Judging by their evident chemistry, you wouldn’t guess that 88GLAM, the hip hop duo consisting of rappers Derek Wise and 88 Camino, linked up by chance.
“We went out partying one night,” recalls “Glam Boy” Wise. “It was like a little local club, this popping thing down the street. And then we’re in the club and they start playing this crazy record. We didn’t even think it was a Toronto artist, but then I look to my right and [Mino] is turning up in the corner with like three b*tches,” says Wise. “I’m like, ‘Who the fuck is this?’”
Introductions were made, plans to connect and build soon followed. Wise invited Camino to a downtown Toronto loft where he and several other youths—“ratchet kids” as he puts it—were staying. “He never left,” Wise adds.
While both artists were making their own music prior to connecting, they’ve been locked in ever since. That meeting birthed 88GLAM, the full-length, self-titled debut the duo released in November, which features dark lyrics, digital beats, and a lone guest spot from fellow Toronto upstart Nav.
Don’t be confused by the name—the project is chock full of the cloudy, droning, mesmerizing anthems that helped them stick out from Toronto’s jam-packed landscape—teeming with young talent in the wake of Drake and The Weeknd’s concurrent reigns. It’s worth noting that Wise is a descendent of Abel’s XO crew.
The challenge now, says Camino, will be “Trying to find the balance between the extremes of hip hop and partying, and being a real human.” Can you relate? Watch 88GLAM’s “Open Space” above.