It’s been some time since we heard from Toronto rapper Nue, but today, he returns with a visceral new track, “Feel It Now.” It’s the first single from his forthcoming album Playground.

The Scarborough native’s always had a genre-fluid style, and this song is no exception: it’s based on a sample of the Pixies’ 1988 alt-rock classic, “Where Is My Mind?” Word is that producer Nellz cooked up a beat to the Boston band’s riff and Nue proceeded to freestyle the entire thing in 45 minutes. The result is a moody slab of grunge-hop that sees him talk his shit, flowing off the dome about love, drugs, and being in his feelings. “Before it goes too far/Can you please stop playing with my heart?/All I really wanted was a fresh start/Now I’m back to being trapped in my thoughts,” he spits.

“I’m just numb to everything and unfazed by the highs and lows I experience,” Nue tells Complex. “I feel like people get to that point of monotony and this song to me is my reaction to that. Just that ‘fuck you’ punk energy, non-conforming, and unapologetic.”

Toronto rapper Nue poses on white background
Image via Publicist

Since it was recorded spontaneously, the emotions come across as real. Nue brings a riotous, Weezy-esque swagger to the Pixies track. There’s a jagged, cleansing hook—where he sings “Can you feel it now?” repeatedly—that’ll worm itself into your brain for days. Dude’s ear for melody is undeniable; he’s low-key got some of the best natural songwriting chops in the Toronto rap game. Maybe even the Toronto rock game. 

Nue first broke out in 2017 with his critically acclaimed mixtape Iroquois, which generated enough buzz to make him the first and only Canadian artist to sign with 300 Entertainment (Migos, Young Thug). He’s now signed to Wax Records and Republic Records, through which he plans to release his LP Playground in early 2022.

Listen to “Feel It Now” on all major streaming platforms.