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Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada | SELF

Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada | SELF
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"Picks Of The Week: Part 2 ("

Hotbox has long been a WYDU favorite. Y’all should remember him from his late 2008 Artist Spotlight. ‘Box has the hot ish this time around and is evident from the get go. “Numerology,” is instrumental that is laced with funky horns and a G-funk sounding wail. All the beats are top notch. Some of the emcees work better than others, but all in all this is a great listen. I’m going to have to talk to Hotbox about doing an instrumental album. -

"Hotbox Number Theory ("

Moncton, NB – Originally from Newfoundland, producer Hotbox is back with a new EP called Number Theory. He’s been working a ton of artists and a lot of those collaborations are featured on this release.

**tracklisting + download link** -

"Quick Hitters:: Hotbox ("

After debuting our new Canadian hip hop mailbag post series, the Rap-Sack Backpack yesterday, I realized that we covered Toronto, the Prairies and Vancouver, but nothing from out here on the east coast. That in and of itself isn’t unusual, as we aren’t usually sent a ton of Maritime hip hop these days, but I still thought I’d try and find something hip hop-related from out here to post up.

Turns out I didn’t have to look too far. A quick look through my expansive to-do list turned up the Number Theory EP from Moncton-based producer Hotbox. When he’s not making thumping, soul-laced beats, Hotbox can be found teaching high school math as his alter-ego Lee Pearce – and that might explain the title of his recently released EP. Considering my father taught high school math for years, I know better than most how exciting a job it is, but Hotbox is an ECMA-winning producer, so I don’t see him quitting his nighttime gig anytime soon.

And who would want him to? As long as he’s making the kind of big, ballsy, golden-age influenced (the bouncy track for the 9-man posse cut Oatmeal Lumps would not be out of place it ’88, and that’s a good thing) beats that are found on this Number Theory EP, I’m guessing he’ll have plenty of folks checking for him. He certainly has plenty of East Coast MC’s checking for him, as there’s an impressive assemblage of talented dudes on this EP. If you’re not way up on Maritime hip hop, you might not know who guys like Expedyte, Radar or Phakt are, but that won’t much matter when you hear them hungrily attack a great beat like Little Bits. And you can hear them, because Hotbox is giving away his EP for free, so go ahead and check it for yourself.

"Hotbox - Number Theory review 3.5/5 ("

A producer’s album, Number Theory may open with upbeat instrumental track “Numerology” but it really starts with “Little Bits,” a posse cut ode to baby steps to bank featuring Expedyte, Radar and Phakt in top form over a cartoony boom bap beat with a bevy of horn stabs. Following track “Dollar Bills,” a punchline-fueled collab from Radar and Wordburglar, trades in the horn samples and boom bap for a Blaxploitation chicken scratch guitar and chill drums resulting in another album highlight. On the other end of the album, Number Theory ends on a high note with massive posse cut “Oatmeal Lumps,” an old school throwback with piano and synth that features a mix of styles from Jesse Dangerously, Johnny Hardcore, Arlo Maverick (of Politic Live), frequent collaborator Radar and others, finally finishing with “Perfect Formula,” another boom bap track but with a guitar solo sample, funky bassline and a spacey bubbling effect as the soundscape for the braggadocio of Sean One and Monark. In between are a 3-part instrumental and a handful of tracks heavy on horns and boom bap; Sampson’s ocassional double time raps are worth checking on sped-up soul-sampling song “Must Have Been.” While this mid section is far from filler, it does act as a dip in the bookended intensity of “Little Bits” and “Dollar Bills” on the front end and “Oatmeal Lumps” and “Perfect Formula” on the back end. Still, Number Theory shows Hotbox has the beat-making chops to compete as well as a talented collection of friends to help him demonstrate this. Listen for yourself at [Thomas Quinlan]

"Hotbox - Number Theory 7.5/10 ("

Canadian producer Hotbox impressed writers here at RapReviews with each of his first two releases and his work behind the boards on some other Canadian artists' records, but unfortunately limited distribution has prevented him from becoming a household name to this point. Still holding it down as a high school math teacher by day and acclaimed beatsmith by night, his 2010 EP is appropriately titled "Number Theory."

A few words I'd use to describe Hotbox's sound are upbeat, bouncy, and rich. There's lots of horns scattered throughout "Number Theory"'s nine tracks, but the effect is very un-jazz-like. What I like best about his production is the balance he achieves; despite his frequent employment of soulful instrumentation, dramatic string arrangements, and sped-up vocal bytes, his tough, rigid percussion patterns give his beats a driving, heavy quality. The effect is a steady boom bap sound, but it doesn't sound nostalgic—it's remarkably fresh and clean. There are a few samples here and there, and his soundscapes are marked by great spacing.

Although in the past Hotbox has collaborated with such big names as MC Lyte and Sean Price, "Number Theory" features an impressive roster of rappers hailing from Canada's East Coast. For the most part they're in posse-cut mode here, but overall they bring some surprisingly strong material to the table. It's a rugged crew of gruff-voiced rappers, and the hooks are very good as well. My favorite here is Expedyte, who appears twice and delivers the opening verse on the clever "Little Bits." After the soaring horns of the instrumental intro "Numerology," he clocks in:

"Yo, my name is Expedyte and I'm a rap addict
I've tried therapy, hypnotism, and black magic
I've got a couple good, predominately bad habits
And usually start laughin' after something bad happens
Ha, better than livin' my life ass-backwards
Like whack rappers determined to turn to bad actors, man
I rap better than acrobatics do backflips
Better yet, than Hotbox do practical mathematics, shit
That's pretty good, son, so you better recognize
Rap ain't a joke, it's the comedy section emphasized"

The first highlight is "True Love" featuring Expedyte, Mischif, Nokes, and Spesh K. Over an uneasy, string-laden production, the foursome explores love and hate in rap and on the streets. Spesh K returns with Jay Mayne on the menacing "Millipede," with a tight horn-and-drums arrangement and mean vocal sample. The instrumental track "Christmas Rain" features three separate beats, with winding piano lines, distant, obscure samples, tight horns, and thumping drum patterns blended nicely into one another.

Hotbox flexes his chipmunk-soul muscles again on "Must Have Been," featuring the rapid-rhyming Sampson. The listener can't help but feel Sampson's infectious desperation as he expressively raps about losing his mind. The seven-minute tag-team cut "Oatmeal Lumps" features no less than nine MCs, and their energy is contagious as they trade good-natured verses over a sparse, rugged track. The closer "Perfect Formula" with Sean One and Monark is plain funky fun with a wailing electric guitar on the hook.

There's nothing too complex about Hotbox's craft; it's dope beats and dope rhymes, plain and simple, resulting in pure, quality head-nodding hip hop. He's got a great ear for tight beats and hype MCs, and "Number Theory" is 34 minutes deep of both.

Music Vibes: 7.5 of 10 Lyric Vibes: 7 of 10 TOTAL Vibes: 7.5 of 10

Originally posted: March 23, 2010


"Hotbox - Number Theory ("

Nine track EP from Moncton, NB based producer Hotbox. Number Theory features Maritime rappers Wordburglar, Spesh K, Radar, Expedyte plus others — including a posse cut with Jesse Dangerously, Johnny Hardcore, Shiest, Arlo Maverick and more.




Number Theory EP (2010)
Boxploitation (2008)
Frostbite (2007)
Welcome to Newfoundland (2004)



East Coast Music Award-winning producer Hotbox has returned with a new 9-song EP “Number Theory”, a title suiting for this daytime high school math teacher. Known for his choppy soul sound, Hotbox has spent the past few years producing for numerous eastern Canadian hip-hop artists while holding down his day job in Moncton, NB.

One such recording that garnered recognition last year was Spesh K”s “The Main Event” from Spesh’s album of the same name. Spesh K and producer Hotbox both took home the 2009 ECMA for Hip Hop Recording of the Year. On his latest release, Hotbox is joined by some east coast Canadian heavyweights such as Spesh K, Phakt, Expedyte, Wordburglar, and Sheist.

Number Theory is not Hotbox’s first solo project. In 2008, he released the critically-acclaimed Boxploitation” EP online and last year he put out the 7” vinyl single “Knowledge Is Wealth”, which is currently nominated for Hip-Hop Recording Of The Year at this year’s ECMA’s. In 2007, he released the full-length “Frostbite” which featured Sean Price and MC Lyte.

Hotbox will stay busy in the lab this year. In addition to promoting the Number Theory EP, he has collaborative projects in the works with Fritz the Cat (OK Cobra), Spesh K and Sheist.