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Sinzere - Blackout

Alberta: Top 10 of 2021

by Ben Boddez

Calgary rapper Sinzere’s Blackout EP opens with a Malcolm X speech, and the tracks that follow see her attacking power structures with the same fury as the legendary activist. There are many prominent rappers touching upon systemic racism, but none of them do so quite as bluntly and succinctly as Sinzere. She backs up her arguments with poetically worded historical tales, juxtaposing them with confident boasts, and does it all with calm and collected poise.

Bo Burnham’s transcendent comedy special isn’t the only great piece of COVID-adjacent art titled Inside released this year. The indie-rock quintet’s latest opens and closes with the sounds of the 7pm clanging pots and pans that once heralded the essential workers, and many of the tracks find them grappling with introspective thoughts while trapped in a room – being stuck inside one’s own head being an even worse fate than the physical boundaries.