Featured Article: Audacious Canadian Rapper, Merkules

Featured Article: Audacious Canadian Rapper, Merkules

Canadian rapper Merkules was born Cole Stevenson in Surrey, British Columbia in 1992 and became popular in Vancouver when he was just 16 years old.  Since then he has bloomed into a seasoned performer with a devoted following of young Canadians.

In a life-changing moment, Merkules was attacked while walking home from a friend’s house and brutally struck about the head with a baseball bat and a machete.   The then-16-year-old received permanent slashes across his cheeks and near his eyes, and this incident became the inspiration for the album, Scars, which was released in April 2015.  He used this medium as an antidote against any lingering anxiety from this vicious attack.

Merkules himself has created a unique persona with his own sense of “cool” that has helped attract adoring fans who greatly admire his audacity.  Hip-Hop has always been about making a statement, and he does this very well.  Hip-Hop artists like him are some of the biggest commercial influencers, from sports jerseys to hoodies to dapper suits. There are other industries, which, like Hip-Hop, have also had this chequered relationship with fashion.  The traditional gangster rapper look of hoodies and T-shirts has filtered into these industries and is gradually evolving into a more “classical look” of expensive gear and designer suits.  Merkules maintains his own bold rapper style: he often performs shirtless, unabashedly revealing his large physique to the audience, and is quite proud to show off his tattoos which he sees as his personal self-expression.

Merkules is known for undertaking a grueling touring schedule in order to promote his hip-hop artistry.  In addition, he is constantly working on the next big song or remix in his home studio. The young rapper flowed into mainstream cultural consciousness by dropping his remix of Ed Sheeran’s Shape of You in February 2017, which went viral and attracted even more new fans.

Merkules often infuses humor into his music and videos, titling albums with such names as Hunger Pains and Canadian Bacon, and it is not unusual for a large burger to be resting on his chest in a music video. However, behind the humor are serious messages.  His lyrics are hard-hitting, raw and real, earning considerable respect from other seasoned Hip-Hop artists and are thrilling to his loyal fans.

His stage presence is a supercharged treat and he revels in showing off his oversized abs.  The message that is being sent is that fans should be comfortable with who they are inside. These fans remain captivated by the very real connection that he forges with them every day on Twitter and on other social media platforms.  On his Instagram page he engages with over 50,000 followers who already view him as being on top of his game.

The mixture of personal stories and different influences that make up Hip-Hop are sure to emerge from his 2017 album, #TrustYourGut.  The first track, Way Down, launched only a few short weeks ago, is already well on its way to garnering a million views on YouTube.  Merkules’ fans eagerly await his continued evolution of what promises to be a long career.

As the lyrics of the debut track on his latest album declare: everybody knows his name now.