Cracker Jon & 2late Front CoverYou Can Take the Cracker out of Croydon is the space where Cracker Jon tells us about his life and everything in it. Unlike his competitors work Jon has created a debut album void of choruses or even a linear format. A mode of music making which focusses solely on two things – his words and the sheer brilliance underneath the lyricism: the work of 2Late.

2Late has moulded a platter of funk-drenched soundscapes which harmonise faultlessly with Jon’s uncompromising wordplay. After years of traveling the world together performing and making music, its clear the pair have undeniable chemistry. The underbelly of the album is the tightness in collaboration, a large part of what constructs the LPs singularity.

The album is heavily punctuated with Jon’s dislike for the cultural environment he is placed in, alongside a frank evaluation of his own personality. No Need elaborates on this, exemplifying Jon’s animosity towards mainstream music, a theme which runs throughout the LP – his desire to be held in a different light to other rappers. The track switches from varying subject topics all with different depths at a fast pace. Highlighting Jon as an intelligent writer with a broad knowledge of esoteric subjects.

Whereas other tracks like Dank demonstrate Jon’s need to get his voice and opinions heard while still remaining unique in his approach. The album goes against the grain of your archetypal hip hop fodder and shows you a glimpse of the workings of a rising artist. While this is both interesting and expressive it can sometimes come across as disorderly at times. Its that incoherentness which both adds and takes away from the LP. On one hand this is a piece of work which flourishes as being unusual and captivating however this off-beat manner doesn’t always translate as well as it could making some tracks harder to grasp than others.

Despite these hiccups its clear this is the work of a talented artist who is making intriguing, thought provoking music. Make sure to look out for one of the gnarliest collaborations of the year on Obnoxious, featuring the unmistakable Dirty Dike and psychedelic Lee Scott. Other bangers include Shut Ya Mouth featuring the ever entertaining Smellington Piff and What Do You Prefer which shows Jon at his very best as a writer.

An innovative, surreal debut album which will undoubtedly push Cracker Jon & 2Late further into the glow of hip hop popularity.

You Can Take The Cracker Out Of Croydon is out now on High Focus and available on CD, Limited Edition Vinyl and digitally

Review by Louise Brisbane