Look no further for the new six born superstar, because she is here and hasn’t fumbled once this year.
Charmaine’s new single “Logic (Lucky Charm Freestyle)” blessed streaming services on November 26th and has amassed over 14,000 streams in its first three days. The song is a vulnerable ode to her past, a peephole into her come up, and a look at the long track of hurdles she had to jump to claim her crown as the “Queen of the North”.
Don’t take that title lightly. Charmaine has proved time and time again why she deserves the flowers we should be throwing at her feet as she graces our timelines and ears with larger-than-life projects.
In true Charmaine fashion, her newest single and accompanying music video is riddled with lyrics that raise eyebrows, make you rewind, and then make the “oh shit, that’s fucking bars” stank face. Let’s just hold the magnifying glass above the lyric sheet for a moment and analyze my favourite line from this track:
“Tried to sink my ship,
Like the titanic and leave me with jack,
Hope I’d be panicking,
But I rose to the top”
That is the epitome of bars. It’s like a parfait, or an onion, or an ogre. What I’m trying to say is that this song has fucking layers man, and everyone loves a track with layers.
Let’s zoom out now and start from the top:
“Born in the motherland headed straight down to the south,
Tennessee morning with pops working 3 jobs”
Charmaine starts the song off with a nod to her upbringing. Born in the capital of Zimbabwe, Harare, she made the move to the American south at the age of five, finally settling in Nashville after a nomadic beginning in the western world. After a large chunk of her childhood, Charmaine’s family relocated over 1200 kilometres northward to the six.
It was in Toronto that she and her family’s lives took a turn for the worse. Shortly after her father lost his job, they lost their home. This resulted in the family living in a shelter until they departed to a single motel room, to be shared between the six family members.
Charmaine does not shy away from the struggles she and her family endured to get to where she is now. She claimed the creation and release of the song to be “therapeutic” for obvious reasons.
“That’s why I wanted to get it,
That shit embedded,
You get it”
Charmaine isn’t going to let us forget who she is any time soon as she concludes the first verse with more affirmations of her greatness:
“I don’t need a vision board to show you I’m the shit,
I’m betting on myself,
Bitch count the fucking chips”
She continues into a chorus that compresses her journey into a short five bar refrain. After that she barrels straight into the third verse and kicks it off with the “Titanic” bar, which I don’t need to say more about because I think it speaks for itself.
“When I had no deposit, closet was looking real bare,
Now I made a deposit, my closet’s looking super rare”
Talk that talk Charmaine. I can assure you we are listening.
She concludes the second verse with more focus on her work ethic as if it wasn’t obvious at this point that when it comes to her career, there is no plan B. Charmaine is unapologetic in her quest for domination of the airwaves. Throughout her catalogue, not a single second would lead a listener to expect anything other than greatness from this rising Canadian star.
I had the opportunity to see Charmaine perform in Ottawa at the Cranium Festival this year. I didn’t know who she was, but I soon found out. It was as if she turned the small club into Rolling Loud’s main stage. No one could ignore her energy. It flooded the room while she attacked the stage and worked the audience into a frenzy. It was at this very show that I heard this song for the first time, only as a true acapella freestyle, accompanied by nothing other than melodic cheers of the audience and the occasional “big up” or “gang” ad-lib from the back of the crowd. This performance solidified her talent in my eyes as I viewed an incredibly intimate and vulnerable moment between her and the fanbase that would both ride and die for her.
The last verse of this standout track affirms the place in the industry that she has fought tooth and nail to make her own. Charmaine boasts about throwing fifties in the club. She shouts out her independence with a bar about never letting a man affect her bag. And the verse is capped off with a demand that her worth be known to anyone trying to make her sign on any dotted lines.
“Labels keep calling me, I said move a few commas please,
Or don’t even bother me, they said oh my apologies,
They keep calling and calling,
I keep stalling and stalling,
Rookie of the year, my career snowballing”
This is undeniable. Charmaine’s career is on an upward trajectory that she’ll make sure never gets stunted. The Toronto emcee is a relief when considering the current climate of the music industry. Her ‘bad bitch mentality’ is no gimmick.
Charmaine’s music is refreshing when considering the lane that she is in. It happens often that artists conform to the paths to success that have been proven to work. This is where the Queen of the North differs. She is blazing a trail for herself and whoever dares to follow. Stop looking for who will be “the next big thing” from Toronto because she is here. Charmaine is that person. This force to be reckoned with will stand the test of time and will inspire many to come.
Written by John Balser