Let me be totally, irrevocably brutally honest, I’m not the biggest fan of mc’s coming out the UK. I have a select few I like, and there are others I will never argue against in terms of their skill, but as of late there has been somewhat of a shift. With the emergence of certain artists and my continued love for others I am developing more hope for UK hip-hop (I stress hip-hop…no not grime…not rap).
ThisIsDA reinforces this hope. All too often I despair for the lack of message or activism within the majority of UK’s apparent mc’s material and the lack of original style in their production. So when a mc speaks on the atrocities of police brutality more recently highlighted in America and uses Spacedtime (producer for Mick Jenkins ‘The Waters”) for the beat I’m intrigued…
So coming straight from Bristol I have high hopes for ThisIsDA. This is the city that gave us trip-hop, banksy, wild bunch for later became Massive Attack…the creative juices run deep here through the conduit of hip-hop. So first let me speak on the beat; eerie start off with some pretty hard-hitting audio samples. “You don’t believe in democracy, you want a revolution don’t you?”, “I’m minding my business officer, I’m minding my business just leave me alone,”. That alone sets the tone at a high level. Typical off kilter drums as I’d expect from Spacedtime, still love that Timbaland vibe off it and combined with the atmospheric instrumentation it brings a cold feel, kind of like a subtle kind of anger building. I like. The lyrics…”Acting like you really need a hoodie in the cold one tonight… make a run for your life ‘cause they might just shoot you on sight”.
That line alone had me clenching my fist (R.I.P Trayvon). His flow is pretty unconventional, the subject matter strong and needed, I’m feeling this guy. He’s not from this song the most metaphorically gifted guy out, but he doesn’t need to be, the message is strong, simple and clear. I feel like this guy is really passionate about the subject, and to be honest I’d rather hear someone get really into what they’re rapping about than drop some fake sincerity just to knock up plays, that vexes me…. like deep level of vex…but enough of that.14
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