Over here at HHLAT we’ve been following Northeast MC, Egotrip for quite some time (just type in his name in our search bar and you’ll see), so when he put us on to his new group, Poetiks, with fellow members Prospekt and CeeJay well then we had to have a cheeky listen or 2, or 3, or 4. In all honestly though, this review a good week late, but yo I (Aimee, hello) have been very sick. Too sick to even typey type. With that excuse out the way let’s get on with this.
Poetiks are a relatively new Northeast/west project, but they’ve already released a full-length this year ‘Retribution’ which served as a good opener to the group, and firmly cemented their feet on the UK scene. It’s a darker, heavier release than ‘Fun’s Over’, but that’s not to say the latter lacks anything from its fore bearer. I feel as if the best way to think of it is, ‘Retribution’ is part one, and ‘Fun’s Over’ is part 2.
The production of FO is a bit more catchy, especially in in the title-named track and ‘Jump’, or dare I say ‘poppy’. Now don’t get your knickers in a twist and immediately turn your hipster nose up to this. I don’t think this is a bad thing at all, Tupac has a whole lot of poppy tracks, and they weren’t the the radio singles either so get off your high horse. I mean in the sense that they pop more, and the instrumentation is bouncer and less heavy. The thing however that separates Poetiks from your every day, made-for-radio-producers is that there’s no triple snares, no predictable cuts or samples, and most of all, they have content.
The group’s sense of narrative and storytelling is well practiced, and you can tell the content is painstakingly put together. None is more apparent than on ‘Find The Answer’ and ‘Street Kingz’. The former song is cut into two parts; one opposing religion, the other defending it. They two MCs play off each really well, and I was happy that the song itself finished on a more introspective end, instead of the expected “FUCK RELIGION!” tip that I’ve come to expect. Being a Christian myself it’s nice to hear a song that recognises the differences between the negatives of organised religion, and the positives of faith, because trust me atheist fundamentalists are just as boring as religious ones (although I’m sorry, if you don’t believe in evolution hoohoo mate you need some schooling).
‘Psycho’ on the other hand, is a purely comical track about what happens when someone just can’t get enough of you, and won’t leave you alone. For all of those of you that immediately can think of someone, then this song is for you. The beat itself is really interesting, and I really enjoyed the slightly off-key piano instrumental. Whenever I listen to this, I can’t help but wish this was released when I was being stalked by a crazy from my past. Take the Poetiks advice, RUN AWAY!
All in all this is a big difference from some of the earlier solo efforts from the trio. Fun’s Over and Retribution, both respectfully showcase the difference from their past material of ‘ really good’ to ‘really great’ hip-hop. I was generally impressed with the sharpness, quality and overall style and sound that these guys have come out with, and I’m excited to see what they’ll throw out this year. This is a solid release, and one that you need to get your paws on too.
Also on a side note, and one that shouldn’t be forgotten all the time; how fucking rad is the cover art of this record? Seriously, seriously.
Both albums are out now for free on Hi-Risk Records.
For fans of Big Dutty Deeze, Twizzy, Rhyme Asylum.