Bisk – Gutter City (Review)

Bisk, Reviews

London MC Bisk is one of the most consistent and entertaining writers active right now. He’s been releasing a steady stream of quality projects, and ‘Gutter City’ is the latest in the ever-growing catalogue. Released through Radio Juicy, the eighteen-track album features Stinkin Slumrok, aptly credited on the front cover, featuring on five of the songs on here, alongside a selection of top drawer lyricists. If you’re familiar with Bisk’s work then you know that this is going to be good, if not then strap yourself in and turn up the dial.

‘Guttercitysh!t’ features Stinkin, and the looming, murky beat is comprised of pounding, lo-fi kicks and haunting sound effects. Bisk and Slummy both deliver verses packed with charisma and unorthodox swagger, and this LP is a memorable showcase of their dynamic flavours. ‘Wildcheese’ is a definite standout. The slow-moving cut features intense verses from Jack Danz and Slumrok; the eclectic styles on display are flawlessly balanced, and the production is impeccable too. Bisk’s skill is perhaps best exemplified over gritty, off-kilter production; a perfect example is the brilliant ‘Mynigga’. The track clocks in at under two-minutes, and the prolific, dexterous vocal is executed with an effortlessly mellow delivery.

‘Smoke’ is a track that has been doing the rounds on soundcloud, and from the moment the raw loop kicks in it’s easy to see why. Slumrok, Sniff, Danz and Bisk drop flawless verses laced with witty punchlines, and the melting pot of styles and accents results in a clear-cut highlight. Jack Danz once showcases again his penchant for cutting, hard-hitting quotables here; he spits “Modus operandi. We treat a rock of mandy like some popping candy”. I mean, come on. Bisk recruits Blah veteran Sly Moon for the jazzy ‘Coldsagfunk’. The reverb drenched snare and crisp hi-hats back the two lyricists as they spit with a silky demeanour and smooth flows on this classy track.

The glitchy ‘SwampaZe’ features West Yorkshire duo The NorthaZe, and this is a collaboration that was meant to happen. Bisk, Kosi Tides and Swish move seamlessly over the bouncy instrumental, and the leftfield approach makes this a brilliantly exuberant track that illustrates the wealth of talent on display. ‘Ere’ is a characteristically dark banger, and is a fantastic ending track (not including the outro ‘Uzi’); the sparse drums and screwface-inducing bassline are a winning formula, and Bisk’s menacing delivery is the final piece of the puzzle.

‘Gutter City’ is a cohesive body of work, and Bisk’s unique style is captivating for the duration. Dope collaborations and seamless production are key ingredients, and the standard of writing on display here is tremendously impressive. This isn’t a stroke of luck though; Bisk’s discography is packed to the brim with heavy releases, and if the recent past is anything to go by, there’ll probably be another banging project from Bisk online somewhere before you’ve finished reading this review.

By Sam Bennett




Sleazy F Baby – All Blahk Tracksuit (Review)

Reviews, Sleazy F Baby, Wordz

Blah Records continue their incredibly impressive streak of releases this year with ‘All Blahk Tracksuit’, the new project from Manchester MC Sleazy F Baby. With a select few in-house features and a unique sonic direction, Sleazy is representing for a new generation of rappers. This takes the traditional hip-hop sound that is so often the standard formula for UK artists, and fuses it with trap-inspired flows and quirky production.


Opening the LP (after an introduction from Black Josh) is the title-track, and if you weren’t prepared for the rowdy, hard-hitting and unashamedly weird sound showcased across the whole of Sleazy’s debut LP, this track is guaranteed to put you in the right mindset. The simplistic but energetic instrumental backs the Mancunian MC as he drops bars with wit, intensity and a ferocious delivery. The trap influence is clear, with skippy flows and stuttering production, both of which are touches found across the entirety of ‘All Blahk Tracksuit’. ‘From The Bits’ follows, and the more traditional sounding cut is a hard-hitting anthem, with a brilliant accompanying video. The raw attitude Sleazy exhibits with effortless finesse is packed with dope quotables and relentlessly ignorant content; ‘this the might have fucked your baby-mother flow’ being just one small segment. It’s incredibly entertaining and the beat is an absolute banger too.

‘Y.N.I.F’ is dope; the crisp drums, weird samples and in-your-face attitude from Sleazy combine to make it a standout from the ‘All Blahk Tracksuit’ mixtape. The off-kilter double-bass riff and invasive, experimental jazz flips make for one of the most memorable beats on the entire project, and the Manchester MC drops his bars with precision and passion. ‘Sleazy’ is another brutally delivered cut; the aggressive and energetic flows and deliveries sound sick over the bassy, modern production. Any heads who are of the opinion that hip-hop in the UK sticks purely to the traditional, boom-bap ethos needs to check out ‘All Blahk Tracksuit’ for a refreshing and enjoyable perspective.

Fellow Blah MC Stinkin Slumrok joins Sleazy on the wavey ’21’, and Slumrok’s verse is charismatic and outlandish, which has come to be expected from the North London spitter. ‘Rob The Plug’ features upcoming rapper Bisk, and the gritty production is both dusty and synthetic, a combination which appears throughout the project, and it goes a long way to making it cohesive and consistent. ‘Ignorant Shiznit’, featuring Black Josh, is a late highlight, with a gloomy atmosphere executed smoothly over the subtlest instrumental on the entire release.

Wildly entertaining, relentlessly banging and instantly recognisable, Sleazy F Baby has dropped a very impressive debut project. This off-kilter direction fits perfectly with the Blah aesthetic, but he’s certainly carved out his own niche with the ‘All Blahk Tracksuit’ release. The beats are heavy, and the same can be said for the bars, and any hip-hop head is going to thoroughly enjoy this one.

By Sam Bennett




Onoe Caponoe – Spells From The Cyclops (Review)

Onoe Caponoe, Reviews

2015 saw the release of ‘Voices From Planet Cattele’, Onoe Caponoe’s debut project through High Focus Records, which was produced entirely by the legendary Chemo. A year on comes his next release, ‘Spells From The Cyclops’ which finds Onoe experimenting with a variety of influences, genres and sounds, and it’s a trip that should be taken by all.

Onoe Caponoe - Spells From The Cyclops - FRONT COVER

From the word go with the two short skits that introduce ‘Spells From The Cyclops’ it’s clear the Onoe’s weirded out, trippy vibe is still as strong as it ever was. The slow-paced ‘Cyclops From The Forest’ is a spaced out journey that encapsulates the vibe of the project perfectly, and it certainly prepares you for the next hour or so of leftfield hip-hop at it’s finest. The following track ‘Side Effects Of Star Controlling’ is equally cool, with it’s jazzy keys and drum loops backing Caponoe’s unique, individual lyrical approach, as he drops a smooth, unorthodox flow with winning results. ‘Ghost Surf’ is another excellent cut, and the bassy, hard-hitting trap influenced tracks are just as successful as the more experimental tunes found across this latest release. Onoe moves across the normal lines of beat and bar divisions with ease, constantly demonstrating a calculated but unashamedly abstract perspective on the microphone. Bisk and Stinkin Slumrok appear on the gritty, grimey ‘Money To Live In The Swamp’, and the glitchy, harsh production makes for a forward-thinking banger with three very talented UK vocalists doing their thing.

‘Jellyfish Gurl Part 2’ is a definite highlight, with manipulated vocals, mellow synths and crashing drums combining for an odd but entirely enjoyable four minutes. The smoked out ‘Love From A Ghost’ is intoxicating, with it’s haunting, slow-moving production and calmly delivered lyricism from Caponoe; it’s a welcome break from some of the more experimental tracks on ‘Spells From The Cyclops’, Onoe is still far from your cliché hip-hop artist on this song, but if the more extremely unconventional material isn’t entirely your thing this one is sure to be a favourite. The lo-fi ‘Ghosts In Ma Hallway Part 2’ is also another cool trap influenced joint, but it’s the following cut ‘On The Run In Tokyo’ that steals the show, and is perhaps the most polished cut in this style on the whole album.

With a host of other projects in the pipeline, Onoe Caponoe is continuing to carve his own niche in the hip-hop scene, which is so often stagnant and unimaginative. ‘Spells From The Cyclops’ is very strange, there’s really no getting around that, but Onoe grabs you and pulls you into his own dimension, not letting go until the final seconds of ‘Blaze My Zoot’. Go and cop this, get immersed in the world of the 169, and keep your eyes glued to for all the latest.

By Sam Bennett




Bisk – Raw Shit (Review)

Bisk, Reviews

Blah Records continue to be one of the most relevant and consistent record labels in British rap music; Bisk brings us the latest release from the independent powerhouse, a seven track EP entitled ‘Raw Shit’, which includes production from Jack Danz, Reklews and Morriarchi and guest appearances from Lee Scott and Stinkin Slumrok.


The sinister opener ‘Uno’ is a perfect introduction to Bisk’s gritty and charismatic style, laced with hard-hitting rhymes and gloomy outlook. ‘Swampfroot’, produced by Sam Zircon, follows, and the raw beat matches Bisk’s slow-paced, effective flow and slurred delivery. Bisk brings multisyllabics and a variety of rhythms to his rhyme schemes, which he always keeps tight in the pocket.

‘Runt’ features Lee Scott and Stinkin Slumrok, and is produced by Jack Danz; the instrumental absorbs you with it’s leftfield instrumentation, and the three Blah heads demonstrate why the camp commands the respect it does. ‘Glass Jaw’ is a standout; the majority of the ‘Raw Shit’ project sticks to a gloomier formula, but this cut takes a more traditional hip-hop direction, with the soulful bassline and crisp drums. Bisk’s lyrics tackle his vagrancy, his flaws and his day-to-day life, and his writing is laced with dope imagery and witty bars.

‘Lunatic’ is a simplistic, intense and hard-hitting track; Bisk comes through straight up bars over a restrained, smoky boom bap beat, courtesy of Sheffield MC/producer Sniff. Sometimes it’s the way you say stuff rather than the stuff itself that makes a banging rap song, and Bisk is an MC that possesses the capability to drop lines in a way that forces appreciation; on ‘Pimpfunk’ he spits ‘I lost my save so I started off a new game/I go sleep Batman and wake up Bruce Wayne’ and ‘thinking ’bout my troubled past/blowing on a big spliff laying in a bubble bath’; switching from introspective lyricism to unique humour in the space of two bars.

‘Raw Shit’ is a dope introductory project for a lyricist who is clearly going to enjoy a bright future under Blah Records. The label has specialised in slightly weird, raw rap music for the best part of a decade, and with a new generation of rappers like Bisk and Stinkin Slumrok in their ranks alongside veteran heads like Lee Scott, Salar others, they really do have all their bases covered.

By Sam Bennett




Cult Of The Damned – Cult Of The Damned (Review)

Cult Of The Damned, Reviews

Longstanding fans of Blah Records will remember the Children Of The Damned clique, and 2015 brings the reincarnation of the legendary posse. Cult Of The Damned features a mixture of old school and new school Blah heads, and their first release is this four track EP.


The self-titled opening track, and first single, is the perfect way to introduce the crew. It’s a back to back onslaught of bars over a gritty instrumental, and is a throwback to the cypher’s found throughout albums like ‘Tourette’s Camp’ and ‘Brick Pelican’.

‘Sugar Water’ features jazzy samples and crisp production; the vibe of the music is a perfect bridge between the original Children Of The Damned material, and the gloomier sound exploited in recent years.

MCs like Black Josh, Bisk and Stinkin Slumrok fall in line next to veterans such as Tony Broke, Bill Shakes and Lee Scott. ‘Stinky Posse’ is a crunchy, murky closer; the diverse range of MCs in the Cult line-up is consistently entertaining across the four tracks.

I have a feeling this is just a glimpse of what’s to come from Cult Of The Damned. It’s definitely an exciting prospect for any longtime follower of the Blah movement, and this EP is a must for any hip-hop head.

By Sam Bennett




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.


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





Stinkin Slumrok – Don Pong (Review)

Reviews, Stinkin Slumrok

Blah Records signee Stinkin Slumrok has released his debut project, an eighteen track project showcasing a versatile skill set, an excellent ear for beats and a raw, rugged vibe throughout. ‘Don Pong’ is a really consistent album, with a sparse selection of suitable guests and beats contributed by a range of heavyweight producers, including Sam Zircon, BadHabitz and Reklews.


‘At The Ready’ is the opening track, and the storming, militant beat and Slumrok’s aggression make it successful and convincing. With charismatic and humourous lyrics, as well as as a seriously good delivery, it’s clear from the offset that Stinkin Slumrok is a really dope MC. ‘Dawn French’ follows, and the collaboration with Bristol’s Res One, from the Split Prophets crew, was one of the first Slumrok tracks to come on our radar when the video dropped back in March 2014. It’s still just as good. ‘Pass It On’, produced by Illinformed, is a laidback, spaced out tune, and Slumrok shows his versatility early on.

The menacing ‘Archive’ features a dusty, slow moving boom bap instrumental, and Slumrok drops raw flows; the Blah Record spitter sounds at home over the gritty, nineties inspired beats found throughout ‘Don Pong’. This continues with ‘Microphone Junkie’, the subtle production from Sam Zircon lends itself to the authentic vibe portrayed by Slumrok, and the aggressive, threatening feel of ‘Toucan Trees’ continues a run of solid tracks. ‘YBS’, a tripped out collaboration with Mancunian MC and fellow Blah head Black Josh, is a slow-paced banger, and ‘Wipeout’ is one of the standouts of the whole project, with a restrained, creepy beat and exceptionally convincing performance from Slumrok.

‘Dinner’s Ready’ continues the haunting vibe reminiscent of early Blah/COTD material, which Slummy references in the lyrics. ‘Word 2 Wazu’ follows, and this is the highlight of the tape. A fantastic and insanely energetic Sumgii instrumental backs Slumrok as he delivers an onslaught of bars with a charismatic delivery and first class flow. The obligatory cypher cut come in the form of ‘Wrong Pong Posse’. Frequent collaborator Bisk, Triple Darkeness’ Ray Vendatta, North London MC Flowtecs and veteran Lee Scott join Stinkin Slumrok on a raw Morriachi instrumental, and each spitter represents and impresses. ‘Fiens’ takes more of an introspective and reflective take, and the soulful ‘On My Way’ showcases yet another different approach. ‘Don Pong’ finishes incredibly strongly, with a run of quality tracks, and the closer, entitled ‘Bat Billaz’, matches chilled production with intensely delivered lyricism.

‘Don Pong’ is impressive. The versatility present is refreshing, and Slumrok flips from relatable, often witty bars to layered, thoughtful writing (perhaps more so towards the back end of the album) with an abundance of punchlines littered between. The range of styles evident on the production side is great too, and makes for an interesting journey with plenty of twists and turns. This is certainly one to check, and with this being his debut project, Slumrok has definitely made his mark.

By Sam Bennett




Big Toast – The Wedding Fund LP (Review)

Big Toast, Reviews

Big Toast, of TPS Fam, drops his solo album following last year’s TPS release ‘Hot Water Music’, and ‘The Wedding Fund’ is packed with Toast’s witty lyricism, charismatic delivery and recognizable voice. With Toast vividly describing the mindset of common folk in the nation’s capital over beats provided by a selection of some of the nicest producers around, ‘The Wedding Fund’ is a dope album from one of Croydon’s finest spitters.

big toast

The title track fully describes Toast’s ambitions to get the pounds he needs, but his writing is always humble and relatable. This is a continuous theme throughout the project, and goes a long way towards making it a very cohesive and continuous listening experience. ‘Unbelievable Krimewave’ is a heavy posse cut, produced by Sam Zircon. Toast is joined by Jack Diggs, Oliver Sudden, Ogre Drool, Gee Bag, Stinkin Slumrok & FlowTecs. Each MC delivers dope verses, and the mix of styles and tones make this track interesting and eclectic.

‘Set This Straight’ is a back to back onslaught of bars from Toast, Jack Diggs and Efeks, over a soulful, head nodding instrumental from Mankub, who is one of my favourite producers coming up at the moment. ‘Fuck Off Tarquin’ is perhaps the track with the biggest buzz from this album, and it’s not hard to see why. The call to arms against the invasion of the toffs is a sentiment that rings true around the UK, and Toast, Jack Diggs, DatKid and Strange Neighbour have all got something to say about it, over a catchy, classic boom bap beat produced by BadHabitz.

‘Shit Pub’ which features Oliver Sudden and Luca Brazi, and is produced by Sudden too, is another highlight. The three rappers trade verses about their locals being turned into gastro nightmares full of Tarquin’s with wit and charismatic lyricism. The Luca Brazi produced ‘Married Life’ is another heavy cut, with Toast spitting about how he’ll remain the man he is even after tying the knot, and it’s these kind of down to earth concepts that make him such an in interesting artist to listen to.

‘The Wedding Fund’ is a really strong album, filled with solid boom bap cuts that are guaranteed to get your head moving back and forth. If you’re a fan of £4 pints and have a name like Tarquin then I don’t think this is really for you, but if you’re normal then Toast has delivered an album that you’ll definitely be revisiting on the regular.

By Sam Bennett




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.


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





Oliver Sudden – Phenomenaler Steez

Oliver Sudden, Reviews

Croydon MC Oliver Sudden releases his long awaited follow up to the 2012 ‘Phenomenal Steez’ album, and it’s a 14 track slice of quality UK hip hop. Sudden enlists some well chosen features and some of the scenes finest beat-makers to produce a diverse yet cohesive project sure to satisfy any hip hop head.

Phenomenaler Steez

As soon as the dusty hi hat and booming kick of ‘Touch Down’ start, it’s clear that this is exactly what you’d expect from a release on a label named Boom Bap Professionals. Sudden’s technical writing and his overall humble approach to spitting is effective, especially over the hard hitting beats found on this project. ‘The Buccaneer’ is a highlight from the album, with Oliver Sudden dropping well structured multi-syllabics about his skill and craft over a smooth instrumental with crisp drums, produced by Sam Zircon. ‘From The Depths’ finds Sudden directing his bars at the wave of hip hop fans that don’t know their history, calling out those who vocal Drake beats and the like; it’s clear that the Croydon MC is a true fan of the genre as well as a skilful rapper, something that is often missing in recent times with the rise and trend of YouTube spitters.

‘Lemon Chicken’, a collaboration with Stinkin Slumrok is another ‘Phenomenaler Steez’ highlight. The menacing instrumental, courtesy of Downstroke, backs both MCs as they drop verses with tight flows. ‘Worldwide’ finds Sudden collaborating with California spitter Mandeep Sethi and Liverpool based lyricist Benny Diction. The punchy beat is of a more modern sound than most of the material on the album, but Sudden still impresses, as do his collaborators. ‘Breakout’ is back to the hard-hitting boom bap; something that is unique about Sudden’s approach is his relaxed delivery over aggressive instrumentals; this is something that, perhaps unexpectedly, is very effective. Parallax and Mnsr. Frites join the Croydon MC on ‘Bang’, and this is another authentic and raw hip hop banger with a neck snapping beat and dope rhymes. ‘Singing In The Rain’ shows Sudden on a more socially conscious flex, and his versatility is something that becomes clearer and clearer throughout ‘Phenomenaler Steez’.

Oliver Sudden has delivered an excellent album here; the beats are consistently banging, the rhymes are always on point and the cohesive sound makes for a very enjoyable listen. Boom Bap Professionals have released a project very fitting with their name here, and this is one to check out for any fan of that 90’s inspired hip hop. Don’t get it twisted though; this doesn’t sound dated – Oliver Sudden gives us a fresh spin on golden era infused rap music.

By Sam Bennett