From the first track of ‘Let’s Lurk’, Brixton Hill crew 67’s third mixtape to date (their name being taken from the local area’s telephone code) it is clear that this is likely to be an uncompromising, powerful and finely crafted 18 tracks, infused with the sensibilities of the Chicago drill scene, and the street level authenticity that this entails. Indeed, by drawing on transatlantic influences, the crew have developed a sound that sits slightly nearer to grime than some of their UK rap contemporaries – a sound that is structured with catchy, abrasive hooks, albeit at a slower tempo.
Another notable feature of the tape is its prevalent use of skits woven into the music, rather than featured as distinct tracks, resulting in a seamless, multi-narrative collage of the lifestyles they portray in their music. Phone calls from friends currently imprisoned give the album a viscerally authentic undertone and, although this is an aspect of the music that is likely to alienate as many listeners as it attracts, it does so unapologetically.
This is most important element of the crew’s latest offering. The extent to which it succeeds in maintaining the gritty, heightened realism that underpins their music, while employing full bodied, futuristic instrumentation to deliver a product that escapes some of the criticisms that have dogged other, similar artists – namely amateurism, and a sense that secondary aspects of the music, such as mix downs, do not elicit their full attention.
The detailed, substantial nature of the music on this tape is sure to delight fans of the genre, and ensure that 67’s six members continue their rapid advance to the forefront of the UK rap circuit.
Words: Alex McFadyen (@alexmcf_)
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