By James Childs
Traditional Hip Hop looped samples with hard hitting lyrics is what to be expected from Midland’s based Hip Hop crew Heavy Links, consisting of MC Habitat, MC/Producer El Tel The Dopeness and DJ Donnie Propa. A fitting title for the group’s latest effort ‘Heavyweight’ showcases a contrast of songs from the aggressive, forceful and stand out song ‘Nuclear’ to the cool, smooth and jazzy ‘Elements’.
‘Closing Down The Show’ and ‘Just To Let You Know’ have that signature boom bap feel which let lose the groups killer verses such as “The last thing you saw was a blast through your door, crowbar, ski-mask then I start the chainsaw” letting the listener know ‘This is Hip Hop’. Whilst the opening song’s production is more rugged and direct the second song ‘Just To Let You Know’ features a female vocal sample which provides a laid back but ominous vibe this is helped by the notable verse by Verb T.
Classical strings and eager hi hats set the tone on the well-produced ‘Follow This’. As soon as the beat drops and you hear the Big L scratches of ‘You think you nice as me”, head bopping is a must. The content is similar to the previous two songs but more reflective and introspective discussing God, atoms and frequencies. It’s clear the rappers main purpose so far is to murder each track with complicated and multi-syllable rhymes.
‘The Watchmen’ is the perfect song before the hard core ‘Nuclear’. Just when you think the pace of the album is about to slow down ‘Nuclear’ is unleashed on listeners. Lyrics of burning down villages and kamikaze over a psycho and aggressive beat have the group doing what they know best. But my personal favourite ‘Elements’ featuring The Book Thieves, provides a contrast to their previous braggadocios tracks. Instead issues of regrets, money and lyrics like “we live our life on cloud 9 to 5” acts as a highlight for the group providing a song which is not only relatable for most people but inspirational urging listeners to ‘talk true from the heart’.
Overall ‘Heavyweights’ showcases Heavy Links signature style which consist of sampled instrumentals with a kick drum and snare sequence, typical of the boom bap sound and scratches that provide an old school Hip Hop chant feel for the chorus. The old school New York production is contrasted with lyrics from the midland rappers who sole purpose is to use metaphors, alliteration and other clever literary techniques to showcase their lyrical abilities.
Check out the Video for ‘Nuclear’ featuring Cappo
Heavyweight is available for free download, or on Limited Edition Vinyl here.
By James Childs