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LISTEN: ‘Bad Vibes’

7/10 Ac­com­plished

col­lec­tion from Dublin rap­per Over the last few years, at­ti­tudes to­wards Ir­ish hip hop have slowly started to shift. Mu­sic fans are now com­ing to re­gard the genre not merely as a car­bon copy of the Amer­i­can style, but as its own ex­pres­sive form of sto­ry­telling, set in a dis­tinctly Ir­ish – and usu­ally work­ing-class – con­text. Jambo – aka Dubliner James Boyle – is one of the promis­ing rappers at the fore­front of this ex­cit­ing wave of artists and pro­duc­ers, and has just re­leased his third al­bum, Trapped.

As he con­tin­ues to find his flow on this very per­sonal col­lec­tion, his lyrics touch on a va­ri­ety of top­ics, in­clud­ing the prej­u­dices fac­ing dis­ad­van­taged com­mu­ni­ties (I like the line in ‘Rep­re­sent’: “He’s a stereo­type cos he’s dressed head to toe in Nike”), para­noia when friend­ships turn stale (‘Bad Vibes’), and com­ing to terms with his own demons (‘Di­men­sions’). Mean­while, the rhymes are un­der­pinned by some typ­i­cally sub­lime pro­duc­tion from the enigma that is G.I. (Lethal Di­alect, Costello). From the smoothas-silk stylings of ‘Souls On Rent’ to the smoky jazz of ‘Rep­re­sent’ and the cheeky drum ‘n’ bass of ‘Bad Vibes’, it’s a won­der­fully mellow and im­pres­sively pol­ished al­bum. Well worth a listen.


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