Leeds rapper and producer Jack Danz, of the Defenders of Style crew, releases his new album ‘Ouija Slang’ through Sheffield label Bad Taste Records. The album showcases Danz’ gloomy boom bap production skills and punchline heavy, gritty lyricism, held together by effective vocal samples. The album also features appearances from Lee Scott and Swish (of The Northaze, an up and coming Leeds duo).
The menacing ‘AbondonTheWrist’ is a fantastic opener. With a flawless flow and infectious bassline over gritty boom bap drums, Danz immediately sets the tone for the project. With dark production being his specialty, and his ability to drop cocky punchlines at the drop of a hat, such as the bar ‘I’m in the club getting lifted like the World Cup’, ‘Ouija Slang’ gets off to a very strong start. The percussive, consistent delivery on ‘Schools Out’, as well as the leftfield production choices make this track a standout. Danz matches his boom bap roots with electronic influences successfully, and his writing is on top form, dropping bars like ‘if you think I’m getting it wrong/then you should try smoking some weed without the chemicals on’.
The subtle, jazzy production of ‘Neville Bartoss’ is impeccable. With smooth, cool brushed drums and a laidback vocal delivery from Jack Danz, this track serves as a brief relief from the intense style found throughout the project. Intricate rhyme schemes and intelligent phrasing make Danz’ verses always land with such impact, and this track is no different. ‘5 Finger Discount’ is a haunting, slow-paced banger featuring Lee Scott, with slurred, emphatic deliveries from both Scott and Danz, the ominous vibe of the track is perfect for the vocal tones of both spitters.
The title track features a hard hitting snare and deep kick, as well as a dope effected synth. Danz’ exploitation and manipulation make his production instantly recognisable. This continues on ‘Damn Son’; with witty references, a selection of flows and a textured instrumental. Danz really is a jack of all trades; his writing is first class with an abundance of clever punchlines and his production sound is original and cohesive. The rhyme schemes on the project’s closer ‘Prolific’ are really impressive, and make Jack’s flow sound smooth and consistent. The bonus track at the end is well worth hanging on for as well.
Leeds has a really healthy hip-hop scene, and ‘Ouija Slang’ is a fantastic solo outing for Jack Danz. Defenders Of Style’s album ‘The Death Of Meaning’, which dropped earlier this year, is still in heavy rotation months after its release, and this project will be exactly the same I’m sure. With a couple of well chosen features and really solid production, this ticks all the boxes.
By Sam Bennett