With the few successes of Vancouver’s remote hip-hop scene fading away into history, Matt Brevner’s arrival marked the start of a new generation of game changers for the city. Shaped by his Trinidadian and Japanese roots, Brevner’s gritty honesty, matched by his consistent hustle, set a new standard for the underground.
"Hip hop was always used as an escape for me from what I was living / experiencing with my day to day life in my environment. I purposely avoided speaking on subjects of criminal nature because they hit too close to home, and I had family members that were facing bids. I spent most of my early twenties living abroad, looking for something. Picking up pieces of myself along the way, in Tokyo, Osaka, Manhattan, Far Rockaway, Long Island, and Los Angeles, I came to realize that Vancouver is where I've belonged this whole time. The city needs me as much as I need it. I am a product of my environment and I am not ashamed of it.
The BREVNER EP is an anecdotal approach to very specific moments of my formative years. Times in my life that I tried to bury though art and a sense of forced positivity. At this point, I really don't give a fuck anymore. I feel as though my art is a full contact sport, and hurting myself along the way is collateral damage to my legacy. I don't have any other options. If I want to break the cycle, this is what I need to do." ~~ BREVNER
The eight track BREVNER EP features collaborations from Riff Raff, Fembot, Project Pat, King Louie, Ant-Live and Stevie Ross among others. Brevner EP is now available on CD/Digital through URBNET.
We let the album sit for over a month to take it in and for those who still haven’t jumped on board, we got a breakdown prepared of all 8-tracks that make up the BREVNER EP. Riding on the same vibes as the Vancouver-based artist – who frequently shows love to his Vancity scene – we took to some of the cities premium industry heads to grab quotes on their thoughts of the EP alongside our own own opinions.
Toronto has had a huge musical surge as of late, but it might be time for Vancouver’s musical scene to explode. Hailing from the New West, Matt Brevner has a new EP for the world to enjoy. Brevner who was an understudy of Chinx, pieced together an eight track EP, titled after himself. The project holds features from Project Pat, King Louie, Riff Raff, and more. Throughout the record you can hear the influence Chinx has had on Brevner, but that doesn’t stop him from crafting his own lane.
You can stream the project below and if you thoroughly enjoy the EP, you can purchase it through Brevner’s site.
~~ DAME | defpen.com/matt-brevner-brevner-ep/
As part of Vancouver’s new wave of Hip Hop, Brevner releases a brand new, self-titled EP. Features include Rome Fortune, Project Pat, King Louie, Within Roots, Ant-Live, Stevie Ross, RiFF RaFF and Fembot.
~~ I.G.O.D. | the9elements.com/2016/03/04/brevner-brevner-ep
In an odd marriage of denim and hip-hop, Vancouver-based rapper Matt Brevner can now be spotted in the windows of dutil. The Leo Award-winning artist sports denim from the Gastown shop and eyewear from Durant Sessions in three black-and-white photographs, which were taken to promote Brevner’s upcoming EP, Brevner.
Brevner met the owner of dutil and Durant Sessions, Eric Dickstein, when he was on the hunt for a wardrobe that would fit a video shoot. The two creatives decided to collaborate on a fashion- and art-related project, which saw Brevner performing an in-store concert at dutil (303 West Cordova Street) t
~~ Lucy Lau | straight.com/blogra/624391/vancouver-based-hip-hop-artist-matt-brevner-poses-photos-dutil-denim
Growing up in New Westminster, Matthew Brevner was diligently preparing for his rap career by the age of six, writing poetry and studying reading comprehension through Hooked on Phonics. His formal introduction to the genre happened in middle school when he heard Jay Z’s Volume Three, when he finally felt represented in music. Hova resonated with Brevner as the voice of the underprivileged, defining rap as poetry, but cool. His high school had a built in recording studio, so throughout his time there he was constantly writing and recording. Life after grade school proved to be slightly more challenging.
“I wanted to learn how to record my own music, so I signed up for the four year program at The Art Institute, but I dropped out after a semester because I was like, yo this program is $40,000 a year, there’s no guaranteed job placement after because I’m not trying to work at a fucking radio station and there’s no equipment so I’d be trained and not have the tools to use my skills. So I was working a shitty job at the time and doing whatever else I had to do on the side to cover bills, and I bought a very modest recording set-up and kind of went from there,” Brevner explains.
Brevner’s biggest thrust into the public eye came in the form of an opportunity to co-produce a song for Swollen Members affiliate Madchild called “Jitters.” Brevner claims he fronted money to help with the song and accompanying video but wasn’t properly compensated following its release. “The 13-year-old in me thought if I have a number one single on Rap City, shit was on; I’m helping my mama get out of debt, it’s lit. Not only was it not that, but I actually took on a lot of debt because I didn’t see the money from it. So I moved to New York temporarily, I was working with Chinx and French Montana doing video work for them. I didn’t even tell them I was a musician at the time. But then being around those guys, was such a positive influence for me. It gave me my hunger back,” says Brevner.
His time in New York did more than just increase his drive, it gave him a greater awareness of the subjects he wanted to approach with his material. “A lot of guys that were up-and-comers around then, landing pretty decent gigs and shit, were talking about stuff that was so foreign to them, but things you have to talk about being in that arena. For me I spent my whole career up until this point avoiding it. I was a product of that stuff, but I didn’t want to talk about it because it was too close to home. I thought ‘I’m going to be different, I’m going to write love songs.’ So I came back with the hunger to actually tell my story and not be afraid what local guys are going to think about me. I always thought nobody wanted to hear about this mixed kid from Vancouver talking about the street because it’s not cool. But whether it’s cool or not, that’s what I am.”
Though he still looks uneasily at his shoes when making comments about doing what he had to do to “survive” earlier in his career, it seems all his experiences up until now have landed him in a place where he can live in his truth. A truth which can exist as love songs, closer to the poems he wrote as a kid, and one that can also exist as jacked up rap tracks, a self-aware embrace of both the meek and the militant in himself. Brevner released his self-titled EP on February 26th, before setting out on his first headlining tour across Canada. As he talks of his vision for the future of his city and his collaborators, the defining quality of Brevner rises to the surface, he is incredibly focused on the future. A fast talker and a big dreamer, Brevner knows exactly what’s on his horizon, shit just has to go to plan.
BANDS SPOTTED: FEBRUARY EDITION
You probably know Vancouver rapper Matt Brevner from his Mad Child diss track and that’s pretty cool. But Brevner’s new single, “All We Know” pairs the usual rap showboating with an aspect of humility. “Getting money’s all that we know. Being broke won’t cut it. Riding ‘round with that blow, got my chain on, but I tucked it.” The track’s got a low key synth-laden beat, as is the current trend. But closer to the end, Brevner switches tone and it sounds something like Kid Cudi’s earlier, more psych-influenced material. Regardless, it’s a banger for sure.
Matt Brevner debuts his first music video for "All We Know" since dropping "Waterloo" last year, a diss track that was aimed at Madchild, which was part of a greater Canadian beef. "All We Know" features Brevner chilling on a unicorn pool floatie, getting his hair braided and cruising in the streets of Vancouver, and quick cuts between city skylines and beautiful green landscapes. Much like the video, the song is fairly a laid back contemporary hip-hop track that will feel familiar.
"What we are aiming to accomplish with this video is to show the rest of the world that Vancouver isn't all boom bap, back pack rappers and mountains," said Brevner over email. "I believe that I represent an extremely prevalent facet of Van City which is under represented in urban art on a national / international scale. I want to tell our story."
~~ Byron Yan | noisey.vice.com/en_ca/blog/matt-brevner-all-we-know
On the verge of performing his second solo show in Vancouver this year while premiering his latest video on Noisey this morning, Brevner is already taking full advantage of making all the moves in 2016. His recent video drop comes via the upcoming BREVNER EP for a track titled “All We Know” – a true and living hustlers anthem.
~~ KASSKILLS | hiphopcanada.com/2016/01/brevner-provides-visuals-for-the-get-money-anthem-all-we-know
Vancouver, BC – Even if you weren’t previously aware of the boutique denim shop that Matt Brevner was set to perform at this past Friday for the release of his upcoming EP, walking down any direction on Cordova and Cambie Street that night it was apparent that something deviant was going down in the ‘hood. Outside Dutil stood a few smoking crowds and a small lineup. The vibe was inclusively exclusive, where stating your name at the door meant the difference between witnessing a unique event first hand or watching from the outside, peering through a pair of large glass windows.
Cool indigo lighting took over the inside of the Gastown heritage space painting the walls and high ceilings a blueish purple tone. By 8:30 the cleared out denim shop was filled with the company of artists, DJs, rappers, supporters, press and family. Hustling through the mob to the back of the shop got you a cold beer but making the trip through the impressively swollen crowd was task for the most ambitious.
By 9pm members of Brevner’s band – Braeden “Withinroots” Vanderzalm and Nico “NDT” DeTorres set up in the two windows on either side of the shop’s entrance. Shortly after, Brevner was introduced from above the doorframe, overlooking his audience – “There are a lot of people here who don’t know me at all…and a lot of people who know me really well”. His vibe was warmly aware making the room resonate with a vibe that can only occur through connecting like-minded people in the same space. Brevner has the ability to bring a feeling of harmony to a spot, and certainly on this particular evening. From the bat, it was a show very unlike any other Vancouver has seen.
He started off with a track called “Chico” from his upcoming release BREVNER EP with Withinroots and NDT on the keys providing an undeniably chilling intro. With one of the first in his set, this song was also one of the rawest and more real – both lyrically and compositionally. The track started off slow and delicate then perfectly contrasted with verses progressing into something grimey and undisguised – “Nice guy with a dark past / hard work made me humble, never lost class”. In all honesty, it was haunting and although this was just the beginning it was hard not to immediately pick favorites with this track.
With BREVNER EP’s debut single “All We Know” being released that same week, dropping it in his set was a no-brainer, and effective because with a good view it was easy to witness a large portion of the crowd singing along to the “gettin’ money” hook. Brev has been a little more blatant with his villainous tendencies lately while managing to maintain a low key nice-guy balance but when he dropped “Give A Fuck” (which will feature Rome Fortune on the EP) that bad-boy shit was really working for him. Black t-shirt, dark denim and rounded out shades with his hair tightly braided, his image was definitely fresh and to use his own words, very “Young Jap-black Frank Sinatra”.
He closed the 20-minute set with a cover – Kanye’s “Roses” – which he mentioned he didn’t want to do but considering the track meant a whole lot to him since losing his Grandmother and “best friend” late last year, he felt it was an appropriate homage. It was perfect. Most people knew the lyrics, and almost all of us could relate to the pain of losing someone. Whether collecting a room on one solid vibe of creating and supporting good art was his goal or not, he certainly maintained just that. Brevner also showcased his growth as an artist and came into his own in front of his community. A tastemaker and rare Vancouver visionary making dope art and encouraging his peers to join him in doing and supporting the same; it was a beautiful and compelling thing to witness.
“All We Know” is award-winning rapper Brevner’s first public video for 2016 in the lead-up to his forthcoming self-titled EP due out Feb. 26th 2016
“What we are aiming to accomplish with this video is to show the rest of the world that Vancouver isn’t all boom bap, back pack rappers and mountains. I believe that I represent an extremely prevalent facet of Van City which is under represented in urban art on a national / international scale. I want to tell our story.” – Brevner
Shaped by his Trinidadian and Japanese roots, Vancouver-based Brevner is an artist on a tear. Some people first sampled Brevner’s artistry when he co-directed and starred in the late Chinx & French Montana’s 2014 “Feelings” hit video, which got 8.4 million views in its first week. Others recently peeped his searing seven minute viral diss video of Madchild on “Waterloo (The Jitters Story)” in November 2015 that quickly racked up 200K views (in 2012 Brevner was featured in and produced “Jitters” with Madchild of Swollen Members and Dutch Robinson of The Ohio Players. The single propelled the Dopesick album to #1 on the overall Canadian iTunes chart, as well as #6 on its US counterpart). Others know Brevner as a Leo Award winning, and Much Music Video and Juno Award (Canada’s equivalent to the Grammy’s) nominated artist whose arrival in Vancouver has marked the start of a new generation of game changers.
ABOUT: With the few successes of Vancouver’s remote hip-hop scene fading away into history, Matt Brevner’s arrival in marked the start of a new generation of game changers for the city. Shaped by his Trinidadian and Japanese roots, Brevner’s gritty honesty, matched by his consistent hustle, set a new standard for the underground.