More rhymes from Lincoln! Yes! Onward MC’s of the Shire!
This collection of songs is the first from the stable of two 18 year old producer / MC’s from Louth in Lincolnshire. It’s a concept album in something like the style of Professor Elemental, loosely based around the Jack Frost persona of one of the MC’s, and you can find the two protaganists performing live around Lincolnshire as The Orchestra of Strangers.
I have to declare an interest in this one, since I’ve recorded both Jack Frost and his partner in rhyme Afterbyrne, and have future collaborations in the pipeline with them too. Lincoln hip hop is a small world, what can I say?
Entirely lacking in UK rap school’s grimey street pretensions, Rough Drafts draw influence from the US Rhymesayers / Strange Famous school of hip hop, and particularly the spoken word tradition that backs some of SFR’s artists.
It’s evident immediately that the ideas and production in and of the beats is the strongest thing about this project, with a very specific sound and vision that shines through…When the tracks are good they’re mighty, cheesy keyboards and 80′s bass, with sweet drums to drive it all along.
There’s a certain energy in the performances that’s infectious, and all the lyrics are ridiculously strong from chaps as young as this, whom I know haven’t been writing or rapping for long at all.
Despite this one or two of the performances are technically weak, and some tracks have a tendency to go on a bit.. It’s all well and good trying to fill a lot of dead time with samples, but that gets repetitive fast. A couple more musical ideas in the structure of the tracks wouldn’t go amiss either, as one or two of them are loopy and lacking in dynamics.
Having said that though, I’m very much looking forward to a better quality, more polished next release, maybe with a bit of emphasis on quality rather than quantity. An act with this much potential owe it to themselves, though this release highlights something about this generation of internet savvy musicians, as Jack Frost is the equivalent of those four track tapes us old-timers all have knocking about that are never going to see the light of day. Well, people routinely upload that material to the cloud now, and this heroic first attempt at an album is an example of that.
Whilst it makes some errors these are forgivable in such a heart-on-sleeve record, and whatever happens I’m going to ask Twin Lizard Version 4 to remix and master a couple of my favourites from the record.