MNSR Frites spends much of his time as part of the British collectives Granville Sessions and Moose Funk Squad. But he’s also been working away at a collection of solo material, some of which appears on his debut album, The River Wandle.
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“What a shitty life!”
When Italian pop singer Levante sang those words (che vita di merda!) in “Alfonso”, her 2013 smash hit, she caught the mood of her generation and her country. The song dominated the airwaves and social media that summer, and for good reason. It’s a totally infectious piece of pop-rock, but there are dark undercurrents to its surface sunniness. Levante sings about a boring birthday party, where she doesn’t even know the titular guest—but she wishes the “asshole” a happy birthday anyway.
“Using reggae as a springboard, Italian rapper TerronRissa takes a fairly liberal and free-form approach within the constructs of his hip-hop. Aimed squarely at house parties across Italy’s suburbs, TerronRissa dispense his rhymes with humor and easygoing charm. The beats skip and throb with the kind of abandon usually reserved for pop music. Having just released his first proper album of material, L’Era Dei Distratti, the rapper has attracted quite a following in its native Italy.
Razza B, a stalwart young gentleman, is probably Italy’s most affable rapper. To be certain, there’s indeed the air of menace that hovers around him, but beyond that there is a scruffy, genial charm that lends itself to his body of work. Razza B maintains a sleepy rasp, keeping an even pressure on the flow of rhymes that feels convivial, never aggressive.
Bare-boned and elegantly dark, “The Cypher” unravels with economy and style the turntablist aestheticisms of old-school hip-hop. Four of the UK’s hardest-working indie rappers trade rhyme and verse atop a ringing horn sample, exploring all dimensions of flow. Unapologetically British and defiantly proud of it, Yung Truth, D.A., Hoodzee, and L. Salv exercise a tension noirishly filmic and wickedly grand. Nowhere near a big-budget production, it’s a small-time effort that captures a certain energy brewing in the circles of the UK’s underground hip-hop scenes.