Filled to the brim with style and attitude, Charmaine’s recent release ‘Hood Avant-Garde Deluxe’ (which dropped June 25th 2021) is a powerhouse selection of tracks that ooze prestige effortlessly. Alongside her collaborators Haviah Mighty, Valentino and Kali, Charmaine has created a soundscape of soulful hip hop fused with a bold rap style and unapologetic flair that stands out from the crowd as empowering without the pandering.
Upping the ante from her debut tape, ‘Hood Avant-Garde’ (which dropped April 2nd of this year), the Canadian-Zimbabwean artist features two completely new tracks. The offerings are ‘SIZZLE’ featuring Tik Tok superstar Kali and ‘A MI MANERA’ featuring La Noche star Valentino. Whilst ‘SIZZLE’ acts as a call for female empowerment and offers a safe space to embrace an individuals femininity in all facets, ‘A MI MANERA’ utilises Valentino’s smooth Latin presence to full effect to provide a platform for Charmaine to display her lush vocals. Both tracks carry their missions to fruition with excellent pacing, addictive chorus sections and hypnotic instrumentals.
Also featuring on the recent drop is a rework of ‘I DON’T CARE’ (previously featured on the April release) into ‘WE DON’T CARE’ featuring the first hip-hop artist and the first Black woman to win the Polaris Music Prize, Haviah Mighty. ‘WE DON’T CARE’ is an instant mood boost for listeners as it combines quick, witty lyrics and an undeniable infectious spirit. The tracks builds upon the presence generated in ‘I DON’T CARE’, elevating it to a whole new playing field, removing itself enough that the original is not left in the dark; it can exist alongside and carry differing energy without becoming redundant.
“Haviah Mighty, Valentino and Kali killed their verse and the world is going to hear that. It was super important for me to have international representation for my deluxe project. I cannot wait to see how everyone responds to it! I want everyone to feel GOOD and ready to get back into the open world we so dearly missed.” – Charmaine
Overall, ‘Hood Avant-Garde Deluxe’ is a collection of anthemic worthy tracks, each giving Charmaine a chance to shine. The features elevate the artistry as they genuinely feel like collaborations; they add something new while avoiding gimmicks. The “bop connoisseur” (the title awarded by Notion) is simply glowing as she continues her reign with this release and proves that genres are meant to be played with, and nothing will ever beat owning who you are.
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Words by Ellen Oakley