Saturday, 14 March 2009

'Encrypted Scriptures' - Jyager (album review)

Every now and then something really fresh comes along, something that little bit different that makes it stand out from the crowd. Newcomer Jyager’s raps and Cee Why’s beats have that thing; ‘Encrypted Scriptures’ is a striking album. It’s still Hip Hop as we know it but, as you’d expect from YNR, it’s finely tuned and well polished and that’s what sets it apart.

Jyager, a trilingual MC who does everything from laid back delivery to rapid fire lyrics, keeps things interesting and unpredictable. After kicking off with mission statement banger ‘Eyes Open’ Mr. Maktwist speaks on the streets, joins Foreign Beggars and Kashmere for some hard talk and then… he spits some fairy tale character featuring story rhymes on ‘Yellow Brick Road’. Things get even more abstract on ‘Tipsey Silent Monkey Man’ and then on ‘Actors in the Frame’ the Portuguese kicks in – see what I mean about interesting and unpredictable? The Cypress Hilly ‘Never Bring Me Down’ is the real display of linguistic skill – French, Portuguese and English lyrics ensue.

If you need any more reason to get this then look at the slimline guestlist: YNR bossman Jehst features on ‘The Session’ and Verb T and Kyza guest on ‘Seconds, Hours & Minutes’. The fact that these trusted MCs endorse this but don’t crowd the 12 tracks here is a seal of quality.

Cee Why, who’s been largely silent over the past couple of years, dips into a diverse palette creating a nice range of individual beats - what I really mean is, you can tell one track from another! Stripped back and hard (‘Eyes Open’, ‘Frozen in the Night’ and ‘The Session’) nestles with melodic headnod (‘Somewhere in Paradise’ and ‘Seconds, Hours & Minutes’) whilst everything in between makes it all cohesive.

‘Encrypted Scriptures’ is out on 23rd March on YNR Productions and will be available at all the best places for buying UK Hip Hop.

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