Booda French – 6AM Coffee Club (Review)

Booda French, Reviews

Ipswich rapper Booda French has been a familiar face on the UK scene for over a decade. You might recognise him as a much younger man shouting freestyles at the top of his voice when he went by the more basic name of Truth, but in later years he has excelled as Booda, with a string of insanely dope EP releases. 2017 finds him partnering with established label Eatgood Records for his ‘6AM Coffee Club’ LP.

French’s eclectic, unashamedly strange approach is exemplified on the opening cut ‘Astronauts’; the sparse, synthetic instrumental is laced with intricate syllables executed through abstract phrasing and an inventive, melodic delivery, and Booda French’s unique style is instantly compelling. ‘The Feeling’ is beautifully executed over a silky smooth, tasteful beat which is complimented by jazzy keys, and the superb,  emotional vocal from the Ipswich lyricist makes it clear why he’s one of the most creative artists out there right now, and he’s not afraid to lay his heart on his sleeve.

Veteran UK spitter Joker Starr contributes a memorable, catchy chorus on the excellent ‘Forts’; the subtlety and mellow soundscapes found throughout ‘6AM Coffee Club’ a perfect match for Booda French’s vivid imagery and relaxed tone, as he delivers one chilled-out track after another. When an artist focuses their efforts on restrained, thought-provoking music, the result can sometimes be a little stagnant; French’s approach is original, and his tone unashamedly weird, and this keeps you engaged with his every line.

New York producer/rapper J57, a frequent Booda French collaborator, appears on the standout track ‘Kings Elect’; the loud, crunching boom bap drums and reflective, descriptive writing from both MCs make for an exhilarating ride. The sonic direction is consistently surprising and wholly entertaining, and the LP’s cohesion is a huge factor in the success of the project. ‘Young World’, the finale of the ten track album, is a crisp, upbeat song that leaves us on the most hopeful note of the LP, and showcases Booda French’s hip-hop sensibilities and crossover potential in one concise cut.

‘6AM Coffee Club’ is eclectic in it’s direction, taste and execution. This is far from your traditional, stereotypical hip-hop album, and is a dense, complex and ultra-lyrical body of work that exemplifies just how creative and different British rap music can be. Eatgood Records have long been a respected powerhouse, releasing quality music from established artists such as SonnyJim and Percy Filth, and Booda French can now be added to that list with this exciting and impeccably administered project.

By Sam Bennett




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.


‘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