The muffled shuffle of Adian Coker’s “Been There” begins with a minimal line of percussion, soon eased into a more wholesome groove of metronomic hip-hop. This sampling of the South London rapper’s impressive talents features on his latest EP, Time Out of Mind, which has already gained some traction in his native UK. Having explored a gamut of pop-music styles, Coker’s hip-hop rests comfortably in a secured space of influences pooling from both sides of the Atlantic. There is indeed a good chunk of East Coast hip-hop in his work that is essentially the tether of which the grime, dubstep and electro-funk elements are attached.
“Been There” sees the rapper minimizing the aggression of his grittier excursions for a cooled and measured flow of liquid rhymes; his words still carry much anger but they are now expelled with as much caution as they are with force. Moreover, Coker is a salty lyricist with plenty of gristle to chew on, his delivery imbued with the essence of a most sagacious proverb: “The tongue is like a sharp knife – it kills without drawing blood.”