Lincoln trio Heavy Links deliver the debut album ‘Step Up To Get Your Rep Up’, and it’s a continuation of the sound the collective have developed over the years. They’ve released a wealth of material, but this is the first full length, and Habitat, El Tel The Dopeness and Donnie Propa demonstrate their talent for straight up, no frills, nineties influenced rap music across the LP’s eleven tracks.
‘Mic Check’ is the opening track, following a slick boom bap intro, and the hard-hitting drums and subtle vocal chops are a perfect introduction to the Lincoln crew if you’re unfamiliar with their work. They have a discography that exemplifies their technical lyrical approach; busy bars are crammed full with syllables, and the unique direction has allowed them to carve their own niche, whilst maintaining a strictly traditional hip-hop ethos throughout their career.
The relentless dusty kicks and snares continue throughout; the professional, clear mix is really impressive, and tracks like ‘Rope Chain Hierarchy’ stand out because of it. Reverb-drenched soul samples, punchy drums and polished penmanship combine to make one of the album’s standout songs. The crisp boom bap is effortlessly executed on the excellent ‘On The Real’, and the descriptive, imagery infused bars are delivered with sophistication and clear experience.
The LP is populated by some dope instrumental interludes, and El Tel’s production throughout ‘Step Up To Get Your Rep Up’ is authentic, golden era hip-hop to that very last hi hat. The album is sure to be on any rap connoisseur’s rotation with it’s consistent, cohesive sound. The project is free to download, but there are physicals available too, so make sure you support this one; Heavy Links are representing the East Midlands to the fullest with this one, and their homegrown hip-hop is seamlessly delivered.
By Sam Bennett