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Cadence Weapon

The always-grinding Cadence Weapon continues to firmly establish his legacy as a pioneer in a passionate crusade to push the rap and electronic music envelope. At 24 years old, Roland Pemberton is internationally recognized as an innovative and accomplished writer, producer,rapper, touring artist … and now Edmonton’s Poet Laureate.

In the course from his debut album Breaking Kayfabe to his sophomore record Afterparty Babies, Roland Pemberton came of age. While most youths were struggling to focus on asneaker brand for more than a week, the young (and underage) Pemberton would slip into clubs to play shows with Spank Rock, Lady Sovereign, Jurassic 5, TTC, New Pornographers,Final Fantasy, and De La Soul. He rocked guest performances with The Klaxons, Hot Chip and Islands; he remixed Lady Sovereign, Kid Sister, Disco D, Busdriver, Rick Ross/Simian Mlobile Disco; he’s been featured on tracks with Buck 65, Anti MC, A-Trak, Shout Out Out Out Out and Shuttle. He inked deals with legendary labels, Epitaph USA and Big Dada for the UK and Europe; all before he was barely legal.

Pemberton’s explosive debut was an impossibly accomplished hip-hop album stacked with clever writing and impressive rhymes, paired with the electro-tones of UK grime and West Coast hip-hop. The album yielded instant praise and notoriety, culminating in nominations from the Polaris Music Prize (modeled after the Mercury Prize), the Canadian Indie Awards and “Best Rap Album of 2006” at the Plug Independent Music Awards, and won the CBC Radio 3’s Bucky Award. Cadence Weapon and Breaking Kayfabe garnered fans from Pitchforkmedia.com, Urb Magazine, XLR8R, CMJ, Q Magazine, Uncut, Drowned In Sound to name only a few.

Afterparty Babies released last spring, again, received heaps of accolades and closed the year at the top of an impressive pile of “Best of 2008” lists including; Q Magazine, Clash Magazine, Plan B, Exclaim, and CBC Radio 3, in addition to getting his second nomination from the Polaris Music Prize, while his video “Real Estate” continues to force a smile on the face of economic bailouts.

Rollie said he “wanted to make music that afterparty babies are created to” and theAfterparty Babies experience takes shape from this premise. The recognized wordsmith pushes the theme by delving into it through friends and feelings, crews and club nights,hometowns and heroes, media and fashion. Bound by socially conscious commentary, andpersonal subject matter, while dropping it over punishing electronic dance jams. “My dad said I was an afterparty baby; this goes out to all the accidents out there; keep on makingmistakes” – the final words that resonate from the daring acapella lead track “Do I Miss MyFriends?” a dedication and testimony to Pemberton’s first influence, his father, TeddyPemberton. A native of Brooklyn, NY, Mr. Pemberton created The Black Sound Experience radio show on the University of Alberta's CSJR station in 1980, and is credited for introducinghip-hop to Rollie’s hometown of Edmonton, the capital city of Alberta.

Following in his father's groundbreaking footsteps, Rollie discovered that he wanted to rap atthe tender age of 13. His mother had other plans; she wanted him to pursue a career injournalism, so he attended journalism school in Virginia. Finding the insular environmentstifling, the burgeoning rapper quickly decided to ditch the books in pursuit of his goal, andstill, by 18, Rollie had established a name for himself as a tough music critic, writing for theBrooklyn-based Stylus webzine and the influential Pitchfork Media.

After another year of engaging performances at festivals and clubs across North America, UKand Europe Cadence Weapon returned home a hero, and released 2009’s SeparationAnxiety. A collection of exclusive tracks, remixes, and collaborations, including the Mixmagexclusive with Hervé and A-Trak “Roll With The Winners” and remixes of label-mates TheCansecos and Roots Manuva, and arguably the show-stopper; a remix of The DB BuxtonRevue’s “Sex With My Ex”, available only on his website for whatever price you deem worthy.

When Cadence emerged from his icy Edmonton lair this spring, he brought forward his mostaccomplished work yet, the pieces of third studio album Roquentin. Defined as 17th centurytext, originally meaning a poem or composition that is made up out of other compositions with abrupt changes along the way. Roquentin, is highly referential of all of these things, andquestions the nature of existence through the pen of this young poet. Cadence Weapon hastaken the vision of blending genres to a new level; bringing together soul, classic psychedelic rock, punk, electro, disco and hip hop, into something styled and raw that is going to pushCadence Weapon further into the mainstream and blow the minds of music fanatics.

Adding a plume to his feather quill collection, on July 1 st last year Roland Pemberton assumed the role of Edmonton’s Poet Laureate for a two-year term. The role of a Poet Laureate is to reflect the life of a city through poetry, as an ambassador for the literary arts;the Laureate incorporates poetry into a range of official and informal city activities. The creation of this position confirms the city's support for the arts in general, and for the literary arts in particular. To those of us who have followed Cadence Weapon’s music steeped in references of Edmonton and its people, the distinguished role of literary ambassador for the City of Edmonton seems a natural appointment. Here, Here Lord Pemberton!

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