Where hip hop and beats thrive
by Kalen Baker
For Fans Of: Bones, Xavier Wulf, $uicideBoy$
An important part of being a musician is being a fan of music and knowing what you like, regardless of genre. Jacob Vars is a Calgary based rapper (going under the name “Vars”) who is passionate about music, and lets it show in his craft. Jacob grew up listening to classic rock and more guitar orientated music; later on, his interest in hip-hop inspired him to make a name for himself in the rap game.
His interest in other genres shines through in his music. You can find various sounds on his tracks including guitars, instrumental R&B samples, and synthesizers. His lyrics are clever and flow really nicely, especially with his smooth voice and distinct delivery. Vars knows how to sound laid back or fast and punchy without mumbling. Each syllable is very clearly enunciated. Vars exudes confidence in his rapping, and it comes off as authentic and expressive.
Listen to our picks from Vars on our June 2020 Spotify playlist
There’s a solid variety of musical ideas and vibes on his 2018 album The Alpha Omega. The album is bookended with aptly named tracks “Alpha” and “Omega”. The guitar on these tracks is soaked in reverb and chorus effects that remind me of The Cure. “Alpha” and “Omega” are both melancholic and moody, showing Vars’ more introspective side.
Some of the dark moments remind me of a more accessible version of artists like Bones and $uicideBoy$. The emotional singing on “No Rules” is a little reminiscent of more heartbroken Eminem choruses like “Mockingbird”. There are reflective moments with relatable lyrics but also a good dose of uplifting positivity and good vibes. Songs like “Promises” and “Stay Frosty” are fun, and showcase Vars’ personality and swagger. The features from Zach Taylor, Niyi, and Xtatic are great and do a good job complimenting Vars’ voice. Each of these MC’s provide some good contrast to Vars’ vocal style. I particularly enjoy the track “Gold & Guap” featuring Niyi.
Vars has a dedicated fanbase in Calgary and he’s sure to grow his audience with new music and future performances. He’s talented and certainly a solid artist in the Calgary Hip-Hop scene. To put it simply… Vars has bars. And I won’t even apologize for that easy pun. Follow him on social media and check out his music!