June 28, 2011

Sach O is opening for MRK1 tomorrow at the Belmont in MTL. He’ll be playing Spartan.

Grime is not Hip-Hop in the same way dancehall isn’t, except when it is. London’s subgenre of urban music has always been divided between the mainstream dream of successful UK rap and the underground desire to break away from American and Jamaican traditions to form something new. As such, its often found itself either awkwardly conforming to US standards (Tinie Tempah, sit down) or doggedly refusing to move away from its hype heavy traditions.

This new Kozzie mixtape veers towards the later, often suffocating the listener under a barrage of high speed beats, angry rhymes and minimal songwriting. The emphasis is strictly on flow: on a track like Spartan, a bunch of guys aggressively rhyme about rhyming over a testosterone heavy beat sampling The 300, brostep before it meant wobbles. On the plus side, that means you never get a Lil B, on the other it’s an aesthetic built for radio sets and singles that can grow tiresome over the course of 12 tracks if you’re not a dedicated Grime head. If you are however, the who’s-who production list alone (Faze Miyake, Royal-T, S-X, SNK, Spooky, Darq E Freaker) is enough to make you forget songwriting concerns entirely, making The Problem Started an excellent cred-shoring project for a new emcee smart enough to go for the streets before the charts. Still, for all his hardcore impact, it’s Kozzie’s quietest moment on the Mensah produced “My Life” that has the greatest impact, fusing Dubstep’s OG half-step menace to a Hova-style narrative about absenteeism and survival in the streets. Sometimes, you don’t have to make noise to make noise.

MP3: Kozzie – My Life ft. Cylena Cymone (128KBPS)

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