Isatta Sheriff - Isatta Sheriff

Published Tuesday 24th January 2017
Isatta Sheriff - Isatta Sheriff
Isatta Sheriff - Isatta Sheriff

STYLE: Hip-Hop
RATING 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 164198-25011

Reviewed by Tony Cummings

I'd kind of assumed that Isatta's attention-grabbing name was a play on "I Shot The Sheriff". But as the Londoner's "musical habitat" she refers to on "Forget About The Fame" is hip-hop and grime rather than reggae, maybe not. What is clear that the MC formerly known as TOR shows on this album is that she is a powerful voice for the growing numbers of Britain's disenfranchised and this deeply personal album, recently selected by broadcaster Mike Rimmer as one of his albums of the year, is a creative tour de force. The traumas that Ms Sheriff has been through while writing the material on this album would have knocked over many artists. But Isatta is a fighter as she proclaims on "Heart To Art". The rapper has gone through her mother being diagnosed with cancer for a second time and losing two of her much loved cousins who were murdered on London's mean streets. But here the emcee's flows make their numerous points with passion but never bitterness. One of the rapper's cousins Myron Yard was taught by Isatta at music college and was due to be featured on a remix of "Kin" which also pays tribute to her mother ("my mum never quit"). Over some inventive production Isatta's flows are consistently inventive though on a track like "Coasting (ftg Terri Walker)" so fast I defy anyone to catch many lines. Cultural and racial unity are explored on "Burning An Illusion" (one great line, "bilingual not by choice, but glad of it") while the Messiah is namechecked on the song. All in all, a dazzling album.

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