Released earlier this month, Marauding in Paradise is Jazz Cartier’s full-fledged debut articulating and highlighting Canada’s new rap mecca – with “downtown Toronto” in mind – acting as its heart and soul. As a whole, the tape exhibits an aggressively brazen sound filled with frustration, anger, and love for his city. The 16-track runtime does more than enough to grasp what Jazz has to offer with the majority of the project being executively produced by [Michael] Lantz with the help of a few others. In regards to content, Jazz talks relationships, wealth, religion, and the come up, while his lyrics flex that certain type of boastful swagger that listeners tend to love. The emotions run deep and the biblical metaphor is explicit: Toronto is his Paradise and he’s searching for the fruit. Whether he finds it or not is anybody’s guess, but it seems he’s on the right path (let's omit the whole punishment bit of the story). Together, Jazz and Lantz complement each other equally well. There’s definitely a relationship between the two: with Jazz’s unpredictable explosions of panache lacing Lantz’s rather progressive, yet cohesive, production that holds the project together as much as the raps do. Their partnership is akin to a number of other comparable duos of the past and present alike. However, in the end, their collaboration is still relatively unique – especially for (Canadian) rap music – and will most likely launch both individuals towards many future endeavours.
Marauding in Paradise has plenty of standouts ranging from “New Religion,” the previously merged “Switch” and “The Downtown Cliché,” “Secrets Safe/Local Celebrity Freestyle,” “Dead or Alive,” “Holy Shit,” and the list goes on (arguably including every other song). Thematically, the album is dark and brooding while the songs stylistically shift from track to track. The influences are apparent with songs reminiscent of some of your favourite musicians, yet Jazz has successfully created his own style. After all, Marauding in Paradise is a culmination of Jazz Cartier’s self-confidence. The self-proclaimed Flashiago has a story to tell and his point of view is unavoidably gripping. It’s an ultimatum; or at the very least, a declaration of his presence, and hopefully, long-lasting tenure in the rap game. He’s Dwayne Johnson; he wants to spend a night with Sandra Bullock; he’s finessin’ (and juggin’); he’s noticed people biting (and growing dreads); and if the lowkey scat singing pre-outro on “See You In Hell” is indicative of anything: it’s that Jazz has a natural talent and he makes it sound all too easy.