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







Twizzy – Farm Foodz (Review)

Reviews, Twizzy

De Facto Entertainment have certainly been putting in the work over the past 12 months. The label have been responsible for some really dope hip hop releases in 2014, including Stealf’s instrumental album and Cappo and Stealf’s EP release, entitled ‘Unicron’. They’re consistently hip hop through and through, and this release is no different. Bristolian MC Twizzy’s debut solo album, ‘Farm Foodz’, is entirely produced by Farma G, and boasts features from Genesis Elijah, Verb T and the Farma himself, as well as his fellow Three Headed Beast representatives Jinxsta JX and M.A.B.


‘Farm Foodz’ gets underway in real gritty style, with the piano laced, intense boom bap of ‘Fresh Cut’ allowing Twizzy to show off his consistent writing and heavy flow. It’s clear from the beginning of the project that Twizzy’s capabilities of switching up into percussive, double-time spitting make him a charismatic and memorable rapper. ‘Hear To Speak’ is another impressive display of frantic, fast-paced delivery and intricate writing, over a complex instrumental, matching Twizzy’s vocal approach.

‘Feeling The Same’ is one of the standouts from the album. Twizzy is joined by two very respected lyricists, Verb T and Genesis Elijah. Throughout ‘Farm Foodz’ it’s clear that Twizzy is comfortable tackling a variety of concepts, and his writing is always relevant and full of content. Both Genesis and Verb T impress, and Twizzy holds his alongside two MCs held in the highest regard. ‘Once A Dream’ is definitely another highlight, with Farma G providing a soulful instrumental with raw drum samples to back Twizzy, M.A.B. and Jinxsta Jx as they demonstrate their lyrical prowess. The chemistry between these three MCs is clearly evident, and it’s easy to see why the Three Headed Beast emerged.

There are a couple of times on ‘Farm Foodz’ where the rapping outshines the instrumentals, such as on the slightly cheap sounding ‘Set The Table’, and also ‘Cold N Lonely’, but for the most part Farma G provides a varied and interesting soundscape for Twizzy to spit on, and the result is a solid album from a clearly talented wordsmith with a savage flow that is bound to impress any hip hop head. Big ups to De Facto Entertainment, and I’m looking forward to seeing what 2015 will bring for the label.

By Sam Bennett