In a world obsessed with image, an Iranian-Canadian emcee already stands out without saying a word. But when the words flow, Crossword cements his status as an artist coming from left field. Sooner to talk politics than swag, or to serenade than cater to the gentleman’s club, intelligent lyricism, witty wordplay and passionate delivery are staples in Crossword’s repertoire. Not to say a rapper shedding light on topics rarely discussed in the mainstream is to be taken lightly. Having shared stages with hip hop legends (GZA, Jeru The Damaja, Jurassic 5′s Chali 2na) and up-and-coming artists alike (Stalley, L.A.), plus having worked with some of Toronto’s finest producers – Juno-nominated FreshKils, Rich Kidd and Junia-T, and toured across North America as a member of the award winning hip-hop-funk-rock band Vibonics, it’s clear this northern native has put in work and paid his dues. But all cliches aside, dude can spit. Daring to take risks with his subject matter, but not too high and mighty to take himself that seriously, Crossword brings an infectious spice to any recording that will have you pressing rewind.