Montreal hasn’t exactly made as much of a hip-hop splash as neighbor Toronto, but that doesn’t mean the 514 is incapable of delivering some raw talent. Many dope producers originate from Montreal, including Hi-Klassified, Kaytranada, and Lunice; Mick Jenkins even made a Montreal anthem called “514,” celebrating what he considers to be a second home of sorts. Yet when it comes to emcees, it seems as if the next big artist has yet to break. But maybe the time is coming sooner than we think. Maybe that artist is the talented Nate Husser, who recently came through with his ominous new jam “Catherine.”
Over a brooding, finger-picked guitar riff, Husser weaves a tight narrative, delivering poetic lyricism and a masterful flow. The first thing that stands out is the accomplished use of his voice, as he lures you, spider-like, into his slowly maddening mental state. The tension is reflected beautifully by the expanding nature of the instrumental, as off-kilter synths accentuate the offbeats, blending with the reverberated guitar.
As the track builds, Husser switches up his flow, opting for a double-time delivery. The picture of his struggle is revealed with pure finesse, and his pen game remains on point from the beginning until the catastrophic end. It’s refreshing to see a young rapper who can at once embody the swagger of a Soundcloud king, while maintaining a level of lyrical integrity worthy of even the most ardent purist.