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By Shamus Hill

2 min read

Just thirty minutes south of Boston lies the historical city of Brockton. Known by locals as the City of Champions, this part of Massachusetts is vastly rich in terms of culture and diversity—ultimately resting as the Blackest city in the state according to the most recent census reports.

Nestled within the hustle and bustle that constructs the day-to-day existence of Brockton citizens is a musical reputation that increases in size with each passing moment. Though Boston has long-maintained the position of the Bay State’s most prominent city, this South Shore hub has developed into a recognizable name to many not familiar with the state. This is a change that did not happen overnight and has largely been brought on by Van Buren Records—a twelve-man roster of rappers, producers, and creatives that are making some of the most groundbreaking music that the state of Massachusetts has to offer.

Helping to further this dialogue is SAINT LYOR, born Etinosa Odigie, who just recently delivered the newest component of his catalog of music, “Talking Drums.” Utilizing production at the hands of fellow Van Buren affiliate Kiron, SAINT LYOR takes flight on this track’s 130 seconds of runtime. Serving as the Brockton native’s first solo offering since his 2020 project IF MY SINS COULD TALK, “Talking Drums” exemplifies SAINT LYOR’s lyrical prowess and innate ability to flow.

Debuting alongside a black and white clip of the rapper emphatically performing the track in an open field, SAINT LYOR lets the music do the talking. He isn’t flashy or trying to keep up any form of dramatized persona, but rather, aims to continue the development towards his truest form of self. His life’s mission is to restructure the view of what it means to be someone from Brockton or any Black community in America, maintaining the stance that disenfranchised youth can excel within their environment. Not only is this a point of emphasis within SAINT LYOR’s music, but this is also something that is attached to other initiatives that this Brockton artist is a part of. Earlier this year, he teamed up with fellow Brockton resident, Brandon Tory, to help launch Little Hackers—a book for children six and older that serves as an introduction to coding.

Instead of talking about what he would like to happen, SAINT LYOR is on a mission to see change through. Whether it is in the studio or not, he’s positioned to truly impact his community in the most positive of ways, and for this reason alone, he’s someone that deserves immense support and recognition.

-Shamus Hill

*Originally Published in Boston Compass Newspaper #141 December 2021.


Check out all the art and columns of December's Boston Compass Newspaper at

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