I have to admit: one of my favourite things is the instrumental version of a hip hop record. The pleasing loops and electronic-influenced rhythm changes energizes and motivates me, and the subtle variations allow me to listen to the music while I work.
LSTNFND, one of the local hip hop labels in Toronto, releases the instrumental version of every track their artists put out. It’s one of my favourite things they do. The beats behind Jon Corbin’s latest EP are some of their most confident work yet.
That’s to say nothing of Corbin himself. “Spark the Flame” is, without a doubt, the best song on the track. His flow is getting better, but ultimately, his storytelling is getting better too. The lyrics are getting better, perhaps, but it’s all in the delivery here.
The guest rapper is also competent on the track, and elevates it to another level. It’s undoubtedly Corbin’s best work, and a new high note for a label that’s getting better with every release.
And ultimately, it’s hard to write about LSTNFND’s artists now without writing about the label. There are few labels so concerned with giving their artists the support they need for success, and you can hear that pay off with each release.
Hearts Set Ablaze is just an EP — it’s only six tracks, and three of those are instrumental. But you can hear Corbin grow, and LSTNFND grows with him.
Give it a listen on Spotify below: