Heart Streets’ Stunning EP Brings Beats, Blunts, and Broads
The 2013 EP “Beats, Blunts and Broads” by Montreal female rap duo Heart Streets is both smooth and edgy in a four-track EP that is larger than life.
It’s incredibly shocking that the record clocks in at only about fifteen minutes. For such a small little mix, the record is jam-packed and stupendously produced, a lethal one-two punch that drives this record over-the-top and leaving the listener breathless. The cover art is quite ballin’ too. Indeed, this is a stylish record inside and out.
The EP begins with the smooth bass of “Word Up,” reminiscent of Montreal’s jazzy music scene and hints of Gwen Stefani’s sensible and glitzy pop. This is a triumphant beginning for the EP, topped by three minutes of head-bobbing as the stylish duo exchanges impressively written verses and choruses over a smooth and creamy beat. It’s only fair to warn that listeners stand in danger of falling violently in love with the duo’s incredible ear for some sweet sounds
The penmanship of the two truly shows and continues in “Arizona,” a relentless continuation of punchy rap verses spat through some beautifully written lyrics. By now, it’s plain to see how impressive, nuanced, and controlled the vocals are, driven through by the snarky and clever “F-U-C-K-I-T,” all while continuing the preachy triumph of “I can be.” But track three’s “Ruby” is when the record takes an impressive soar, with a surprisingly deep instrumental and compounded by some of the punchiest rap vocals on the record. This isn’t to say that “Ruby” stands out as the sole highlight of the record, but that it builds and swirls together the impressive production of the album with Heart Streets’ impressive ear for beautiful lyrics and tight instrumentals. All of this, and there’s still one last song on the EP.
“Head Down High” featuring City Fidelia has the heaviest swagger on the record, featuring a catchy chorus, some inspiring lyrics and an impressive verse by City Fidelia that complements rather than clashes with the star female duo. This is what you could a ‘celebratory break-up song,’ but it wouldn’t be fair to simplify it as that; it’s an incredibly well-written and well-produced track that tells a story, one that mixes heartache and regret, full of emotion and rawness. Indeed, both Heart Streets and City Fidelia are unafraid to lay down everything on the line. Worth noting, no line seems to hit as hard as the repeated “and now we both agree to fuck the rest” (although that is a general consensus; listeners will find many lines in this wondertrack that will surely hit hard). “Head Down High” is undoubtedly the best song on the album, one that is a surefire fan favourite, and yet is only one piece of this impressive record.
It’s unbelievable to conclude this review with the realization that Heart Streets still has a lot to offer. Four tracks is never enough to showcase all that you got, and the amount of substance that is artfully packed into this mix just seems to scream potential, style, and a signal for amazing things to come. This will probably be the first ever record with less than five tracks that you will ever listen through and feel fully satisfied, despite its shortness. It’s a record overflowing with raw content, quality production, tied together by some tight vocals that stand toe-to-toe with some amazing penmanship. By the time you finish this record, I promise you that you will feel satiated and in disbelief that this was not a full-length album. Truly, there’s no such thing as perfect, but in terms of a four-track EP, “Beats, Blunts and Broads” stands awfully close to being just that.