Conceived as a call to arms, Mark B and Blade’s collaboration deserve plaudits outside US comparison. Alongside, Big Dada’s Gamma they have mounted a rap attack on hip-hop’s dumbed-down status quo with an album that is lyrically and sonically superb. Although the subject matter may be monotonous for most (the under-appreciation of UK hip-hop), the delivery certainly is not.
Though elderly (in UK hip-hop terms), Blade’s baritone breath control is timeless. He rhymes with a furrowed brow straight across battle-scarred lines, assaulting conformists on “From The Wordlab” or criticising the music industry’s predilection for fads on “Ya Don’t See The Signs”.
The ever-prolific Mark B profits from eccentricity; for him all music from Polish folk music to Elmer Bernstein-style brass is relevant. His desire to search and utilise the ultimate but strangest breaks marks him out as an innovative talent who can produce world-class state of the art hip-hop.
Listening to their signature tunes, The Unknown is an affirmation of this: Blade is the everyman tripped up by life’s ups and downs, chasing his demons and flitting in and out of reveries. Instead of providing a melody that stinks of dank basement isolation in the manner of such arch-miserabilists as Company Flow, Mark B provides a tidal wave of sublime funk and choppy beats and he does it over and over again. The Unknown is a great album that proves (again) that quality UK hip-hop is not a contradiction in terms.
originally by Maxine Kabuubi, taken from: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Mark-B/dp/B00005JI7N
Edited by El_Paulo on 24 Nov 2013, 14:18
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