The 2021 Pop Convergence: A Virtual Pop Conference, April 22-25th
Artwork by Alex Nero; Design by The Art Dictator

Del F. Cowie

Del F. Cowie is a music journalist and online editor based in Toronto, Canada. He has been a member of the Polaris Music Prize jury since its 2006 inception, serving on its grand jury in 2010. He has written for CBC Music, AV Club Toronto, Vibe and XXL. He is currently an assistant editor at Canadian monthly music magazine Exclaim!



"Hardly Home, But Always Reppin': The Evolution of Toronto's Hip-hop Sound"
To many, the music produced and engineered by Boi-1da and Noah '40' Shebib, architects of Drake's atmospheric sound, among other associates represents the current sound of Toronto to those in and outside of the city. Whether deliberate or unwitting, their musical brew is a successful inversion of the traditional Toronto hip-hop sound. Explicitly drawing on the fact that it is one of the most ethnically and culturally diverse cities on the planet, the sound of Toronto's hip-hop past mirrored this cultural hybridity. But does the current sound represent a logical progression or a streamlining of the past? As the sounds emanating from the city gain more notoriety, this paper will explore Toronto hip-hop's heretofore largely unexplored sonic continuum and examine the tensions, factors and exchanges behind its new sonic order.