Giggs is one of the UK rap scene’s most successful and respected lyricists; since his 2008 LP release ‘Walk In Da Park’, as well as a long string of heavy mixtapes helping build his momentum to an unrivalled point. With a style and aura that commands respect, Giggs brings us his fourth full length album entitled ‘Landlord’, which features a more refined, polished version of the Hollowman’s unique, hard-hitting formula than we’ve heard previously, as well as a feature list including Youngs Teflon, CasIsDead and Dubz.
Bringing us up to date with his story on the LP’s ‘Intro’, which demonstrates Giggs’ under-rated storytelling abilities, the ‘Landlord’ experience gets properly underway with ‘The Blow Back. With a pounding trap beat and characteristically menacing delivery from Hollowman the track is vintage Giggs; man of the moment Stormzy also appears on the track with a heavy feature, as well as longstanding collaborator Dubz contributing a charismatic verse.
At this point you’ve surely already moshed out to ‘Whippin’ Excursion’, and the energy that Giggs brings on this track is unrivalled, and the emphatic reaction it receives in the clubs and in the crowd of a performance is a testament to the banging production and memorable, witty lyrics. ‘Just Swervin’ features a haunting, spacious instrumental and matter-of-fact bars delivered with precision and passion; ‘Landlord’ gets going with an intense and thoroughly entertaining run of tracks, with both production and lyricism being at a very high level.
‘The Best’ is appropriately titled; the traditional hip-hop production and killer combination of Giggs, Youngs Teflon and Liverpudlian MC Aystar makes for a definite standout. ‘Slippin’ is another prime example of hard-hitting beats (this time contributed by frequent collaborator Boom Productions) and energetic flows; the combination has served Giggs well in the past and it’s no different this time around. ‘501’ is also a highlight, and the partnership of Hollowman and rap boogieman CasIsDead is repeatedly successful; this is the first of two appearances from Cas on ‘Landlord’, and the duo’s 2015 collaboration ‘What’s My Name’ is still very much in rotation.
Fellow SN1 representative Kyze makes an appearance on the menacing cut ‘Savage’, which is followed by ‘Lyrical Combat’. This track features Dubz and CasIsDead, and with a line-up like that it’s no surprise that this one is an indisputable street banger. The LP closes out with the pounding ‘The New Shit’, and the braggadocios lyrics and hard-hitting production is a fitting finish for the ‘Landlord’ LP; it’s not been any different since the first cut, and Giggs excels on this project, bringing energy, confidence and swagger without a moment’s hesitation.
Exciting from the word go, ‘Landlord’ is one of the most impressive releases of the year, and with a successful run in the charts and some high profile live performances, Giggs is forcing those who have been fighting against him for the duration of his career to finally sit up and take notice. The Peckham MC has always done what he wants to do, how he wants to do it, and has refused to change for anybody. Perhaps now is the time that the powers that be start changing for him.
By Sam Bennett