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New Review: WKB
The UK hip/hop scene has never been more illuminated by mainstream lights than it is today. Whether its the steady-paced poetry of hip-hop or the accelerated energy of grime, the UK charts will host singles from it's own artists every week; some of which have began to spread over the pond to the US.
Utilising both genres, is West-London rapper WKB. Listening to Paradox, which appears on Noel Clarke's feature film “4:3:2:1”, its clear that he can spit at a grime tempo and his voice matches the style. The same applies to Daily Medicine, although I think this track does more to emphasise WKB's voice with a darker beat behind it.
Perhaps more beguiling to a wider audience are tracks such as Trust Is A Gamble and Fallen Soldiers. These exhibit more hip-hop elements, although there is still a discernible grime tone. Trust Is A Gamble allows WKB to offer listeners some urban poetry: “F**k love, I put the cuffs on Cupid, 'cos out in these streets, man, trust is useless. I see a dark face, I'm in a dark place, I make dark movements so I leave a dark trace.” Lyrics are a strong part of WKB's material; I detect aspects of Taskforce and Orifice Vulgatron (Foreign Beggars) on this.
Moving even closer to the mainstream are Your World and Touch Me, which are both complete with a sung chorus from a female artist with interjections from our MC. In both tracks the theme seems to be love and heartache: “If a shank don't tear your heart then love will, so then I guess that means I'm in trouble. I been through it all, from street fights to bar brawls but I'm facing the toughest fight above all.” (Touch Me). These verses, again of a more hip-hop nature, work very well in setting a poignant, street-life scene which is ever relevant in WKB's music.
For new listeners I would recommend Trust Is A Gamble and Touch Me as I feel these are where WKB is at his best. Although the grime works well (and its important to vary from one style) a slower tempo gives him time to express his thoughts and us a chance to listen.
Review by Davey Woods. [Twitter - @DaveyWoods89]
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