor Collin Bean gets the new year started with new music and artists you need to be aware of. This week Mr. Bean kicks things off by shedding some light on Toronto MC Jazz Cartier. This is 1200squad Mic Check.

“It feels like I’m back for the first time,” Jazz Cartier, 21, raps on “New City, New Legend,” one of five solid singles the Toronto rapper released last year. The sentiment Jazz spits holds true. 2014 was a bit of a rebirth for the few who have been following his career from the beginning and a wake up call for those just tuning in. Once upon a time Jazz garnered posts from outlets with a prep-school lean to them. Now he’s landing premieres on sites like Complex, Highsnobiety and FADER.


The prep-school lean makes sense. Jazz spent much of his teens attending boarding school in New England; however, he has spent his whole life moving from city to city thanks to his stepfather’s U.S. Government job. Jazz has called the likes of Kuwait, Atlanta and Barbados home. Now that he is done with school, Jazz has returned home to the cold.

Over the past two years Mr. Cartier has crafted a new, more authentic sound and mapped out a plan to be Canada’s next big musical export. Much of Jazz’s recent releases have been built on production from Toronto producer Lantz. Lantz’s winning formula features EDM infused synths and staggering trap drums.

Jazz’s delivery comes in the form of a varied and often exaggerated flow similar to other new artists like Rae Sremmurd or Young Thug. While the sonic textures that have come to define Toronto’s recent renaissance are there, Jazz’s sound is noticeably darker than his OVO, XO and OMO city-mates. Songs like “Set Fire”, “Switch” and, my personal favorite, “The Downtown Cliché” depict a star in the making with a hunger for more.

Be on the look out for Jazz’s forthcoming project titled Marauding in Paradise, an ode to his city and reflection of his mind-state.

“New City, New Legend” is Jazz’s thesis.

The City? Toronto, Canada.

New Legend? Time will tell…

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