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Cam Smith 

Cannon (independent)

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You’re at a party at Cam Smith’s house, and it’s one for the books. There are crushes, belly laughs, Roots is on TV and some of the most innovative artists in the city are hanging out and eating Tostitos. Cannon is heavily narrated throughout track transitions under this premise, making this album vaguely conceptual. It’s a unique way to tie together a bunch of tracks that could easily stand alone. When it works, it works—but the plugs for Alfie’s album New Fans seems to draw away from the impact of Cam’s singular achievement with Cannon. The songs are tight. Production, hooks, vocals are both precise and just chaotic enough to inject energy. The selection of featured artists reads like a who’s who of who to watch in the hip-hop scene locally. Standout contributions from XXX CLVR and Nicole Ariana are jewels in Cannon’s crown, but the spotlight here shines on Smith and rightly so.

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