New York, NY (Top40 Charts)
Toronto-based rapper Jay Whiss (Prime Boys) has spent his entire life in the city's Esplanade neighborhood, carving out his own niche and developing a rap style that stands on its own. Today, Whiss drops his first solo music in over two years with the release of his Dark Cloud EP.
Dark Cloud is a deeply personal expression of the last few years of Whiss's life and is heavily influenced by the tragedy of losing two friends to gun violence last Canada Day on Queen
Street West in Toronto (Prime Boy assistant manager Kosi Prime and close friend and collaborator Smoke Dawg).
The official video for the title track, "Dark Cloud", was filmed in Toronto and was directed by Elliot Clancy Osberg.
"Music has always gotten me through things. It's like therapy," admits Whiss, who's had a few of his buzzworthy solo singles ("Watch This
", "Welcome To The Life") featured on Drake's OVO Sound Radio
in recent years. "What happened is a dark cloud that can never be lifted, there's just too much pain. But you can get through it."
Lyrics like "Don't know who to blame / For all this fucking pain"..."Think of Smoke / I just miss my bros / Keep ya n****s close / 'cause you never know" speak to the lyrical weight of the EP.
Dark Cloud comes fully loaded with contributions from industry stalwart Pro Logic
(Meek Mill, Post Malone, Lil Wayne) on "Every Night featuring Jimmy Prime and SAFE", fast-rising producer 1mind (French Montana featuring Swae Lee "Unforgettable
") on "Dark Cloud", and Amir Jamm (Smoke Dawg, Prime Boys) and Jaegan (Ramriddlz) team up to provide the soundscapes on "How It Goes". Guest features on the Dark Cloud EP include Toronto rapper SAFE and fellow Prime Boys member Jimmy Prime (credited with coining the Toronto nickname "The 6ix").
Jay Whiss began making waves in the industry when he was featured on the 2016 debut mixtape by his long-time friend and collaborator, multi-platinum producer Murda Beatz. Their single "Brown Money" racked up over 300K streams on Soundcloud and led to Whiss being pegged by industry insiders and notable U.S. blogs like HotNewHipHop as one of a handful of "Toronto Artists To Watch". Last year, Whiss got nods from a wide range of noteworthy media including The FADER, VICE, Complex and Exclaim! (9/10) with the critically acclaimed release of Koba World - the 2018 album from the Prime Boys collective alongside fellow crew members Jimmy Prime and Donnie.
"The best way to get through to people nowadays is through music," says Whiss who was interviewed for Mustafa The Poet's 2019 documentary Remember Me, Toronto alongside Drake
and over a dozen other Toronto artists from different communities. "I want my music to uplift people. If you can take something away from what I've been through, then my job is done."
The Dark Cloud EP reveals Whiss's musical maturation and lyrical authenticity, serving as a prelude to his forthcoming debut album coming later this year.