Stephen Hero keeps his feet to the collaborative fire with his latest double single produced by New Brunswick hip hop luminary Loc Dog.
For an artist who has made collaboration such a large part of his M.O. in recent months, it comes as no surprise that the latest pair of singles from Saint John rapper Stephen Hero introduce yet another voice to his growing list of affiliates.
Last week welcomed the release of the A-side single Slick and its B-side companion Fluoride, both featuring beats by producer and New Brunswick hip hop luminary Loc Dog, who has been based in Taiwan since 2008. Prior to leaving the province, Loc Dog (Tom Seamans) worked with many notable New Brunswick rappers including Sean One, Monark, Phakt and others. His work is timeless as a quick listen to 2005’s 40s and 9s Round 1 clearly demonstrates.
His latest release Cheddar in the Trap brings together voices from New Brunswick, Taiwan and Malaysia to create a unique mix of style and language.
Following releases that saw Hero teaming up with the likes of Motherhood’s Brydon Crain, MCXHAEL SHABAZZ and Monark, this latest collaboration marks another focused step toward cementing his place within the province’s rap music lineage.
“Tom reached out to me on Instagram way back in the spring, when he was home in NB. Over time we ended up saying we should collaborate so he sent me a pack of beats. He’s been really cool about sending me some sounds and stuff for my own beat making too which is super dope of him,” said Hero.
“These two songs are what we’ve come up with so far and I think they’re pretty interesting, vibe wise and sonically. I’ve been heavy in beatmaking mode lately but I really like collaborating with producers because it allows me to focus entirely on the writing, which is my favorite part. And it gives me a jumping off point that I can’t really anticipate, which is fun.”
As a pair of tracks, Slick and Flouride contrast in feel and vibe, moving from a classic Boom Bap drive into something more free and contemplative, with Hero continuing to explore both his local/social criticisms and complex word play.
“Sometimes the beat will give you everything you need to just take it somewhere cool,” he said. “So far I’ve been working with producers who are a lot more experienced than I am which is always a good look, because it can only make you better. When I finish something I produced myself it needs to stack up against what I’ve done so far. Working with dope producers is a good push in that direction.”
Slick / Fluoride is now available on streaming services and on Bandcamp where your purchases directly support artists.