sat 01/10/2022

rap

Album: Aitch - Close to Home

22 is a pretty young age to be jaded. But this album starts out with Mancunian rapper Aitch detailing how tough it is at the top, and how traumatised he is by life: "sitting on my throne with an open stare / 'cause to me it's just a broken chair"....

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Album: Lizzo - Special

You can’t really blame Lizzo for playing to her strengths. When she started putting out records some nine years ago, there wasn’t really a niche in the market for a flute playing, twerking, positive-thinking, plus-size rapper-stroke-disco-diva....

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Bangers, Soho Theatre review - sizzling gig theatre

Is gig theatre the latest sugar rush? Okay, it ups the brain’s serotonin levels and charges around your body like a crazy electric current, but amid the joyous nerve reactions does the music speak louder than the words?These questions won’t bother...

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Transgressive Records showcase, The Great Escape, Brighton review - five acts offer intriguing pop alternatives

Onstage at The Old Market in Hove, New York’s Mykki Blanco has been waving around a knot of garlic bulbs as if it were a wand or occult aspergillum. At some point during Blanco’s punchy rendition of 2016 single “Loner”, or possibly the dizzier “...

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Album: Kendrick Lamar - Mr Morale & the Big Steppers

Kendrick Lamar is so breathlessly revered it’s sometimes hard to pull apart what’s going on in his records. It’s sometimes felt like he might become the rap game Radiohead: exploratory, aware, hugely technically accomplished, endlessly thematically...

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Albums of the Year 2021: Little Simz - Sometimes I Might Be Introvert

It was two female artists who mainly soundtracked 2021 for me. And they couldn’t be more different. Although Off Off One by Kate Stables (aka This is the Kit) was recorded just before Covid changed everything, there are some ominous mentions in the...

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Album: Young Thug - Punk

From underground curiosity to cult icon, now label head and superstar, Atlanta’s Young Thug has continued to reinvent himself, as well as rap at large, for the better part of a decade. After being announced over two years ago, his new album Punk is...

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Album: Lil Nas X - Montero

Lil Nas X is good at being a pop star. Like, what could pop culture need more than a young, flamboyant, witty gay rapper from the deep south who can top the US country charts then just when it appeared he might not be able to live up to the success...

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Album: AJ Tracey - Flu Game

AJ Tracey is one of Brit rap’s aristocracy now. Along with the likes of Stormzy, Dave, J Hus and lately Headie One, he is massively bankable, with streams in the tens of millions for singles, sellout shows in Alexandra Palace, and radio ubiquity. It...

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Disc of the Day 10th Anniversary: the level playing field

Theartsdesk is a labour of love. Bloody-mindedly run as a co-operative of journalists from the beginning, our obsession with maintaining a daily-updated platform for good culture writing has caused a good few grey and lost hairs over the years. But...

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DVD/Blu-ray: Mogul Mowgli

Can one use the term autofiction about a film? If so, Mogul Mowgli would be a perfect example. Riz Ahmed, the actor who came to fame with Four Lions, has in recent years appeared in a Star Wars spin-off and a Marvel...

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Disc of the Day Celebrates 10 Years of Album Reviews

Ten years ago yesterday, on Monday 14th February 2011, one of theartsdesk’s writers, Joe Muggs, reviewed an album called Paranormale Aktivitat, by an outfit called Zwischenwelt. It was the first ever Disc of the Day, a new slot inserted into...

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