STYLE: Hip-Hop RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 146905-21449 LABEL: Independent FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1 RELEASE DATE: 2013-11-20
Reviewed by Tony Cummings
Anyone who read Cross Rhythms' recent article about Glasgow's Matt Pawson, aka MPFree, will know that 'Writers Block' is much more than another mixtape from the UK hip-hop underground. It is a project recorded at Polmont's Young Offender's Institution with many of the tracks featuring inmates. And if you suspect that such a project will have been an encouragement to the young men utilised but, for the rest of us, an uncomfortable listening experience where teenagers with negligible rapping skills give vent to their anger and frustration over rudimentary rhythms, you are going to be stunned by this album. MPFree not only shows that he is one of the UK's finest rappers but he's discovered several talents who on this showing have the gift to make waves far outside the institution that now holds them. Particular standouts are a biting denouncement of our cash obsessed culture featuring Aaron MKD and copious uses of the Sweet Charity standard "Hey Big Spender"; "Jimmy's Story" a drama-in-rap featuring Jabs, Batty & Jav; "New Day" with Keylyric and a faith-filled expression of new life in Christ; and "Unconditional" where MPFree, aided by a brilliant preaching sample, reminds us of the amazing love of God. Production throughout is superb and rather than being a collection of tracks listened to only by the inmates on HMYOI's internal radio station, 'Writers Block' turns out to be one of the best hip-hop albums of 2013. Amazing!
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