Yesterday, Regent Park rapper Lil Berete delivered his highly anticipated album Icebreaker 2, his first independently released project after moving on from the UK-based label New Gen/XL Recordings.
The eight track album features previous releases “Murda” featuring 2kBaby which currently sits at over one million streams, as well as “War Ready” probably one of his most mainstream sounding tracks to date. Adding to the international flair of the project are “No Distractions” alongside British rapper and singer Nafe Smallz and “Big Man” featuring Detroit rapper Sada Baby which shows off his versatility as an artist.
“It’s a song we’re I get to show off my versatility as it’s a different type of sound that my fans are used to hearing me create”, he says of the Sada Baby collab. “Songs like these open doors for me to work with other artists with different styles and flows. Even though I’ve been releasing music for four years now, I’m still young, I’m still a teenager and I haven’t shown the world all of the different types of styles I’m able to do.”
Known for his vulnerability and introspective lyrics, Berete shows maturity on the album, tackling subject matter well beyond his years. From the opening track “Lost” through to songs like “No Distractions”, “Scars” and “Trippin'” we see a young man who has experienced a lot in his short time on this planet. As a melodic storyteller about life in the streets, we hear familiar themes of him not being about to trust the police or the people around him, growing up without a father, and looking for ways to cope with the pain.
Berete’s maturity goes even beyond the subject matter he tackles. There’s also a maturity in his sound. In listening to this album you hear an artist who has spent time honing his craft and learning how to use his voice properly. What you end up with is an artist who not only sounds polished, but one who has the potential for real longevity in the game and not just quick viral success. While he has already racked up 50 million streams across various streaming platforms and over 20 million views on his videos over the past four years, at just 19 years old it’s clear that Lil Berete still has another gear to tap into. With the increased spotlight on Toronto rappers as of late with help from American media like DJ Akademiks, 2021 may very well be the year Berete gains maintream recognition south of the border.
“This tape is where I am now and how I’m feeling. Icebreaker 1 was mainly an introduction to my city”, Berete explains. “Now Icebreaker 2 will introduce me to the audiences south of the border. I want to continue the Icebreaker series for my fans to continue the journey with me. I’m really just getting started.”
Icebreaker 2 is available on all major streaming platforms.