I’m a grown ass man,” Erik Flowchild raps in the first track, “I Mean Business”, off his unreleased project. But even though the Canadian rapper’s latest album is titled Child’s Play, Flowchild is clearly not playing.

Collaborators and supporters gather inside Toronto’s RCR Studios with 40s of Olde English in hand, ready to listen to the anticipated project that Flowchild has been working on for the past two and a half years.

On his last project The Chixtape 2, Flowchild was vulnerable, sharing his struggle with overcoming depression and heartbreak, but this is not the Flowchild standing with microphone in hand, welcoming guests into the crowded building. This Flowchild is a grown ass man, a confident, hungry artist ready to rip into the scene with his new album.

“This project is a statement piece and a demonstration of what I can do and that’s on a number of different facets.” – Erik Flowchild

“This project is a statement piece and a demonstration of what I can do and that’s on a number of different facets,” says Erik, introducing the project. “First of all and always, lyrically, because as a hip-hop artist and as a rapper, I think lyrics are very important and I think language is very important and I think communication in your music is very important.”

Child’s Play for me is a way of thinking about myself, about the world, about others in the last three years. It’s a message to say that this is easy now; that I get it and that it is nothing that I have to work hard at. The irony is, that I worked really hard on the project,” he explains.

With the lights turned off, only the silhouettes of bobbing heads are seen as the album plays through its entirety. Attendees emerge from the several different rooms in the studio to give Flowchild daps and handshakes in approval of what they hear.

“It’s a message to say that this is easy now; that I get it and that it is nothing that I have to work hard at. The irony is, that I worked really hard on the project.” – Erik Flowchild

Despite the playful title, an interlude from Chrisette Michele, features from Joe Budden, Raz Fresco, Brandon Dramatic and Enuma and production from producers such as Kemi and DviousMindz all indicate this project is not to be taken lightly.

On tracks like “Distractions”, “Hurdles” and “Art”, Flowchild opens up in his trademarked honesty with bar after bar of impeccable raps and mesmerizing beats. But rather than honesty about loves lost like in projects past, the rapper is candid about his feelings towards the game and his belief in himself in regards to what he wants to do about it. His meticulous attention to detail is evident in the lyrics and outstanding mixes on each track.

Toronto emcee/producer Xolisa listens intently and has only positive words to say about the project. “It kind of brings people to another place. I like that you took a risk,” she says speaking directly towards Flowchild following the listening session.

The project is a new Flowchild, a mature Flowchild, a Flowchild that is ready to make some noise when the project releases this month.

Words By. Samantha O’Connor + Photos By. Janelle Scott-Johnson