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Breaking Through the Ice. Now You Know.

The winter in Winnipeg if you’re not from there is almost indescribable. It is as though you have committed treason and are now forced to live in exile. The stoic, intelligent people who call WinnipegManitoba their home preserve their sanity through the art, integrity and honesty it allows. Often, the people who call Winnipeg home possess a certain kind of stubbornness that few can fathom. There is much to be said about what arrives from such oddity and desolation. 

 “Never know what is asked of me actually.
Always do what it has to be factually.
Want to do this like Master P.

No limits.”


Arresting the attention of rap and hip-hop fans worldwide is local artist SMRT, who demonstrates that something better is being produced than what is commonly observed in the mainstream latitude of the “popular” diatribe of the rap genre.

SMRT and other game changers know that ingenuity coupled with originality – when launched on platforms such as YouTube, Twitter, SoundCloud and Facebook – cripple the typical reverb nation of boobs, cars, hype, and money-backing big-label artists. His lyrics and music stand alongside other artists such as popular Swedish musician Yung Lean, who captures through video, lyrics and beats a more sad and despondent mood.


“Check out my eyes though
Let it rise though.
Let it rise slow, ‘till it’s aged to perfection.
We’re in an age of deception.”

His latest release, filmed locally by his partner-in-crime Avery Stedman, has its own unique approach to the rap video. The video presents the music in such a way so that the audience is not just watching any typical sort of rap music video. Shot with design and purpose, it evokes the artful narrative of the short film by illustrating the music with broad and eye-catching imagery, expanding on the overall feeling and tone of the song.


The bond between musician and filmmaker is apparent not only in their work itself, but also in the way the two haphazardly capture the video in a DIY fashion. Avery recounts a little glimpse of some of the shenanigans behind the scenes: 

“We got kicked out of the theater twice while filming this vid – lol. SMRT kept asking me for a toonie so he could use it for tokens to put in that stupid machine. And I’m really not the sort of person that carries around fucking change, let alone gives it away. But he was so fucking persistent that we put money in this game machine that you can win a toy from, if you can grab it. You know? Anyway, I finally gave in after promises of a beer when we were done shooting. And hell, not only did he win on the first try; it gave us some great footage… Fate I guess?”


SMRT doesn’t stand alone. Art rap is cool and people who know what is what know that 50 Cent is 50 Cent. But what exactly is tangible in today’s world? What touches the souls of individuals are the complexities of what it means to be human – it involves all of our human senses, in a world that lacks sense.

If you find your taste is dissolving and your mouth tastes like pennies from your medications; if you find that your vision is fading and you are no longer certain you understand what’s hidden behind the gold chains and name brands; if you find yourself unable to feel anything tangible in the space that is shrinking around you slowly and suddenly everything and everyone sounds the same; now you know where to look.

“Sleep until all hours.
And if that’s sweet.
This is all flowers.”

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Written by ccourtois

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