Why is it that these days, in the UK, the unknown artists tend to be the most talented? I don’t know whether the scene is going through a bit of a glitch, or the current big names in the industry are choosing money over talent, but the raw, less experienced artists I’m listening to seem to out-do the well known artists by far, when it’s talent we’re talking about.
South London based rap duo Younited Kings, consisting of Mordan Words and Cornerstone, are currently reigning over everybody else when it comes to who I’m listening to this springtime. Relatively unknown, but rapidly gaining a solid fanbase, the guys are invading the scene from a different angle. The music is their weapon and the scene is what they need to reign over.
Collective Identity is a five-track extended play, and the Kings have stuck to the time-old saying of ‘quality over quantity’. Instead of attempting to show off, as many new artists do, with a mixtape consisting of twenty half-hearted remixes, gimmicky tracks and average production, the pair have stuck to their roots and unveiled five tracks worthy of a place on The Best Chilled Out Hip-Hop Tunes That Also Accomodate Sick Lyrical Skill, Flawless Technical Ability And All-Round-Greatness. If that CD existed, anyway
The opening track, All Over Again, is an emotional look into the pair’s life growing up, and is indeed a brave choice for the lead song. This track is in fact their debut official video, and I admire that they have chosen such an honest, expressive way in which to introduce themselves to the industry.
My favourite track is a toss-up between Haterz and Throw Away Bars. The former provides us with a smooth hook, sampled from Tyrese’s Fly Away, and some emotional bars. Producer Smooflow from Royal Priesthood produced the track. The content isn’t your typical ‘f*ck the haters’ rubbish you hear from so many rappers, but rather puts a positive spin on the ever-popular subject. The latter is a different type of beat – minimal but animated, and the lyrics are, as usual, top quality. Both Mordan Words and Cornerstone ride the beat with their unique flows, and they work excellently as a pair – the chorus is a perfect example of how they bounce off each other.
Overall, Collective Identity E.P. is a beautifully lyrical and well-produced extended play that the Younited Kings need to be proud of. With beats reminiscent of mellow hip-hop that I thought was long gone from the UK scene, unique flows to rival some of the finest emcees in the country and deep, thought provoking lyrics, Collective Identity is the prologue to a long and successful sovereignty over UK hip-hop.
Collective Identity E.P. will be available for free download via Mixtape Madness very soon – watch this space!