Lee Scott needs no introduction. Blah Records have long been one of the most respected UK hip hop record labels, with a huge catalogue of classic releases, and Lee has been storming the scene as of late with some quality music. This is his latest project, entitled ‘CactusOwlMoonGoat’, and it’s packed with dusty jazz samples, hard hitting drums and the special breed of intricate lyricism only Lee Scott can deliver.
Lee Scott begins this journey with ‘So Cactus So Owl’, which is produced by Dirty Dike and Molotov. The smokey brass samples back Lee as he spits with an engaging and hypnotising swagger. Lee drops some heavy quotable’s, including ‘If i was wack, wack’d be the new dope’, and the way he combines abstract imagery with a straight up British attitude makes for a really dope listen.
‘Craig Mack’ is an immense track, and Lee is joined on here by Black Josh. Name-checking various Bad Boy artists in various clever ways, Lee Scott absolutely kills the haunting instrumental, produced by Morriachi, asking ‘Who the fuck’s the Benjamin and why’s it all about him?’. Black Josh’s verse is tight and precise, he is definitely one to watch over the next year or so, with an instantly recognisable tone and flow.
The Blah Records head honcho proclaims ‘I only drink on days ending in Y’ on ‘Axl Rose’, and the slow moving instrumental is another atmospheric one, again produced by Morriachi. Following this track comes ‘Me O’Clock’, which is definitely one of the standouts. The silky piano samples, courtesy of Illinformed, back Lee as he spits about living on your own time, and this track has been on repeat since I first heard it.
Stinkin Slumrok puts in a savage performance on ‘Why Clef?’, with a consistent flow and gritty presence. Slumrok has some really dope tracks and video’s on YouTube, and he is definitely another one to watch. ‘Stanley’s Friends’ is another standout, with Lee being joined by Hibernation, who delivers a heavy verse, as well as a pitched up and down verse from WH@IB££, whose identity seems to be a mystery. The sheer weirdness of this track makes it an absolute banger.
Following this comes ‘Sink’, which is a far more chilled affair, again seeing Lee Scott drop the knowledge, spitting ‘with the IQ of Jesus, and a black belt in genius’. The fantastic references in the Blah head honcho’s lyrics always add so much to a track, and this is a case in point. The album closes with ‘Ellesse, Ellesse’, and Lee is joined here once again by Black Josh. Lee’s double time spitting impresses, proclaiming ‘I blow my own trumpet like Dizzy Gillespie’, and Black Josh’s charismatic appearance is also very effective.
‘CactusOwlMoonGoat’ is one of the most cohesive and impressive albums i’ve heard come out of the UK hip hop scene. Lee Scott’s ear for dark, atmospheric instrumentals, as well as his ability to also kill the more jazzy, sample heavy beats, sets him apart from his peers. There isn’t a weak track on here, and Blah Records is surely set to be one of the main players in the game for the foreseeable future.
By Sam Bennett