Wordburglar brings a slew of tongue-in-cheek references that relate heavily to the nerds of the world as well as Canada’s most syrup-glazed Canucks. Whether a playful poke at our country’s unique traditions or an encouragement to embrace the hosers that we are, the unorthodox themes inspiring this Halifax emcee are compelling to take in.
In the follow up to his 2015 album Rapplicable Skills, If It Rhymes It’s Real is an EP in which Wordburglar settles comfortably into his own skin. In contrast to his last release, Wordburglar replaces the hype in his delivery with confidence. He relaxes into the feel of his signature motifs and lets his words and ideas speak for themselves. The choruses in the 3 tracks don’t overpower the verses that lie in between and keep the energy paced and reliant on the substance of the lyrics and rhyme scheme. The wordplay is clever and is rapped with a swagger that is highly pleasurable to the ear, capturing the flow of Wordburglar’s voice in a very natural way.
Musically, the beats on the album transition nicely from one to the other. The decision to have a singular beat producer, fellow Haligonian Beatmason, paid off in providing the music with a very clear direction. Each beat is very stripped down and doesn’t get too sporadic, operating pretty much within itself and remixing in the traditional form of record scratching. Track 2, ‘MacGuffin Device,’ also brings a little touch of theatrical flavour with samples of dramatic voice overs, like those in old black and white thriller movies, providing one-lined commentary throughout the song.
The album is well articulated in its writing and is performed with the bravado of freestyle. Wordburglar brings his best rhymes to date and the realism of his art is most certainly strong. With a new full album in the works for 2018, the next challenge will be to capture and stretch the consistency shown on this release over an extended run time, and the emcee has demonstrated that he doesn’t need to take any words other than his own to make that happen.