Leaf Dog – Dyslexic Disciple (Review)

Leaf Dog, Reviews

As a member of a variety of incredible groups, as well as being one of the most sought after beatmakers in the United Kingdom, not to mention a classic 2011 LP ‘From A Scarecrow’s Perspective’, Leaf Dog is one of the most respected and talented artists out there right now. 2017 finds him standing out on a solo tip once again with ‘Dyslexic Disciple’, released through the UK powerhouse High Focus Records, and featuring appearances from some of the finest vocalists in the country.

When your minute and a half long intro is released as a preview for the LP on YouTube some weeks before the full length drops, and people are as gassed over it as they would be a structured single, you know you’re doing something right. The anticipation for Leaf’s sophomore solo effort has been huge, especially with the abundance of quality material he has given us since 2011s ‘From A Scarecrow’s Perspective’, and the follow-up gets underway with a bang. ‘Big Ego’s’ is a soulfully driven track with melodic keys spliced between the crunchy drums and soaring string samples; Leaf is a superbly skilled beatmaker, but he is no slouch with the pen either, as he delivers raw and honest opinions throughout the ‘Dyslexic Disciple’ album.

The raw, punchy ‘Know Myself’ is an early highlight. The confident delivery, the identifiable lyricism and the smooth, flawlessly executed instrumental are the ingredients of this flavoursome dish that blend together seamlessly, making for a perfect showcase of the signature Leaf Dog sound.  The crisp, soulful and reflective vibe of ‘Today’ is classic, golden era influenced hip-hop at it’s best, and the distinctive style of his subtle production is wonderfully engaging with soaring strings and emotive vocal chops. Joe Corfield contributes an inventive, silky instrumental for the jazzy standout ‘All In One’; the intricate plucked guitar and crisp drums are a perfect backing for Leaf’s energetic, charismatic lyricism.

Fellow RLD representative Smellington Piff appears on the emphatic ‘Pro Cultivation’, and smokers around the country will be keeping this one on repeat for months to come as Leaf and Piff deliver intoxicated verses at an insanely high potency. The rousing call to MC’s around the country on the single ‘My Scene’ is dope too; the anthemic horns and head-banging percussion makes for a definite standout, and the message is sure to inspire upcoming lyricists to continue on their quest to produce quality British hip-hop music. Revered LDZ MC Dabbla accompanies on the lively ‘Good Times’, setting up a strong selection of collaborations to close out the ‘Dyslexic Disciple’ album in stunning fashion.

‘Last Laugh’ features fellow Brother Of The Stone BVA along with the legendary Jazz T, and the stuttering, old-school beat is a fitting backdrop for the authentic, hard-hitting vocals and sublime cuts. The following track ‘The Reminder’ also features BVA; the chemistry the two spitters have is instantly apparent and unrivaled by their peers, and this is a prime example. If that wasn’t enough though Leaf recruits the off-kilter extraordinaire Kool Keith to deliver a characteristically entertaining verse over the raw self-produced instrumental, and surely this is the cherry on the cake. Don’t speak too soon though; the album closes out with the breathtaking cypher entitled ‘The Legacy’. It features a selection of the finest writers in the UK scene, and Leaf can also boast that he had both Phi Life Cypher and Task Force on the same track in 2017, and who ever thought that would be possible.

 Banging beats, a unique voice and clear hip-hop enthusiasm and appreciation runs through the ‘Dyslexic Disciple’ album from beginning to end, and the high standard that the High Focus label holds itself and its artists too continues with this emphatic release. Leaf Dog has produced a quality LP here, and the resources he pools (both in terms of rappers and producers) make for a cohesive album that is sure to satisfy any boom bap aficionado. Stop whatever you’re doing and go and support this release, and please Leaf, let’s not make it another six years before the third one.

By Sam Bennett

@TheRealPP

@LYTEWORK

@MCLeafDog

http://www.facebook.com/LYTEWORK

http://www.high-focus.com

Fliptrix – Patterns Of Escapism (Review)

Fliptrix, Reviews

‘Patterns Of Escapism’ is Fliptrix’s sixth solo LP, and it finds him partnering with RLD beatsmith Illinformed for the entire project. The mature, intellectual lyrical style is perfectly suited to the raw, soulful production style, and this is an album that stays true to the ethos of real hip-hop from the moment you press play on the first track. The High Focus founder rounds off a very productive year for the independent giant with his own project, and it once again proves why HF is one of the most revered and respected labels in the country.

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The album gets underway with ‘Astral Paining’; the beat kicks in with a smooth, classy loop and crisp, jazzy drums and Fliptrix sounds mature, experienced and powerful with a commanding delivery and intricate writing. Imagery, metaphors and a reflective outlook are some of the main ingredients in Big Flipper’s style, and they are exemplified brilliantly on this opening track. The title-track follows and it’s another resounding beat with skilfully executed bars; Fliptrix opens the tune with “I stay spitting ’cause i’m outspoken/I’m at the pub outside in the rain smoking/Mans are on the inside clucking getting coke in/It’s been a long fucking day like the summer solstice”. Illinformed is a wizard on the buttons too, with effective, emotive samples and hard-hitting percussion providing an exhilarating backdrop for the ferocious bars.

Veteran UK hip-hop artist Kashmere accompanies Flips and Illinformed on the banging ‘Smoke Lingers Away’. With an authentic nineties influenced beat infused with chopped vocal samples and one of the punchiest kicks you’ll hear all year Fliptrix and King Kash go to work on this one, resulting in one of the LP’s standouts. The raw ‘The Lion’s Den’, with it’s groovy bass and interplaying samples, is another highlight, and ‘Thunder Clouds’ too is a flawless, tasteful cut that pays it’s due respect and homage to the classic music that has so clearly influenced both rhymer and producer. Respected rhymer Life MC accompanies on ‘Diamond Tone’, and it also features DJ Sammy B-Side on the cuts, but it’s Illinformed that shines on this one with a beautifully orchestrated instrumental that draws on a simplistic vocal loop and mellow piano keys; subtlety is a key tool in the RLD beatsmith’s arsenal, and it’s used perfectly here.

The upbeat, anthemic ‘One Time’ is a huge track; with it’s screwface-inducing sample chops and intricate lyricism the partnership and chemistry that Illinformed and Fliptrix draw from is energetic and enthralling. Ocean Wisdom appears on the fantastic ‘Burn It’, with it’s hard-hitting, simplistic bassline and jazzy piano keys which are silkily sprinkled across the crisp boom bap banger, complimented by uptempo, energetic lyricism from both the High Focus veteran and the hugely exciting newer addition to the label. Smoked out single ‘The Chronic’ is a classic Fliptrix banger, and Verb T, Leaf Dog and BVA join on The Four Owls standout ‘That’s You’. The star-studded feature list continues on ‘High Focus’ as Verb T and Dabbla accompany Flips on a track that represents the independent label to the absolute maximum.

The album’s intensity and cohesive vibe continues with the oustandingly raw ‘Disorientated’, which is laced with expertly chopped brass samples and thumping percussion; Illinformed proves himself as one of the best producers in the country with his work on this release. The rapid-fire, intricate schemes of ‘The Poltergeist’ make for an exhilerating listen, and Fliptrix’s savage, commanding delivery makes the track a late highlight. ‘Spread Peace Around’ is a fitting album closer; the soulful beat and positive message fit with the running theme of the LP, and serves as one last piece of evidence for the collaboration between Big Flipper and Illinformed being one of the most successful partnerships of the year.

There’s very little left to be said; pretty much every track on here is a straight up banger, and the rhymes and beats are on point from front to back. The album is cohesive and consistent with a variety of themes and topics, always delivered masterfully by one of the most skilled writers in the scene. As we reach the end of the year, we can look back on a number of fantastically dope High Focus releases, and 2017 is sure to bring us more of the same.

By Sam Bennett

@TheRealPP

@LYTEWORK

@MrFliptrix

http://www.facebook.com/LYTEWORK

http://www.high-focus.com

Creatures Of Habit – Test Subjects (Review)

Creatures Of Habit, Eric The Red, Illinformed, Reviews, Sean Peng

Creatures Of Habit, comprised of MC’s Eric The Red and Sean Peng along with beatsmith Illinformed, release their full length studio album entitled ‘Test Subjects’ after anticipation for the LP had been growing with the release of some well received singles. Each member of the crew has been putting in the work in their own right, and coming together as a unit has huge potential to result in some certified head-nodding classics being delivered.

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The LP’s opener is ‘The Itch’, and Illinformed crisp drums and signature chopped samples is laced with energetic, charismatic lyricism from Eric The Red, followed by Sean Peng’s hard-hitting style. The combination of rappers is dynamic; Eric’s high-pitched tone and off-kilter flows and Sean’s more traditional approach is really effective and keeps the sound interesting and unpredictable. ‘Roll At Dawn’ is a heavy cypher featuring the Real Life Drama roster, and if you weren’t already familiar with the label (headed by Leaf Dog and BVA), you need to step out from underneath that rock. ‘Hacked Gack’ is a silkily executed jazzy number, and Illinformed works magic with the crisp drums and brass-riff that is an instant earworm.

‘Self Portrait’ is a mellow standout, performed with confidence and sophistication from the Creatures Of Habit representative; the writing is refreshing due to it’s vivid, imaginative and concept-driven content, and Illinformed’s production is absolutely flawless. The excellent run of tracks at the beginning of the ‘Test Subjects’ LP continues with ‘Mucky Mouth’, which features Gee Bag and Leaf Dog, and the raw, energetic cut is sure to be kept in heavy rotation. The upbeat, soulful ‘The Corrupt’ is punchy, decisive and relatable, and the following cut ‘Adventures Of Shroomlock & Dropsome’ is wildly entertaining. The eclectic mix of styles makes the album full of twists and turns; from animated, funky rhythms to slow-moving, smokey jazz-flavours such as the superb ‘Too Stoned’.

‘Test Subjects’ is an album full of charm; the combination of Eric The Red, Sean Peng and Illinformed is fantastic, and the authentic hip-hop is packed with likeable charisma from every member of the Creatures Of Habit crew. With labels such as Blah Records and High Focus going from strength to strength, it’s well-worth reminding yourself that there’s a host of other record labels producing top-draw music, and Real Life Drama have certainly delivered the goods with this one.

By Sam Bennett

@TheRealPP

@LYTEWORK

@EricTheRedRLD

@SeanPengRLD

@IllinformedProd

http://www.facebook.com/LYTEWORK

http://www.rldrecords.bandcamp.com

Illinformed – The Mould Tape (Review)

Illinformed, Reviews

RLD Records, the label headed up by BVA and Leaf Dog, add to their growing list of quality hip-hop releases with ‘The Mould Tape’. The album comes from Illinformed, a producer who specialises in funky boom bap, who also happens to be Leaf Dog’s brother. The album features appearances from a vast array of the finest UK wordsmiths, including Jam Baxter, Fliptrix, Jack Jetson, Split Prophets and Eric The Red (the third brother; that’s one of the rawest families in hip-hop), amongst many many others.

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BVA’s solo cut ‘Still Slippin’ is an early highlight. With an intense instrumental, and a decisive delivery from BVA; the production is memorable and the writing intelligent. The album is packed with hard hitting posse cuts, and ‘War Drum’ is one of the sickest. Index and Smellington Piff have perhaps the verses with the most impact, but the line-up of six MCs is versatile and interesting. The tight flows and effective rhyme schemes demonstrated by BVA, and the charismatic, punchline heavy showing from Leaf Dog on the simple, gritty production makes ‘Back Down’ another great track.

‘My life’s a dish best served steaming’ says Jam Baxter on ‘Half Dead’. The gloomy instrumental is suited as Baxter, Lee Scott and Bill Shakes drop verses with vivid imagery and humourous references, Lee for example spits ‘chonging a cig like Dot Cotton’, and later requests that the other rappers he’s just ‘sonned’ refer to him as ‘Dad’. Manchester rapper Cheech and Blah Records spitter Stinkin Slumrok join for ‘Blunt Rock’. The jazzy sample work and crisp drums back the melodic flows of Cheech, and the grittily charismatic delivery of Slumrok perfectly.

‘The Platoon’, an uptempo cut that features Bristol collective Split Prophets, is another standout. Each MC represents to the fullest. The SP crew have a wealth of talented lyricists, and they each deliver on this track. ‘Smokey’ is a jazzy affair, and Cracker Jon, Verb T and Life MC trade off each other with three absolute killer verses. The album closes out with a solo track from J-Man; ‘Gettin Mouldy’ is a tune with a nice concept, and J-Man’s versatility is ever impressive, and here he displays his skill for dope hip-hop.

‘The Mould Tape’ is a really great project. Illinformed has a really cohesive sound, with a diverse array of collaborators, and that is a winning formula. Some albums from producers sound forced, or sound confused, but that isn’t the case here. There’s not a track that needs skipping, and a listen from start to finish is enjoyable. RLD have impressed again with this.

By Sam Bennett

@TheRealPP

@LYTEWORK

@IllinformedProd

http://www.facebook.com/LYTEWORK

http://http://www.rldrecords.co.uk

Res One – Delph Efficacy (Review)

Res One, Reviews, Split Prophets

Res One, hailing from Bristol, is one of the most exciting prospects active in the UK scene at the moment. A member of the Split Prophets Crew, Res’ style is filled with internal, complex rhyming, socially aware concepts and a lot of weed references. ‘Delph Efficacy’ is a raw, authentic album, with appearances from Leaf Dog, BVA, Blabbermouf and more.

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The scathing social analysis in ‘The Great Divide’, which features fellow Bristolian rhymer Mistafire, makes the Reklews production an early highlight. ‘Everything You Got’, which features talented Scottish spitter Physiks, is an uptempo tune with shrill brass samples and crisp drums. Next comes ‘No Managers’; Res and Two Tungs both drop lyricism about their independence, and this testament is accurate. The Prophets have a real buzz, developed through their consistency and sheer skill.

‘Know How We Do’ is a gritty collaboration with the currently incarcerated fellow SP member DatKid. The sparse, hard hitting instrumental is insanely effective, and the punchy deliveries from both MCs make the track a highlight. The humble attitude displayed in ‘Building Up, as well as the choppy beat and energetic flow, keep the levels high; Delph Efficacy is a strong project with excellent levels of consistency. ‘La Familia’, the obligatory SP posse cut is another standout with a bunch of dope verses.

‘Mary Jane Pt. 2′ is a great track. The sequel to Res’ ‘Mary Jane Skit’, he drops herbalist bars with intelligent rhyme patterns and topics to boot, and the soulful boom bap beat keeps the head nodding back and forth. ‘Bristol Bullshit’ is a prime example of the crisp and gritty instrumental choices that Res One excels on, and this track is one of the most memorable and impressive songs from the ‘Delph Efficacy’ album. ‘On The Move’, whicg features fellow Prophet Paro, is a dope track with a melodic instrumental in an East Coast feel and heavy punchlines.

‘Wreck Shit’ is a collaboration with Dutch MC BlabberMouf. Res and Blabber have great chemistry, and their styles are well suited to each other. The contrast between BlabberMouf’s rapid flow and Res’ laid-back delivery make the track enjoyable and memorable. Leaf Dog and BVA join Res One on ‘Underground Structure’, and the raw sample work and convincing lyricism make this track a winner. ‘Delph Efficacy’ finishes strongly with the relaxed and mellow ‘International Traveler’; Res demonstrates a smooth and silky flow, and the crisp drums of the Hozay production are also impressive.

Split Prophets catalogue is filled with projects packed the raw authenticity. ‘Delph Efficacy’ is no different, and Res One’s first step into the solo world is successful. This is an album packed with intelligent writing and a variety of concepts, executed in a very professional manner.

By Sam Bennett

@TheRealPP

@LYTEWORK

http://www.facebook.com/LYTEWORK

http://www.splitprophets.bandcamp.com

Verb T & Illinformed – The Man With The Foggy Eyes (Review)

Illinformed, Reviews, Verb T

High Focus Records continue their busy year with a new project from veteran head Verb T and Illinformed, one of the scene’s most impressive production talents of recent years. ‘The Man With The Foggy Eyes’ takes us on a dreamy, classy journey with personality and relatable lyricism from T, and jazzy sample based production from Illinformed.

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‘Rolex Dreams’, featuring Leaf Dog, is an early highlight; the juxtaposition between Verb’s calm delivery and humble style and the concept is entertaining, and Leaf’s verse is passionate and effective. The smooth, jazz-club vibe provided by Illinformed on ‘Somebody Has To Pay’ is matched with a cool and collected flow from Verb T, and this is followed with the raw, uptempo ‘Fuck It Up’. Verb T’s versatility and consistency has always impressed me, and this album continues the trend.

The gritty ‘First Stone’ is another heavy track, with Verbs providing vivid imagery and detailed metaphors with a precise flow. The Hammond organ used on ‘Forgiveness’ is an ingenious addition from Illinformed, and Verb T, Smellington Piff and Moreone all match the soulful beat with their introspective lyricism. The infectious and sharp trumpet on ‘Say It Again’ is an effective production choice; Illinformed is equally as key to the cohesive and tasteful album as Verb T, who shows that his witty writing on this track is as sharp as ever.

The brief but entertaining ‘High Street’ is a nice cut to add to the tracklist, and it’s followed by ‘Pain Avenue’. The personal aspect to Verb T’s music is what is so enticing; the concepts and topics feel real and authentic. The subtle ‘Fade Away’ continues the strong end run of the album, with punchy drums and silky piano samples. ‘Trickery’, the penultimate track, features BVA; the dope brass lines and lazy drum pattern back the two High Focus MC’s as they drop their verses with convincing deliveries. This is followed by ‘I Can’t Stop’. Verbs is joined by Joker Starr, Micall Parknsun and Fliptrix on this joint, and the line-up speaks for itself.

‘The Man With The Fogy Eyes’ is an album that matches talented and intelligent writing with authentic and consistent production. Verb T and Illinformed have great chemistry, with styles that lend themselves perfectly to one another. This is another album to add to the list of quality releases from High Focus; cohesive, relatable and polished.

By Sam Bennett

@TheRealPP

@LYTEWORK

@RealVerbT

@IlinformedProd

http://www.facebook.com/LYTEWORK

http://www.high-focus.com

The Four Owls – Natural Order (Review)

Reviews, The Four Owls

The Four Owls are back. The High Focus UK supergroup, consisting of Fliptrix, Verb T, BVA and Leaf Dog, return after the absolutely classic ‘Nature’s Greatest Mystery’ album, released back in 2011 with an unadulteratedly raw project packed with incredible beats and superbly crafted lyricism stuffed to the brim with substance. ‘Natural Order’ has had a lot of hype, with the release of the DJ Premier produced single ‘Think Twice’, and the impact of their debut make this release all the more anticipated. High Focus haven’t disappointed us yet, and this one is no exception, to say the very least. 

The Four Owls - Natural Order - Front Cover

From the soulful samples with crunching snares backing the Owls on ‘Rice Torture’, it’s instantly clear that the golden era infused hip hop these four guys specialise in still sounds as fresh as ever. With lyrics about their hip hop sensibilities and prowess, this opener sets the tone, and shows that amongst so much disappointment in mainstream hip hop, the underground is still where it’s at.  ‘Silent Flight’, which was released with an impeccable animation video on YouTube prior to the album’s release, is still one of my favourite tracks. With the choppy vocal samples and consistently impressively delivered Owl themed lyrics this is a guaranteed anthem.

‘Think Twice’ showed that UK hip hop really is starting to get the recognition it so clearly deserves. The only track on the album not produced by Leaf Dog (did I mention it’s a DJ Premier joint!?), each of The Four Owls show why they’re so respected for their lyrics, flows, delivery and content. Verb T’s closing rhyme scheme is insane, and hopefully this Premier collab is the start of something special. The brass samples and in your face drums of ‘Defiant’ are well suited, and the muffled production on ‘The Four Elements’ both make for heavy listens; the consistency on ‘Natural Order’ is something to be congratulated.

Smellington Piff’s appearance on ‘Dawn Of A New Day’, another excellent Leaf Dog production with intelligent rhyming, is dope to see. The Four Owls have been around the blocks, and it’s always refreshing to see so much promising talent coming through the ranks. This track is a declaration for the return of real hip hop, and since the album reached the top spot in the iTunes hip hop chart, maybe it’s time you believed them. ‘Assassination’ is definitely a highlight, with Dirty Dike joining The Four Owls on a back to back series of incredible verses. Dike’s ‘dreaming of raping a boyband member in the face’ bar is enough to make you reload this countless times.

There really is so much to talk about here. The infectious organ on ‘Ain’t Like It’ and the well tackled concepts on ‘The Drama’ show the versatile skills of each member, be it lyrical or beat-making. ‘Open Book’ finds Jam Baxter making a brutal guest appearance, The haunting, soulful ‘Old Earth’ is also one of the most impressive tracks on ‘Natural Order’, and it finds the Owls demonstrating their introspective styles with flair and skill. The more relaxed side of the Owls’ music is found throughout their second album, with a good balance between that and more uptempo, aggressive tracks.

‘Natural Order’ is one of the most consistent, cohesive and raw rap albums I’ve heard for a long time. Each group member impresses, with Fliptrix’s savage flows and intelligent writing, Leaf Dog’s unique style and production talents, BVA’s charismatic delivery and old school flow and Verb T’s humble yet cutting writing all playing their part. It’s hard to pick a standout member, but Verb T’s showing on this album definitely leaves a lasting impression, but each Owl shines in their own right.

By Sam Bennett

@TheRealPP

@MrFliptrix

@RealVerbT

@BVA3

@MCLeafDog

http://www.facebook.com/LYTEWORK

http://www.high-focus.com

Smellington Piff – Notice Of Eviction (Review)

Reviews, Smellington Piff

Smellington Piff has been surrounded by a fair amount of hype for a while now, and it’s understandable when you’re running with two of the UK scene’s heavy hitters, BVA and Leaf Dog, and you’re signed to their talented and impressive RLD Records, not to mention dropping a consistent output of quality music in the run up to this debut solo album. ‘Notice Of Eviction’ is produced in its entirety by Leaf Dog, and Smellington Piff’s original, unique, cutting and sharp flow is completely at home. 

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‘Notice Of Eviction’ gets underway with the hard hitting boom bap of ‘Opposites Attract’. The piano based beat, complete with funky guitar samples and crunching kick and snare backs Piff as he drops bars with his signature intricate writing style. Leaf Dog provides a characteristically dope, soul sampling backdrop on ‘End Of Discussion’, and the RLD MC raps with confidence and energy, with too many resonating bars to count, spitting ‘I hold no wonga/This time next year I’ll still be a plonker’. ‘Gorilla Growers’ is the next cut, and the stoner anthem finds Piff alongside Son Doobie of the LA based Funkdoobiest, as well as BVA and Leaf Dog, who contributes slick horn samples and banging drums as well as a nice verse.

The frantic instrumental for ‘Site’ is suited perfectly to Smellington as he delivers bars about his way of life and upbringing, with scathing analysis along with dope lyricism and consistently good writing; a standout for me is ‘Passing through your town like a stream/If home’s where the heart is, I live on my sleeve’. ‘Notice Of Eviction’ has one of the best starts to an album I’ve heard for a while, every track is heavy, and there’s definitely variation here too. ‘The Base’ is a highlight, with Piff joined by Cracker Jon, Jack Jetson, Eric The Red, Leaf Dog and BVA on a smooth and jazzy beat. Each MC delivers a nice verse, and it’s always great to hear some of the UK’s sickest spitters going back to back.

‘Authentic Fakes’ is another instant head-nodder. Rag N Bone Man provides yet another incredible hook, he always delivers when recruited to drop a chorus. Smellington brutally delivers his bars, and they are always excellently structured, such as when he drops ‘Fuck your hollow lies, just apologise, act like you mean it/Or burn like a phoenix, I mean this’. ‘Food Chain’ demonstrates once again Piff’s relatable bars with a storytelling vibe, and his concept works very well. ‘Real Life’s Happening’ finds Smellington dropping a horde of heavy similes, summing the scheme up with ‘I say like a lot coz I like it a lot/And I don’t care if you like it a lot’ . Another highlight is ‘Ununited Kingdom’; something that impresses throughout ‘Notice Of Eviction’ is the fact that Smellington Piff always has real content in his tracks, and this is key to the effectiveness of his music.

Smellington Piff and Leaf Dog have made a fantastically cohesive album, filled with absolutely banging UK hip hop. The collaborations are well chosen; Verb T and Fliptrix appear on ’80 Degrees’, Piff drops socially conscious bars with LIFE on ‘After The Storm’, Bill Shakes delivers a dope verse with his Northern swagger on ‘Mad Man’s Anthem’, alongside another impressive Leaf Dog appearance, and Lee Scott kills the chilled and soulful ‘Riddle Me This’ with a characteristically cocky verse. Smellington Piff’s writing is impressive throughout, and he suits Leaf Dog’s golden era, instant classic production style perfectly. And this is his debut album? Watch out for this one.

By Sam Bennett

@TheRealPP

@LYTEWORK

@SmellingtonPiff

http://www.facebook.com/LYTEWORK

http://www.rldrecords.co.uk

Jack Jetson – The Adventures of Johnny Strange (Review)

Jack Jetson, Reviews

Hip Hop in the UK is in one of its healthier periods since its inception, and Jack Jetson is another of the MCs making real waves in the scene. With classic, weed infused verses displaying real skill and passion, this debut album is set to be one of the best releases of 2014. 

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It’s great to see that the talented members of the High Focus roster aren’t content to sit back and ride the wave. BVA & Leaf Dog’s RLD Records is sure to be very important in bringing through more and more lyrical MCs staying true to what hip hop is all about. Jack Jetson’s The Adventures of Johnny Strange album is the first release on RLD, and it’s an example of just how good rap music from Great Britain can be. With all of the production duties handled by Leaf Dog himself, Jack flawlessly flows around the expert sampling and classic 90s drums.

The opening track is Wonderberry, which was released a few weeks back with an accompanying video. As soon as the track starts you can’t help but bounce your head along to it, and Jetson sets the album off with brilliantly structured multi’s and rhyme schemes. Strange Ways is another dope track, with sick quotable’s and internal rhymes. It was certainly a wise choice for Jack Jetson to sign under BVA & Leaf Dog’s new outfit of great UK talent; Jack’s tone of voice and way of writing lends itself completely to Leaf Dog’s gritty yet soulful production, and the vibe of the project makes it able to slot straight amongst albums such as ‘Brothers of the Stone’ and ‘From A Scarecrows Perspective’.

The album features only 3 guest verses. BVA kicks it on Vitamins, with his old school flow delivered with precision. It’s great to hear that a guy with a very unique style and way of delivering his bars is still respected as much as BVA is. Leaf Dog and Jack hook up to trade bars on Stay True. This ode to raw hip hop is perfect for a lazy summer day. Dirty Dike also lends a verse on Mushroom Clouds. This is one of the standout tracks, with one of the UK’s most prolific lyricists proving exactly why he’s so respected; Dike’s humorous bars such as ‘I’ll sellotape her face to the fridge and fucking break her ribs’ instantly making you perk up and pay attention. Jetson’s verses don’t fall short of the mark either.

This is a very solid album, and is an incredibly strong debut. This has only made it more exciting to hear from RLD’s roster of artists who are bubbling just under the surface. Leaf Dog’s beats are on top form throughout the project, with 13 tracks of classic, 90s influenced instrumentals providing the perfect backing for Jack Jetson to take us through the adventures of Johnny Strange.

By Sam Bennett

@TheRealPP

@JackJetson

http://www.rldrecords.co.uk