The Best New Hip-Hop: Meet Xolisa & Her Wonderful Debut Album

Last year, we featured a track from a Toronto-based emcee called Xolisa (pronounced koh-lee-sah) on one of our Breakthrough playlists, showcasing upcoming, independent artists around the world. The track in question, The Fallen, was a smooth, commanding testament to the fact that hip-hop isn’t just a man’s game. Now, the Trinidadian-Canadian artist has dropped her debut full length album, and we’ve got it right here for you to stream in full.

Entirely self-produced, the album, And Gaps Do Lead To Bridges, stands firm as her “declaration of faith and her belief in humanity’s ability to overcome our collective obstacles of hurt, pain… to both ourselves and to one another,” all the while exploring and expressing her frustrations with the destruction and brutality of human kind. Weaving together smooth flow, intimate interviews between tracks and luscious harmonies, the album creates a tapestry of both vulnerability and strength as she deals with topics including racism, oppression, genocide, police brutality.

Blending together so many different elements so seamlessly through lyricism that is both intricate and masterful, Xolisa is unapologetic and candid as she brings together nostalgic boom bap and neo-soul, all the while looking towards creating a sound and lyrical content that looks to the future.

With two EPs already under her belt, along with a number of award nominations, this is Xolia’s debut LP and is a nod to her rapidly growing reputation as an artist who is celebrated for her entirely unapologetic messages of self love, political awareness and spirituality.

Listen to And Gaps Do Lead to Bridges here.

Image: supplied