UK Hip-Hop is stronger than ever. The last year has seen a sharp incline in the standard of material put out by home-grown MCs and live hip-hop shows can regularly be found in most major cities. This is brilliant because it’s strengthening the UK scene and enlarging the market, giving new artists a much sturdier platform and meaning that established artists have more freedom to create the art that they want to, rather than having to bend themselves to fit the traditionally mainstream ideals.
Three of the artists that have contributed to the UK scene’s growth are M.A.B, EdXl and Diligent Fingers, who will drop new EP ‘The Programme’ on May 26th. M.A.B. (Most Annoying Bastard) is a founding member of Abnoxshuz Entertainment, a solo MC and 1⁄3 of awesome UK Hip-Hop group ‘Three Headed Beast’, EdXL is a member of Abnoxus Entertainment and Spynal Records, a solo MC and singer. Diligent Fingers has also been working on the scene since the early 2000’s and is another founding member of Abnoxshuz Entertainment and the founder of Spynal Records, a solo MC, singer and also producer for both labels. All three artists have gained recognition and acclaim in their own right and this project brings them together for what proves to be something pretty special.
Track 1 ‘Tune In’ starts with the noise of a radio tuning in between stations playing previous work from the artists before landing the listener into the present ‘It’s the programme, it’s more than a movement…’ setting the tone perfectly for the rest of the record. All three artists start as they mean to go on, there’s some great wordplay here and the delivery is expertly handled, pitched between aggressive and meaningful. The ominous-sounding beat supports the vocal, enhancing the effect of the perfect delivery.
Track 2, ‘The Programme’ is built on a joyfully old-skool style beat with gold-standard production. The vocal’s from all three artists play around the beat impressively, creating the own rhythms to counter that of the beat. ‘Back Thru the Ages’ is track 3 and our three MCs continue to justify the attention they have all received on the UK scene with more brilliant wordplay and top-notch delivery.
Track 4 ‘Family’ opens with some head spinning vocal prowess, spitting fast-slow-fast-slow and maintaining rhythm and meaning, and a banging beat that plays it’s part but doesn’t take anything away from the raps. M.A.B.’s verse on here is a perfect example of getting it ‘just right’, he perfectly demonstrates the mixture of aggression and meaning that plays such an integral part throughout this record.
‘Lightening Rod’ follows as track 5 and although this track doesn’t stand out amongst the collection it is still a brilliant hip-hop track. The collective come together to deliver the hook and there’s a real sense of unity between the artists. Track 6 ‘Open Book’ is a definite highlight. The beat is subdued, allowing the vocals to take precedence and some of the wordplay and rhymes delivered here are pure genius.
Track 7 ‘Misfit’ is probably the most aggressive song on the record. It sits perfectly as the penultimate track demonstrating how hard the MCs can go when they want to. I would imagine this to be a highlight of any future live shows, the thumping beat will probably lick the audience a new heartbeat!
The EP closes with ‘Scratching the Surface’ which contains some of the best wordplay on the record accompanied by another old-skool-ish beat, only as complex as it needs to be there’s plenty of room for the three artists to showcase their talents, again some of the rhymes and the vocal line rhythms are genius.
This EP is a brilliant example of UK Hip-Hop at it’s best with all three MC’s showcasing some extremely impressive talent for both writing and delivering as well working within a range of styles. The production on the record has also been handled superbly and deserves as much praise. M.A.B, EdXL and Diligent Fingers look set to carry on cementing their places in the UK scene if they continue to work this productively. Recommended to any Hip-Hop fan.
To Pre-order the E.P Visit http://diligentfingers.bandcamp.com/album/the-programme-ep
Have an exclusive listen to one of the tracks off The Programme E.P ‘Back Through The Ages’
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