I don’t usually care that much about lyrics when i listen to grime or hiphop. I would like to, but to be honest probably between 70 to 80 % of the grime/rap i listen to, and like, have rather pointless lyrics. More or less mindless braggadocio, swagger-talk, repping your current or birth location, rapping about dancing, expressing your love for some girl, or how you like to fuck. Some attempts at being witty and clever, at times some light social commentary. Usually it’s beyond cliché, and usually i don’t mind. It has it’s own peculiar charm. But it is very welcome when someone appears who actually goes beyond the customary concepts and trite sterotypes.
I don’t know much about London mc Untitled. He’s released one or two mixtapes i think, that i hardly noticed, and he’s featured in a somewhat classic youtube clip of him provoking a guy in a clash on Axe Fm enough to make the guy start wrestling. I won’t post that up as i know Untitled feels that was a long time ago, and it’s a part of him that he’s left behind.
So i listen to this mixtape without any real preconceptions.When the mixtape starts of with the tune “Drink with me” i get kinda depressed and start thinking this will be yet another in a line of disappointing mixtapes with chart ambitions and uninspired concepts. It sounds like Bashy more or less, and the lyrics are at time more odd than good; “how about a cocktail thats pink, cmon you’re a alcoholic are you scared you’ll vomit?”. Followers “Mind Warp” Feat Messy and “I Am What I Am” are better, but don’t do much to change my mind, good, but not exceptional grime.
However, things change dramatically with fourth track “Getting Older”. Untitled reveals himself as far more than a standard grime artist, as a talented lyricist, and a talanted songwriter. Although i enjoy the Exo Remedy remix more, this is a great tune. He continues to prove this throughout the mixtape with a number of tracks that actually makes me stop what i’m doing and concentrate on the lyrics, something that in my case is quite rare. At times the concepts could be more interesting, the “Sneeze” track about him getting irritated with a man for not covering his mouth when he sneezes does lack something to keep my interest up, and the descriptions of the problems you can have with your moms new man over a angry grime beat on “Step parents” seems a bit odd, as his stepfather seems like quite a nice character, taking him to the footie. But other times there is evidence of both a great lyrical ability as well as a unusually great social pathos, as on tracks like “Battered shoes” about the plight of a poor mother in a third world country, “Explanation” about overcoming the difficulties of day to day life, and “Homeless” about the life of the social outcasts on the outskirts of society. And the storytelling of “Rape” might possibly be the most sympathetic tale of sleeping with a prostitute ever told.
About half of this mixtape consist of good grime, the type of grime i like to listen to on a daily basis. Some ups and downs, some guest-spots that fail to convince me. But also some great verses and hype beats. But that is not the half that i will come back to. The other half is the sound of a artist in the making, the rare voice of a new grime artist with lyrics worth concentrating on, with stories he needs to tell. At best it invokes memories of old Kano, or Bashy at his occasional peaks. That is the half i will be return to.