Cadence Weapon’s Parallel World Wins the 2021 Polaris Music Prize

Cadence Weapon, born in Edmonton and raised in Toronto, took home the $50,000 cheque for the 2021 Polaris Music Prize last night (September 27). A grand jury picked his record to be the best Canadian release of the last year. This was the third time he’d appeared on the Short List of ten finalists.

He has some plans for the money, too. I quote:

“If I won this, I wanted to announce that next year I’ll be using some of my resources to organize some voter registration events around the Toronto municipal election, as well as the Ontario provincial election because we need some changes to our leadership and we need to make things more equitable for people in this city to be able to vote.  I also just want to take this time to mention that Justin Trudeau has worn Blackface so many times he can’t even remember how many times, and he was just given a third term. That’s exactly why I need to be making rap records that are political, that are about these subjects because that’s still a fact today.

Finally, this goes out to everybody in Edmonton and Alberta! I’m from Edmonton, 780, we’ve never been here before. I want to show everybody, all the young artists listening right now, and watching this, you don’t have to be from Toronto. Your experience is valuable. Your art matters. Coming from Edmonton, I don’t want you to forget that. The prairies got something to say. E-town.” 

Here’s a sample:

And here’s the full Short List. Everyone beside Cadence Weapon received $3,000.

Leanne Betasamosake Simpson – Theory of Ice
Cadence Weapon – Parallel World
DijahSB – Head Above The Waters
Dominique Fils-Aimé – Three Little Words
Mustafa – When Smoke Rises
The OBGMs – The Ends
Klô Pelgag – Notre-Dame-des-Sept-Douleurs
TOBi – Elements Vol. 1
The Weather Station – Ignorance
Zoon – Bleached Wavves

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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