Young Canadian upstart Jazz Cartier put himself on the map in 2015 with “Dead or Alive,” his most popular track on Marauding in Paradise.
Cartier makes several allusions to the rest of the Canadian hip hip scene wanting him out of their way, hence the title of the song. However, he’s so far ahead of them at this point that he’s not even sweating the competition.
Seeing as how Jacuzzi was still a young artist trying to find his persona when this song was released, the lyricism is not fantastic. The message behind the song is glaring and Jazz’s flow is decent, but there is no exquisite wordplay or overly fancy rhymes. The animated beat makes the difference between “Dead or Alive” being rather generic or being a standout track.
Although the blending is admittedly not the best due to Jazz’s relative inexperience (he was 21 when Marauding in Paradise came out), the hard rhythm grabs the listener by the throat and makes him pay attention to the song.
Cartier is part of the new wave of Canadian artists coming to take over hip hop. Since Marauding in Paradise, the Toronto native has also released Hotel Paranoia (another recommendable listen), several other singles on his SoundCloud, and will also release his latest project, Fleurever, later this year.