Manchester MC Blind MIC debuts his drug dependent, lazy vibes with the ‘Codeine Bluez’ EP. With clear inspiration taken from the trap flavours coming out of the states, the current sound is executed professionally, resulting in a concise, enjoyable project.
The hazed out, slow-rolling vibe is exemplified on the album’s opener, and remains a consistent throughout the six track offering. The waved ‘Out’ is a highlight for sure; the simplistic, precise flow is slurred over a bouncy, polished production courtesy of Skrrt Cobain, who handles all but one of the tunes on ‘Codeine Bluez’.
The funky bass and airy synthesizers of ‘Snap’ make the track another standout. Blind MIC drops relaxed bars, free-of-concept with a mellow delivery as he rhymes charismatically about smoking trees and drinking lean. Metrodome and Kydro lend their hand on the production for ‘Stack’, and the Mancunian beatmakers create a jazzy, trap-infused banger for MIC to lace with confident verses.
Blind MIC exhibits a unique sound on the short project, and the EP is the perfect length to introduce listeners to his trippy sessions. The production provides a perfect backdrop for the accessible vocal flavours, which impress both with rap-technique and melodic capability.
By Sam Bennett
The Bluntskins are a Manchester based 3 piece hip hop outfit who produce some high grade music. Cali Ku$h, their second album, is packed with bangers, and features some of the best rappers in the country right now.
Bill Sykes & Cheech hold down the bars, while Pro P holds down the beats. This trio gels so well, with Pro P’s instantly recognisable production providing a perfect backdrop for Bill & Cheech to trade their weed infused bars over.
Tracks like Joints are where The Bluntskins excel. The anthemic beat as well as many quotable lyrics instantly win you over, and you can’t help but get on board with the music. Everybody is another track which continues this theme; Cheech & Sykes are outstanding when spitting over these uptempo, brass heavy beats. Rappers who dedicate so much of their subject matter to the reefer usually fall into a trap of spitting over only the most relaxed and chilled instrumentals, The Bluntskins however show their versatility with this beat selection, and Pro P’s production has pushed this album way past a lot of UK hip hop LPs.
The track list of Cali Ku$h reads like a who’s who of UK lyricists. Spider Jaroo, of Northern Structure Records drops a heavy verse on Hell Yeah. His intricate flow can’t help but make you sway from side to side; it’s amazing to see the huge array of talent the North possesses. Green Grass is a huge track as well, with Dubbul O and Skittles dropping incredible verses; Skittles is one of my favourite rappers from Manchester, and it’s great to hear DnB MCs like him trading verses with Cheech & Bill Sykes. Tommy Dockerz also delivers a killer verse on Blaze the Endo. Every time he steps on a track he kills it, with an incredibly tight flow he once again drops a verse packed with cheeky references and slang never heard outside of Kettering.
The Bluntskins have made a very good album here, your head can’t fail but keep nodding for the entire duration. It shows that Cheech & Bill Sykes are very good writers, since although the subject matter doesn’t really stray too far away from a certain herb, it doesn’t make a difference. 14 dope tracks with dope beats and dope rhymes.
By Sam Bennett