French beatsmith and Shark Records representative DJ Rhum’1 releases his ‘Musical Surgery’ LP, and it continue his trend of uncut, rough and dark boom bap. An assortment of underground spitters contribute verses to the project, and the cohesive collection is one of the more under-the-radar releases of recent weeks.
‘Styles Upon Styles’ is a perfect example of the hard hitting, relentlessly raw boom bap on display here. Rhum’1 recruits frequent collaborators British wordsmith Samuel Tafari and dope spitter Seiza, who each bring banging bars over a gritty beat laced with strings and pounding drums.
Long Island lyricist Ixion Form and Toronto MC Swann Flu kill the epic vocals and piano lines of ‘Guilty Conscious’. Their gravelly tones, heartfelt delivery and passionate content build to a crescendo before cutting out to a mellow finale, and the recruitment of DJ Trickalome is the icing on the cake.
The brutal beat of ‘War Torn’ is the epitome of in your face and aggressive, and underground lyricists Xplicit Content contribute an exhilerating performance. The harsh tones and raw rhymes are a perfect match for the tense instrumental, and the combination of punchline heavy verses and orchestral production make this one a definite standout.
The piano-driven boom bap of ‘Paid Dues’ finds Rhum’1 showcasing a mellower style, and the melodic samples back duo Poet On Drugs, comprised of technical writers Rated R and J.A.I. Pera, as they spit with confidence, clarity and undeniable skill. The stacked ‘Throats Cut’ is a great penultimate track, and the vast array of lyricists on display is sure to keep this on any rap fan’s rotation.
‘Musical Surgery’ is an onslaught of hard-hitting beats and equally rugged rhymes, and the consistently banging drums keep the head nodding throughout. Some of the production is a little basic, and at times repetitive, but when the battle-themed verses keep coming at an alarming rate, it’s hard to imagine any other kind of soundtrack. DJ Rhum’1 knows his style and his audience, and he recruits some talented vocalists to complete the puzzle.
By Sam Bennett