Thursday, 23 April 2009

'Alternative Income' - JVF Clique (album review)

Kicking off with a ‘Shook Ones Pt 2’ vocal clip can’t be a bad thing, can it? Add to that a beat that’s only just a bit too light hearted for the official Queensbridge murderers to flow over and you’ve got the perfect way to begin an album. By the time the lyrics enter the fray of title track ‘Alternative Income’ you know that this is Hip Hop that you can get with.

So, Hinckley Town, Leicester may not strike you as a hotbed of Hip Hop but this art form is everywhere and JVF Clique are purveyors of a particularly fine version of it. Just like Havoc and Prodigy they rap about their environment (no, not the Midland's comprehensive rail and motorway network (apart from on ‘Where We’re From’!) or the fact that they live in the “Cradle of the Hosiery Industry”) taking in subject matter such as bored kids turning to drugs, earning pounds and pence and our Government. The realness continues as they chat about frustrating drivers on ‘On The Road’ (check the last verse for the cheeky ending) before substance abuse talk gets well abstract on ‘Brown Horses’.

The production is nicely varied with loads of plundered sound including a few plucked strings - something not heard all that often in Hip Hop. The LP does have a certain mood – one that’s not all that bright – and the lyrics contribute to that as much as the instrumentals. If you’re after happy times then buy something else but be sure to have this to hand when you need some UK real talk and original beats. It’s only £6.99 over at Suspect Packages - trust JVF to do their bit to make up for the countries financial cock-ups.

To check out tracks for free download the whole ‘On The Radar’ series for ‘Those Dudes’, ‘Drugs Need Kids’ and a Certified Banger exclusive!

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