While this maybe Joe Publik’s debut LP, the UK MC and producer has spent the last few years carving a niche for himself on a scene that is increasingly populated by soundalikes and dodgy clones.
Thanks to a string of acclaimed live performances, including shows at the infamous Boomtown and Beat-Hearder festivals, Joe has built up a reputation as a solid performer and an artist who understands the nuances of their artform.
All that work has helped to pave the way for Stubborn Vectis, a record that demonstrates Joe’s affinity with his craft and his overall passion for the culture as a whole. From the first few bars on the opening track, it becomes clear that this is a very accomplished project for a debut album, with Joe’s rapid-fire flow married perfectly to the jazzy, piano-laced tones of his production.
As the album continues, we are shown the versatility of Joe’s style, both as an MC and a producer. On the lead single, Military Minded, we find him holding his own alongside two more established hip hop heavyweights, Res One and Scorzayzee, before switching up his flow once more on the luxurious, head-nod joy of Come Correct.
That theme continues on the second single, Head Nod Hip Hop, which sees Joe teaming up with two more lyrical agitators and fellow South England residents, Chillman and G00SE, of Verbal Highz and In The Balance Records fame. The Verbal Highz connection crops up again on the punchy, horns-driven sounds of Follow My Lead, where Joe is joined by Highz member, Coosie, and Concept of Thought/YOGOCOP affiliate, Awfer.
The depth and atmospheric feel of Talk With Substance is a welcome appearance on the album, before one of two masterful guest spots from rising Isle of Wight outfit, Clippa Sound, on the positivity fuelled, Rise Above It, which also features the New Orleans-influenced group, Lazy Habits.
Introspection and mental health are the themes on Irate Mindstate, another jazzy number which starts to bring the album to a close, but not before the second coming of Clippa Sound on the wonderfully soulful, As You Are, and the reggae tinged final track, C’est La Vie.
Stubborn Vectis is set for release on 20 February and will be available on digital, CD and cassette, as well as vinyl run, through Qrates.
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