Previously, we got to know Canadian artist Ezza of Choom Gang on his project “Pilot Boy” and in 2021, he’s starting the year off with his new project, dubbed “Just Before Dawn: 2nd Wave”. The album starts off with a dreamy, and fragmented beat on its intro track, and is titled “Vibes Are Us”. This song carries a Jack Harlow style drawl and features a collaboration with Light Spectrum and Ill Table Manners.
It’s the ultimate track to pair with an after-work blaze sesh or a wake n’ bake session when you’re looking to fade your troubles away. This relaxing song is meant to chill you out, or as this track puts it, “I believe we could loosen it up/ I don’t know if Metamucil enough, though.”
“Fate” wakes up the album a little more, coming at the haters with a slightly harder beat as he dictates: “It’s all love/we gettin’ rid of that hate/it’s time to come together and control our own fate.”
This is a message we could all do with mid-pandemic – take control of your life and brush out the haters. Ezza also professes his love for cannabis in these lines, with a stoner-friendly twist on the usual allusions to drank: “sippin’ weed drank/ but it feel like champagne/we the champions/ I ain’t talkin’ a brand name.”
“Interdimensional” has an addictive chanting backbone to it as Ezza makes allusions to new and undiscovered dimensions to his intergalactic production and lyrics. As he finesses his way around Jasmine and Aladdin wordplay, Ezza’s magic carpet takes us to new heights, exploring around his hometown and paying homage to Canadian locales with “about to buy a home in Muskoka/then hit up Etobicoke/only a forward motion that I’m rollin.” It’s one of our favorite tracks on this work, with a fire stoked by aspirational hustle and hometown inspiration.
“Spiritual Warfare” clarifies that “this ain’t some street sh*it/this is spiritual warfare/I believe it.” In this song that reminds us of Big Sean’s “Harder Than My Demons”, Ezza shares his story on fighting the negative vibes and rising above to be better. During a pandemic, this is advice we could all benefit from following. Other lessons in the track? “Never front/cause that’s just what they want/they want you to be successful long as you are what you’re not/but remember who you are/cause it’s never too far/you a god in the flesh let me remind y’all.”
It’s an anthem for the underdogs promoting self love, which we don’t see too much of in the rap game – especially from men. “Heal My Soul”, the clincher on this album, follows suit with the same philosophy. Last year was a tough one, and Ezza’s work is an introspective reflection of that. Here’s to 2021 being filled with less demons, more healing, and a whole lot of self-acceptance.