When it rains it pours. I posted about two British rappers which is apparently enough for others over seas to hear about the blog. I’m by no means complaining, just marveling at how fast news spread. Perhaps because its rare to have a U.S. blogs post about British hip hoppers. I’m not sure why this is, maybe the accent barrier, or maybe just because I have bad taste in music.
But I tend to think its more the former than the latter, especially considering that most British hip hop that reaches us over here has a higher standard of creative integrity. By this I mean to say that you never see British rappers who are hopping on borrowed beats. I attribute this to them taking the craft more seriously. I imagine beat borrowing does go on over there, I just think those who are serious enough to reach out to blogs a world away have already evolved past that.
All that aside, I present to you Soulushun’s “Urban Joint.” Succinctly self-described as “purposeful lyricism and wordplay over dark, trap-inspired production” I see the track as a promise of what is to come. Soulushun is a new to the game trio consisting of rappers Denz and Ckbreeze and producer Drew Steel. Accordingly, they still have some kinks to work out. The mixing could stand a re-work and , at some points, the flows feel labored. But these problems will disappear with experience, top-notch engineering is easy to come by these days, quality lyricism is not.
What I enjoy about the lyrics first and foremost is the overall sinister aesthetic they convey. I could easily see this beat being approached with hyped flows. Instead, Denz and Ckbreeze take a measured approach more appropriately matching the sorrowful production. Whats even better is they spend their lines mulling over confounding thoughts:
“I ain’t trying to hold an L rather hold an M
Not trying to owe anybody
You can ask why
It’s all for the money but
wait money is the root of all evil
Probably why the things we own are called possessions”
I enjoy how this abides by the traditional pursuit of material gain, only to question it. But even in questioning this pursuit, we see Denz battling with the decision. This is a more realistic presentation of materialism, more sincere than both those who idealize it and those who rebuke it. In reality, we want to hate money but we can’t help but love it.
After throwing a dig at preachy rappers, wishing they would just bite the bullet and make a Pinterest already, Ckbreeze gets back to business battling the insidious dollar (or in this case, pound):
“Uncle told me don’t let the greed get you
Said it’d eat you up if you let it
Won’t stop til its entered every crevasse of your heart
You’re in the dark like a sillhouette
All for respect you may not even get
Signing off a piece of your soul when you write a check
So, in conclusion, there is room to grow. But that’s not a bad place to be all things considered. Many rappers never reach the stage where their lyricism out performs their experience. If you’ve got a message to spread, the rest will fall into place eventually.