Joe Snow, representing Leeds crew Defenders of Style, returns with his latest solo effort, entitled ‘I Know You Know Me You’. The EP features appearances from York MC Lego, Split Prophets and Prys, as well as production from an international selection of heads including Hashfinger and Able 8.
With twinkling keys, punchy drums and Joe’s signature tongue-twisting and witty lyricism, the opening track ‘Clownin’ is an early highlight and serves as a welcome reminder of the Leeds MC’s entertaining style. The gritty production on ‘As Usual’ instantly sets your head nodding, and the melodic, animated delivery and unorthodox flows make the track memorable and full of replay-value. The well-executed hook and crisp mix (which is the case for the entire project) gives the ‘I Know You Know Me You’ EP a really professional feel; Joe’s debut solo album ‘Sense Outer Madness’ had a rawer vibe, and this one definitely shows some notable growth, even though the aforementioned LP was only released two years ago.
DatKid and Res One from the Bristol based collective Split Prophets both make an appearance on ‘She Wish’; the track is one of the strongest from the EP, with a tarantino-esque beat and witty, concept-driven bars from each top class lyricist. The gloomy, gritty closing cut ‘If By Chance’ is my favourite from ‘I Know You Know Me You’; Joe Snow is joined by fellow Defenders of Style MC Prys, and the chemistry between the two, as well as the signature dark sound heavily exploited by the DoS crew, is on full display on the EP’s finale.
This is a great project; at seven tracks it’s concise, but Joe Snow keeps the sound diverse, with his unique delivery and refined flow making this an energetic and entertaining ride from front to back. With Jack Danz delivering last year on his ‘Ouija Slang’ full length release, it’s great to see that the Defenders crew aren’t halting the productivity. With a project from Upper Echelon (Danz and Disgust) rumoured to be in the works, the premier Leeds hip-hop crew are on an impressive upwards trajectory, and it’s well and truly deserved.
By Sam Bennett