Wednesday, October 9th, 2019

Haviah Mighty – Blame

Checking in on Toronto’s rap scene…


Thomas Inskeep: This year’s Polaris Prize winner, the first female rapper to take the prize, has Flow. For. Days. Her winning album, 13th Floor, is powerful stuff — she’s so nimbly-tongued, like a Lauryn Hill or Pusha T. “Blame” has a simple, straightforward beat, anchored with a killer bassline that serves Haviah well. She’s reminiscent of early ’90s rappers, which is why she’s so vital right now.

Tobi Tella: As soon as Haviah starts spitting, her presence is immediately felt. She’s confident and in control, switching flows like it’s no problem, effortlessly jumping from one topic to the next. Even when she may not be entirely on the beat, she sells it through pure charisma alone. She has star quality in spades.

Kylo Nocom: I can’t imagine how sick she must be of hearing puns on her name. Better melodies would have done this a whole lot of good, because as is the hooks are just irritating intermissions between the good bits and some irritating singing near the end. When Spotify played “Champion” after this I was immediately more interested in what she had to say.

Kayla Beardslee: I am the opposite of savvy about rap, so me trying to write about “Blame” means that I really enjoyed it. The beat is surprisingly reserved, but there’s enough energy in Haviah Mighty’s flow and writing to make up for it, and the focus on her performance over the production makes the song a good showcase for Haviah as an up-and-coming artist. I also appreciate the switchup at the end — the melodic vocals layered over the light trap instrumental create a contrast that makes the ending, while still quiet, feel climactic in its own way.

Alfred Soto: Accelerating and decelerating using a system I can’t figure out, reveling in the love of both sexes, she sounds like no one but herself, despite “Blame” running out of song by the two-minute mark. 

Hazel Southwell: Haviah’s scratchy, tight vocal takes a deep keyboard hook and turns it into the kind of spiky, crinkly, multi-textured track that’s a full sensory experience. Lush and crunchy, it’s the kind of track some luxury dessert manufacturer would use on an advert and clean up, if they weren’t cowards.

Stephen Eisermann: While I find the lyrics to be pretty pedestrian overall, Haviah Mighty’s flow and the way she manages to command the beat of the track are things to watch for. Give her some better bars and I’ve no doubt she’ll join the likes of Cardi and Meg as the next big thing.

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