soso – Not for Nothing

soso Not for Nothing soso Not for Nothing soso Not for Nothing soso Not for Nothing

soso Not for Nothing

On the title track of his fifth release, soso wonders aloud: all this for what?

In a calm, resolute voice the Canadian rapper grapples with “seemingly obvious but elusive truths.” He wanted to write a record about god, the hunger for myth, benign cruelty, and acceptance. He wanted to explore the complexity of life through an assemblage of personal reflection, contradiction, and observation. I can’t put my finger on it, not to stop the bleeding, not to tie a perfect bow… (Pretty as a picture)

This is a record about trying to figure shit out. It’s not pretentious, but it is edging rap lyrics into somewhat unfamiliar territory. It is contemplative. There is yearning. There is vulnerability and frustration. What is the distance between resignation and surrender? (If I ever knew you, I don’t know you now)

soso is an unorthodox hip hop artist best known for songs that explore family and social histories, personal experience, and place. His latest album is a culmination of the creative strides he has made over the past decade. The writing is more wordy than previous efforts and is laced with idioms, double negatives, and nuance. There are moments of off-kilter crooning. It’s a bit obtuse, but certainly sincere.

The album was produced by indie hip hop stalwart and long time collaborator, Maki. Best known for his melodic, brooding sample arrangements and a strong no-nonsense drum program, Maki has been quietly killing shit from his desert valley home in western Canada. After a string of 7″ releases on European bespoke labels Luana and MISM, he returns to where it all began. It is a homecoming of sorts. Embracing obscure shades of progressive rock, folk and rap sensibilities, he has created the perfect backdrop for soso’s best moments. Not for Nothing is forthright, aching, haunting.

I will listen for your voice in every empty cup. (The blushing bride)

Track Listing

01. The wait
02. Things started out so pretty
03. Pretty as a picture
04. The rain barrel
05. If I ever knew you, I don’t know you now
06. Choke
07. The extermination of a raccoon, first part (Revelation)
08. The extermination of a raccoon, second part (Epiphany)
09. The blushing bride
10. Not for nothing
11. A map of all the constellations I can see from my kitchen window

soso – Choke You With a Rag

soso teams up with Swiss upstart label, mism, to release a split 7inch. Over another inspired Maki production, soso channels the ghosts of never will be. “Choke You With a Fucking Rag” is a clenched jaw expression of disgust, disillusionment and frustration. Listening to this record will give you an ulcer. The flip side features French supergroup and my good friends, Motionless. Limited to 300 copies, this 7 inch features artwork by Toak.

soso – Choke You With a Rag
7 inch
mism02 2009

soso – Tinfoil on the Windows

soso - Tinfoil on the Windows

Weaving compelling personal narratives with his sparse, beautiful production style, the Saskatchewan-based artist, soso has become a fixture of the avant-garde hip hop/art rap movement. In an ongoing effort to privilege experimentation and risk, soso adopted a collaborative approach for his latest production. Enlisting the talents of his friend, tour-mate and indie-rock darling, Maybe Smith, Tinfoil on the Windows is the most musically ambitious and creative soso release to date.

soso delivers fragile vocal melodies and close, confessional lyrics over an assemblage of field recordings, electronic bleeps, programmed drums and sprawling instrumentation evocative of My Bloody Valentine and Do Make Say Think. Additional contributions from Maki and Scott Da Ros add punch to the lovely melodic soundscapes. Tinfoil on the Windows challenges typical genre conventions and soso treads this unfamiliar ground with crafty song writing and integrity.


Buy on iTunes

soso – Bachelors’ Drinking Club

soso – Bachelors’ Drinking Club

Bachelors’ Drinking Club is CHR’s first foray into the realm of video. Documenting his 2006 tour of the same name, this DVD features live performance footage from soso and Maybe Smith as well as performances by fellow indie-rap cohorts like Epic, Bleubird, Gruf the Druid, Grubbs, Nestor Wynrush, Pip Skid and Thesis Sahib. Also features an insightful conversation with soso and the music video for Hungover for Three Days Straight (Don’t Matter). Limited to 100 copies. Running time 58 Min.

soso Bachelors’ Drinking Club from Troy Gronsdahl on Vimeo.

soso – Bachelors’ Drinking Club
CHR013-LE 2007


01. Conversation with soso
02. Bachelors Drinking Club road music
03. soso & Maybe Smith – Returning to an Empty House
04. soso & Maybe Smith – Finding Out About a Big Pile of Stones
05. soso & Maybe Smith – Hungover for Three Days Straight (Don’t Matter)
06. soso & Maybe Smith – Sweet Euphemisms
07. Epic – Another Left Wing Peace Song
08. Epic – Dave Steib
09. Gruf – Process Assimilate
10. Gruf – Fillossaphee
11. Pip Skid – Bastid’s Verse
12. Pip Skid – Elbow Grease
13. Nestor Wynrush –
14. Bleubird – Pilgrim of St. Zotique
15. Grubbs – War Drum
16. Thesis Sahib – What Kind of a Rap Photography Show is This?
17. Thesis Sahib – Inside Voices
18. Thesis Sahib – Theo Sasquatch
19. Thesis Sahib – Mud Pies
20. Maybe Smith Thanks the Drake Hotel (in its empty glory)
21. Hungover for Three Days Straight (Don’t Matter) music video

soso – birthday songs (Japan)

soso – birthday songs (Japan)

In 2002, soso released this collection of well crafted songs, marking his progression as both a lyricist and beat smith. Characterized by beautiful, haunting beats and poignant lyrics, Birthday Songs asserted itself as one the finest productions of the year. In 2006, soso teamed up with Hue Records to release a revamped version of Birthday Songs for Japanese release! Featuring two additional songs, re-worked vocals and new artwork.


Buy on iTunes

soso – tenth street and clarence (Germany)

soso – tenth street and clarence

Informed by culture and place, soso spins narratives that interweave family and social histories with landscape and weather. His third self-produced release, tenth street and clarence is a beautiful, poetic effort. This limited edition LP released by the German imprint Subversiv features new full colour artwork.


soso – The Goose Hunter pt 1 & 2

soso – The Goose Hunter pt 1 & 2 soso – The Goose Hunter pt 1 & 2

For the first single from tenth street and clarence, soso extended his capable reach into the realm of instrumental hip hop music. The sound of migrating geese create the backdrop for this evocative two-part piece characterized by beautiful melodies, haunting vocal bits and smart drum compositions. For the limited edition 7″ soso enlisted the talents of visual artist Tamara Bond. Each piece is numbered and signed by soso.

soso – The Goose Hunter pt 1 & 2
Limited edition 7″
CHR006 2005


01 The Goose Hunter pt 1
02 The Goose Hunter pt 2

soso – poor man’s survey

soso – poor man’s survey

A companion piece for the soso 7″, this is a selection of soso’s favourite instrumentals culled from various projects and presented as the poor man’s survey of his work to date. A limited edition disc, individually signed, numbered and made with care.

soso – poor man’s survey
Limited edition CDr
CHR007-LE 2004


01. *
02. dust
03. Dave Steib
04. hand to the plow
05. middle aged white guy
06. dyke look
07. pretty mound of dirt
08. it goes
09. EPMD
10. towtruck
11. girls
12. it ain’t easy
13. midnight run
14. running away from Saskatoon
15. thought process
16. marcus and tom for city hall
17. cool run ins – Epic & Conspiracy*
* indicates exclusive bonus tracks

soso – birthday songs

soso – birthday songs soso – birthday songs

In 2002, soso released his eagerly anticipated album entitled birthday songs. This collection of well crafted songs marks the progression of soso as both lyricist and beat smith. Characterized by beautiful, haunting beats and poignant lyrics, birthday songs asserts itself as one the finest productions of the year. Nominated for 2003 Western Canadian Music Award for Outstanding Rap/Hip Hop Recording.


soso – birthday songs
enhanced CD
CHR003 2002


01 waiting for the harmonica to drop
02 it goes
03 for Ruby
04 pretty mound of dirt
05 dyke look
06 birthday song
07 hand to the plow
08 we always thought she’d be the first to go

soso – sour suite

soso – sour suite

Clothes Horse Records inaugural release. A conceptual six track ep, soso marries rich production with tales of infinite woe. This vinyl offering includes six songs as well as two instrumentals. All beats, cuts and vocals by soso, with contributions from Epic and John Smith.

soso – sour suite
Vinyl EP
CHR001 2000


A01 untitled (paralysis)
A02 drink f. John Smith
A03 blessed f. Epic
A04 drink instrumental
B01 dust
B02 loss
B03 swan song
B04 loss instrumental