Toronto has, in recent days, been associated with pop progressives like Drake and The Weeknd, but don’t get it twisted; bubbling beneath the surface of Canada’s foremost metropolis is a powerful movement dedicated to carrying on the banner of “real hip-hop.” Don’t believe me? Simply take a listen to Lick Shots, the latest single from local crew Notes to Self, for proof that the spirit of the genre is alive and kicking in T-Dot. DJ Babu of Dilated Peoples fame handles production duties, serving up a bombastically gritty sampled groove accented by authentic, old-school cuts. Notes’ mic-rocking contingent, Roshin, Bronze One and the hilariously-named Swamp Donkey, come with lyrical flames to match, making clear that, to them, hip-hop is much more than a fly style: “I’m good, thanks for asking / I live this sh*t, to y’all it’s just fashion / Actin’ like a pair of shoes could save your life—that’s not a parachute, it’s a pair ‘a Nikes.” Craving more hot beats and rhymes? It Used To Be Dark (Recoil) is set to hit stores and online retailers in November—if you don’t trust your memory, why not leave yourself a note?