Earlier this month, Toronto rapper Gilla released a music video for “Pray for Me,” the first single from his newest project, Stay Solid 2 Part 2.

The video shows Gilla and members of his Reps Up crew clad in all black, sipping Henny out of plastic cups and playing basketball in a junkyard. Even Wu-Tang Clan’s Raekwon — with whom Gilla has had a working relationship with over the years — makes a cameo.

“Pray for Me” is a brooding battle with Gilla’s demons and deeds of times past.

Swimming through a sea of muffled, winding synths, Gilla’s voice, soaked in reverb, surfaces. It’s higher than expected, but it cuts like straight razor, as does his flow. “In this world where do I fit in? / Most these n****s lose their minds in it,” raps the OVO-affiliate off top, setting the tone for the rest of the song. “Pray for Me” is a brooding battle with his demons and deeds of times past.

Reflecting on a past of street hustling, Gilla goes on to repent, “If I’ve gotta go to hell, let ’em go to heaven / Lost my soul to these drugs and these MAC-11s / You should pray for me / But stay away from me.

His voice echoes through halls of low, distorted basslines and haunting choir samples, shouting tales of triumph over pressure, but in the same vein, those same tales carry with them a certain sadness.

Press photo supplied