Toronto rapper David Versis set to release new mixtape this month
Thursday, November 3, 20110 Comments
There is no question that David Versis is driven. In just over a year, the 24 year-old musician has released two mixtapes, sold out his first solo show and caught the attention of some of Toronto’s veteran hip hop producers. This month he is slated to follow up his debut of original tracks, “Hate to Say It”, with a sophomore mixtape recorded in Toronto and New York City.
“Hate to Say It” was released online in early 2011 and is steadily making its way through the GTA on iPods and car stereos. The optimistic, confident music is perfect for the gym, the pre-drink, or as your soundtrack for taking over the world. Although there are the hip hop-mandated mentions of hos, bitches and haters, the overall sound is soft enough it could easily slip into mainstream radio.
Versis’ talents on guitar, piano and vocals show off an impressive range of influences. With “Hate to Say It,” he achieves a sort of hip hop fusion, with distinctly beat-driven lyrics on a melodic, rock platform. It’s hip hop that manages to be both authentic and progressive—quite a feat for a university-educated white kid from the ’burbs.
Today’s hip hop audience is finely attuned to lyric content, demonstrated clearly in the success of Jay-Z’s best-selling memoir Decoded. Versis joins other Canadian MCs like Shad in piloting a style of hip hop centred on tight, eloquent wordplay. It’s easy to imagine that mature work will be more poetic and like the best of the genre, deeply narrative.
It may be a bit premature to say that he’s “made it” with this release, but Versis is certainly going places. At the end of August, he performed his first solo show, “For Love and Money” to a high energy, sold out crowd at Parkdale hotspot, Wrongbar. Incredibly, most of the crowd knew his lyrics word-for-word.
The live band and the way Versis made a point of mingling with the crowd between sets kept the show fresh. In person he is well-spoken, humble and clearly excited about the future. He hits a number of fine balances: his music is deeply rooted in Toronto without being forcibly Canadian. He’s chill enough for the guys, handsome enough for the girls, and polite enough for your mom to invite over for dinner.
Versis and his promotional crew have stated that a full mixtape will drop in late November and his well-populated social network is feeling the anticipation. The Vandals are quick to promote their boy as the next big thing; listening to Versis’ body of work, it’s not hard to believe.
Lisa Kellenberger is a volunteer at thecannon.ca and a student at the University of Guelph.