Cadence Weapon exposes the systems in place
The world around people is in constant motion. Fast-paced living has become so engraved in people’s bodies that they often don’t pay attention to the things that don’t directly affect their day-to-day living. Yet, after being locked away for a year, some have been able to open their minds to just how screwed up a lot of our systems are. Canadian rapper Cadence Weapon decided to openly speak on his viewpoints and experience that he has had a chance to dwell on this past year with Parallel World.
The opening track, “Africville’s Revenge,” is a Black empowerment of sorts. It’s a confirmation that Black people will continue to flourish and receive all that they deserve. “On Me” features Manga Saint Hilare and Strict Face and sonically matches the lyrical content. The synths mimic the sound of some kind of tracking technology from a science-fiction film with a simple drum pattern underneath. The lyrics highlight the fact that people, as humans, are constantly being tracked via different mediums. At the end, a robotic voice begins to speak about facial recognition and the underlying racism that plays a role in the making of those devices.
“SENNA” is the highlight track of the LP. With production from Jacques Greene, this synth-heavy beat is playful. The synths are rhythmic and vary in pitches to balance out the sound of Cadence Weapon’s vocals. He boasts about how he has thoroughly enjoyed being himself and encourages others to do the same. “Skyline” contains a bouncy drum pattern that allows Cadence Weapon’s flow to work alongside it. He plays around with his flows, switching from a strict rap to a melodic one as he tackles the idea of gentrification and what it means for those who lived there previously.
“Eye To Eye” feels more like a hip-hop song than the previous tracks on the album. The drum pattern is quick, with a light synth ornament to the melody. The bassline is heavy at the moments it becomes louder. Lines like, “Thank God I made it home today. If I walked another block, I might have gotten blown away” emphasize that heaviness. The final and longest track of the project is “Connect.” It contains those electronic elements still, but they’re much calmer, almost like it’s yearning to be hopeful. Around two minutes and thirty seconds, the volume increases, and the production becomes more chaotic. The lines “I want a better future/ I want a better solution” kick off this moment. It feels like a pleading cry to culminate the difficult topics discussed before this track.
Parallel World is a reflection of the world we’re living in. It’s a political commentary on so many aspects of everyday life that had been exposed due to the pandemic. Cadence Weapon was able to bring in elements of his music that has worked in the past and blend it perfectly with controversial discussions. It’s an honest and open LP and a reminder to people affected by these issues that they are seen and heard.