Maybe you haven't heard of Canadian rapper Merkules, but you'll definitely remember his story from now on. Born and raised in Surrey, British Columbia, he has been putting out music since 2012. The rapper started touring at a very young age, but at an even younger age, he experienced a horrible encounter that left fans wondering: what happened to his face?
Merkules' album 'Scars' explores his trauma.
The rapper has been putting out music almost exclusively through YouTube for a while now — he started rapping and touring at just 15 years old. He said in an interview with Rum + Bass Magazine, "I started rapping when I was about 15, 16. I didn’t really take it seriously. I was just the guy who got drunk at parties and just freestyled... All my bros were like ‘Hey man, you should actually like try to do something with that.'"
This love for freestyling and studying legendary rappers such as Big L, Eminem, and Busta Rhymes helped improve his cadence and flow. His passion for music eventually led him to get set up with rapper Snak the Ripper, a frequent collaborator and the first person to get him studio time.
He had lots of early success. However, soon tragedy came to strike. In his 2015 album "Scars," Merkules addresses a watershed moment in his career: the night he was attacked with a knife, a baseball bat, and possibly a machete. The attack was spurred by Merkules' cry to a car driving too fast after a house party. The stranger who was driving promised to return, and he did.
On facing his trauma, Merkules said, "I couldn’t go out into the real world. I was scared by how easily these people were set off. I was worried it could easily happen again."
He finally decided he was ready to talk about what happened, so he opened an album with his story. The police never found the perpetrators, although Merkules himself insists they had suspects. Without evidence, though, there was no way to prosecute.
Merkules has resurfaced to put a brand new album on YouTube.
While it has been several years since his last album, Merkules is back in the game with his latest, titled "Apply Pressure." The album art features a photo of Merkules where he was born, in an area of Surrey known as Green Timbers. The title track was released to YouTube on Nov. 14, 2020, and has since garnered more than 300,000 views.
In a photo posted on his Young Merkules Facebook page, the rapper stands in front of his old house and describes the inspiration for his album. He writes, "Way before the fame, the money, the sold-out tours, the number one albums, this was it. A new family lives there now and I doubt they understand the history inside that crib. Surrey for life."
While it hasn't always been easy for Merkules, especially following his shocking attack, its clear he still has a lot of stories to tell about his life. Fans can only wish him the best as he forges ahead to new endeavors (and new albums!). You can stream "Apply Pressure" on YouTube, iTunes, and Spotify.