Northern Structure (comprised of Amos, Spider Jaroo and Evileyz) collaborate with established UK producer Pro P on ‘Tunnel Vision’, a new 14 track project that showcases their nineties golden era influenced sound. The three MCs make up a diverse line-up; their styles and voices provide a dope contrast, and the witty lyricism as well as an abundance of punchlines make Northern Structure an exciting and original crew.
The crisp ‘I’ve Arrived’ is a great opener, with the three spitters dropping with staccato, quick-paced flows over a simplistic, precise boom bap beat. ‘Bar For Bar’ continues the hard-hitting drums, as does ‘Neck Twist’; the stripped back, brass-laced beat allows the Northern Structure MCs to drop their intricate writing with forceful deliveries, and it’s executed successfully. Jaroo brings a raw energy to the microphone, Amos’ witty and relatable lyrics are class and Evileyz’s tone is one of the most unique voices in the UK scene.
‘Drifting’ is a mellow track, with subtle guitar chords and rough, dusty percussion keeping my head nodding back and forth. ‘Tunnel Vision’ showcases a variety of styles during its first few tracks, and both the writing and the production is at a high standard. Pro P’s excellent sample-flips are perhaps best exemplified on ‘Jimmy Snuka’, which features a guest appearance from Cheech (of The Bluntskins). The soulful sample and the crunchy snare backs the Northern twangs of Evileyz and Cheech superbly.
‘Heavy Duty’ is an anthemic, rugged boom bap banger. The decisive MCing from the NSR spitters is full of charisma and quotable lyrics. This continues on ‘Verbal Assault’, featuring Bill Sykes. The funky, catchy riff that holds the beat together provides the backdrop for percussive deliveries and organic writing. Amos spits ‘sleep on Pro P and I’ll force feed you Pro Plus’, and the chemistry between the vocals and the beatmaking across ‘Tunnel Vision’ is well executed and consistently impressive. The sinister ‘Light That’ is a highlight. The chopped piano samples, aggressive lyricism and head-nodding instrumental make for an infectiously gritty cut.
Northern Structure have been around for a while, with some nice group projects and some decent solo LPs too. ‘Tunnel Vision’ is the most cohesive and enjoyable project from the lads I’ve heard; the production is thoroughly on point and the writing, flows and deliveries tighter than ever. If you like your hip-hop raw, rough and rugged with content to boot, this is one to check.
By Sam Bennett