Cadence Weapon has won the 2021 Polaris Music Prize for his album Parallel World. The prize is awarded annually to the best Canadian album “based on artistic merit, regardless of genre, sales or record label,” as determined by a 11-member grand jury. This is the Edmonton-born rapper’s first Polaris Prize Win, having previously been shortlisted for his albums Breaking Kayfabe (2006) and Hope in Dirt City (2012). Parallel World beat out shortlisted albums by Betasamosake Simpson, Mustafa, TOBi, The Weather Station, and more.
“I want to show everybody, all the young artists listening right now, and watching this, you don’t have to be from Toronto,” Cadence Weapon, aka Rollie Pemberton, said while accepting the award. “Your experience is valuable and your art matters. The prairies got something to say.”
Last year, Backxwash won the Polaris Music Prize for God Has Nothing to Do With This Leave Him out of It.