Monday, 5 August 2019

Slowthai "Runt" (2018)


Majorly impressed by the young Northampton Grime rapper's debut Nothing Great About Britain, I naturally tracked back to this five track EP released a year beforehand. With mention to the album by name, It seems unlikely this is the release that got him signed, which I was curious to learn about. With that in mind the maturity and development as an artist between the two is rather substantial. Slowthai has his bite, grit and mean attitude intact, the exaggerated articulation of his dialect is simply natural and subtle at this point tho.

On two fronts the record steadily dissipates. Slow Down kicks it off with a banging beat vaguely reminiscent of Inglorious. The rhymes are firm, flow energized by anger. He vents his frustrations telling the tale of a childhood Christmas ruined by the cold. With Drug Dealer he articulates his venture into criminality with both tracks having emotional weight and finding moments of clever lyricism too. After these tracks the topicality drops off, a lack of narrative or purpose lulls the mood and the Instrumentals follow suit.

Disneyland sounds like a train of conscious thought that doesn't land anywhere. The spacious, zoned out instrumental plays disorienting, zany samples that lead into a off-kilt de synced drum groove that has no anchoring point. Its a clear experiment, built for purpose, trying to conjure a zonked atmosphere but its executed poorly. There is a couple of tracks of interest here but fails to come close to the albums level of quality.

Favorite Tracks: Slow Down, Drug Dealer
Rating: 4/10

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