Independent hip-hop is the backbone to the genre. Many artists who rap, create beats, and produce go unnoticed even though the musicians are progressing the music for the big name artists. I stumbled across an artist who’s a perfect example of this statement. Marvinnik Appaihene-Afriyie, a.k.a. Mr. A, is a young, Toronto-based rapper who personality and drive blends into the slick and creative beats. At only 18 years old, Mr. A is an artist who’s name will be seen within the Canadian rap scene.
The German born, Canadian raised rapper has always had a love for hip-hop. Like most in genre, he started at a young age from throwing down rhymes in the school yard, sparking a hidden talent. Years later, we can see the progression of this inspiring musician. I’ve uncovered a few songs, and the one that stands out the most for me is a smooth track called “Vision”. It opens with a steady few piano notes, with a subtle vinyl hum. Mr. A comes in hitting hard with a signature verse. His flow is his own, as there’s hard to make comparisons to other artists. The beat is what progresses the track. It’s aggressive, but welcoming. The chorus feels natural and professional for an artist who’s production quality has dwindled on some tracks, but that’s nothing that can be fixed easily in the future with more experience.
Another track, “Illusion”, which has a funky and catchy opening shows the progression of the rapper as he takes another element. The song feels like a radio-single, and even has a Lil Ugly Mane production style to it with the pitch shifted beat. I wanted Mr. A’s vocal track to be louder and powerful on this track. The rhymes are fine, but I needed more “oomph” on the song. “Distant Flickering” has a totally different sound to it. What opens as a smooth alternative hip-hop song transforms into a Kendrick Lamar-influenced track. I loved thissong, and was my favourite of his as I uncovered his music. It has the best chorus, and the production quality is top-notch. The snare sample crackles perfectly as the sampled vocal track sits in the back seat of the track. It’s a promising sample of what Mr. A is capable of.
It’s tough to judge a musician at 18 because they’re still learning the ropes. Mr. A is on the perfect road to stardom, as his production has come a long ways since his early 2010 work (when he was 15-16!), his rhymes have improved immensely, and his flow has only become smoother. While a track like “Alone” can feel forced and unnatural, it’s overshadowed by the greatness of “Distant Flickering” and “Illusion” (Just to name two). Mr. A is still learning his niche, but the variety he is capable of will only prepare him for the harsh road to fame, but with the direction he’s going, it will only be a matter of time before his name becomes a popular one.
Be sure to check out his website at: http://therealmra.weebly.com/index.html
Here’s his facebook fan page as well: https://www.facebook.com/MeysterA