Jam Baxter – Mansion 38 (Review)

Jam Baxter, Reviews

With his fourth full length studio album, revered MC Jam Baxter delivers creative lyricism and imaginative angles in abundance on ‘Mansion 38’, the latest release from the insanely talented High Focus Records. The LP is orchestrated by the versatile producer Chemo, and the pair continue the groundwork they started on Baxter’s last album ‘…So We Ate Them Whole’, but things get a little more gloomy this time round.

Opening with the anthemic and traditionally vivid ‘Down’, the tense, overcast and encapsulating ethos of the album is instantly apparent. Chemo’s synthetic, glitchy production moves seamlessly with Baxter’s unique structure and dense lyricism. ‘Dumb’ features Trellion and Lee Scott, and the combination is as witty as you would imagine. Trellion has been on an incredible run recently, and the slow-moving boom bap is perfect for the cleverest dumb bars you’ve heard since the last Trelli verse you clocked. The double-time flows and sparse beat is a brilliantly successful formula for the cinematic ‘For A Limited Time Only’. The Contact Play MC blends a mixture of weird imagery and complex, layered writing with a cocky, street-smart vibe that makes his material wildly entertaining.

The trapped out ‘Soi 36’ is an absolute banger; the single from the album exemplifies Baxter’s flawless ability to mix an unashamedly leftfield vibe with a current, accessible presentation. Lee Scott appears on the flawless ‘Titanic 2’; the bouncy, pounding instrumental, skippy, imaginative flows and cutting, satirical lyrics make the swagged-out track a standout. The charisma on display here from two of the UK’s leading artists is a testament to the talent on offer from the crop of MC’s active right now, and High Focus is a well oiled platform for these wordsmiths to shine. ‘Just Us’ is a characteristically off-kilter introspective cut, and Jammothy’s rugged lifestyle is described in great detail over a bouncy Chemo soundscape. The use of the word ‘shmerkle’ in a bar also deserves respect in it’s own right.

‘Bulletproof’ is a highlight, and the silky piano-based beat is perfect for Baxter’s smooth flow and eclectic bars; he drifts from topic to topic seamlessly and with an underlying gritty undercurrent to his writing. Fellow CP spitter Dirty Dike accompanies on the crisp ‘Chateaux In Toulouse’ which also finds fellow Dead Player Dabbla killing his verse, as is always the case for the veteran MC. The collaborations sprinkled across ‘Mansion 38’ are utilised excellently, and the album maintains it cohesion throughout, and the gifted Chemo must get a lot of the credit for that. The sophisticated ‘Teeth Marks’ is expertly executed with complex lyrics lacing the sporadic drums and haunting synthwork, filling the space with finesse and masterful precision.

‘Mansion 38’ is a exhilerating album that gives a fascinating insight into one of the most creative and talented lyricists of our generation. Jam Baxter has been quietly growing his stature in the UK scene (possibly the cringiest sentence on this blog yet), with a string of quality releases, and this LP solidifies his place as one that is surely to continue his ascent with future work. As diverse as they come, Baxter is such a clearly gifted lyricist, and Chemo such an amazing producer, it’s really no surprise at all that this is an early contender for album of the year.

By Sam Bennett

@TheRealPP

@LYTEWORK

@ActualJamBaxter

http://www.facebook.com/LYTEWORK

http://www.high-focus.com

Dabbla – Year Of The Monkey (Review)

Dabbla, Reviews

Dabbla is one of the most formidable rappers on the circuit. He’s been a staple figure in our homegrown scene for years and represents a number of crews (LDZ, Problem Child and Dead Players), but 2016 is finally the year that he stands on his own two feet for an entire project. ‘Year Of The Monkey’ is released through High Focus Records, and features appearances from Dirty Dike, Cobes, Jam Baxter and more, as well as production from Ghosttown, Sumgii and Naive.

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The LP opens with ‘Everything’, and from the moment the jazzy keys and Dabbla’s tight, precise flow and witty content kick in it’s clear that this is going to be one very impressive project. Tom Caruana produces the following tune, entitled ‘Supermodified’, and Dabbs delivers his lyricism with his signature bounce; the multisyllabics, humourous content and sheer speed of his MCing is wildly entertaining. ‘PterdactILL’ is an undisputable banger, and Ghosttown exploits his penchant for off-kilter eastern samples for the fantastic production.

‘Cheers’ is preempted by some guy telling Dabbla that ‘it’s all about dubstep’, and the track itself is uptempo, bouncy and ferociously energetic with a deep, hard-hitting bass. By now you’ve all seen the excellent visuals for ‘Randeer’ and the quirky cut is still a great addition to the tracklist here. ‘Incomparable’ features flawless rhymes and great production, as well some pretty weird imagery being conjoured up by Dabbla’s writing; he spits “2Pac isn’t dead you mug and Biggie’s on the moon/they got Jimi Hendrix on the decks and Whitney on the spoon”, and who else could drop that on a track and make it sound as good as it does here.

‘Penis For The Day’ features Dirty Dike and Dubbledge, and it’s a dope mix of styles and flavours over a slow-moving, groovy beat contributed by Naive. ‘Stupid’ is another well-received single from the LP and the skippy flows and percussive delivery from Dabbla makes for a really strong cut. ‘Spin’ is a nice collaboration with fellow LDZ representative Cobes, and the tongue-twisting patterns and unorthodox rhythms are expertly executed over a glitchy instrumental. These two spitter’s sound perfect on a track together, and if this solo album isn’t enough to satisfy your fiend for Dabbla material, a new LDZ project is also rumoured to be on the way.

I’m not going to go into any detail about ‘Get It’ which features Ocean Wisdom but to say both MC’s performances are outstanding, and if you weren’t impressed with Ocean’s impeccable rapid-fire lyricism before, there’s no doubt  that you will be after hearing this. Jam Baxter appears on ‘Vomit’, which is produced by Ghosttown; what is so good about this cut is that it doesn’t sound like a Dead Players leftover as the trio deliver an upfront and in your face stomper with this one. ‘Butterfly’ is a little more restrained than the majority of tracks on here, but not too many MC’s can pull off a 6/8 time-signature with the ease that Dabbla does here. The LP closes out with the amazing ‘Life Line’ which takes us on a journey from Dabbla’s birth to the present day and beyond in an amusing and impressive fashion.

‘Year Of The Monkey’ is fantastic. There’s not a weak track, weak verse, weak beat or anything at all weak on this LP. The rhymes are on-point, and the vibe of the beats create a cohesive vibe for the LP; with a variety of producers (some of which take the production in some pretty weird directions) Dabbla ties these tracks together with his unique and memorable style. The LP drops tomorrow, so get up early and go and get it.

By Sam Bennett

@TheRealPP

@LYTEWORK

@BigDabbla

http://www.facebook.com/LYTEWORK

http://www.high-focus.com

Ocean Wisdom – Chaos 93′ (Review)

Dirty Dike, Ocean Wisdom, Reviews

Brighton MC Ocean Wisdom first catapulted to the forefront of any hip-hop head’s mind with the release of ‘Walkin’ back in 2014. The grimey, snarling Dirty Dike production and the ferociously fast flow were an instantly winning combination, and anxiously rap fans the world over waited patiently for news of a full project. Signing with High Focus Records last year is a logical choice, and the independent powerhouse starts off 2016 with Wisdom’s debut solo record ‘Chaos 93’, entirely produced by Dirty Dike and featuring appearances from Klashnekoff, Lunar C, Foreign Beggars and more.

Ocean Wisdom - Chaos 93' - Album Cover

Opening with ‘Walkin’, if you’ve been living under a rock for the past year and a half or so, this is the perfect introduction to Ocean’s high-standard of lyricism and his undeniably incredibly flow, and he matches a decisive delivery with crystal clear diction. ‘Splittin’ The Racket’, the first official single from the album, keeps the pace at a blistering high, and Wisdom displays witty bars over a crisp, hard-hitting Dike instrumental. ‘High Street’ is an intense, rapid-fire onslaught of tongue twisting lyrics and flows; Ocean Wisdom switches it up effortlessly and without warning, demonstrating integrity, honesty and screw-face inducing skill.

Lunar C’s appearance on ‘Gone’ is a great addition (“I’m squeezing titties like I’m holding stress balls/She’s pussy popping like a blow up ex doll”); wordplay, charisma and punchlines are displayed by both MCs, and the hook is a work of genius. Klashnekoff features on the following cut ‘Devilish’, and the menacing, subtle production with deep bass and percussive flows is a superb backdrop for the two gritty vocalists. ‘Doolally’ features another legendary UK name; Foreign Beggars join Ocean on a hyped, up-tempo track. Dike’s production across ‘Chaos 93’ is versatile and consistently impressive, the thumping kicks and sparse instrumentation works brilliantly with the energetic, percussive flows from Wisdom, Vulgatron and Metropolis.

Man, ‘Oh Kiddi K’. What a tune. Remus’ opening verse is aggressive, intelligent and entirely convincing; the building anticipation for his debut LP is starting to become too much to handle. The in-your-face, pedal to the metal flows that Ocean has developed a reputation for are showcased all over ‘Chaos 93’. He slows the pace down a little on ‘Heskey’, and Dike matches the vibe with a sinister production. ‘Real Smooth’, the highly anticipated collaborations with The Four Owls, is a certified banger. Every verse is a smash; Fliptrix spits “I hit the bong today, never on a long delay/Shouting at these motherfuckers ándale, ándale” and BVA’s savage appearance is one of the standout moments on the entire LP. ‘W.A.Y.D’ again shows the diversity Ocean and Dike have mastered on the album, with a soulful instrumental and introspective lyricism.

‘Chaos 93’ definitely lives up to the hype; when ‘Walkin’ is your introduction to the industry, you’re certainly setting the bar high, but Ocean Wisdom’s ferocious pen-game, diverse flows and pure ability sounds flawless over Dirty Dike’s expertly handled production. Over an eclectic seventeen tracks, the musical ability of both rapper and producer is shown to be at the highest level, and High Focus have knocked it out of the park with this one. What a start to 2016.

By Sam Bennett

@TheRealPP

@LYTEWORK

@Ocean_Wisdom

@DirtyDikeSMB

http://www.facebook.com/LYTEWORK

http://www.high-focus.com

Chairman Maf – Soup (Review)

Chairman Maf, Reviews

Cambridge producer Chairman Maf releases his third LP ‘Soup’. The album showcases Maf’s ingenious sample-work, his versatile influences and chilled vibe that is guaranteed to keep your head nodding for the full 43 minute journey. 

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The album kicks off with ‘Mambo’, and the weird mesh of samba, jazz and hip-hop works so so well. It’s a quirky, slightly off-kilter jam that opens the album with freshness, individuality and pure dopeness. The crisp ‘Danger’ is an oddly sinister boom-bap number; the vinyl crackle, vocal samples and unexpected sample choices combine to make a hypnotic and thoroughly enjoyable soundscape.

The soulful ‘Sincere Soup’ is another highlight; Chairman Maf’s production is always vividly textured and layered. The dense instrumentals are constantly interesting and exciting to take in, with sound effects and faultless sample manipulation and choice underpinned by tight drum grooves and percussion.

The somber mood of the clean, silky piano on ‘Blue Soup’ is backed by a subtle electronic kick drum and snare; Maf’s resources never get boring, there’s always something new and different on each track. In fact, there’s often many segments that make up a whole beat; the instrumentals on ‘Soup’ go far beyond just a nice sample and a couple of 16 bar loops, there’s variety, thought and clear skill on show here.

‘Liar’ does kind of take that shape though; it’s a pretty simple formula, but it works so well. The vocal samples mix with the chopped samples, and the crisp drum beat holds it together nicely. The mellow ‘Booze’ rounds off the standard edition of the album. If you get the deluxe version however, you’re treated to two more beats. ‘Special Soup’ is another soulful boom-bap cut, and ‘Prawn Soup’ is the instrumental to ‘Prawns’ from Dirty Dike’s recently released ‘Sucking On Prawns In The Moonlight’ album, which dropped a few months back through High Focus Records.

Chairman Maf shows why he’s one of the most consistent and intelligent producers in the hip-hop scene on our shores. ‘Soup’ is musical, it’s soulful, it’s eclectic and it sounds damn good. The album’s bandcamp page states that this is possibly his last release, but please Maf, if the projects are this good (and his 2014 release ‘Paint’ was quality too), don’t stop just yet.

By Sam Bennett

@TheRealPP

@LYTEWORK

@ChairmanMaf

http://www.facebook.com/LYTEWORK

http://www.chairmanmaf.bandcamp.com

Philly B – Let It Play (Review)

Philly B, Reviews

Producer Philly B releases his new album ‘Let It Play’, which features Jam Baxter, Dirty Dike, Dubbledge and Dabbla, amongst many more. The album showcases Philly’s versatile production style, which draws from a range of influences to create a diverse and interesting soundscape.

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The uptempo frantic drums and soulful vocal samples of the opening title track are a perfect match for the percussive deliveries and tight flows from Dabbla, Son Of Light and Dubbledge. Each MC compliments the production with their fast-paced and complex verses. ‘You Suck’ follows, and Dabbla kills it on this solo track; his witty, tongue twisting style sounds excellent over the quirky sample, and the LDZ MC’s clarity is always impressive.

‘Belonging’ is a highlight from the album; the posse cut features Dabbla, Stig Of The Dump, King Kaiow and Jam Baxter, and the simplistic instrumental and hard hitting snare back confidently delivered lyrics from each rapper. The restrained and subtle production on ‘Never’, which features Contact Play representatives Jam Baxter and Dirty Dike, make for another standout. The vivid verses are well structured by both MCs, backed by reserved drums and cool sample work.

‘Love’, which features Mikey D.O.N. of Krispy 3, is dope. The summery vibe and crisp drums show Philly B’s skilfully versatile talent behind the boards, complimented brilliantly by Mikey’s vocal. The final track is ‘Money 2 Da Rescue’, and this is my favourite track by far, not only of the album but of the year as a whole. The electronically driven production is a perfect match for Dubbledge and Dabbla’s relatable lyrics (Dabbla’s verse will ring true with a huge amount of heads), which paint a scathing view of our society with wit and passion.

‘Let It Play’ is an excellent project from Philly B. The scope of the production is wide-ranging, and the lost of features extensive and well selected. With a variety of styles explored in terms of vocalists and instrumentals, Philly has dropped an exhilarating project in ‘Let It Play’, and play it you certainly should.

By Sam Bennett

@TheRealPP

@LYTEWORK

@PhillyBDriven

http:/www.facebook.com/LYTEWORK

http://www.phillydriven.com

Dirty Dike – Sucking On Prawns In The Moonlight (Review)

Dirty Dike, Reviews

First off, what a title. Dirty Dike’s fourth album, his third on High Focus Records (every review I try to find a new way to big them up but you must get the picture by now), is the latest installment in a productive year for the Cambridge rapper. Well, Cambridge musician. With recent projects with Rag N Bone Man and Lee Scott highlighting his talents in the production sphere, and an album with Ocean Wisdom set to be the next in the list later this year, Dike has been expanding his arsenal. This album features a maturer outlook, still with his trademark brand of lyricism, and a couple of production credits too.

Dirty Dike - SOPITM - Front Cover

The opener, ‘Great Attempt’, is a storming start to the album. With a dark, restrained beat backing complex rhyme schemes from Dike, who both exhibits the familiar character traits we’ve come to associate synonymously, as well as a more serious side in a reflective, self-referencing verse. His flow is melodic and musical, and Fliptrix takes the track on a story-telling tangent, using great imagery in his writing. The depth to both MC’s verses is perfectly suited to the cinematic piano based instrumental, produced by Sam Zircon and Naive, and when the drums finally kick in after both Dike and Fliptrix have finished their verses the impact is big. Dike marks his return to the microphone with a bang.

‘Alcoholic Tosser’, produced by fellow Cambridge musician Chairman Maf, who released the quality instrumental album ‘Paint’ last year, is the second tune. The infectious, almost spooky beat, complete with the sound of a creaking door, is really memorable and the crisp drums back Dike’s cocky delivery emphatically. ‘Ain’t Got A Clue’, the first single from the album, marks a return to Dike’s signature lyrical style; aggressive and witty with a healthy serving of attitude. The production on this track, handled by Joe Corfield, is a turn away from his past work though, with a clear electronic influence that helps take the track to the next level.

‘Isleham Swamp’, the second single from the album, is also produced by Joe Corfield. The subtle instrumental backs pensive and retrospective musings from Dike. It’s a world away from ‘Return Of The Twat’, and Dike shows this different perspective and style across ‘Sucking On Prawns In The Moonlight’. The Remus collaboration, entitled ‘Take Over’, is a definite highlight; with an Eastern influence in the Sitar laced beat, as well as incredibly punchy drums, this track marks the first in four adjacent tracks showcasing Dike’s production talents.

‘Me & You’, featuring Jam Baxter, is my favourite track on the album. The beat is catchy and classy, and the theme of comparison is executed in a witty manner by both Contact Play MCs, with melodic deliveries and genuinely funny lyrics. ‘Crystal Cindy’ and ‘Feast’ are both insightful songs, each dealt with skilfully, honestly and passionately. This openness continues on the penultimate track. ‘Hold My Hands’ is slow-paced, with great sample work and production from Klagen. Dike’s electronic influence and direction on this album is refreshing, and it’s a stylistic change that works brilliantly. ‘Remus, Ocean Wisdom, Jam Baxter, Lee Scott and Dabbla join Dike on ‘Posse Gang Eight Million’. Both the previous cypher cuts on Dike’s last two albums have been quality, and the grimy beat and up-tempo verses make the album close out with an absolute bang. I said that at the beginning right?

‘Sucking On Prawns In The Moonlight’ is a fantastic release. It marks a new chapter in Dike’s sound and direction. The album is a lot more personal than his previous work (Sloshpot EP aside), and the change in emphasis is one that is successfully executed, and it remains interesting from start to finish. The style of the album musically is exciting too, with textured instrumentals, with a variety of moods and vibes explored. Dike’s writing is sharper than ever. I could go on but I reckon that’s probably enough compliments for one day.

By Sam Bennett

@TheRealPP

@LYTEWORK

@DirtyDikeSMB

http://www.facebook.com/LYTEWORK

http://www.high-focus.com

Lunar C – Breakdown Rebuild (Review)

Lunar C, Reviews

Bradford’s leading rap export, Lunar C is back with ‘Breakdown Rebuild’, his new mixtape which features Dream McLean, Lee Scott, Dirty Dike, Tommy Dockerz and Burgundy Blood, as well as outstanding production from Hashfinger and Reklews. With his recent battle with Oshea dropping on the same day as this mixtape, Lunar once again proves that he’s much more than a one trick pony. ‘Breakdown Rebuild’ shows both the skilled and the hilarious Lunar C, making for an undeniably entertaining listen.

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‘Breakdown Rebuild’ gets underway with ‘Pocket Full Of Fuckall’, which displays Lunar’s wit, ability to switch flows without a seconds hesitation and a catchy hook over a beat that keeps your head nodding constantly throughout the opener, which includes shots at Bono and some bars about Lunar’s penis, a subject he seems to enjoy talking about at great length (I know how that might read…). ‘Cool As Fuck’ features another dope chorus and the verses are packed full of Lunar’s trademark humour. ‘MOAMS’, featuring Manchester based American spitter Burgundy Blood, is one of the standouts of ‘Breakdown Rebuild’, with a crisp, soulful instrumental and on point flows from both Lunar and Blood.

‘Shnaffleberry’ is littered with weed references delivered at a quick pace over a bouncy, uptempo instrumental; Lunar’s charisma and energy is repeatedly a winning formula on ‘Breakdown Rebuild’. I remember hearing ‘Hang’ the last time I saw Lunar perform live, and to hear it in its full glory is great; if you want your rap music serious, deep and meaningful then this is definitely the track for you. The conscious topics continue on ‘Shag My Sister’, which features Tommy Dockerz. This pairing always produces hilarity, evident on their previous collaboration ‘Gettin Money’, and this track follows that trend to the letter.

‘Mate Of A Mate’, featuring Lee Scott and Dirty Dike is one of my favourite tunes from the mixtape. With a classic boom bap beat and three of the UK’s nicest writers, what couldn’t make this track one to revisit over and over. The title track of the mixtape is also a heavy cut, with a dusty, piano laced beat backing Lunar as he spits with a quick, intricate flow. ‘Die Old’ sees an entirely confident Lunar dropping consistently nice punchlines over a gritty, electronic beat with a hypnotic, staccato synth line. ‘Strictly Indo’ is another herbalist anthem from the West Yorkshire MC, and ‘Even If’ is a raw penultimate track. ‘Breakdown Rebuild’ finishes with the outstanding ‘New World’, which is a surprisingly serious (honestly this time) closer, demonstrating Lunar’s versatility and skill.

‘Breakdown Rebuild’ is a really solid project from one of the UK’s most promising MC’s. Lunar C’s buzz is warranted, with a string of well received projects. This is the biggest collection of tracks released in a while, and it’s pretty much all dope. Packed with witty lyricism, complex structures and an abundance of punchlines, this is one that will be in regular rotation for a while to come.

By Sam Bennett

@TheRealPP

@LYTEWORK

@LunarCFT

http://www.facebook.com/LYTEWORK

Mr. Key & Greenwood Sharps – Yesterday’s Futures (Review)

Greenwood Sharps, Mr. Key, Reviews

High Focus continue their dominance with the hugely anticipated debut project from Contact Play member Mr. Key, entitled ‘Yesterday’s Futures’, which is produced in its entirety by Greenwood Sharps. Key’s personal, introspective and captivating writing style is showcased throughout, with various electronic soundscapes backing the intricate writing with wonderful synthesized textures and thumping percussion. Anyone in the UK hip-hop following will have been anticipating and waiting patiently for the debut solo project from Mr. Key, and ‘Yesterday’s Futures’ will more than satisfy their appetites.

Mr Key & Greenwood Sharps - Album Cover

The opening track, ‘Rituals’ features fellow Contact Play and High Focus rapper Jam Baxter. From the album’s outset it’s clear that Mr. Key’s intelligence and personal life experiences will be the focus for the album, with interesting and varied rhyme schemes from both Key and Baxter making for an enthralling opener. ‘Exact Costs Pt. 1 – All Rise’, which features an appearance from a different CP member, Edward Scissortongue, follows. The layered, down-tempo feel of the production is suited to the complex lyricism on display. ‘Missing You’ is potentially my favourite track from the album, although it’s a closely fought battle. The heartfelt subject matter and fantastic chorus make for a stunning song. The Mount Kimbie esque synthesizers, evident on tracks like ‘Millions’, which features memorably haunting vocal samples and a melodic performance from Key. The subjects tackled throughout ‘Yesterday’s Futures’ really allow you to get a look inside his head, as his writing is incredibly personal. Greenwood Sharps’ production talents also shine, with a hypnotically good beat, and a truly great outro.

‘Funny Valentine’, a story about a past relationship again sees Mr. Key demonstrating a stunning narrative, and the glitchy yet soulful beat is also a winning factor. The intense production on ‘Kids Story’ makes for one of my favourite beats on the album. Sharps is just as much of a star on ‘Yesterday’s Futures’ as Key, evident on ‘Solstice’ for instance, where the electronic, chilled soundscape and spoken word style from Key combine to make for an utterly brilliant cut. ‘Faust Hype’, although brief at only one minute and fifty seconds, is another of my favourite songs here, with spacey synthesizers and dope percussion, as well as another intricate and fascinating performance from Key.

‘Yesterday’s Futures’ is a stunning album. Mr. Key and Greenwood Sharps’ collaboration is fantastically cohesive, and makes for a repeatedly entertaining listen, with depth and honesty from Key, and remarkable production from Sharps. This doesn’t sound like anything else released on High Focus Records, which yet again proves their versatility and talent isn’t waning in any shape or form. ‘Yesterday’s Futures’ was most certainly worth the wait, and then some.

By Sam Bennett

@TheRealPP

@LYTEWORK

@GreenwoodSharps

http://www.facebook.com/LYTEWORK

http://www.high-focus.com

ORDER ‘YESTERDAY’S FUTURES’ ON LIMITED EDITION VINYL: http://bit.ly/1QOqP4s
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Lee Scott – Butter Fly (Review)

Dirty Dike, Lee Scott, Reviews

High Focus Records continue their genre dominance with this, their latest release coming from Lee Scott who has built a formidable reputation with a career filled with classics in his signature, unique vibe. ‘Butter Fly’ is produced in its entirety by HF’s own Dirty Dike, and is the first whole project the SMB representative has made the beats for. Dike’s jazzy instrumentals and Lee’s swaggering presence and witty lyricism combine to create one of the best UK hip hop albums I’ve heard for a while.

Lee Scott - Butter Fly (Album Cover)

The album gets underway with the title track, and the chilled, crisp instrumental with intermittent piano chords and a subtle, simplistic drum beat allows for Lee Scott to drop bars filled with nice internal rhymes and heavy multisyllabics. The pitched adlibs add to Lee’s swegged out atmosphere, and it’s an opener that is guaranteed to make you listen on. Following this comes the fantastic ‘Don’t Make Me’, which has been on repeat since the video was released online. The slow paced beat with an infectious walking bassline and Lee’s intricate writing style and uniquely hilarious punchlines, such as ‘I don’t give a fraction of an ounce of a fuck/It’s an accident I’m on this this planet like Howard the Duck’ make this one of the standouts.

The dusty ‘Walking The Walk’ is another excellent cut from ‘Butter Fly’. Lee’s leftfield imagery, relatable references and consistently confident delivery show that his pen game and microphone presence are second to none. He’s a giant in the game, and a self-proclaimed one at that if we are to believe that he’s really ‘playing human sized subbuteo’ as is said on the slightly trippy ‘Manatee Rap’. The scathing analysis of the lazy society we’re all a part of right now on ‘Watch TV’ is a dope concept track, and shows Lee’s versatility. Dike’s ear for smooth samples that gel perfectly with Scott’s style and flow is apparent throughout ‘Butter Fly’, making it an exceptionally cohesive listen.

‘Eight O’ Clock In The Morning’ is another dope track with subtle samples and hard hitting boom bap drums. Lee’s second verse on this track is incredibly well structured with a weird storytelling vibe, and it’s very well executed. Following this comes my personal favourite track from the album; ‘Sell Drugs’. This track embodies what makes Lee Scott one of the most listenable artists in the scene right now with witty concepts and heavy bars , and Dike’s pounding kicks and tight snares provide the perfect backdrop.

‘Butter Fly’ is an outstanding release from front to back. Lee Scott and Dirty Dike’s partnership works sublimely, with suitable beats and charismatic spitting throughout. This is pure butter; jazzy, fresh and undeniably individual. High Focus haven’t disappointed yet, and I can’t see them starting now.

By Sam Bennett

@TheRealPP

@TinFoilFronts

@DirtyDikeSMB

http://www.facebook.com/LYTEWORK

http://www.high-focus.com

Lee Scott & Black Josh – B Movie Millionaires (Review)

Black Josh, Lee Scott, Reviews

Blah Records continue their steady output of swegged out, quality hip hop with a 5 track EP courtesy of Lee Scott and Black Josh. This combination of original Blah head and one of the label’s new generation has worked on previous collaborative tracks, and to hear Lee Scott’s unique perspective and wit and Black Josh’s precise, skippy flow and intricate lyricism is a real treat.

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Produced in its entirety by Baileys Brown, ‘B Move Millionaires’ features a section of hauntingly raw hip hop beats for Lee and Josh to spit over. The funky loop of ‘Chicken N Chips’ is a dope way to start the project, with Lee’s original punchlines and references catching the ear like pretty much any verse of his does. King Grubb joins on this opener, and each MC laces the track with memorable verses.  Pronouncing the ‘Blah syndicate clique, the best shit since chicken and chips’, their string of excellent releases seems to prove his point perfectly.

The gloomy, grimy instrumentals of ‘Happy Land’ and ‘Dollface’ take the EP into traditional territory for Blah heads. With weeded out, hedonistic lyricism and punchlines for days, the vibe is consistent and enjoyable; the kind of hip hop Blah Records specialises in is something remarkably different from  what is going on in the rest of the scene, and it’s perfectly exemplified here. ‘Skedaddle’ is another dope menacing cut, and ‘F.H.R.I.T.P.’ is a heavy closer, with King Grubb and Stinkin Slumrok making nice appearances.

‘B Movie Millionaires’ is an EP any hip hop head should check out. Lee Scott’s discography speaks for itself, and he’s still releasing quality music, with a lot in store for the future. His new album on High Focus, entirely produced by Dirty Dike will be an exciting prospect for sure. Black Josh is making a real impact and building buzz at a rapid pace, and it’s easy to see why. Baileys Brown handles the production expertly on this EP, and the lyrics are as on point as ever. This is a quality project from two of the UK’s best MC’s.

By Sam Bennett

@TheRealPP

@LYTEWORK

@TinFoilFronts

@BlackJoshAPE

http://www.facebook.com/LYTEWORK

http://www.blahrecords.com