Verbals by A to the L
Karl Hinds – Don Gramma (Remix) (Wordplay)
The lead single of the Word Lab 2 compilation (reviewed here) features the added skills of Blak Twang and Seannie T. Electro tinged beats, aggressive rhyming skills and some nice lines feature throughout. The flip side features the original mix (not much difference between the two versions really though). The original is the UK answer to Big L’s ‘Ebonics’ and its a real need-to-listen-to single. Trying to describe the whole mood and style of this track is hard – on one hand it is a blatant copy of the L single, but it represents the UK so unashamedly with the culture and language differences celebrated rather than hidden behind Americanisms.
RATING: 8 / 10

Slum Village – Raise It Up (Wordplay)
The Slum Village album, after so much hype was a bit of a damp squib. The reason? Well tracks like this certainly didn’t impress many people. A simple ascending / descending piano routine playing over a dull beat (nice snare though). Critics have claimed that producer Jay-Dee’s reputation as beatmaker supreme helped to disguise the fact that the emcee skills were a bit… weak. Well critics were actually correct – cos I ain’t hearing anything standout here. Backed with a Jay-Dee remix of Fall N Love (which isn’t much better), this one unfortunately goes into the “Future Use As A Coaster” file.
RATING: 1 / 10

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