You Need To Know
Clairmont The Second
Clairmont The Second is probably one of the most talented, yet unrightfully unrecognized artists nowadays. Here are the reasons why you really should get to know him and spread his name to the world.
By Ilai Dgani
“Do You Drive?” Cover Art
(Designed by Clairmont The Second, Photographed by Aysha “BEEE” Brown)
Clairmont The Second is one of the most talented artists around nowadays. But somehow, he still doesn’t get the attention he deserves. He has been nominated for several awards and was awarded the 2019 Prism Prize Hi-Fidelity Award, but the Hip-Hop community is somehow still sleeping on him, the Toronto native rapper keeps on releasing high-quality music - and will hopefully carry on doing so. This article is not about the reasons he hasn’t reached the peaks he deserves to be at. It is about who he is, why he will reach those peaks soon - and why everyone should pay attention to him.
Born Clairmont II Humphrey, second youngest of four siblings, Clairmont The Second has been constantly releasing high-quality music since 2013, and somehow it just gets better and better with every project he releases. The estimated to be 22 years old artist (no official date of birth ever revealed) writes, produces, records, mixes, and masters all his music from his bedroom studio, as well as directing and editing his own music videos. “Everything I need is in my bedroom. Video games for when I need a break, YouTube for watching videos, and movies for inspiration. I can record everything myself. No running around the corner to the booth.” He said to Drew Yorke in an interview for Red Bull after his 2019 release “Do You Drive?”.
Coming from a Christian family of musicians, with his father being an organizer of a Gospel Network and his brother Cola H. Who is a drummer, producer, rapper, and now Clairmont’s manager, LiL Mont was exposed to music at a very young age. The Weston Road rapper’s path was clear from a very young age - playing drums from age 4 & producing beats on FL Studio since age 5 and starting to rap at age 14. He is very much inspired by his brother, who has taught him many of his skills and influenced his musical style. Clairmont The Second describes his music as Neo-Soul, R&B, Gospel, and Jazz-influenced with rap.
As mentioned above, Clairmont The Second does most of the work inhouse, it seems like there are very few people on his team. Other than his manager (brother Cola H.), his girlfriend Aysha “BEEE” Brown is his DJ and photographer, fellow Toronto rapper Hezi works with him on some of his music videos and the two have collaborated on several songs.
The Toronto rapper is very open & honest with his fans and followers. He is approaching his fans through his Instagram Stories on a daily basis, where he often opens up about his feelings, thoughts, and even frustration. Making him very connected with his listeners. He often shouts-out fellow artists such as DijahSB, Hezi (with whom he has collaborated, and for whom he has produced) and others, showing solidarity and friendship between him and other artists. In addition to that, occasionally he streams himself playing video games on his Twitch account, where he plays his music and shares his viewers with his thoughts. Sometimes he even gives hints about future plans and plays unreleased music. Watching him talk on Instagram & Twitch, displays different sides of him as a person and gives his followers a great perception of him as a kind and honest, yet very dedicated character, and a feeling that he truly minds his fans. In an interview he did with Benjamin Boles for Now Magazine (Toronto), he mentioned that he is searching for fans his own age, ones who could relate to him and his music, ones who he could really touch, inspire, and influence. “I feel like they're conditioned to like a certain sound, and I don't have that sound." He said during the same interview, shortly after releasing his 2016 project “Quest For Milk and Honey”
Clairmont The second has already managed to develop his own style of production & lyrics, with many unique sounds that differ him from other artists.
Lil’ Mont’s lyrics are very relatable, especially for younger listeners as he many times addresses issues of certain levels of independence, and subjects relevant for young people who are still growing up and developing their own self. From high school experiences and relationships he had / has (“Project II” - 2014) - all the way to his future goals, intentions, and dreams which are sometimes addressed in more recent works of his such as “Bent” (“It’s Not How It Sounds” - 2020). Through day to day matters, experiences, and occasions, referring to his friends, family and neighborhood in songs such as “Grip” (“Do You Drive?” - 2019), “Clockout” (“It’s Not How It Sounds” - 2020) which also features his brother Cola H. In addition to touching love songs such as “Dream” (“It’s Not How It Sounds” - 2020) and “2 Rich 4 Me” (“Lil Mont from the Ave” - 2017), Clairmont The Second is definitely suitable for being the voice of the late 90’s / early 2000’s generation. His flow is sharp & his pronunciation is very clear. Even though he tends to use high language and complex words, it is always possible to understand his intentions through his clear approach and the context.
His unique style of production is very comfortable for the listeners’ ears, always wrapped up with beautiful harmony & synchronization between the different elements involved in his songs. Clairmont’s productions often consist of west coast synths and bass sounds infused with futuristic sounds & details giving his musical works a great depth. Neo-Soul / Jazz chord progressions, and bouncy drum rolls. Beat switches mid songs, and different elements, parts and bridges in his creations, making it seem like many songs of his are consisting enough details and thoughts for a lot more than one song. This is one of the things that make listeners give more than one listen to his music, as it is nearly impossible to get bored of it, and most certainly impossible to notice all the small details. Always discovering elements in his songs that haven’t stood out during the previous listens compared to other elements, making his music addictive. Defined by many unexpected details and sounds emerging mid-songs, which leave the listeners surprised & hooked almost every single time, giving him a very unexpected character - one that is never ever boring. His style & music are here to stay and it is simply impossible to get enough of it.
His smooth transitions between songs help show how much thought he puts into his projects in terms of song orders and line ups. This also helps the listeners address each of his albums as one whole creation rather than individual songs, allowing them to connect to the music and listen all the way through the albums.
Elements, snippets, and teasers from his songs can sometimes be found in previous works of his, showing the amount of thought and planning he puts into his music. Examples can be found in songs like “Grace” (“Do You Drive?” - 2019) which has an outro that includes the course of “Flip-A-Bird”, which was only released in his 2020 project “It’s Not How It Sounds”. Another example for that can be found in the songs “The Road” (“Quest For Milk And Honey” - 2016) and “Grain” (“Do You Drive?” - 2019). These first bars of “The Road” also serve as the course of “Grain” - “Way too pretty to be dealing with this life...”. This example also shows another aspect of Clairmont The Second writing style. Addressing himself with phrases which can sometimes seem slightly arrogant, but at the end of the day it shows a lot of confidence, awareness, and strong perception of self, leaving a positive impression over the listeners, inspiring them to feel confident as well even if it is unintentional or even sarcastic.
All of the above states without a doubt that Clairmont The Second’s mind is set, he is very conscious & aware, and has a clear and consistent vision as well as showing the process & progress he is doing without of course stopping himself from developing and surprising with every new release he makes. It is just a matter of time until Clairmont The Second receives the recognition he deserves, and breaks the barriers which he is hidden behind. He is one of those artists who put in so much effort and hard work and are too multi-talented to be slept on. It is just a matter of time until he breaks and reaches his true peaks.