the last resortSouth 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) .


The fol­low­ing two tabs change con­tent below.

About Sumit Singh

Sumit Singh
Sumit is a historian from Croydon, South London. He specialises in music, art, culture and mango lassi.