Spida Lee has been grinding independently for years; he’s dropped a number of projects that showcase his deep, intellectual lyricism and sophisticated content and traditional delivery, but his 2016 release ‘Rise Of A King’ is the most polished and consistent Spida has ever sounded.
‘Can’t Take Money’ is a brilliant opener; energetically delivered bars are executed with an instantly likable charisma, and the authentic nineties feel is polished and effective. Hard-hitting, crisp drums and silkily chopped samples create a raw, throwback vibes which is perfect for Spida’s old-school tone.
As a renowned Huddersfield veteran, Lee recruits a host of West Yorkshire’s underground scene to represent on a five minute cypher which features appearances from KD, Eskar and The Scriptors amongst a huge list of impressive lyricists you may be unfamiliar with. Throughout ‘Rise Of A King’ Spida Lee’s concepts and content are positive and reflective; he takes an anti-mainstream and capitalist standpoint on ‘Where Will I Go’, and the dusty, jazz influence of the production across the LP makes for a really enjoyable listen.
The summery ‘So Real’ is dope, and showcases Spida’s storytelling ability, painting a vivid picture with a narrative laced with introspective tales and a healthy dose of punchlines. The Huddersfield MC’s inspirational, informative and detailed lyricism continues on tracks like ‘Keep Ya Head Up’ and ‘The Rise Of A King’s closing title-track, and we are also treated to a remix of that final tune, produced by Spida Lee himself.
West Yorkshire’s scene is healthier than ever, and it’s great to see rappers from all areas of the district releasing quality music that is so widely well received. ‘Rise Of A King’ is one to check, and it’ll be one that remains in rotation if you like your hip-hop heavy on the message and the soundscape full in traditional boom bap flavours.
By Sam Bennett