Country : Canada (Quebec) Label : XL Recordings Genres and styles : Afrobeats / Dancehall / Drill / Hip Hop / rap / Reggae Year : 2023

Skiifall – WOIIYOIE VOL. 2 – Intense City

· by Jacob Langlois-Pelletier

As a reminder, Shemar Mckie, aka Skiifall, was born on the Caribbean Island of Saint Vincent and came to Montreal at the age of 8. In 2020, his track Ting Tun Up made its way to England and caused a sensation in the British drill scene. Since then, the Notre-Dame-de-Grâce artist has been praised by numerous art world figures such as the late Virgil Abloh and was the first rapper from Montreal to be featured on the popular music YouTube channel COLORS.

This Friday, May 5th, Skiifall returns with WOIIYOIE VOL. 2, the follow-up to volume one, which was released in August 2021. With this EP the Montrealer shows his great versatility and immense potential. In this excellent project of seven songs that take several directions, he navigates with ease in the drill, dancehall, reggae and afrobeat. Skiifall is as melodic as he is sharp, and his ability to effortlessly switch between rapping and singing is a real asset. The young MC talks about his experiences and the tensions between the black communities and the authorities.

On WOIIYOIE VOL. 2, the Montreal-based artist lays down on instrumentals fleshed out by renowned producers such as DJ Dahi (Kendrick Lamar, Drake, Pusha T) and Wondagurl (Travis Scott, Pop Smoke, Lil Uzi Vert). Also, Charlotte Cardin and Nigeria’s Obongjayar join him on the project. Moreover, the collaborative track with the Quebec singer, Yuteman Denis, had been unveiled at the end of March. In the first few seconds of the track, Skiifall shows off his great voice before displaying a Baby Keem-like flow, which fits him like a glove.  

The EP starts off hot with Undawull, a track full of 808s with a catchy chorus that sometimes reminds you of Lagos star Wizkid. Skiifall shines most on Free my mind, which in my opinion is the best song on the project. The rapper drops some excellent bars on it. Intense City is the most reggae track of the lot and allows him to show himself more vulnerable than ever. From start to finish, this project is solid and will stay in the rotation for the next few weeks. The release of WOIIYOIE VOL. 2 and the recent release of the excellent Ready When You Are by Montreal hip-hop trio Planet Giza send a clear message that Montreal’s emerging English music scene is to be taken seriously.

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