Preston isn’t the first place you think of as a hotbed for emerging hip-hop. Razorrawks is trying to change that stigma with the release of ‘Rip Eat Prescription’, the first full length release since 2012s EP ‘Preston City Blues’. After a noteworthy supporting slot warming up for B. Dolan on the Kill The Wolf tour, as well as gaining respect and attention through festival showcases, Rawks starts off 2016 with ‘Rip Eat Prescription’, which is a personal, individual and entertainingly left-field project from a unique voice in British hip-hop.
The appropriately named ‘Bang Your Head’ starts the album off properly, and it’s an early highlight; the energetic, glitchy and hard hitting abrasive synthesizers, emphatically punchy drums and Razorrawks’ spoken-word infused witty lyricism makes his verses captivating and interesting. The hook is really effective too. The scathing analysis of the hip-hop scene on display in the writing on ‘Catalogue Of Errors’ is dope, and the punk attitude in Rawks’ music sets him apart from pretty much everyone else.
The operatic hook (and extended outro) of ‘Discontinuation Syndrome’ is a bit of a low point though; I really appreciate Razorrawks pushing the boundaries, and coming with something original, but I just feel that this detracts slightly from the track. The verses are passionate and personal though; Rawks lays his soul out on this one. Throughout ‘Rip Eat Prescription’, difficult topics and content are tackled, and executed in captivating, thought-provoking fashion. The brash and funny ‘Dirtbox’ is expertly delivered over a frantic, rock-influenced beat, and Rawks’ tone and style of delivery is brilliantly unique.
The graphic, emotive storytelling on ‘Molly’s Song’ is dark and unflinching, something that Rawks exemplifies on brutally honest tracks as well as this more concept-driven cut. It’s backed by a restrained and subtle instrumental that compliments and enhances the theme of the lyricism perfectly. ‘House Of Frauds’ is an aggressive, raw track, and the arpeggiated synthesizers keep the intensity at a high for the duration, making it a late highlight. The grit and energy in Rawks’ delivery and the creative content is a joy to listen to.
‘Rip Eat Prescription’ is an album full of character, and Razorrawks writes like the record is an open book; it’s rare that an artist’s true feelings are laid so explicitly bare, and the industrial, forward-thinking production provides an excellent counterpart. Preston’s not known for its hip-hop, not even the slightest bit, but Rawks is definitely deserving of some shine.
By Sam Bennett