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Toronto’s Rising Rappers That You Should Absolutely Know About.

Updated: Jan 22, 2023

When you think of Toronto hip-hop these days, you probably think of Drake and the Weeknd. Their fame saturated the mainstream so much in the 2010s that their music was marked as the “Toronto sound”.

In the mid-2010s though, Toronto rap encountered something of a renaissance and started moving towards the famous sounds of trap and drill.

Downward are some tracks from Toronto’s upcoming rappers that you should absolutely know about.

Yung Tory Ft Pressa - Timeout

Timeout features two of Toronto’s underground rappers: Pressa and Yung Tory. Driftwood native Pressa became known to the public after flaring for Drake with his distinctive, high-pitched nasal delivery. Pressa since then open up to the world and appeared on songs with Lil Uzi Vert, Giggs, Tory Lanez, Shy Glizzy, and other big names. Yung Tory comes from Sauga and he signed with Timbaland’s MMG label. With his collaborator and producer Kevin Rolly, Yung Tory has worked to make a different style of music that integrates his Jamaican cores with the sounds of Toronto rap.

Stunning it may be that this duo hasn’t featured on a song together before, Timeout is proof of their innate chemistry. Over the electro-pop ingrained beat from Kevin Rolly, Pressa and Tory did verses with their high-pitched wails, autotuned. Pressa raps with his unique uncommon and reedy tone. With Timeout, it’s clear to see why both Tory and Pressa are at the vanguard of the Toronto scene right now.

Jimmy Prime - Keep To Myself

Every hip-hop head in Toronto can recognize Jimmy Prime. He was known for stamping the word “The Six”, Jimmy pushes up 1/3 of the Prime Boys, a rap group he was performing in with Jay Whiss, and Donnie. Closely cooperated with Halal Gang (Smoke Dawg, Puffy L’z, SAFE, and Mustafa), the Prime Boys made a name for themselves with their atmospheric trademark of hip hop that rocks on the rim of R&B. The Esplanade natives have been spotted on Drake’s OVO Sound Radio and the Vice documentary, 6ix Rising. Jimmy displays this unique sound best: he prefers melodic hooks and a sluggish, cloudy flow that mixes with ambient production and the sparse.

Keep To Myself finds Jimmy reflecting and reminiscing on fake mates, tipsy long nights, and a hunger to hold his emotions shut down. Produced by Sticks, the magical production is an excellent fit for the exasperated Jimmy and is much more real with the OVOXO sound than the other artists on this list. Jimmy’s voice is maybe the most unique and remarkable part of the song: with a freezing, disconnected flow, he still works to create a sense of warmth from his melodic musings.

Pvrx - Gang Code

Pvrx has been shining in the Toronto rap scene for a long time. A Rexdale citizen, he began dropping mixtapes as a teen back in 2012 delivering an aggressive flow and tough lyrics. Over the years, Pvrx would develop his style and invent a more melodic-oriented sound as his storytelling talent would gradually become the focal point of his music. His hard work would pay him and he would be on Drake’s OVO Sound Radio and finally, sign a contract with Def Jam. Dropping his debut album 3.14 in 2019, he would perform with rap artists like Dave East and Yung Pinch.

Gang Code is poof to how far Pvrx has reached and the years of hard and consistent work he’s put in. Featuring a special hook, he plays over the beat with ease. The way he moves via various flows and spaces out bars so they serve neatly jointly with the dreamy production is improbable.

NojokeJigsaw — Numb

NojokeJigsaw comes from one of Canada’s oldest housing projects, Lawrence Heights, generally known or referred to as ''Jungle'' by its locals. He started his rap journey after an injury that ended his dream of being a professional basketball player. His innate talent for music started to shine and he fast got attention in Toronto.

Numb finds NojokeJigsaw reminiscing on how the demises of friends and PTSD have dampened his feelings. In the end, he welcomes and accepts the pain-So be it- and states that without the struggle he has been through, he wouldn’t make it to where he's right now. This was the theme of almost all of his sophomore album, Late Nights Early Mornings. On the project, NojokeJigsaw plays with a combination of flows and sounds but his capacity to speak poignant stories of loss is where he really glows.


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