Boomkat Product Review:
slowthai speaks up for an articulate, proud, British working class youth in his cracking debut album, featuring production by Kwes Darko and guest bars by Skepta
Hailing from Northampton in England’s rolling Midlands, slowthai raps about his place in society as a young, mixed race man who grew up raised by his mother during Tory-imposed austerity. While raging vitriol would be totally warranted for his background, and is a key part of his lyrics (usually aimed at the heads of Teresa May and Brexiters) slowthai handles his subject matter with a head that’s wiser than his years might suggest, possessing a crucial ability to look beyond himself and how he relates to his generation and community.
To date most of slawthai’s singles and an EP were capably self-produced on FL Studio, but for ‘Nothing Great About Britain’ Kwes Darko handles much of the production and mixing, with slowthai supplying only a couple of co-production credits alongside JD Reid and Slaves. Left to the mic, he clearly resembles a yung Dizzee Rascal, and even acknowledges this fact in the album’s titular opener, but make no mistake he’s not a clone; the album proceeds to roundly beat Sleaford Mods at their own game in the punkish trample of ‘Doorman’, while ‘Grow Up’ and ‘Inglorious’ exert his own spin on drill, the latter starring Skepta, and ‘Northampton’s Child’ shuts it down with a a type of minor key lament about never-ending 12 hour shifts, drug-addicted parents and punching you ’til his hands turn blue, that you won’t hear from any other MC this year.