EMC (Eric McIntyre) and Hermitofthewoods (Michael McGuire) met at a Halifax rap show in a bar with live lobster tanks back in 2005. Within a year, the two rappers began performing together as The IMF, a socially conscious hip hop unit known for their high energy beatbox and freestyle driven performances. After releasing solo albums and touring throughout Eastern Canada, they were drawn in different directions over the next few year – EMC as the beatbox backbone drummer and part-time MC/producer of the live hip hop band Three Sheet and Hermit into spoken word as a member of the Halifax Slam team and focusing on his own self-produced solo rap albums.
A decade and a half dozen albums later, EMC and Hermit, along with long-time IMF associate DJ Scotch Rothman (Michael MacMillan) on the 1s and 2s, have returned as Higher State. Anchored by EMC’s saber-rattling production – falling somewhere between sample based hip hop and a live band – their 2017 self-titled debut album is set to be the perfect soundtrack for a chaotic world. The album has an anthemic feel, with bouncing, high energy rhymes addressing an unfolding state of emergency and DJ Scotch Rothman connecting all of the dots.
Higher State forms like a political rap Voltron, making timeless music for a world that is still f@#ked. They are here to build something bigger with woke raps for troubling times.
We are just a higher state.