Verbals by A to the L
Harli Heartz – All I Want Is A Nut (GMF)
Heads in the know may perhaps recognise the name of Harli Heartz following her appearance on Buckshot’s “BDI Thug” album. This debut cut is an agressive attempt at an alternative lady’s anthem – this one is all about ladies getting satisfaction. The basic production consists of a simple but effective horn loop layed over a hard edged boom boom bap – its a little dated perhaps, but is certainly effective in showcasing Harli’s skills. Coming off as a much more lyrically competent version of Lil Kim on this cut, Harlem native Harli is in-ya-face and downright filthy from the opening bar. Viciously dope. The flipside, ‘The Autobiography’ shows that Harli ain’t a one-trick pony – a where-I’m-from type joint, I’m seriously feeling the production on here. Make a note of the name.
RATING: 7 / 10

Mike Control – The Naturals (Mike Control)
Brooklyn natives Mike Control’s latest release features an uptempo horn-filled beat that production-wise comes off as a mix of Beatnuts-meets-Ugly Duckling… nothing much wrong with that at all. J Bro and Grey Ghost ride the beat perfectly, and the whole thing comes off supremely polished. On the B-Side, ‘Brooklyn Ill Spitters’ is an altogether darker affair, although it too is built around a devastating horn sample. In truth, I actually prefer this a little more, and suggest that you rush out and try to pick this up. Come on… when do I ever let you down with recommendations?
RATING: 8 / 10

Yinka – Live From 245 EP (Critical Mass)
South London emcee Yinka comes through with his debut EP on Critical Mass boasting one of the dopest promotional websites I’ve seen in a long time. Oh, the music? A world away from what I expected to tell ya the truth – where my good mucker Rodney P is renowned from ripping mics with a trademark hardcore stylee, Yinka seems to have sat down, smoked a lotta weed, and listened to a lot of jazz and rare groove before beginning recording. U Know It is a delicious slab of funk, built around an incredible live instrumentation groove, and a mellowed out chorus. Lyrically Yinka meshes well with the beat, lazily flowing over the track like the Sarf Landan member of Digable Planets. Get My Shit Together is in a similar vein – another incredibly funky bassline, another wickedly addictive chorus. Yinka picks the pace up a little here, injecting a little more urgency into his flow, and it all comes over perfectly again. Final track, Bring The Heat, will probably draw the biggest comparisons with the Digable ones – a bubbly start-stop beat, and an “almost pop” hook which strangely works. Lovely stuff. Looking forward to an album.
RATING – 7.5 / 10

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