Thursday, 16 February 2012


Two of my favourite albums to come out last year were Lupe Fiasco's Lasers and Jehst's The Dragon of an Ordinary Family. Although both albums are technically 'hip hop', they could not be more different in terms of style. 

Lupe Fiasco, an American rapper from Chicago, is a polarising figure. Hip Hop fans either love him or hate him. Personally, I love the guy. Yeah, he's pretentious and a little self righteous but fuck it, so am I. His music is slick and glossy with a plethora of catchy hooks. Jehst on the other hand, is British, unknown and broke. His beats are grimy and dirty, so raw that you can still hear the crackle of the vinyl they were sampled from. Beautiful.

My two favourite tracks from their respective albums illustrate the difference between these two rappers perfectly. My favourite track from Lasers is 'Words I Never Said' and from The Dragon of an Ordinary Family it is a track called 'England'. The subject matter of both of songs is political. Both really resonated with me. Both are so full of emotion, full of passion, but could not be more different.

Lupe's track is big and bold; big drums, big computer-generated beat and the voice of a generic R&B singer who delivering a catchy chorus. Jehst's track is the opposite. A simple, grimy beat on which he cuts lose on the state of his beloved England. No chorus, no catchy R&B singer, no gimmicks, just four solid minutes of rap.

They're both great songs. If I had to pick a favourite out of the two it would have to be Jehst's. Purely because I'm British and I can relate more to the content more than I can with Lupe's.

NB: When I say Jehst's beats are 'grimy' I do not mean the genre 'Grime'. Fuck Grime. This is Hip Hop...

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