25 Nov 2021


Trap music has been the latest trendsetting sub genre of hip hop with roots as far back as the 1990s but hit mainstream music in the 2010s. It originates in the Southern United States and is notorious for its use of synthesized snare drums and multi-timed hi-hats. It is now the most popular form of American music but has influenced artists across the globe. Canadian hip hop has been heavily influenced by trap music, including uprising stars CMDWN COLLECTIVE. In 2020 they released catchy single ‘Uncle Phil’ with not only an official music video but a wild lyric video as well.   

Who doesn’t want a bouncy cartoon Uncle Phil head in their lyric video

Meet Toronto’s trendiest new rap group, CMDWN COLLECTIVE. This Canadian team consists of Ottawa raised vocalist FIJI, Atlanta rapper Ca$tro Guapo and producer/creative director Teo Nio. Neo and FIJI are childhood friends, and their future was sealed when they met Ca$tro at Queen Street and Spadina in Toronto at a closing party for a clothing store. Immediately the trio hit it off and the rest was history. With a moniker like CMDWN (comedown), it is no surprise that these rowdy boys made a name for themselves by throwing the most sought-after parties in the city, receiving attention from Canadian rapper Derek Wise. Their first single ‘We Are Not’ was released in 2015 and garnered hundreds of thousands of plays. This collective is known for their catchy hooks, chilled out beats and refreshing new sounds. They have found a way of blending fashion with quality production, music and performance to create a unique brand known as CMDWN. With over 7 million streams on Spotify and YouTube combined, it is certain that this trio will be Canada’s next major hip hop group. 

The karaoke style lyric placement is perfect for viewers to sing/rap along

In June 2020, CMDWN COLLECTIVE released their trap styled hip hop single ‘Uncle Phil’. This song is fun, the beat hits hard and is super catchy. You cannot help but want to turn it up loud, throw your hands up and dance. Before the release of this single’s official music video, CMDWN put out an intoxicating professional lyric video. A little insider secret about this fun video is that the visuals are actual behind-the-scenes footage from their official music video. We all know who Uncle Phil is, if you do not you MUST freshen up on your 1990s pop culture, but alas he is Will Smith’s uncle in the sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-air. The footage in this lyric video is shot in a pillared mansion similar to the one from the tv show and is a fitting choice considering Ca$tro sings “Mama want a crib like Uncle Phil”. Since this trap trio is renowned for their over-the-top partying, the footage gives us a sneak peak into one of their VIP events. Instead of seeing things clearly, I love the creative choice to make the video blurry and the heavy use of the DLP Rainbow effect throughout the video. This is a unique visual technique that can be used to make the viewer feel under the influence or drunk and in this case, part of the party.

This lyric video features the fun DLP Rainbow effect

My absolute favourite element of this video is the way the lyrics are presented. No need to get fancy with your font choices when you have bouncing ball karaoke style lyrics using a cartoon illustration of Uncle Phil’s head! His head bounces over every word sing-along style and allows CMDWN’s fans to rap along. The lyric video for ‘Uncle Phil’ is entertaining and lively which is a great summarization of CMDWN as artists and a brand. The use of fun visual effects really brought the party to the viewers’ screens and gave us an inside look at this hip-hop collective’s lifestyle. My new favourite lyric video feature are karaoke style lyrics and anywhere that there are any iconic 1990s references. Canada’s hip-hop scene is growing on a rapid scale and is being led by trailblazers such as CMDWN COLLECTIVE and I will definitely be keeping a close eye.

Check out the lyric video for CMDWN’s ‘Uncle Phil‘ on YouTube here:

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