Prime Edition

White men are black men too
BHANUJ KAPPAL  2nd May 2015

Young Fathers

White Men Are Black Men Too

Label: Big Dada

When Edinburgh-based Young Fathers started getting noticed, they were clubbed under the same "experimental hip-hop" tag as other hard-to-categorise contemporaries like Death Grips and Shabazz Palaces. Their early music certainly encouraged such labels, with their first two EPs — Tape One (2011) and Tape Two (2013) — bursting with the raw brutality and violence of those two acts, but even back then, tracks like I Heard signaled their love for soul and pop song-craft. Their 2014 debut full length, Dead, saw them pushing further outside the "hip-hop" envelope on its way to a Mercury Prize.

On White Men Are Black Men Too, their sophomore album, the trio takes all the sounds they love — rap, rock, soul, industrial — and runs them through the same sort of industrial strength blender that TV On The Radio uses, coming up with a sound that is uncategorisable, and uniquely theirs. This is what fusion pop should be, pan-continental experimentation that is kept from floating away into the esoteric ether by incredible hooks and joyous, maximalistic choruses. Handclaps, choirs and vinyl fuzz are scattered across the record, celebratory throwbacks to recent decades that punctuate and contrast with the apocalypse that looms over the lyrics. Much like Bristol's trip-hop pioneers Massive Attack, they've managed to meld pop, hip-hop and politics into a potent mix. On Old Rock and Roll, they scream "I'm tired of playing the good black!" before flipping the sentiment around into a rejection of race in the 21st century with the hook, "Some white men are black men too!" Shame calls out those who'd manipulate their loved ones for their own ends, with them singing "Nothing but a bare faced lie/ Is all you c**ts can hold on to" over a throbbing bassline and laser samples. Liberated rides along at a breakneck speed as the band shouts out their "Don't Hesitate" over joyous percussion, and Rain or Shine rejects religion in order to open the door for political intervention. It's glorious. Four years after emerging as an experimental rap act, Young Fathers have produced a gem of a rock/pop album.

 
Newer | Older

Creative-for-SG


iTv Network : newsX India News Media Academy aaj Samaaj  
  Powered by : Star Infranet