Young yet highly established Mancunian emcee Black Josh, closely affiliated with Blah Records & Levelz, dropped a fully independent mixtape called ‘Brexit’ on October 20th. Despite the project title, this mixtape has got nothing to do with Westminster, only hardcore street politics and hedonistic perspectives, fueled by Josh’s desire to make block bangers for the hood that motivated his musical progression. Featuring 10 tracks over less than 30 minutes in total, Josh is renowned for his manic workrate, which has driven his persistent success. There is no doubt Josh has been sat on this project for a minute, ensuring all bases were covered.
‘Brexit’ includes rappers such as Sleazy, Mennis & Dyno, all artists close to Josh, who has traditionally put on homies from his area across his discography since his emergence about 5 years ago. Other than Sleazy, there are zero features from Blah which is somewhat surprising since Josh is still signed to their label, however to reitterate this is a fully independent Black Josh project, completely unaffiliated with Blah Records. Certainly we will keep hearing more collaborations between Josh & Blah in future.
‘Brexit’ displays Black Josh at his most savage mode, yet he still keeps it real, updating supporters on how he’s been doing and what he has been feeling since life has changed. Although ‘Brexit’ could be called UK hip-hop, the tape isn’t tired old boom-bap. The beatmakers bring bass heavy bangers, blatantly influenced by what’s popping trap-wise overseas. Nevertheless this works to Josh’s favour, flexing his rhyme styles with an iconic Northern/Mancunian accent steadily and confidently. From the opener, the deep bass and Josh’s wavy, slow style is like a calm before the storm, as the album only intensifies throughout. Although Josh takes a step back from exploring his consciousness, this was likely done as a demonstration of his versatility, to show how his lyricism and flows are easily and readily adaptable to change.
For 3 reasons not to sleep on Black Josh, hear these 3 tracks lifted from the ‘Brexit’ mixtape.
South Manny is shamelessly, illicitly self-descriptive, letting heads know what has been going down in the underbelly of South Manny, providing further unmistakably honest insights into Josh’s personality, from coming up as a street kid into the local rap star he has become and how rap has changed his life. Backed by a fresh beat full of head-bopping layers produced by Kong and Khadu, Josh concludes; “I was trapping hard with Sleazy, now we’re both doing good.” The track exemplifies if you put in the grind and stick with it, you will probably go places.
Little Rock is just, Wow. Props to Torai on this one, who contributed the booming instrumental unfortunately just 2 minutes long. Josh spits quick renditions about his cliques, bitches and generally just keeping it G as he does. Undoubtedly the smoothest track on the mixtape, an instant reload.
Nice unsurprisingly has the nicest tune to it, a deeper track that hears Josh shout out haters that bite his style “like Suarez”, calling out lame ones that chat whack, trying to talk serious without putting in any grind. The track features Mennis, a renowned Manchester grime rhymer that vibes well with Josh on the bouncy beat, full of bassy layers produced by OH91 from Bristol.
Check out 3 Reasons not to Sleep On… Rye Shabby