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Thursday, 30 October 2014

Grafter: Lifestyles Of The Young, Broke & Namesless (Mixtape Review)

Lifestyles of the Young, Broke & Nameless cover artGrafter of The Suave Society, has been making marvellous moves in the UK music scene in 2014. His take on British Hip Hop has earned him placements on various of the countries top-tier outlets, from SBTV to GRMDaily and has become one of few emcee's I have checked for every single drop, without fail. This past week he dropped a mixtape I've been waiting for, for sometime now and "Lifestyle Of The Young, Broke & Nameless", shortened to "LYBN" does not disappoint. 

With a sound-scape sculpted by a number of brilliant beat-smith's, Grafter was gifted instrumental gems to work with - but even a diamond needs polished first, and track-for-track the up-and-coming, underground upstart delivers jewel after jewel. Capturing an autobiographical account of being exactly what the tape's title suggests, with such sublime skill deserves comparisons to Devlin's "Bud, Sweat & Beers", but in terms of technique, Grafter's style of spitting is a far-cry from his fellow Cockney. 

Instead of spitting double time flows within complex schemes, Grafter's delivery is less suitable for demanding attention, but makes for a more accessible, radio-ready sonic that still remains credible from a rap perspective. There's not a single solitary song on LYBN that could be called poor, with each selection of the sixteen-strong track list seeping in lyrical sweetness. Combining with a captivating catalogue of choruses, the terrific verses hold testament to Grafter's simultaneous ability to appeal to a cross-over of both Hip Hop head's and the mainstream masses. 

Even on the melancholic musings, the emcee makes it an enjoyable experience, exemplifying his ears for instrumentals that allow him to articulate introspective thoughts, without over killing the emotional resonance. I was expecting to enjoy "Lifestyles Of The Young, Broke & Nameless" but I wasn't anticipating a possible contender for mixtape of the year, and that might just be what Grafter has given the music world with only his second effort.