Si Phili and Dotz are two prolific spitters with great reputations individually. This album sees them team up to provide some real, authentic UK hip hop.
Phil N The Dotz is an album from respected freestyler and battler Dotz, and Si Phili, a member of the legendary Phi Life Cypher crew. The albums beats bang throughout, and the blistering lyricism and relentless flows from both rappers mean that this album is an absolute barfest.
Tracks like We Stay, over an instrumental immediately identifiable as a Leaf Dog production, find Dotz and Phili trading verses back and forth packed with multi syllabics and hard hitting punchlines. Tracks like this come across so well when you have two rappers going all out on a beat, and it’s great to hear a veteran of the scene and a younger MC standing side by side, both displaying a fantastic ability for writing rhymes.
Phili N Dotz lace the album with some well placed guest appearances. Lyrical Gun Slingers finds Dotz and Si spitting alongside Blak Twang and Phoenix Da Icefire over an anthemic beat. Blak Twang is someone i’m a big fan of, and his back catalogue is one of the strongest in UK hip hop, so it’s great to hear him drop yet another sick verse. Let Ya Mind Breathe sees the two MCs again drop verses over a Leaf Dog instrumental, and this time the High Focus artist drops a tight verse. Leaf appears again on the fantastic Illest Rocks, along with Klashnekoff, Wordsmiff & Verb T. This is the standout track for me, the vibe that’s created from a well structured posse cut is one that sums up the essence of hip hop music.
Phili N The Dotz features some really well crafted instrumentals, produced by the cream of the crop of UK hip hop. Pete Cannon contributes two beats; The War Dance is a track with a hypnotic loop perfect for Dotz & Si Phili to drop their lyrics on. Leaf Dog produced 5 tracks, and his soulful, boom bap hip hop lends itself perfectly to Dotz’s style, and Si Phili’s tone and charisma really make his verses stand out. Training For Battle Rap is a perfect example, with the aggression in both MCs flows making it impossible to not nod your head along with the hard hitting drums.
This is a really dope album. It’s always exciting to hear the result of two MCs coming together for a project, and Si Phili and Dotz have made an album that is quite clearly pure hip hop in its rawest form. With fantastically executed rhymes delivered over blistering instrumentals, this is 16 tracks of straight up bars.
By Sam Bennett