South London rapper, Confucius MC has combined forces with Sheffield producer, Morriarchi to form Old Paradice. The duo launched their debut EP, The Last Resort, this month, with the project providing us with warm, soothing vibes in a month ridden with snow across the country.
Confucius MC has been constantly growing with his lyrical journey since his debut album, The Highest Order in 2014, drawing inspiration from gritty, Kung Fu sampled hip hop, à la early Wu-Tang Clan. Now the Peckham born artist has found the perfect producer in the form of Morriarchi to smooth out that boom bap sound and offer a consistently tranquil ambience.
Even though the six-track EP instantly starts by transporting the listener to a hot summer’s day, the mood doesn’t particularly resemble a holiday away from work but more of a flashback to warmer memories back in the day, with contemplating and reminiscing tones spread throughout the project.
The first track, Sunkissed, an an ethereal, melodic piano rhythm, over a massively m groovy bass line, while the delivery of Confucius is juxtaposed with gloomy, pondering undertones.
“Trouble sleeping, rain falls on another evening, is it me or another speaking, going through the turbulence, holding on to things I have belief in.”
Even though the atmosphere is euphoric and positive, we are not entirely in a place of content as we are thinking of our anxieties elsewhere.
We are soon awoken from this bittersweet dream of the past, with the second track, Wake Up, giving a more sombre feeling. We are literally told wake up as we arrive back to reality, facing those responsibilities that we had in the back of our mind while we were Sunkissed.
“You know you’ve got to wake up now, because you’ve been dreaming too long.”
Once we are ready to face the truth, we are introduced to The Essence. Here, Confucius delivers his familiar, hardcore rhyme scheme while Morriarchi lays down a dark, grimey beat, something that wouldn’t sound out of place on Wu-Tang’s 36 Chambers. The dusty, echoed snare drums are complimented seamlessly with the haunting yet elegant piano keys to provide the perfect soundtrack to the hard-hitting vocals.
“Always represent on any tape that I’m blessing, you can try to play the clown but you can’t escape the essence”.
Confucius concludes the track with this mantra before the project flips back to the lighter vibe that it started with in What Ifs? In this reflective track, Confucius is joined by LA rapper Blu, who makes his first ever collaboration with a UK based artist. Both flavours each side of the pond combine with ease while they both ask questions about the decisions made in the past.
The mood is soon toned down to a gloomier feel in Rough Sketch. Here, Confucius spits over a gritty Morriarchi beat about a sketchy relationship.
“Stuck in this place with you,
A million WhatsApps in a minute, nothing to say to you.”
The MC, however, displays how he exerts his tense energy into writing
“Mind over matter, they never put the rhyme over rapper,
Just sprinkle a little shine on the actor, play the role,
Something sacred when I’m holding my pen,
That’s when I’m holding my Zen.”
By expressing this energy into his artistry, Confucius is allowed to finish the project on a highly positive and progressive note in Luhv. With Morriarchi providing a majestic flute based production, the duo is joined by Violet Springs, who provides her warming vocals in the song’s chorus.
“We’ve got love, we’ve got love, we’ve got nothing but love for you.”
Springs repeats these encouraging words throughout the closing track while Confucius concludes that the pain that he has felt in the past has only been temporary while the triumphs that we achieve will last forever. This song is the perfect way to close the mellow yet reminiscing project.
This project takes us to a warm, sun-filled place but our bodies are still filled with colder, anxious thoughts. Old Paradice manage to however push those more subdued feelings to the side and leave us with a feeling of hope and optimism.
The last resort is available now on all digital platforms and limited edition Cassette Tape (Including Instrumentals) .
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