Review: Carpetface strikes back with a first solo single in ten years ‘Don’t get it twisted’


carpet faceAfter lay­ing it low for some time on the live show and solo release-front, Car­pet­face makes a well-timed comeback with his polit­ic­ally and socially con­scious single ‘Don’t get it twis­ted’. Serving poignant lyr­i­cism on the cur­rent glob­al trends and their counter effects, served with a deep word-flow, the single offers a smooth and prom­ising glimpse of what is to expec­ted from his 2nd album, ‘Cog­nit­ive diss’, to be released later this year.

Car­pet­face is an inter­na­tion­al hip hop artist, pro­du­cer and song­writer from Lon­don, who first hit the UK scene already back in 2002, with his debut single ‘Fri­day night sniper’, receiv­ing a suc­cess­ful wel­come with 6 months of play­time on MTV. 14 years later and hun­dreds of inter­na­tion­al shows later, sup­port­ing the likes of De La Soul, Break­estra and DJ Scruff, he has kicked off the new year prom­ising to release a tonne of new mater­i­al, to show he is not only back but also still going as strong as ever.

Con­sid­er­ing his named influ­ences drawn from hip hop legends such as Chuck D, Beast­ie Boys, Run DMC and Tribe Called Quest, it comes as a no sur­prise to the listen­er that his songs carry in them­selves a strong mes­sage of ‘keep­ing it real’, in the name of hip hop. The heavy pres­ence of base, fast-paced yet impec­cably artic­u­lated pro­nun­ci­ation and the boom bap drums bring­ing it all togeth­er pays due respect to the early years of hip hop and is guar­an­teed to get the break­ers going on the dance floor. How­ever, Don’t get it twis­ted takes a slightly dif­fer­ent turn from the per­haps assumed dir­ec­tion based on Carpetface’s pri­or releases. While you can hear the artist’s infatu­ation to jazz and blues along­side hip hop in most of his tracks, it is in Don’t get it twis­ted that he allows it to come out in full force, even down­play­ing or even sac­ri­fi­cing many oth­er sound tricks to make the final product clear and stripped from any­thing that might dis­turb the mes­sage.

 Don’t mix the rules with your inform­a­tion
Don’t mix worth­while up with a trend

 Indeed, as much as it is a song, con­sid­er­ing its deep and enorm­ously con­scious lyr­ics, pro­duced over this crazy peri­od the world is facing, I can’t help but won­der if it is in fact the artist’s inten­tion for the track to be stud­ied and enjoyed as a polit­ic­al pamph­let, a call to action to those who might still be sleep­ing, as opposed to a straight up, albeit con­scious, hip hop tune.

Don’t let your rights be some­thing they read you
Don’t let your life be some­thing they rule

Don’t mix tax with your con­tri­bu­tion
Don’t mix an adult up with a man

Per­haps it is both, just as many legendary hip hop songs and albums have been, start­ing from Grand­mas­ter Flash and Furi­ous Five’s ‘Mes­sage’ to the likes of Saul Williams’s ‘The Noise Came from here’ and Lamar’s ‘The black­er the berry’. Car­pet­face offers a very up-to-date and plaus­ible lyr­ic­al cri­tique on the cor­rup­ted world sys­tem and pro­pa­ganda tied to themes of indi­vidu­al sov­er­eignty, but it is most not­ably his very per­son­al sound and flu­ency mixed with the haunt­ing har­mon­ies that bring the mes­sage to the sur­face.

On the down­side, flow as it may, for those hop­ing for anoth­er groovy boom-bap tune served for rest­less dance-lov­ing feet, a dis­ap­point­ment might be expec­ted in the hori­zon. As much as you find your head nod­ding along­side the track, and enjoy­ing the depth added with the piano riffs on the back­ground, it is more for the accur­acy and poignancy of the rhymes, than for the irres­ist­ible rhythms. More than mak­ing you jump up and down, the stripped down sound world in the ori­gin­al mix per­haps envis­ages its listen­er to take all the thoughts in — and chew later. Be as it may, the track provides wel­comed com­fort for any­one, might say most par­tic­u­larly the older gen­er­a­tion of fed up mil­len­ni­als, wish­ing to make some sense of this upside world and its all-round twis­ted rela­tion­ships, while mak­ing you smile with the trend­ing thoughts of won­der: ‘You know we used to make love but today we just screw’.

The song will be avail­able on all digit­al plat­forms 30th Janu­ary, and comes served with two addi­tion­al mixes: A D&B mix by Philly the Kid of the Urb­an War­fare Crew, and anoth­er a more down­tempo hip hop tune remixed by a French pro­du­cer Djar One from Beats House records.


Pre order and down­load the release here :

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Aino Lisma

Aino Lisma

Aino Lisma is a Finnish street dan­cer, dance teach­er and writer. She holds a BA in Inter­na­tion­al Rela­tions and Peace Stud­ies from Lan­caster Uni­ver­sity, and has been a mem­ber of a Ugandan grass­roots organ­iz­a­tion Break­dance Pro­ject Uganda since 2011. Fol­low­ing her gradu­ation, she has been trav­el­ing to vari­ous com­munit­ies to teach, learn and com­mu­nic­ate about hip hop cul­ture and its power to empower and edu­cate, includ­ing Cam­bod­ia, Indone­sia, Uganda, Rwanda and South Africa. She is cur­rently based in Hel­sinki.

About Aino Lisma

Aino Lisma
Aino Lisma is a Finnish street dancer, dance teacher and writer. She holds a BA in International Relations and Peace Studies from Lancaster University, and has been a member of a Ugandan grassroots organization Breakdance Project Uganda since 2011. Following her graduation, she has been traveling to various communities to teach, learn and communicate about hip hop culture and its power to empower and educate, including Cambodia, Indonesia, Uganda, Rwanda and South Africa. She is currently based in Helsinki.